Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Civil War

On this day: The United States formally outlaws slavery

December 6, 2017 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, 2017 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, 2017 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, 2017 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 157 years ago today: Abraham Lincoln is elected President

November 6, 2017 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, 2017 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.

The debate over Confederate monuments and how to remember the Civil War

May 25, 2017 By Nicandro Iannacci

The removal of four public symbols of the Confederacy in New Orleans highlights the crucial difference between history and memory.

Andrew Jackson’s conflicted history on North-South relations

May 2, 2017 By Scott Bomboy

The late President Andrew Jackson is back in the news this week after the current President referenced Jackson’s viewpoints about the North-South conflict that became the Civil War.

10 fascinating facts about President Ulysses Grant

April 27, 2017 By NCC Staff

Today marks the 195th 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.

10 interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination

April 14, 2017 By NCC Staff

It was 152 years ago when President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up.

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