The 1790 Census and the First Veto

On April 1, 2022, the National Archives released the 1950 Census. For more information and to view the census, visit the National Archives website. The U.S. Constitution requires that an enumeration be taken every 10 years to determine the size of the House of Representatives. The Constitution originally designated 65 members in the House but … Continue reading The 1790 Census and the First Veto

The Long S

Bill of Rights Day is December 15. Visit the National Archives website for more information. Today’s post comes from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD. One of the most frequent questions visitors to the National Archives Rotunda have about the Bill of Rights is why is the word Congress … Continue reading The Long S

Global Influence of the U.S. Constitution

September 17 is designated as Constitution Day to commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787. Today’s post comes from Thomas Richardson, an archives technician at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. The drafting of the United States Constitution was a landmark event in the history of … Continue reading Global Influence of the U.S. Constitution

Constitution Day: Translating the Constitution

Today’s post comes from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD. Constitution Day is celebrated on September 17, 1787—the day that the majority of the delegates to the Constitutional Convention approved the document they had been working on in Philadelphia since May. But the Constitution wouldn't become the official framework … Continue reading Constitution Day: Translating the Constitution

A Different Columbia as Capital City

Today’s post comes from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD.  During the 1770s and 1780s, the U.S. capital moved up and down the eastern seaboard from city to city. While its stay in Philadelphia might be the most famous, it also traveled south to Annapolis in 1783–84 and north … Continue reading A Different Columbia as Capital City

Amending the Electoral College: The 12th Amendment

The Electoral College is outlined in Article II, Section 1, of the U.S. Constitution. It is the formal body that elects the President and Vice President of the United States. Back in 1787, when the delegates to the Constitutional Convention were trying to figure out how the President should be chosen, some wanted the Congress … Continue reading Amending the Electoral College: The 12th Amendment

The Entire Constitution for Constitution Day

September 17 is Constitution Day commemorating the signing of the U.S. Constitution in Philadelphia on September 17, 1787.  Fifty years ago, all four pages of the U.S. Constitution went on display at the National Archives for the first time.  First exhibit of all four pages of the U.S. Constitution in the National Archives Rotunda, 9/17/1970. … Continue reading The Entire Constitution for Constitution Day

My Name is Alex Hamilton

In celebration of the upcoming movie version of the musical Hamilton, we are highlighting two Hamilton-related documents from the National Archives holdings.  One of my favorite documents, and timely for Independence Day, is Alexander Hamilton’s Oath of Allegiance during the Revolutionary War. Alexander Hamilton's Oath of Allegiance, May 12, 1778. (National Archives Identifier 2524343) Hamilton … Continue reading My Name is Alex Hamilton

The Mosler Model

On June 29, 1954, a 600 pound model of the vault that held the Constitution, Declaration of Independence, and Bill of Rights went on display in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. It was one of two models the Mosler Safe Company made to demonstrate how such a mechanism would work to secure the … Continue reading The Mosler Model

Unratified Amendments: DC Voting Rights

This is the sixth and final installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment intended to give full voting rights to the citizens of the nation’s capital.  For most of its history, the residents of Washington, DC, have lacked representation in Congress and the ability to participate in elections … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: DC Voting Rights