September 1, 2014

Today in History: John Jay

John Jay, head-and-shoulders portrait

Today in History–December 12–the Library of Congress features founding father John Jay, born on this day in 1745. Jay had a long, full political career including president of the Continental Congress, author of several Federalist Papers, and first Supreme Court Justice of the United States. Learn more about John Jay by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access related primary sources. John Jay correspondence John Jay books & articles John Jay image … [Read more...]

Today in History: Thurgood Marshall

Thurgood Marshall

Today in History–October 2–the Library of Congress features Thurgood Marshall, sworn in as Supreme Court Justice on this day in 1967; he was the first African American to serve. President Lyndon B. Johnson said of Marshall's appointment, "the right thing to do, the right time to do it, the right man and the right place." Prior to becoming a judge, Marshall was a top civil rights lawyer, most famous for his greatest victory in 1954 with the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in Brown v. Board of … [Read more...]

Today in History: Reverdy Johnson

Reverdy Johnson: Civil War photograph album, ca. 1861-65

Today in History–May 21–the Library of Congress features attorney and statesman Reverdy Johnson, born on this day in 1796. Although personally opposed to slavery (he emancipated slaves inherited from his father), Johnson represented the slave-owning defendant in the 1857 Dred Scott U.S. Supreme Court case, which  decided that slaves could not be citizens. Learn more about this politician by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access related primary … [Read more...]

Today in History: Plessy v. Ferguson

A rest stop for Greyhound bus passengers on the way from Louisville, Kentucky, to Nashville, Tennessee, with separate accommodations for colored passengers

Today in History–May 18–the Library of Congress features the Supreme Court case Plessy v. Ferguson, which ruled on this day in 1896 that separate-but-equal facilities on intrastate railroads were constitutional. The decision gave legal sanction to Jim Crow segregation laws and the decision was not reversed until May 17, 1954 when the Supreme Court unanimously agreed that segregation was unconstitutional in the case of Brown v. the Board of Education. Unfortunately, it would take even longer to … [Read more...]

Today in History: Carrie S. Burnham

The elective franchise. The argument of Carrie S. Burnham ...

Today in History–April 4–the Library of Congress features Carrie S. Burnham, who continued to present her arguments before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court on the right of women to vote on this day in 1873. Learn more about her appeal and the suffrage movement by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below. The argument of Carrie S. Burnham before Chief Justice Reed, and Associate Justices Agnew, Sharswood and Mercur, of the Supreme court of Pennsylvania, in banc, on … [Read more...]

Today in History: Amistad Mutiny Survivors Released

Death of Capt. Ferrer, the Captain of the AMISTAD, July 1839

Today in History–March 8–the Library of Congress features the Amistad mutiny survivors, released on this day in 1841 by the Supreme Court. Former president John Quincy Adams successfully argued the case and the former captives  eventually returned to Africa. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below to read Adams argument and access more primary sources related to this incident as well as the Stono Rebellion. Amistad primary source set Amistad case … [Read more...]

Today in History: Salmon P. Chase

The Greenback, quick step

Today in History–December 6–the Library of Congress features Salmon P. Chase, nominated as Supreme Court Chief Justice by President Abraham Lincoln on this day in 1864. Learn more about the architect of the first two clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment who also served as Governor of Ohio, a U.S. Senator, and Lincoln's secretary of the treasury, by visiting the Today in History section then check out the related resources below. Salmon P. Chase image set (includes numerous political … [Read more...]

Today in History: William Howard Taft

President Taft speaking at Manassas Court House

Today in History–September 15–the Library of Congress features William Howard Taft, born on this day in 1857. Taft had a very active political career that included two of our country's highest posts, President and Supreme Court Chief Justice. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources about William H. Taft. William H. Taft inauguration primary source set William H. Taft books and articles William H. Taft U.S. … [Read more...]

Today in History: Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson with the Tennessee forces on the Hickory Grounds (Ala) A.D. 1814

Today in History–August 9–the Library of Congress features Andrew Jackson, who signed the Treaty of Fort Jackson that ended the Creek War on this day in 1814. Jackson had a successful military career, and also served as a U.S. Representative, Senator, Tennessee Supreme Court Justice, and the seventh President of the United States. Learn more about this fiery leader by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more resources and primary sources. *NOTE: The image … [Read more...]