“I do believe before the day was over he did ask me to marry him and I thought he was just out of his mind.” Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor
Two teenagers in love might exchange hundreds of texts on their phones. But during their two-and-a-half month courtship, Lyndon Baines Johnson and Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor were each writing a letter—and sometimes even two—every day in a constant overlapping correspondence between Washington, DC, and Karnack, Texas.
Just in time for Valentine’s Day, the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library is releasing love letters between the future President and the First Lady. Most of the letters have not been seen before by the public, and they offer a glimpse into the feelings and thoughts of the couple during this intense courtship.
It was a whirlwind romance. LBJ was 26, and Lady Bird was just 22 years old. They met in the office of a mutual friend in Austin, Texas, in September of 1934. Although LBJ had a date that night, he asked Lady Bird to meet him for breakfast. The breakfast date turned into a day-long affair as the pair drove around Austin.
LBJ even proposed! In an oral history interview, Lady Bird recalled, “I do believe before the day was over he did ask me to marry him and I thought he was just out … [ 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Only one amendment, the 21st Amendment, which repealed Prohibition (the 18th Amendment), was ratified by conventions in the states.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
Today’s guest post comes from Miriam Vincent, staff attorney at the Federal Register.
The founding fathers established the Electoral College in the Constitution as a compromise between election of the President by a vote in Congress and election of the President by a popular vote of qualified citizens. However, the term “electoral college” does not appear in the Constitution. Article II of the Constitution and the 12th Amendment refer to “electors,” but not to the “electoral college.” —from the Electoral College website run by the Office of the Federal Register
Why do we have the Electoral College? There was a concern that even qualified citizens (generally white, male landowners) wouldn’t have the information necessary to make a truly informed decision. Alexander Hamilton argued in favor of an Electoral College in Federalist Paper No. 68, with an opposing view coming from an anonymous source in Federalist Paper No. 72. (You can find both online.) Our Founding Fathers decided to give the States the authority to appoint educated, well-read electors to vote on behalf of their citizens.
As the Constitution makes clear, the States elect the President and Vice President; individuals don’t.
The Modern Day Electoral College: After only a few years, it became clear that that electing a President and Vice President from different political parties didn’t work as well in practice as it did in … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on October 9, 2012, under - Presidents, Federal Register.
Tags: campaigns, Electoral College, federal register, President, Presidential campaign, Presidents, votes, voting
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.
The President of the United States is one of the most famous positions in the world. But the first draft of the job description was profoundly different from what it has become today. When the Constitutional Convention took up debate about the role of President, they had not yet named the position. In his notes, Madison refers to the position by various terms, including “Executive Magistrate,” “Nat’l Executive,” and simply “the Executive.”
Naming convention was not the only source of debate. The delegates wavered between a term in office lasting six or seven years before finally agreeing on four years. They considered electing the President by either a popular vote or through appointment by the legislature before developing the Electoral College as a compromise between the two.
The convention resolved early on that one person should be vested with the power of the executive branch. As the list of executive responsibilities grew, the delegates also provided for subordinate members of the executive branch, including the Vice President and the cabinet. These provisions form the foundation for most of today’s Federal agencies, including the National Archives.… [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on August 21, 2012, under - Constitution, - Presidents, Facial Hair Fridays, Uncategorized.
Tags: Constitution, constitution225, constitutional convention, Electoral College, george washington, POTUS, President
Today’s History Crush post is from archives technician Timothy Duskin, who confesses that his admiration for our first President has only increased since researching the records related to George Washington at the National Archives.
I have always considered George Washington to be the greatest Founding Father, the greatest President, and the greatest American. Two years ago, I gave a “Know Your Records” lecture on records related to George Washington at the National Archives. My sentiments were reinforced in the course of my research for that lecture and they have remained the same ever since.
As a major in the Virginia militia, Washington delivered the demand of Virginia Governor Dinwiddie to vacate the Ohio Valley to the French in 1753. He was responsible for starting the French and Indian War in 1754, when he became commander of the Virginia Regiment and eventually became the war’s foremost hero.
Washington’s political career began when he was elected to the Virginia House of Burgesses in 1761, where he took up the cause of the North American colonies. He was then elected to the Continental Congress in 1774, which appointed him General and Commander in Chief of the Continental Army at the beginning of the Revolutionary War in 1775.
After the Boston Tea Party, counties in all of the colonies passed resolves to address their grievances with England. Washington and George Mason authored … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on April 25, 2012, under Uncategorized.
Tags: Articles of Confederation, Boston Tea Party, constitutional convention, declaration of independence, Fairfax County Resolves, Founding Father, French and Indian War, george washington, history crush, militia, Mount Vernon, President, Quasi-War, Reolutionary War, virginia, Virginia Declaration of Rights