January 20, 2023

Timely Connections: Foundational Lessons in Democracy & Civil Discourse

"Conspiracy theories run amok. Fear of spies and meddling in American politics at the highest levels by foreign powers. A bipartisan divide so bitter that the federal government moves to muzzle what many politicians believe to be a biased, out-of-control news media." Current events? Actually, the excerpt paints a picture of the political climate during John Adam's tenure as president of the United States and is the lead paragraph of a book review from the Christian Science Monitor of Friends … [Read more...]

Featured Image: The first great Western empire

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Today in History: Preliminary Articles of Peace Ratified

Today in History–April 15–the Library of Congress features the Continental Congress ratification of the preliminary articles of peace  with Great Britain on this date in 1783. Negotiations to conclude the Revolutionary War had begun a year earlier. "International intrigue and intense negotiation preceded the formulation of these preliminary articles." The final, formal treaty was signed on September 3, 1783 and guaranteed U.S. independence as well as awarding the territory between the 13 … [Read more...]

Presidential Spotlight: John Quincy Adams

From America's Library: Born: July 11, 1767 Died: Feb. 23, 1848 John 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), Massachusetts John 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: 1783 Treaty of Paris

Today in History–January 14–the Library of Congress features the Treaty of Paris, ratified by the Continental Congress on this day in 1784, nine months after the preliminary articles of peace were approved and over four months after the actual treaty was signed in Paris. Find out more by visiting the Today in History section (also see treaty signing entry), then click the links below to access related primary sources. Preliminary articles of peace ending the Revolutionary War Treaty of … [Read more...]

Today in History: Abigail Adams

Today in History–October 25–the Library of Congress features Abigail Adams, who was married to John Adams on this day in 1764. Abigail Adams was well educated and her husband frequently discussed political issues with her. Learn more about this famous first lady and first mother who was also a staunch supporter of women's rights by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access more primary sources related to Abigail Adams. Abigail Adams image set Abigail Adams … [Read more...]

Today in History: Independence Day

Today in History–July 4–the Library of Congress features Independence Day, marking the anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on this day in 1776. The first anniversary was a spontaneous celebration, as John Adams recounted in a letter to his daughter Abigail. After the War of 1812, Independence Day celebrations became more common. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then click the links below to access stories and primary sources related to all-American … [Read more...]

Today in History: Books for Congress

Today in History–April 24–the Library of Congress celebrates its own birthday. On this day in 1800, President John Adams approved a $5,000 appropriation to purchase "such books as may be necessary for the use of congress." According to Thomas Jefferson, any book would be useful: " . . . there is in fact no subject to which a member of Congress may not have occasion to refer." Learn more about the Library and its fabulous digital book collections by visiting the Today in History section, then … [Read more...]

Today in History: Boston Massacre

Today in History–March 5–the Library of Congress features the Boston Massacre, which occurred on this day in 1770 when British soldiers shot into a crowd of colonists. This skirmish became a rallying point for American patriots, led by Samuel Adams. Learn more about the incident and one of the fatal victims, Crispus Attucks, by visiting the Today in History section, then clicking the links below. On the death of five young men who was murthered, March 5th, 1770. An account of a late … [Read more...]