Happy Constitution Day! I encourage everyone to pick up your own copy and READ it.
September 17th 1787: US Constitution signed
On this day in 1787, the United States Constitution was signed in Philadelphia. The document was thus adopted by the Constitutional Convention, which included George Washington, Alexander Hamilton and Benjamin Franklin. It was later ratified by the states and came into effect on March 4th 1789. The Constitution sets out the rules and principles that govern America to this day, and defines the powers of the three branches of federal government and the states. The first 10 amendments, known as the Bill of Rights, were ratified in 1791 and established basic rights of citizens, including freedom and speech and religion. The Constitution has since been amended 17 times, giving a total of 27 amendments. America’s is the oldest written constitution still used today.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America”
Most people think of Andrew Johnson as a pretty shitty president, and I have to say I’m not exempt from that. But DID YOU KNOW THAT HE WAS THE ONLY PRESIDENT OF HISTORY TO PRESENT THE MEDAL OF HONOR TO A WOMAN????
On November 11th, 1865, President Johnson signed a bill to present the highest…
If you want to see a really cool map of census data from 1790-1860 that shows the spread of slavery and the numbers of Free African Americans in the U.S. during those times CLICK HERE. This is an amazing resource. Also, this is the map I’m writing my paper on. Just this map. Nothing else.
Obit of the Day (Historical): Anne Bradstreet (1672)
A book published in London in 1650 was mysteriously titled, The Tenth Muse Lately Sprung Up in America and its author was described as “a Gentlewoman in those parts.” The work was, in fact, written by Anne Bradstreet, a Puritan who had moved to Massachusetts from England in June 1630. Mrs. Bradstreet became the first American poet ever published.
Although the poems included in The Tenth Muse were written between 1635 and 1650, poems written by Mrs. Bradstreet date back to 1632 when she was not yet 20 years old. Focusing on religious themes and everyday occurences, the poems seem simple to critics today but were widely regarded by her 17th century audience, including legendary Puritan preacher Cotton Mather.
Mrs. Bradstreet, whose father and husband helped found Harvard, moved around Massachusetts living for periods in Salem, Boston, Cambridge, and finally living the remainder of her life in North Andover. She gave birth to eight children between 1633 and 1652, four daughters and four sons, and continued to produce poetry while being responsible for childcare and all domestic responsibilities.
Mrs. Bradstreet died at the age of 60 on September 16, 1672 and was, presumably, buried in North Andover’s Old Burying Ground. She did not live to see the American publication of her poetry in 1678 newly titled, Several Poems Compiled with Great Variety of Wit and Learning.
It would take two centuries for the rest of Mrs. Bradstreet’s work to be made available to the public. In 1867, John Harvard Ellis re-issued The Tenth Muse and also included the never-before-seen "Religious Experiences and Occasional Pieces" and "Meditations Divine and Morall". The latter works were much different than Mrs. Bradstreet’s earlier poetry and have received generally positive acclaim from modern critics.
In North Andover they honor Mrs. Bradstreet with a gravestone in the Old Burying Yard (since her exact burial site is unknown) and a plaque honoring the 350th anniversary of the publication of The Tenth Muse. In 1997, Harvard dedicated the Bradstreet Gate in her name as America’s first published poet.
You can find many of Mrs. Bradstreet’s poem here.
Sources: Wikipedia, poets.org, poetryfoundation.org, and Perspectives in American Literature
(Image of the title page from the first edition of The Tenth Muse, published by Rev. John Woodbridge in London in 1850. This copy is in the special collections of the Brown University Library.)
Curious about Presidential History? Ask a Curator!
Do you have questions about Presidential history and artifacts? Tomorrow, the Presidential Libraries of the National Archives will be answering questions live for #AskaCurator Day on Twitter.
Over 600 museums from 40 countries will be participating, including our very own experts on Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry S. Truman, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, and Jimmy Carter. You can also ask curators at the National Archives Exhibits in Washington, D.C.
Museum Objects from the Presidential Libraries:
Rocking Chair used by John F. Kennedy in the Oval Office; RCA Radio Microphone used by FDR to deliver some of his Fireside Chats from the White House; HMS Resolute Desk replica at the JFK Library; Portrait by Octavio Ocampo presented to President Carter on the occasion of a state dinner honoring José López Portillo, President of Mexico, February 1979; 1957 Inaugural gown of Mamie Eisenhower; WWII POW Diary at the Truman Library;1952 Eisenhower campaign hat.
[Who tells your history? What should we use history for? Can history provide a perspective on today? Who has power over history?]
Reader xanthy-m has submitted more photos from a visit to the Swedish Historical Museum (official website), including displays on historiography, Vikings, Roma and Travelers in Sweden, the racialization of the Saami, Nazi propaganda, and the history of scientific racism. These images will be organized into topical posts coming out periodically this week along with usual art history articles and essays. I hope you all will find them as insightful and provocative as I do.
Socrative Smackdown: A versatile discussion-based humanities game to practice argumentation around any text or topic for grades 6 through 12.
Download the free 23-page PDF here: http://www.instituteofplay.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/IOP_PrintPlay_SocraticSmackdown_v1.pdf
This pillbox hat, which was worn during John F. Kennedy’s 1960 presidential campaign, was one of Jackie Kennedy’s signature looks. The smallish, brimless headpiece was popular for both its simplicity and elegance, two major characteristics of the First Lady’s fashion. Be sure to check out today’s Pieces of History post for more on Jackie Kennedy’s unique fashion and signature style! National Archives Identifier: 7851368.