Archive for '- Declaration of Independence'
Visitors to downtown Washington, DC, on December 13, 1952, were treated to an interesting sight—armored vehicles escorted by a barrage of military and police personnel. It wasn’t a holiday or the Presidential motorcade or a visiting dignitary.
On that chilly December morning, passersby saw the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States going for a ride.
“The Charters of Freedom”—the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights—all have varied histories of transport and storage through 1952.
The Declaration of Independence, after it was signed on August 2, 1776, moved with Congress from city to city throughout the Revolutionary War. After the establishment of the new nation under the Constitution, the Declaration found itself in Federal buildings, abandoned gristmills, and private homes before it ended up in the Library of Congress in 1921.
The Constitution had a similar history—after the framers signed it, the Constitution passed into the custody of the Department of State in 1789 and moved as the Federal Government moved. Unlike the Declaration, which was displayed for many years, the Constitution spent much of its history in storage.
The Bill of Rights has an even thinner history between its creation in 1789 and 1938. It, too, traveled with the government as it moved about until the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on December 12, 2014, under - Constitution, - Declaration of Independence, National Archives History, Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tags: archives_building_history, charters_history, National Archives History
August 24, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the British burning of Washington during the War of 1812.
In August 1814, British forces occupying the Chesapeake Bay began to sail up the Patuxent River in Maryland. Fearing an attack on the capital, Secretary of State James Monroe offered to scout the British position and report back to President James Madison. Monroe, accompanied by cavalry, left Washington and rode into southern Maryland.
On August 19 and 20, the British landed troops at the port town of Benedict, Maryland, and started advancing north. By August 22, it became clear to Monroe that the British intended to invade Washington. He quickly dispatched a messenger with a note to Madison, saying: “The enemy are advanced six miles on the road to the Woodyard, and our troops retiring. Our troops were on the march to meet them, but in too small a body to engage. . . . The enemy are in full march for Washington. Have the materials prepared to destroy the bridges.”
In the postscript, Monroe added: “You had better remove the records.”
Before Congress created the National Archives, it required each executive department to keep … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on August 18, 2014, under - Constitution, - Declaration of Independence, National Archives History.
Tags: Burning of Washington, charters of freedom, James Monroe, national archives, war of 1812
Today’s post comes from Keith Donohue, Communications Director for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) at the National Archives. This post was also published on the White House blog.
“The noblest question in the world is What Good may I do in it?” – Poor Richard’s Almanack, 1737
Today we celebrate the 308th birthday of Benjamin Franklin, who answered that question time and again as a writer, printer, inventor, American diplomat, and godfather to a free and independent nation. He was called “The First American” and was in many ways the very idea of what an American could and should be during the Founding Era of our nation.
This Friday, January 17, marks his birthday in 1706, and the National Archives is celebrating by adding the annotated volumes from The Papers of Benjamin Franklin to Founders Online.
You can now read every issue of Poor Richard’s Almanack, trace Franklin’s views on picking the turkey as our national emblem, pore through his autobiography, read the correspondence between Franklin and the leading thinkers of the day, and find the trove of letters written between Benjamin and his beloved sister Jane Mecom that show the personal side of the First American.
Posted by Hilary on January 17, 2014, under - Declaration of Independence, - Revolutionary War.
Tags: Benjamin Franklin, birthday, Founders Online, Founding Fathers, Franklin Papers, National Historical Publications and Records Commission, NHPRC, Poor Richard's Almanack
You can’t snuggle with the Constitution, but you can sleep next to it! This sleepover in the Rotunda is open to children ages 8-12, accompanied by an adult. Registration fees are $125 per person (discounted to $100 per person for Foundation members).
Participants get to meet author Brad Meltzer, who will set the way for an evening of historical missions and discovery. Learn to decode Civil War ciphers, write with a quill pen, dress up in period clothing, and play with historic toys and games from our patent collection.
Children will also get to meet journalist and author Cokie Roberts, and interact with historical characters Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart. The evening wraps up with a selection of Oscar-nominated short films in the William G. McGowan Theater.
Participants will receive the first two books in Brad Meltzer’s brand new children’s series, I am Abraham Lincoln and I am Amelia Earhart. Written by Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos, each book tells the real-life story of an ordinary person who changed the world.
Posted by Hilary on January 6, 2014, under - Constitution, - Declaration of Independence, National Archives Near You, News and Events.
Tags: charters of freedom, Foundation, Rotunda, sleepover
Every year, we celebrate Independence Day on the steps of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. It’s a fun, free event for the whole family!
(And if you don’t like the heat, you can now watch the program live from inside the National Archives building. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve a seat in our air-conditioned theater.)
This year, Steve Scully of C-SPAN is our Master of Ceremonies. The Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, will welcome the crowds. Our special guests George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Ben Franklin, Ned Hector, and Abigail Adams will read aloud the Declaration of Independence. This is your chance to boo and huzzah like the colonists of 1776!
The 3rd United States Infantry “Old Guard” Continental Color Guard will present the colors, and the United States Air Force Band will sing the National Anthem.
After the program, you can go into the building and see the original Declaration of Independence in the Rotunda where it is on permanent display. (Look for the mysterious handprint!) And don’t miss the family activities in the Boeing Learning Center.
Here’s the schedule of events—stay and watch the parade afterwards!
10 a.m.–11 a.m.
Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony
- Presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard*
- Performance by the Fife
Posted by Hilary on June 29, 2013, under - Declaration of Independence, - Revolutionary War, News and Events, Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tags: Archivist, David Ferriero, Independence Day, July 4, Steve Scully