Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

Peyton Randolph: The forgotten revolutionary president

October 22, 2021 By NCC Staff

The first president of the Continental Congress was George Washington’s close friend and Thomas Jefferson’s cousin. So who was this forgotten forefather and why was he a crucial revolutionary figure?

The Louisiana Purchase: Jefferson’s constitutional gamble

October 20, 2021 By NCC Staff

On October 20, 1803, the Senate ratified a treaty with France, promoted by President Thomas Jefferson, that doubled the size of the United States. But was Jefferson empowered to make that $15 million deal under the Constitution?

Remembering William Seward’s Alaska ‘folly’

October 18, 2021 By NCC Staff

In today’s popular culture, William Seward is best known for his association with Abraham Lincoln. But his name is also forever linked to a decision back in 1867 that brought Alaska into the fold as a United States territory, at a bargain price.

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Justice Byron White: A retrospective

October 16, 2021 By Lyle Denniston

On October 16, 1962, Justice Byron R. White joined the Supreme Court as one of two appointments made by President John F. Kennedy. In 2012, Constitution Daily contributor Lyle Denniston wrote a retrospective about White's Supreme Court career, which we have reprinted here.

The Supreme Court wrestles with “to speak the truth” in a bomber’s case

October 13, 2021 By Marcia Coyle

Trials that draw widespread public attention present a special challenge for the judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers. That is especially true today when so much information is so widely published on so many different public platforms.

10 fascinating facts on the White House’s anniversary

October 13, 2021 By NCC Staff

Today marks the anniversary of an American icon: the White House. Here's a look back at its remarkable history.

Franklin Pierce’s murky legacy as President

October 8, 2021 By NCC Staff

On this day in 1869, former President Franklin Pierce passed away in New Hampshire. Pierce was regarded as an ethical hard worker, but he struggled as a national leader when he openly advocated for pro-slavery states as a Northerner in the 1850s.

On this day: “No taxation without representation!”

October 7, 2021 By NCC Staff

The Stamp Act Congress met on this day in New York in 1765, a meeting that led nine Colonies to declare the English Crown had no right to tax Americans who lacked representation in British Parliament.

The double-edge sword of the Supreme Court’s conservative majority

October 5, 2021 By Marcia Coyle

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday began a new and potentially controversial term under the shadow of justices’ concerns about the legitimacy of the institution in the eyes of the public.

Chester Alan Arthur: Obscure or underrated?

October 5, 2021 By NCC Staff

If you are a presidential historian or a fan of facial hair, you probably know a little about Chester Alan Arthur. For the rest of us, he’s one of the more obscure leaders in American history.

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