Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Civil War

The forgotten man who almost became President after Lincoln

April 15, 2019 By NCC Staff

On April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died from his assassin’s wounds. But if John Wilkes Booth’s plot were entirely successful, a little-known senator may have been thrust into the White House for almost a year.

10 interesting facts about Abraham Lincoln’s assassination

April 14, 2019 By NCC Staff

It was 154 years ago today 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.

On this day, Lee surrenders at Appomattox

April 9, 2019 By NCC Staff

On this day, Confederate General Robert E. Lee agreed to surrender his Army of Northern Virginia, marking a symbolic end to the Civil War.

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.

On this day, the Confederate Constitution is approved

March 11, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

On March 11, 1861, delegates from the newly formed Confederate States of America agreed on their own constitution. And much of it mirrored the Constitution of the United States as it existed at the time.

On this day, the Missouri Compromise is approved

March 3, 2019 By NCC Staff

On March 3, 1820, Congress approved the Missouri compromise, a law that maintained a balance in the Senate between free and slave states. The pact only lasted 34 years, and its elimination was one of the contributing factors that led to the 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.

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