Today’s post comes to us from Michael Hussey, education and exhibition specialist at the National Archives.(He’s also a speaker at tonight’s program!)
Rosa Parks was born on February 4, 1913. In honor of her centennial, “Public Law 106-26, An Act to authorize the President to award a gold medal on behalf of the Congress to Rosa Parks in recognition of her contributions to the Nation,” is on display at the National Archives until February 28.
On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks went as usual to her job as a seamstress. By the time she returned home, her role as an enduring symbol of the African American civil rights movement had begun.
Seamstress Rosa Parks boarded a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus on December 1, 1955, after her day’s work. The driver ordered her to move to the back to make room for white passengers, in compliance with the state’s racial segregation law. She refused, and her arrest sparked a successful boycott of Montgomery buses (led by 26-year-old minister Martin Luther King, Jr.) that led to their integration. Her courageous act at a pivotal moment in the American struggle for racial equality led some to name her the “Mother of the Civil Rights Movement.”
In 1999, Congress authorized President Clinton to bestow upon her its highest civilian honor, the Congressional Gold Medal. At the medal … [ Read all ]
As a new year begins, the 112th Congress reconvenes for a second session of legislative activity. Representatives and senators from across the country are again descending upon the Capitol, ready to commence debates, proceedings, and hearings. This is how the legislative branch of the Federal Government always functions, right? Well, not always.
On the eve of the Civil War in 1860, the 36th Congress consisted of 66 senators and 234 representatives. There was a Democratic majority in the Senate and a Republican majority in the House of Representatives, and every state in the Union was effectively represented.
But once South Carolina issued its ordinance of secession on December 20, 1860, a surge of southern legislators began withdrawing and retiring from Congress.
By the time the 37th Congress convened in March of 1861, six states—Mississippi, Florida, Alabama, Georgia, Louisiana, and Texas—had already joined South Carolina and left the Union. This prompted Arkansas, Tennessee, and North Carolina to follow.
When the torrent of secession finally concluded, vacancies existed in both chambers of Congress. The mass exodus of southern Democrats, coupled with the commencement of Union-Confederate hostilities, shrank the Federal legislature to 50 senators and 180 representatives by the beginning of 1863.
Southern secession transformed Congress in many ways. The dozens of unfilled vacancies in the Senate and the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Gregory Marose on January 6, 2012, under - Civil War, News and Events, Rare Photos, Unusual documents.
Tags: 112th Congress, 1860, 36th Congress, Adam Goodheart, Alabama, Arkansas, civil war, Confederate, federal government, Florida, Georgia, kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, missouri, North Carolina, secession, South Carolina, Tennessee, texas, Union