Cast your vote for the 26th Amendment to be displayed first in the new “Records of Rights” gallery. Polls close on November 15!
Congress can move quickly. The 26th Amendment was ratified in 100 days, faster than any other amendment.
In April 1970, Congress controversially lowered the voting age to 18 as part of legislation to extend the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Many people, including President Richard Nixon, believed that it was the right of the states, not the federal government, to set the voting age. President Nixon, nevertheless, signed the act, which was to go into effect January 1, 1971.
The effort to lower the voting age to 18 had begun three decades earlier. “Old enough to fight, old enough to vote,” a slogan first heard during World War II, was adopted by student activists during the Vietnam War.
In 1942, the slogan prompted Congressman Jennings Randolph of West Virginia to propose an amendment to the Constitution lowering the voting age to 18. Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Lyndon B. Johnson both championed the cause. Activists during the Vietnam War increased pressure on Congress to change the voting age, and in 1971, when Senator Randolph reintroduced his original proposal, it passed overwhelmingly.
On December 21, 1970, the Supreme Court ruled that the government had indeed overstepped its legislative bounds in lowering … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on November 13, 2013, under - Civil Rights, - Constitution, - World War II, News and Events.
Tags: amendment, Congress, Eisenhower, Johnson, Nixon, Records of Rights, supreme court, vietnam, voting, voting age
Today’s blog post comes from Bruce Bustard, curator at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
“Exercise your right to vote! This time, help shape the new exhibition space at the National Archives.” David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States
The National Archives invites you to choose an original document for our new exhibition.
America’s founding documents—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights—are icons of liberty. But the ideals enshrined in those documents did not initially apply to all Americans. They were, in the words of Martin Luther King, Jr. “a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.”
“Records of Rights,” a permanent exhibition in the new David M. Rubenstein Gallery at the National Archives in Washington, DC, allows visitors to explore how generations of Americans sought to fulfill this promise of freedom. “Records of Rights” showcases original and facsimile National Archives documents to illustrate how Americans throughout our history have debated and discussed issues such as citizenship, free speech, voting rights, and equal opportunity.
Now everyone can join this debate and help the curators select the first original landmark document to be featured for the November 8 opening. Make your mark at the “Records of Rights Vote,” an online poll where you can help choose the opening document to be displayed.
The documents under consideration are:
Posted by Hilary on September 10, 2013, under Uncategorized.
Tags: 14th Amendment, 26th Amendment, ADA, Americans with Disabilities, Archivist, David Ferriero, David M. rubenstein, documents, Executive Order 9981, immigration, Immigration Reform Act, landmark documents, Rubenstein Gallery, voting
Today’s blog post comes from Jessie Kratz, archives specialist in the Center for Legislative Archives. If you are participating in the 100th anniversary of the parade on Sunday, stop by the National Archives to see the document that finally gave women the right to vote. The 19th Amendment is on display from March 1 to March 8.
As woman suffrage advocates marched along Pennsylvania Avenue on March 3, 1913, they were met with crowds of unruly men blocking their paths and shouting derogatory remarks.
While making preparations for the parade, organizers had made repeated attempts to secure police protection—they even contacted the Secretary of War seeking assistance from the U.S. military. Richard H. Sylvester, Chief of DC Police, had assured organizers that he could manage the situation without the military, but he ultimately failed to control the crowd.
The poor treatment of the marchers sparked immediate outrage.
The day after the parade, the Senate passed a resolution authorizing the Committee on the District of Columbia to investigate the police’s handling of the incident. The committee collected evidence and heard from over 100 witnesses, including parade organizer and suffragist Alice Paul; Julia Lathrop, chief of the Children’s Bureau; parade attendees from around the country; and witnesses who spoke on behalf of the Metropolitan Police.
The women testified about their experiences—some noted the lack of police … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on March 1, 2013, under - Women's Rights, Pennsylvania Avenue, Uncategorized.
Tags: 100th anniversary, 19th amendment, committee hearings, DC Police, guest post, march, parade, Pennsylvania Avenue, Senate, suffrage, voting, voting rights, washington, woman suffrage
Today’s post originally appeared in the 2012 Summer Issue of Prologue magazine, and was written by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero.
The Electoral College. Established 1787.
It isn’t really a college, and the electors aren’t tenured professors.
The electors are really voters, and their votes count in a very big way.
The electors were created by the Constitution to do only one thing: elect the President and Vice President of the United States. The Electoral College became part of the Constitution at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia in 1787, when delegates assembled to devise something to replace the Articles of Confederation.
Some delegates wanted Congress to choose the President, but that would have upset the balance of power among the three branches of government. Others called for direct popular vote, but that would have left the decision in the hands of ill-informed voters who knew little about politicians outside their home state.
So they created electors. And they hoped the electors would be some of brightest and best informed people who would base their decisions on the candidates’ merit. (Each state gets as many electoral votes as it has members in the Senate and House.)
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