LGBTQ+ History Month: Barbara Jordan

Today’s post comes from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD. Barbara Jordan, 10/18/1976. (LBJ Presidential Library, National Archives) Barbara Jordan (1936-1996) was a lawyer, teacher, civil rights leader, lawmaker, and first LGBTQ+ woman in Congress. Born in Houston, in Texas's historically Black Fifth Ward, Jordan was the great-granddaughter of … Continue reading LGBTQ+ History Month: Barbara Jordan

James Baldwin and Freedom Summer

We’re wrapping up Black History Month with a post from Adam Berenbak, an archivist in the Center for Legislative Archives. Novelist, essayist, poet, and activist James Baldwin (1924–87) “created works of literary beauty and depth that will remain essential parts of the American canon.”[1] He was an openly gay, Black man living in the Civil … Continue reading James Baldwin and Freedom Summer

The National Archives and the Electoral College

When you vote in November, you won’t be casting your ballot directly for the Republican nominee or the Democratic nominee or any other candidate who wants to be President. Instead, you will be voting for the people who will actually “elect” the next President. They are called “electors,” and their names are often on the … Continue reading The National Archives and the Electoral College

The 1824 Presidential Election and the “Corrupt Bargain”

As we get ready to go to the polls on November 3, we're looking back one of the more controversial elections—the 1824 Presidential election. Today’s post comes from Michael J. Hancock, an archives technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD.  John Quincy Adams was elected President on February 9, 1825, when the House … Continue reading The 1824 Presidential Election and the “Corrupt Bargain”

Navigating the Law: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Trials of a Journey Home

Today’s post comes from Andrew Salyer, an archives technician at the National Archives at Philadelphia. The U.S. Congress passed the first Chinese Exclusion Act in 1882, though the conditions its passage sought to remediate had been brewing as early as the 1850s. From the 1850s to the 1880s, Chinese workers migrated to the United States and … Continue reading Navigating the Law: The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 and the Trials of a Journey Home

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

Unratified Amendments: The Equal Rights Amendment

This is the fifth installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment that was first introduced nearly 100 years ago and we’re still talking about today: The Equal Rights Amendment. The Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) is a proposed constitutional amendment that would guarantee equal rights under the law regardless … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: The Equal Rights Amendment

Unratified Amendments: Regulating Child Labor

This is the fourth installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the Progressive Era to regulate child labor. During the Progressive Era, muckraking journalists and photographers drew public attention to a myriad of America’s social problems, one of them being the exploitation of children. Perhaps most … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Regulating Child Labor

Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

This is the third installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the lead-up to the U.S. Civil War that would have protected the institution of slavery. When the second session of the 36th Congress convened in late 1860, the issue of slavery had grown increasingly divisive, … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

Facial Hair Friday: the First President Not Clean-shaven

Every February we celebrate Presidents Day (the Federal holiday is really George Washington’s Birthday, but I’ll never win that battle). So, today’s Facial Hair Friday is all about the first President with facial hair: John Quincy Adams.  John Quincy Adams, undated. (National Archives Identifier 528668) John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: the First President Not Clean-shaven