41 results in English
Bill of Rights
During the debates on the adoption of the U.S. Constitution, its opponents charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolutionary War, so they demanded a "bill of rights" that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions, in their formal ratification of the Constitution, asked for such amendments. Others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would ...
Engrossed Declaration of Independence
On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence, in which the American colonies set forth a list of grievances against the British Crown and declared that they were breaking from British rule to form free and independent states. On July 19, 1776, Congress resolved that the Declaration passed on the 4th be "fairly engrossed on parchment with the title and stile [sic]: 'The unanimous declaration of the thirteen United States of America'...and that the same, when engrossed, be signed by every member of Congress ...
Letter Written in Cipher on Mourning Paper by Rose Greenhow
Rose O'Neal Greenhow was a spy for the Confederacy during the American Civil War. As a young woman in Washington, she befriended many influential politicians, including President James Buchanan and South Carolina Senator John C. Calhoun, who played a role in shaping her dedication to the South. During the Civil War, Greenhow wrote ciphered (secret code) messages to the Confederates, providing information about Union military plans. Confederate President Jefferson Davis credited her with helping the South win the First Battle of Bull Run. Greenhow sent a message about Union ...
Photograph of Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley at the White House
This photograph shows Elvis Presley meeting with President Richard M. Nixon at the White House on December 21, 1970. That morning, Presley personally delivered a hand-written note to the security guard at the northwest gate of the White House, saying that he wanted to meet Nixon to present him with the gift of a World War II-era pistol and ask for credentials as an agent in the national war on drugs. Convinced that Presley was sincere and believing that he could be an asset in the fight against drug use ...
Constitution of the United States
The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were present initially, the members adjourned from one day to the next until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles of Confederation, the convention would draft an entirely new framework for the government. All through the summer, the delegates debated, drafted, and ...
George Bush, Captain of the Yale Baseball Team, Receives Babe Ruth's Manuscript of His Autobiography Which He Was Donating to Yale
George Herman (“Babe”) Ruth was the most celebrated American athlete of the 1920s, a period that has been called the Golden Age of Sports for its extraordinary hero-athletes in baseball, football, golf, boxing, horse-racing, and other sports. Ruth was born to German-American parents in Baltimore in 1895. He began his major-league career in 1914 as a pitcher for the Boston Red Sox, winning 89 games in six years. In 1920 he was sold to the New York Yankees and converted to being an outfielder, where he made his mark as ...
President John F. Kennedy Greets Peace Corps Volunteers, White House, South Lawn
This photograph shows President John F. Kennedy greeting Peace Corps volunteers on the South Lawn of the White House on August 9, 1962. Kennedy first proposed what became the Peace Corps in a speech at the University of Michigan on October 14, 1960, in which he challenged students to give two years of their lives to helping people in countries of the developing world. At the time, Kennedy was a member of the U.S. Senate campaigning for the presidency. Following his election, he signed an executive order establishing the ...
Into the Jaws of Death: United States Troops Wading Through Water and Nazi Gunfire
This photograph from the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library in Hyde Park, New York, shows American soldiers landing in Normandy, France, on the morning of June 6, 1944, the beginning of the long-awaited invasion to liberate continental Europe from the grip of Nazi Germany. Most of the troops that came ashore were from the United States, Great Britain, and Canada, with smaller contingents from France, Poland, Belgium, Czechoslovakia, Greece, and the Netherlands. The invading forces confronted formidable obstacles. German defenses included thousands of soldiers dug into bunkers, artillery, mines, barbed wire ...
Affidavit of Louie Young Stating that He is the Father of Louie Jock Sung, and Deposition of Non Chinese Witnesses (Documents Were Executed in New York City)
In the spring of 1882, the Chinese Exclusion Act was passed by Congress and signed by President Chester A. Arthur. This act provided an absolute ten-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. For the first time, Federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities. Passage of the act marked the culmination of several decades of growing hostility in the United States to Chinese immigrants, which was fostered by competition for jobs and racial animosity. These documents, from the records ...
Treaty of Paris
This treaty, sent to Congress by the American negotiators John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and John Jay, formally ended the Revolutionary War. It was one of the most advantageous treaties ever negotiated for the United States. Two crucial provisions were British recognition of U.S. independence and the delineation of boundaries that would allow for American expansion westward to the Mississippi River. Two duplicate originals of the treaty exist in the American Original file of the U.S. National Archives and Records Administration. They are most easily distinguished from each other ...
Emancipation Proclamation
Initially, the Civil War between the North and the South was fought by the North to prevent the secession of the South and preserve the Union. Ending slavery was not a goal. That changed on September 22, 1862, when President Abraham Lincoln issued his Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which stated that slaves in those states or parts of states still in rebellion as of January 1, 1863, would be free. One hundred days later Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation declaring “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious areas “are ...
