Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Article I

Happy birthday to First United States Congress

April 6, 2019 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1789, the First Congress under our current Constitution met in its first joint session in New York and undertook an important order of business: confirming George Washington’s election as President.

The Alaska purchase: Folly or good fortune?

March 30, 2019 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1867, United States Secretary of State William Seward signed a deal acquiring Alaska, an agreement that was ridiculed by some as “Seward’s Folly” and opposed in the House.

Andrew Jackson, presidential censure and the Constitution

March 28, 2019 By Abigail Perkiss

On March 28, 1834, the U.S. Senate censured President Andrew Jackson in a tug-of-war that had questionable constitutional roots but important political overtones.

The cotton gin: A game-changing social and economic invention

March 14, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On this day in 1793, young inventor Eli Whitney had his U.S. patent for the cotton gin approved, an invention that would definitely have an impact on social and economic conditions that led to the Civil War.

The presidential veto power explained

March 12, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

President Donald Trump has threatened to veto any measure passed by Congress that blocks his national emergency declaration to build a border wall. What exactly is the veto power, what are its limits and is Trump unusual for his lack of vetoes in the past two years?

On this day, government begins under our Constitution

March 4, 2019 By NCC Staff

It was 230 years ago today that the federal government started to operate under the terms of the U.S. Constitution, as the Confederation Congress ceded power. However, there was a major problem with the first session of the new Congress: not enough members showed up.

Gibbons v. Ogden: Defining Congress’ power under the Commerce Clause

March 2, 2019 By NCC Staff

On March 2, 1824, the Supreme Court ruled in Gibbons v. Ogden, holding that Congress may regulate interstate commerce.

An early citizenship controversy in the U.S. Senate

February 28, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On February 28, 1794, future Treasury Secretary Albert Gallatin was denied his elected U.S. Senate seat after a group of Federalists claimed he didn’t meet a constitutional citizenship requirement for office.

Marbury v. Madison: The Supreme Court claims its power

February 24, 2019 By Nicandro Iannacci

In an act of “judicial jujitsu,” the Supreme Court issued its decision in Marbury v. Madison on February 24, 1803, establishing the high court’s power of judicial review.

A big day in the history of the United States Postal Service

February 20, 2019 By NCC Staff

On February 20, 1792, President George Washington officially created the modern United States Postal Service by signing a sweeping act that promoted a free press and put privacy safeguards in place.

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