The Papers of the Founding Fathers Are Now Online

Today's post comes from Keith Donohue, communications director for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives. This post originally appeared on the White House blog. What was the original intent behind the Constitution and other documents that helped shape the nation? What did the Founders of our country have to say? … Continue reading The Papers of the Founding Fathers Are Now Online

The 16th Amendment and 100 years of Federal income taxes

The 16th Amendment and the first Internal Revenue Bureau Form 1040 will be on display from April 1 to April 30 at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Today's guest post comes to us from education and exhibit specialist Michael Hussey. “Congress shall have the power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever sources … Continue reading The 16th Amendment and 100 years of Federal income taxes

Emancipation Proclamation: The 13th Amendment

Today’s blog post comes from National Archives social media intern Anna Fitzpatrick. The news of the Emancipation Proclamation was greeted with joy, even though it did not free all the slaves. Because of the limitations of the proclamation, and because it depended on a Union military victory, President Lincoln recognized that the Emancipation Proclamation would … Continue reading Emancipation Proclamation: The 13th Amendment

Jefferson in Paris: The Constitution, Part I

This is part of a series, written by Jim Zeender, devoted to letters written by the Founding Fathers in their own words and often in their own hand. Jim is the Senior Registrar in the Exhibits Division. “It is impossible to increase taxes, disastrous to keep on borrowing, and inadequate to merely to cut expense.” This … Continue reading Jefferson in Paris: The Constitution, Part I

No, it’s not in the Constitution

These days, pundits, candidates, and party activists like to cite the Constitution of the United States as the moral and legal backing for whatever they’re proposing. But the Constitution is silent on a lot of things you probably thought it said. Here are eight examples. The President can veto a proposed amendment to the Constitution. … Continue reading No, it’s not in the Constitution

Archives Spotlight: Making the Constitution accessible

October is American Archives Month! To celebrate, we’re running a series of “spotlights” on the many locations that make up the National Archives. Today's post features the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and was written by Rick Blondo, management and program analyst at the National Archives. The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the … Continue reading Archives Spotlight: Making the Constitution accessible

Constitution 225: It was secret, but we know about it

Today’s post was written by National Archives volunteer Paul Richter. It is part of a series tracing the development of the Constitution in honor of the 225th anniversary of this document on September 17, 2012. In the earliest days of the Constitutional Convention, the delegates agreed their proceedings would be secret. As the convention drew … Continue reading Constitution 225: It was secret, but we know about it

Constitution 225: And the winner is….

In honor of the 225th anniversary of the Constitution, we challenged citizens on Twitter to take the Preamble of the Constitution and distill its meaning into a twitter-sized bite. The Archivist of the United States chose the winner on the Constitution Day. Congratulations to Jean Huets, who will receive a pocket-sized Constitution from the Foundation … Continue reading Constitution 225: And the winner is….

Constitution 225: To errata is human

Imagine a time before computers and the safety net of spellcheck and auto-correct. Imagine you are about to write by hand (or "engross") the document that will set out the fundamentals of governing a new nation. And you have less than 48 hours to do it. The Constitution (plus its "fifth page" were written by … Continue reading Constitution 225: To errata is human

Constitution 225: George Washington’s Constitution

    Today's Constitution 225 post was written by Jim Zeender,  senior registrar in Exhibits at the National Archives. Imagine George Washington’s first day on the job as President of the United States on April 30, 1789. What what his role? How was he to act? What were his duties and powers? Who should advise … Continue reading Constitution 225: George Washington’s Constitution