Facial Hair Friday: George H. Pendleton

May 1–7, 2022, is Public Service Recognition Week, which honors the individuals who serve our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees. Today’s Facial Hair Friday looks at the man who sponsored legislation establishing a merit-based system for hiring federal employees: Senator George Hunt Pendleton. George H. Pendleton. (National Archives Identifier 167250250) Although President George Washington … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: George H. Pendleton

Appointment of the First Archivist of the United States

Congress passed and President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the National Archives Act on June 19, 1934. Not only did the legislation create the National Archives as an agency to oversee all federal recordkeeping, it established the position of Archivist of the United States. The Archivist, who was to make $10,000 annually, was to … Continue reading Appointment of the First Archivist of the United States

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

Marian Anderson’s 1939 Easter Concert

We're concluding Black History Month with a post on Marian Anderson from Adam Berenbak in the Center for Legislative Archives. For more information on resources related to African American History, visit the National Archives website. Petition from Omega Psi Phi, April 1939. (Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives) This petition was sent to the … Continue reading Marian Anderson’s 1939 Easter Concert

Facial Hair Friday: Hiram Revels

Today’s Facial Hair Friday is about Hiram Rhodes Revels, the first African American to serve in Congress and the first African American Senator. It’s from Rachel Bartgis, conservator technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD. First African-American Senator Hiram Revels. (National Archives Identifier 594264) Hiram Revels was born in Fayetteville, North Carolina, in … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Hiram Revels

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

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

Margaret Chase Smith: Breaking the Barrier

Today’s post comes from Dena Lombardo, an intern in the Office of Public and Media Communications. Seventy years ago, Senator Margaret Chase Smith (R-ME) delivered her “Declaration of Conscience” speech, criticizing Senator Joseph McCarthy and his anti-communist campaign.  Senator Margaret Chase Smith, ca. 1954 (Records of the U.S. Information Agency, National Archives) Her 15-minute speech … Continue reading Margaret Chase Smith: Breaking the Barrier

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

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