October 14, 2019

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...]

Learning from the Source: Monumental Men

George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Theodore Roosevelt were monumental men who made significant contributions to the United States. Through the lens of both primary and secondary sources, students learn about the characters and contributions of these presidents and determine for themselves the qualities and accomplishments that make someone worthy of a lasting tribute. To complete this project, students will . . . review the purposes of monuments and contemplate the … [Read more...]

Today in History: Franco-American Alliance

Today in History–February 6–the Library of Congress features the Franco-American alliance, solidified  on this date in 1778 when France and the United States signed the Treaty of Amity and Commerce and the Treaty of Alliance. The former recognized the United States as an independent nation and promoted trade between the two countries and the latter created a military alliance against Great Britain so long as America remained independent. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then … [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, His [John Adams'] Better … [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...]

Featured Source: Jefferson’s Pasta Machine

Curator description: Thomas Jefferson noted these plans for a macaroni or pasta machine while touring northern Italy in 1787. When Jefferson prepared these plans, macaroni was a highly fashionable food in Paris, where he was stationed as minister to France. He later commissioned his secretary William Short to purchase a macaroni machine in Italy, but the machine was not very durable. In later years Jefferson served macaroni or spaghetti made by cutting rolled dough into strips, which were … [Read more...]

Today in History: Thomas Jefferson

Today in History–April 13–the Library of Congress features Thomas Jefferson, born on this day in 1743.  (Actually, he was born on April 2 under the Julian calendar but when Great Britain and its colonies switched to the Gregorian calendar in 1752 his birthday, along with everyone else’s, was shifted 11 days forward.) Find out more about this multitalented man by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access teaching resources, primary sources and secondary sources … [Read more...]

Today in History: The Call for Independence

Today in History–April 12–the Library of Congress features the first call for American independence, made by North Carolina on this day in 1776. Referred to as the "Halifax Resolves", the document listed grievances against Great Britain and encouraged the Continental Congress to push for sovereignty. Learn more by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more related resources. Declaration of Independence texts Declaration of Independence from the … [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...]

Today in History: Thomas Jefferson Elected

Today in History–February 17–the Library of Congress features Thomas Jefferson, who was elected by the House of Representatives on this day in 1801. The House voted to break a tie in the Electoral College. Find out more about this acrimonious third presidential election by visiting the Today in History section, then follow the links below to access more primary sources and resources about this election and the 3rd president of the United States. Individual primary sources Thoughts, on … [Read more...]