November 14, 2018

Timely Connections: Slavery & Compromise

In a Fox News interview with White House chief of staff John Kelly on Oct. 30, 2017, the former marine general said that “the lack of an ability to compromise led to the Civil War”. Kelly's statement set off a firestorm of impassioned responses across traditional and social media about the cause of the Civil War and the history of slavery and compromise prior to this seminal event. Read some of the contemporary articles, review background information about compromises over slavery prior to the … [Read more...]

Primary Source Learning: U.S. Constitution

Primary source lesson plans & activitiesAmerican Memory Timeline: Primary Source Excerpts and Discussion Questions Related to the Constitution The Constitution: Counter Revolution or National Salvation? The Constitution: Drafting a More Perfect Union The Meaning of the Federalist Papers Citizen U The U.S. Constitution: Continuity and Change in the Governing of the United States Preamble to the Constitution Image Sequencing What was the purpose of the Preamble? … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Alexander Hamilton

Today in History: Alexander Hamilton background information & select primary sourcesAlexander Hamilton Papers collectionAlexander Hamilton primary source set & teacher's guideAlexander Hamilton image setAlexander Hamilton items in the Creating the United States online exhibitionReport of the Committee of Detail with annotations by Alexander Hamilton Report of the Committee of Style with annotations by Alexander Hamilton A Champion to Challenge Alexander … [Read more...]

Today in History: War of 1812

Today in History–June 18–the Library of Congress features the War of 1812. On this date in 1812 President James Madison signed a declaration of war against Great Britain. Reasons for the war included frustration with Britain's maritime practices and their support of Native American resistance to western expansion as well as a desire to conquer Canada. The war lingered on past 1812 and in August, 1814, British forces attacked Washington D.C., setting fire to many government buildings … [Read more...]

Today in History: United States Military Academy at West Point

Today in History–March 16–the Library of Congress features United States Military Academy at West Point, founded on this date in 1802. Located on the Hudson River north of New York City,  West Point is one of the world's oldest military service academies and was attended by many of the nation's leading military commanders.  The academy is well known for its high standards of discipline and scholarship, instituted early on by Colonel Sylvanus Thayer, superintendent at West Point from 1817 to … [Read more...]

Today in History: Vassar College

Today in History–April 29–the Library of Congress features Vassar College. College founder Matthew Vassar was born on this date in 1792. Vassar donated half of the fortune he made in the brewing business and 200 acres in Poughkeepsie, New York to establish a premier women's college. The college was opened in 1861 and includes many alumnae of distinction. Find out more about them and Vassar College by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access related … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: John Quincy Adams

From America's Library: Born: July 11, 1767 Died: Feb. 23, 1848John Quincy Adams was the sixth president of the United States and the first son of a former president who himself became president. (George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush are the only other father-son presidents.)John Quincy Adams was well known for his diplomatic success and most of all for his role as secretary of state under James Monroe. Adams had previously served as an ambassador to several European countries and as a … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: John Adams

From America's Library: Born: October 30 (October 19, Old Style), 1735, in Braintree (now Quincy), Massachusetts Died: July 4, 1826, in Braintree (now Quincy), MassachusettsJohn Adams worked as a teacher and lawyer before dedicating himself to a life of patriotism and politics. He was America's second president. Adams was well known for his extreme political independence, brilliant mind and passionate patriotism. He was a leader in the Continental Congress and an important diplomatic … [Read more...]

Today in History: Robert R. Livingston

Today in History–November 27–the Library of Congress features statesman Robert R. Livingston, born on this day in 1746. Born into a prominent New York family, Livingston was a politically active lawyer. He was on the committee that drafted the Declaration of Independence, helped draft New York's first constitution, and served as minister to France at the time of the Louisiana Purchase. Find out more about this revolutionary politico by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links … [Read more...]

Today in History: John Trumbull

Today in History–June 6–the Library of Congress features artist John Trumbull, born on this day in 1756 in Lebanon, Connecticut. Before he began painting, this son of Connecticut governor Jonathan Trumbull, served as an aide to General George Washington during the Revolution. Trumbull painted portraits of leading figures of the day and is best known for his historical paintings that adorn the rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., including the Declaration of … [Read more...]