Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Founding Fathers

How Philly lost the nation’s capital to Washington

May 15, 2019 By NCC Staff

Philadelphia was the early capital of the United States after the Constitution was ratified, but on May 14, 1800, the nation’s capital moved to Washington. So who was behind the deal that changed the face of American government?

The story behind the Join or Die snake cartoon

May 9, 2019 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1754, Benjamin Franklin published one of the most famous cartoons in history: the Join or Die woodcut. Franklin’s art carried significant importance at the time and is considered an early masterpiece of political messaging.

Law Day: 10 famous people who were lawyers

May 1, 2019 By A. H. Nishikawa

May 1 is Law Day, an event that honors “liberty, justice and equality under law which our forefathers bequeathed” to the United States. Learn more about 10 famous people who studied the law, from Abraham Lincoln to Nelson Mandela.

The most underrated Founding Father: Oliver Ellsworth?

April 29, 2019 By NCC Staff

On the anniversary of Oliver Ellsworth’s birth, Constitution Daily looks back an important founder who helped forge a compromise that led to the Constitution, and later played important roles in the early Senate and Supreme Court.

10 birthday facts about President James Monroe

April 28, 2019 By NCC Staff

James Monroe was the only president, aside from George Washington, to run unopposed for re-election. But that may not be the most surprising fact about the last Founding Father to occupy the White House.

Five myths about the start of the Revolutionary War

April 19, 2019 By NCC Staff

The American Revolutionary War started on April 19, 1775 at the towns of Lexington and Concord. But how accurate are some of the key facts that have been handed down to us through the generations?

On this day, Benjamin Franklin dies in Philadelphia

April 17, 2019 By NCC Staff

Today marks the 229th anniversary of Benjamin Franklin’s death, which drew many different responses from the citizens of Philadelphia (who mourned in droves) and the U.S. Senate (which refused to mourn Franklin).

10 facts about Thomas Jefferson for his birthday

April 13, 2019 By NCC Staff

On the occasion of Thomas Jefferson's birthday, we have 10 interesting facts about the versatile Founding Father.

Did German almost become America’s official language in 1795?

April 1, 2019 By Scott Bomboy

For centuries, stories have persisted about Congress almost approving German as our official language, except for one vote by its German-speaking leader. So how close is that story to the truth?

The seeds of Revolution: The Stamp Act protests in Boston

March 22, 2019 By NCC Staff

It was on this day in 1765 that the British Parliament signed the Stamp Act, a move that lit the fuse for a revolution in the American colonies that burned for a decade.

Sign up for our email newsletter