Illustrated Family Record (Fraktur) Found in Revolutionary War Pension and Bounty-Land-Warrant Application File W3079, for Philip Frey, Pennsylvania
During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress passed laws promising pensions or grants of government-owned land to officers and soldiers who served in the war, as well as to the survivors of those killed. This illustrated family record in the German Fraktur script, hand-colored with large birds, is a birth and baptismal document submitted as part of the application for a pension by Anna Margaretha Kolb, wife of Revolutionary War veteran Philip Frey. From Pennsylvania, Frey served between April 1776 and January 1778. He fought in the battles at Long ...
Dunlap Broadside [Declaration of Independence]
John Dunlap, official printer to the Continental Congress, produced the first printed versions of the American Declaration of Independence in his Philadelphia shop on the night of July 4, 1776. After the Declaration had been adopted by the Congress earlier that day, a committee took the manuscript document, possibly Thomas Jefferson's "fair copy" of his rough draft, to Dunlap for printing. On the morning of July 5, copies were dispatched by members of Congress to various assemblies, conventions, and committees of safety as well as to the commanders of ...
Articles of Confederation
On June 11, 1776, the Second Continental Congress appointed three committees in response to the Lee Resolution proposing independence for the American colonies. One of these committees, created to determine the form of a confederation of the colonies, was composed of one representative from each colony. John Dickinson, the delegate from Delaware, was the principal writer. Dickinson’s draft of the Articles of Confederation named the new country "the United States of America." It also provided for a Congress with representation based on population, and gave to the national government ...
Active Passage, Saturna Group, Looking West
The Northwest Boundary Survey of 1857-61 was a joint U.S.-British project to survey the border between the United States and Canada from the crest of the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. Carried out jointly by American and British experts, it involved four years of strenuous work in rugged and heavily forested terrain. James Madison Alden (1834-1922) was a Massachusetts artist who, in 1854, enlisted in the U.S. Navy and worked as a cartographer on a project to chart the California coast. In January 1858, Alden became ...
To the Woods!
This political cartoon by Clifford Kennedy Berryman (1869-1949) features President Theodore Roosevelt and the Teddy Bear character. Berryman, a cartoonist for the Washington Post, was responsible for the association between Roosevelt and the popular toy bear. In November 1902, Roosevelt took part in a bear hunt in Mississippi. In the course of the hunt, Roosevelt came upon a bear that had been wounded by the hunt’s dogs and at first refused to shoot it, but later ordered that the animal be killed to end its suffering. The Washington Post ...
Certificate of Ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, Accompanied by Resolution and Transcript of the Journals of the Two Houses of the General Assembly of the State of Tennessee
The Nineteenth Amendment guarantees all American women the right to vote. The amendment was first introduced in Congress in 1878. Over the years, champions of voting rights pursued different strategies for achieving their goal. Some worked to pass suffrage acts in each state, and by 1912 nine western states had adopted woman suffrage legislation. Others challenged male-only voting laws in the courts. Suffragists also used tactics such as parades, silent vigils, and hunger strikes. Often supporters met fierce resistance as opponents heckled, jailed, and sometimes physically abused them. By 1916 ...
View from River Valley, "Canyon de Chelly" National Monument, Arizona (Vertical Orientation) by Ansel Adams
In 1941 the U.S. National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) to create a photographic mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the national parks and national monuments of the United States. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. The holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the U.S. National Archives include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams ...
Looking Across Lake Toward Mountains, "Evening, McDonald Lake, Glacier National Park," Montana by Ansel Adams
In 1941 the U.S. National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) to create a photographic mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the national parks and national monuments of the United States. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. The holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the U.S. National Archives include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams ...
"Cliff Palace, Mesa Verde National Park," Colorado (Vertical Orientation) by Ansel Adams
In 1941 the U.S. National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) to create a photographic mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the national parks and national monuments of the United States. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. The holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the U.S. National Archives include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams ...
Taken at Dusk or Dawn from Various Angles During Eruption, "Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone National Park," Wyoming (Vertical Orientation) by Ansel Adams
In 1941 the U.S. National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) to create a photographic mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the national parks and national monuments of the United States. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. The holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the U.S. National Archives include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams ...
Trees with Snow on Branches, "Half Dome, Apple Orchard, Yosemite," California by Ansel Adams
In 1941 the U.S. National Park Service commissioned noted photographer Ansel Adams (1902-84) to create a photographic mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The theme was to be nature as exemplified and protected in the national parks and national monuments of the United States. The project was halted because of World War II and never resumed. The holdings of the Still Picture Branch of the U.S. National Archives include 226 photographs taken for this project, most of them signed and captioned by Adams ...
