Archive for 'Abraham Lincoln'
To commemorate Memorial Day, the National Archives has released a short video about the importance of the holiday.
Timed for the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death and the upcoming sesquicentennial of the 1866 founding of the Grand Army of the Republic (the fraternal organization of Union Civil War veterans), the National Archives created the video “Memorial Day 2015: Why it Matters.”
The video features Rodney Ross, an archivist in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC, with an introduction by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
Ross demonstrates the importance of National Archives records to everyday Americans through the prism of a single National Archives document—a page from the muster roll of a Civil War soldier from his hometown of Batavia, Illinois.
The soldier, Union Pvt. Oscar F. Cooley, was killed in action during the siege at Vicksburg on June 8, 1863.
In the video Ross recounts his Memorial Day memories as a child growing up in Batavia, and shares an image of a statue from Batavia’s West Side Cemetery inscribed with the names of Batavians, primarily those with the 124th Illinois Volunteer Regiment, who fought for the Union in the Civil War.
Ross speaks at the Grand Army of the Republic Monument on Pennsylvania … [ Read all ]
Today’s post comes from Zach Kopin, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
On March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Dr. Charles A. Leale, a doctor and army surgeon in town from New York, listened with rapt attention to the President’s remarks. He and the President crossed paths one more time, although under more somber circumstances. Leale was the first doctor to attend to Lincoln after the President was shot at Ford’s Theatre.
Leale’s report to the Surgeon General of the United States concerning the Lincoln assassination is now on display at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
On April 14, 1865, both men attended a performance of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre. The play, Leale later noted, “progressed very pleasantly” until half past 10, when “the report of a pistol was distinctly heard” and the whole scene erupted in confusion.
Next, a man brandishing a dagger, later identified as John Wilkes Booth, jumped from the President’s box onto the stage, dislodged himself from the flags in which he had been entangled, and ran. As Booth made his escape, Lincoln slumped in his … [ Read all ]
Today’s post comes from Christine Blackerby, an Outreach Specialist at the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
On January 8, 1790, President George Washington delivered a speech at Federal Hall in New York City. This speech, called his first annual message to Congress (which we now refer to as the State of the Union), was short—in fact, it remains the shortest one ever.
In it, Washington touched on several subjects to which he recommended that Congress give its attention, including national defense, naturalization, uniform weights and measures, promotion of education, and support of the public credit.
Fully aware of the enormity of the task in front of them, Washington’s last sentence speaks to the heart of their endeavor:
The welfare of our country is the great object to which our cares and efforts ought to be directed.—And I shall derive great satisfaction from a co-operation with you, in the pleasing though arduous task of ensuring to our fellow citizens the blessings, which they have a right to expect, from a free, efficient and equal Government.
Washington gave this speech to fulfill the President’s obligation outlined in Article II, Section 3, Clause 1, of the Constitution:
… [ Read all ]
The President “shall from time to
Posted by Jessie Kratz on January 8, 2015, under - Constitution, - Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, U.S. House, U.S. Senate.
Tags: abraham lincoln, Andrew Jackson, Congress225, george washington, Ronald Reagan, State of the Union, U.S. Presidents, U.S. Senate
Today’s post comes from Emma Rothberg, intern in the National Archives History Office.
Tucked in a corner in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery at the National Archives in Washington, DC, is a rectangular piece of paper faded grey with time. It is unobtrusive and, due to its small size, could easily be missed among the larger and flashier documents and artifacts. But this card is a reminder of one of the most resonant and well known stories of American history—that of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination by the actor and Confederate sympathizer John Wilkes Booth.
On April 14, 1865, Vice President Johnson was staying at the Kirkwood House—a hotel that stood at the corner of 12th Street and Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Also in the hotel, and in a room directly one floor above the Vice President’s suite, was George Atzerodt. He was a fellow conspirator in Booth’s larger plot to murder President Lincoln, Secretary of State William H. Seward, and Vice President Johnson and thus throwing the recently victorious North into chaos and disarray. Atzerodt—a German carriage painter from Maryland who had spent the Civil War years ferrying Confederates across the Potomac—arrived at the Kirkwood House on the morning of the 14th. His task: to assassinate Vice President Johnson.… [ Read all ]
Today’s post comes from Dan Ruprecht, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
On September 11, 1789, President George Washington sent the first cabinet nomination under the new U.S. Constitution to the Senate. Article II, Section 2 of the Constitution gave the power to determine federal officers to both the executive and legislative branches:
[The President] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law.
Washington’s message was brief and to the point: “Gentlemen of the Senate, I nominate. . .” followed by a list of names and their respective positions, establishing a precedent for brief nominations that continues today.
The President’s message did not list the credentials of the nominees nor did it include any comments from Washington regarding his choices; it simply listed the names.
It was then up to the Senate to debate each candidate’s ability and … [ Read all ]