Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Civil War

Jefferson Davis and Abraham Lincoln: Dueling inaugural addresses

February 18, 2019 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1861, former U.S. Senator Jefferson Davis took to a podium for his presidential inaugural and gave an impassioned speech about the Constitution. Three weeks later, Abraham Lincoln did likewise, to much different results.

Millard Fillmore’s brief time in the national spotlight

January 7, 2019 By NCC Staff

On the occasion of Millard Fillmore's birthday, Constitution Daily looks back at a forgotten President and his role in the crisis that led to the Civil War.

On this day: The United States formally outlaws slavery

December 6, 2018 By NCC Staff

On December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment was ratified after the state of Georgia approved the amendment as it was proposed to the states by Congress. That act officially ended the practice of slavery in the United States.

Remembering Zachary Taylor: Military hero, obscure President

November 24, 2018 By NCC Staff

On November 24, 1784, future President Zachary Taylor was born in Virginia. Taylor became an unexpected obstacle to slavery’s expansion, until his sudden death in 1850.

Myths and mysteries about the Gettysburg Address

November 19, 2018 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln gave his Gettysburg Address, widely considered one of the greatest speeches in American history. But even today, there are still a few points about the speech that are misunderstood.

Read six different versions of the Gettysburg Address

November 19, 2018 By NCC Staff

There were five versions of the Gettysburg Address that were acknowledged by Abraham Lincoln in his lifetime. Here are those versions, along with the AP wire copy from November 1863.

It was 158 years ago today: Abraham Lincoln is elected President

November 6, 2018 By NCC Staff

On November 6, 1860, voters in the United States went to the polls in an election that ended with Abraham Lincoln as President, in an act that that led to the Civil War. But Lincoln’s actual victory didn’t happen on that day, and his victory wasn’t assured for months.

The pardon of Jefferson Davis and the 14th Amendment

October 17, 2018 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1978, President Jimmy Carter officially restored the full citizenship rights of former Confederate president Jefferson Davis, signing an act from Congress that ended a century-long dispute.

On this day in 1856: Violence on the U.S. Senate floor

May 22, 2018 By NCC Staff

A nearly fatal beating on the U.S. senate floor on this day in 1856 was another step toward a Civil War five years later. The attacker wasn’t an assassin—it was a fellow congressman.

10 fascinating facts about President Ulysses Grant

April 27, 2018 By Adam H. Rosenzweig

Today marks the birthday of Ulysses Grant, who played a unique role in American history. Here is a look at a military leader who later became president in one of the nation’s most troubled decades.

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