Between Weedpatch and Lamont, Kern County, California. Children Living in Camp... Rent $2.75 Plus Electricity
"Between Weedpatch and Lamont, Kern County, California. Children living in camp." This photograph and the accompanying description are by Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. After apprenticing in New York City, Lange moved to San Francisco and in 1919 established her own studio. During the 1920s and early 1930s, she worked as a portrait photographer. In 1932, wanting to see a world different from the society families she had been photographing, she began shooting San Francisco's labor unrest and urban unemployed ...
Edison, Kern County, California, Young Migratory Mother, Originally from Texas
"Young migratory mother, originally from Texas. On the day before the photograph was made she and her husband traveled 35 miles each way to pick peas. They worked 5 hours each and together earned $2.25. They have two young children... Live in auto camp." This photograph and the accompanying description are by Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. After apprenticing in New York City, Lange moved to San Francisco and in 1919 established her own studio. During the 1920s and early ...
This photograph and the accompanying caption are by Dorothea Lange (1895-1965), one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. After apprenticing in New York City, Lange moved to San Francisco and in 1919 established her own studio. During the 1920s and early 1930s, she worked as a portrait photographer. In 1932, wanting to see a world different from the society families she had been photographing, she began shooting San Francisco's labor unrest and urban unemployed. In 1935, she accepted a position as a staff photographer with ...
Near Buckeye, Maricopa County, Arizona, Migrant African-American Cotton Picker and Her Baby
This photograph, taken by Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) in late 1940, depicts a migrant from the South and her baby on an Arizona cotton farm. Lange was one of the most important American photographers of the 20th century. After apprenticing in New York City, she moved to San Francisco and in 1919 established her own studio. During the 1920s and early 1930s, she worked as a portrait photographer. In 1932, wanting to see a world different from the society families she had been photographing, she began shooting San Francisco's labor ...
Two 7-Year Old Newsies, Profane and Smart, Selling Sunday, Nashville, Tennessee
This photograph, taken by an unknown photographer in Nashville, Tennessee, in November 1910, shows two seven-year old newspaper boys. The photograph is from the collection of the Children’s Bureau, a government office established in 1912 to investigate and report "upon all matters pertaining to the welfare of children and child life among all classes of our people." Enactment of the law was the culmination of a campaign begun in 1903 by two early social reformers, Lillian Wald of New York's Henry Street Settlement House, and Florence Kelly of ...
Photograph of President Abraham Lincoln
Abraham Lincoln (1809-65) was the 16th president of the United States. He was born on a farm in Kentucky and moved with his family to Indiana at age eight. At age 21, he moved to Illinois, where he held various jobs and began to study law. He had less than one year of formal education, but became a skilled writer by reading the King James Bible and other English classics. He practiced law in Illinois, served in the Illinois General Assembly, and was elected to the U.S. House of ...
We Can Do It! Rosie the Riveter
This poster, produced by Westinghouse during World War II for the War Production Co-Ordinating Committee, was part of the national campaign in the United States to enlist women in the workforce. In the face of acute wartime labor shortages, women were needed in the defense industries, the civilian service, and even the armed forces. Publicity campaigns were aimed at encouraging those women who had never before held jobs to join the workforce. Poster and film images glorified and glamorized the roles of working women and suggested that a woman’s ...
Youngster, Clutching His Soldier Father, Gazes Upward While the Latter Lifts His Wife from the Ground to Wish Her a "Merry Christmas": The serviceman is one of those fortunate enough to be able to get home for the holidays
This photograph, from Christmas 1944, was produced by the Office of War Information, a wartime U.S. government agency established in June 1942 to coordinate the release of domestic and international news, with the aims of bolstering morale at home and undermining that of the enemy abroad. Images and captions such as these were intended to convey a positive, uplifting message in a time of war. Many well-known writers and photographers worked for the Office of War Information, including poet and former Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish, the photographer Gordon ...
Basic and Advanced Flying School for Negro Air Corps Cadets, Tuskegee, Alabama: In the center is Captain Roy F. Morse, Air Corps. He is teaching the Cadets how to send and receive code.
The Tuskegee Airmen were African-American soldiers who trained to become pilots at Tuskegee Army Air Field in Tuskegee, Alabama. The first class of aviation cadets began their training in July 1941 and completed it in March 1942. Tuskegee Airmen went on to serve in combat in North Africa and Italy, and in escorting bombing missions over Germany. This photograph, taken in January 1942, shows cadets at Tuskegee learning how to send and receive code.
Hayward, California, Two Children of the Mochida Family who, with Their Parents, Are Awaiting Evacuation
In 1942, Executive Order 9066 ordered the removal of 110,000 civilians of Japanese descent, including 71,000 American citizens, from the western United States for placement in internment camps. The evacuees were suspected, without evidence, of being potential supporters of Japan, with which the United States was then at war. This photograph, taken by noted photographer Dorothea Lange (1895-1965) for the government agency known as the War Relocation Authority, shows one family waiting to be taken away. Lange’s notes on the photograph read: "Members of the Mochida family ...
Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C.: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Mathew Ahmann, Executive Director of the National Catholic Conference for Interracial Justice, in a Crowd
The March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom took place in August 1963 and was the setting for the celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. A. Philip Randolph, a labor leader and founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, proposed a large march on the capital as a way of prodding Congress and the administration of President John F. Kennedy to act on civil rights. Others involved in its planning included King himself, National ...
The George Washington Bridge in Heavy Smog, View Toward the New Jersey Side of the Hudson River
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 at a time of rising public concern in the United States about pollution and its effects on human health. In 1972-77 the EPA sponsored the Documerica program to photographically document subjects of environmental concern in America. The images were made by approximately 70 well-known photographers contracted by the EPA for the project. Photographers included Denny Lyon, Gene Daniels, Marc St. Gill, Bill Strode, Charles O'Rear, Jack Corn, Tomas Sennett, Yoichi Okamote, and Ken Hayman. This view of the ...
Hitchhiker with His Dog "Tripper" on U.S. 66, where U.S. 66 Crosses the Colorado River at Topock
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) was established in 1970 at a time of rising public concern in the United States about pollution and its effects on human health. In 1972-77 the EPA sponsored the Documerica program to photographically document subjects of environmental concern in America. The images were made by approximately 70 well-known photographers contracted by the EPA for the project. Photographers included Denny Lyon, Gene Daniels, Marc St. Gill, Bill Strode, Charles O'Rear, Jack Corn, Tomas Sennett, Yoichi Okamote, and Ken Hayman. This photograph of a ...
Earth, as Seen by Astronauts Eugene Cernan, Ronald Evans and Harrison Schmidt from Apollo 17
The Apollo 17 mission, which took place December 7-19, 1972, was the last of the missions to the moon carried out in the late 1960s and early 1970s by the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). Astronauts Eugene A. Cernan, Ronald B. Evans, and Harrison H. Schmitt undertook the mission, which lasted 12 days, 13 hours, and 52 minutes and included a lunar surface stay of 75 hours. The lunar landing site was the highlands and valley area of Taurus-Littrow (20º 16’ north latitude, 30º 77’ east longitude ...
Letter from Linda Kelly, Sherry Bane, and Mickie Mattson to President Dwight D. Eisenhower Regarding Elvis Presley
Until the abolition of conscription in the 1970s, all American men were required to register for the draft. Celebrities were drafted alongside ordinary citizens, and the rock-and-roll idol Elvis Presley was no exception. Presley was inducted into the Army in 1958. He took the required haircut in stride, coining the phrase, “Hair today, gone tomorrow.” This letter to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, signed by three girls from Noxon, Montana, identifying themselves as “Elvis Presley Lovers,” asks that the president not cut off Elvis’s sideburns. “If you do we will ...
Map of the Battles of Bull Run Near Manassas
This printed map by the Office of the Chief Engineer of the War Department details the fighting at the Battle of Bull Run on July 21, 1861. Named for the creek or “run” in northern Virginia along which the fighting took place, Bull Run was the first major battle of the American Civil War. After halting several attacks ordered by Union commander General Irvin McDowell, the Confederates under General Pierre Beauregard launched a successful counterattack that drove the tired and inexperienced Union forces back toward Washington. The failure of the ...
Declaration of Intention of Maria von Trapp
Maria von Trapp became a household name in the United States when her story was turned into the 1959 Broadway musical The Sound of Music. She and her family previously had immigrated to the United States from their native Austria following the takeover of the country by Nazi Germany. This Declaration of Intention to become a U.S. citizen, submitted to the U.S. District Court in Burlington, Vermont, on January 21, 1944, sheds light on the real Maria von Trapp.
Declaration of Intention for Albert Einstein
In 1936, German-born physicist Albert Einstein filed this Declaration of Intention to become an American citizen. Following the Nazi takeover of political power in Germany in 1933 and the onset of persecution of the German Jews, Einstein renounced his German citizenship and immigrated to the United States to take the position of Professor of Theoretical Physics at Princeton. On the basis of this declaration, the man who had first proposed the theory of relativity in 1905 became a U.S. citizen in 1940.
Treaty Between the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot, and Potawatomi Indians
This document, also known as the Treaty of Detroit, was signed on November 17, 1807, by William Hull, governor of the territory of Michigan, and the chiefs, sachems, and warriors of four Indian tribes, the Ottawa, Chippewa, Wyandot, and Potawatomi. Under its terms, the tribes ceded to the United States a tract of land comprising roughly the southeast quarter of the lower peninsula of Michigan and a small section of Ohio north of the Maumee River. The tribes retained small tracts of land within this territory. Until Congress abolished the ...