February 23, 2019

Presidential Spotlight: Abraham Lincoln

From America’s Library: Born: February 12, 1809 in Hardin County, Kentucky Died: April 15, 1865, assassinated at Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C. Known for leading the country through the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States. His eloquence is evident in many speeches including his most famous one, the Gettysburg Address. His second inaugural address, which includes the phrase, "With malice toward none; with charity for all..." is inscribed on one wall of … [Read more...]

Today in History: Nullification Crisis

Today in History–January 13–the Library of Congress features the Nullification Crisis. On this date in 1833, President Andrew Jackson wrote his new president Vice President Martin Van Buren affirming his commitment to preventing South Carolina's defiance of federal authority by nullifying national tariff laws. The Nullification Crisis began in November, 1832 when South Carolina nullified a federal tariff. On December 10, 1832 Jackson issued a proclamation promising to uphold the federal tariff … [Read more...]

Featured Source: Synopsis of the Fugitive Slave Law

Review this synopsis of the fugitive slave law. Choose one of the synopsis points and find which part(s) of the fugitive law text the author drew from to create the summary. Use the text from the fugitive slave law to create your own synopsis using modern-day language. In the objections, the author states that the fugitive slave law "violates the spirit and letter of the Constitution" and then lists several examples. Look for one of the examples in the actual text of the U.S. Constitution. … [Read more...]

Primary Source Spotlight: Fugitive Slave Law

Practical illustration of the Fugitive Slave Law Effects of the Fugitive-Slave-Law Triumph Fugitive slave law political cartoons Fugitive slave bill ... Approved, September 18, 1850. Millard Fillmore Things to be remembered. Remember that the Whig administration of Millard Fillmore enacted the Fugitive Slave bill, in violation of the constitution and all the legal safeguards of personal liberty Fugitive Slave Law, Senate Congressional Globe documents Fugitive Slave Law, … [Read more...]

Today in History: Carl Schurz

Today in History–October 29–the Library of Congress features journalist and politician Carl Schurz. On this date in 1855, the recent German immigrant wrote his wife, Margarethe Meyer Schurz, about his hope for their future in America. Exactly five years later Schurz sent his wife another letter, this time from Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign trail. Schurz served as a U.S. senator and worked with several presidents, most notably as secretary of the interior under Rutherford B. Hayes. In … [Read more...]

Today in History: Jenny Lind

Today in History–September 11–the Library of Congress features soprano Jenny Lind, who made her American debut in New York City on this date in 1850. The concert was the first of a 93-stop American tour for the 19th-century singing sensation who sang opera as well as popular songs. Learn more about the "Swedish nightingale" by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links below. Jenny Lind image set Jenny Lind sheet music Jenny Lind's prize song (sheet music & song … [Read more...]

Today in History: John C. Calhoun

Today in History–March 18–the Library of Congress features politician John C. Calhoun, born on this date in 1782. Calhoun served as a congressman, senator, secretary of war, secretary of state, and vice president of the United States but may be best known for his defense of slavery, particularly in relation to the Nullification Proclamation and the Compromise of 1850. Learn more about this states rights advocate from South Carolina by visiting the Today in History section and clicking the links … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Close Reading in Service of a Cause

Activity overview Close reading is an opportunity to read and reread thoughtfully and with purpose. By breaking down the analysis of texts and other primary sources into distinct chunks, you can increase rigor and help students more easily climb the staircase of complexity required by the Common Core State Standards (CCSS). In this primary source activity students will look closely and critically at images in conjunction with historical and contemporary texts. They will compare and contrast … [Read more...]

Learning from the Source: Abraham Lincoln & Me Activity Book

Students are active learners when they are engaged in real activities. The Abraham Lincoln & Me Primary Source Activity Book enables students to become familiar with primary sources and learn about Abraham Lincoln and his accomplishments while fostering a personal connection to this U.S. president. The activity book is available in English and Spanish with accompanying audio files in each language. Numerous extension activity ideas provide teachers with options for extending … [Read more...]

Today in History: John Brown

Today in History–October 16–the Library of Congress features John Brown, who led a raid of Harper's Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) on this day in 1859, seizing the town's United States arsenal and rifle works and taking 60 prominent locals hostage. The group hoped to spark a rebellion of freed slaves and to lead an "army of emancipation." The group was unsuccessful and John Brown was hanged less than two months later. But his actions, according to Frederick Douglass, were not in vain, "No … [Read more...]