If you thought the Presidential election was over and all the votes were counted, you’re wrong.
The formal election is Monday, December 17, when “electors” meet in their respective state capitals to cast their votes for President and Vice President.
Although the names Barack Obama and Mitt Romney appeared on the November ballot, you were really voting for a slate of “electors” who pledged to vote for their party’s candidates on December 17. But, based on the popular election results, it’s no mystery how the electoral votes will go.
Collectively, the electors are known as the Electoral College. They were created by Article II of the Constitution to choose the President and Vice President. At the Constitutional Convention in 1787, the Founding Fathers didn’t think the voters (then only white males) were informed enough to make wise decisions.
No Federal law requires electors to vote according to the results of the popular vote in their states. Some states require electors to cast their votes according to the popular vote.
Today, it is rare for electors to disregard the popular vote by casting their electoral vote for someone other than their party’s candidate. Electors generally hold a leadership position in their party or were chosen to recognize years of loyal service to the party. Throughout our history as a nation, more than 99 percent of … [ Read all ]
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.
No. He has nothing to do with the amendments. Congress can propose an amendment with a two-thirds vote of both houses, or a Constitutional Convention can be called by a vote of two-thirds of the state legislatures. However, once the amendment is proposed either by Congress or a convention, it must be ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures.
Only one amendment, the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition (the 18th Amendment), was ratified by conventions in the states.
The “Founding Fathers” who wrote the Declaration of Independence in 1776 are the same men who wrote the Constitution in 1787.
Only five individuals signed both of these two founding documents. They were George Clymer, Benjamin Franklin, Robert Morris, George Read, and Roger Sherman. Some of the famous signers of the Declaration were elsewhere when the Constitution was being written. Thomas Jefferson was in France as our American minister, and John Adams was American minister to Great Britain.
The Constitution established the system of Federal courts.
No. The Constitution established “one supreme … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jim on November 15, 2012, under - Constitution, Uncategorized.
Tags: amendment, Benjamin Franklin, Congress, Constitution, democrary, Founding Fathers, history, President, republic, veot
In the early afternoon of December 7, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt was just finishing lunch in his oval study on the second floor of the White House, preparing to work on his stamp album.
The phone rang, and he was informed that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, shortly before 1 p.m. Washington time, 8 a.m. Hawaii time.
“It was just the kind of unexpected thing the Japanese would do. At the very time they were discussing peace in the Pacific, they were plotting to overthrow it,” he remarked to his assistant.
For the rest of that afternoon, Roosevelt and his advisers were busy at the White House receiving fragmentary reports about the damage to U.S. installations, ships, and planes in Hawaii.
Security was increased around the White House, and plans were under way for a bomb shelter for the President underneath the nearby Treasury Department building. Across the nation, news of the attack spread by radio and word of mouth, and Americans began thinking about what life in a nation at war was going to be like.
A First Draft
Roosevelt decided to go before Congress the next day to report on the attack and ask for a declaration of war. In early evening, he called in his secretary, Grace Tully. “I’m going before Congress tomorrow, and I’d like to dictate my message,” … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jim on December 5, 2011, under - World War II.
Tags: attack, day of infamy, FDR, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hawaii, Japanese, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Robert Sherwood, Roosevelt, Samuel Rosenman, speech
The National Archives current marquee exhibit, “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”, is drawing some good crowds and public press. It’s showing in our main building in downtown Washington through Jan. 3, 2012.
It’s all about how the Government has tried through the decades to dictate, or influence, what we should eat and why we should eat something from each food group each day. And dear Uncle kept changing the food groups. For a while, we had the food wheel, then came the food pyramid. Now we have the food plate — each of them divided into groups we were supposed to eat from each day.
One food group always left out is “Leftovers.” We have no guidance on how much leftovers to eat each day.
When I was growing up in rural Missouri, leftovers were a staple at the supper table. Of course, there were leftovers from Thanksgiving and Christmas–turkey sandwiches, turkey salad, turkey soup, and so on. Or just plain turkey all over again.
We ate a lot of leftovers at our house. But I remember especially Mom’s tuna casserole. Not many leftovers on that. She always made one when I came home from college on weekends. By the time I left a day or so later, there wasn’t a morsel to be found.
Actually, casseroles and other things like that, such as lasagna or baked rigatoni, often taste better left … [ Read all ]
Americans are used to waiting in line for things they really want: tickets to a rock concert, a World Series game or a controversial new movie, for example.
At the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, this week some people waited all night for a brief look at one of the nation’s most historic documents — the Emancipation Proclamation.
The Proclamation was on display for 36 hours in conjunction with the showing at the museum of NARA’s “Discovering the Civil War” exhibit, which is on display there through September 5, before moving on to Houston and Nashville.
The Emancipation Proclamation, part of the National Archives’ holdings, is displayed very infrequently and for short periods because of its fragile condition, which exposure to light can worsen, and the need to preserve the document for future generations. On display in Dearborn were only two of the five pages and a replica of the front page; the document is double-sided.
With this historic document on display, the Henry Ford Museum got one of the biggest turnouts ever. The 36 hours began at 7 p.m. Monday, June 20, and ended at 7 a.m. Wednesday, June 22.
Press accounts reported that there were waits of up to six to eight hours, some of it in the rain.
The line was so long, according to Kate Storey, a museum spokesman, that it had to be cut off at … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jim on June 24, 2011, under - Civil War, News and Events, preservation, Unusual documents.
Tags: 36 hours, Dearborn, discovering the civil war, Emancipation Proclamation, Henry Ford Museum, Houston, Michigan, Nashville, President Lincoln, slavery