Site search

Site menu:

Find Out More

Archives

Categories

Contact Us

Subscribe to Email Updates

Tag: texas

Thursday Photo Caption Contest–February 9

Who knew that the “LB” in LBJ stood for “light bulb”? Apparently, quite a few of you! We were buzzing with excitement after reading your captions, and we needed to ground ourselves.

So we turned to our guest judge, Liza Talbot, who is an archivist at the Johnson Presidential Library and the mastermind behind the LBJ Timemachine. (Don’t miss today’s post of wartime footage shot by LBJ himself!)

Congratulations to  Steve—Liza thought your caption was electrifying! Check your email for a code to get a 15% discount in our eStore.

So why was the future President looking so concerned? Congressman Lyndon B. Johnson was working to get public power to the people in the Texas countryside. This photo of Mrs. Mattie Malone and LBJ was taken by a photographer for the Austin American-Statesman in May 1941 during LBJ’s campaign for Senate.

Today’s photograph features a couple and a couple of lobsters. Get cracking and put your funniest caption in the comments below!… [ Read all ]

Secession, Congress, and a Civil War Awakening at the Archives

The U.S. Capitol under construction, 1860 (National Archives Identifier 530494)

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 ]

Happy belated Juneteenth, everybody!

Juneteenth is actually June 19, the day on which word finally made it to Galveston, Texas, that the Civil War was over and that Abraham Lincoln had freed the slaves. As the story goes, these 250,000 slaves were the last to hear the good news.

It was Union Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger who read General Order No. 3 to the people of Galveston:

“The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free. This involves an absolute equality of personal rights and rights of property between former masters and slaves, and the connection heretofore existing between them becomes that between employer and hired labor. The freedmen are advised to remain quietly at their present homes and work for wages. They are informed that they will not be allowed to collect at military posts and that they will not be supported in idleness either there or elsewhere.”

The day is now celebrated as the day of African American emancipation in many communities throughout the country, and even the President made a statement on last year’s Juneteenth, which was the 144th anniversary of the occasion. This year marked the 145th anniversary of the first Juneteenth. Thirty-six states now recognize the day.

June 19 is also a date of significance to the National Archives. … [ Read all ]