Constitution Daily

Smart conversation from the National Constitution Center

On this day, the first African American sworn in as Supreme Court lawyer

February 1, 2019 By Sheldon Gilbert

On February 1, 1865—the same day President Lincoln signed sent the Thirteenth Amendment abolishing slavery to the states—John S. Rock was sworn in as the first African American lawyer admitted to practice before the U.S. Supreme Court.

How Frederick Douglass's first speech got him noticed

February 14, 2013 By Paige Scofield

Frederick Douglass, whose birthday is honored on February 14, was born a slave in 1818, and now remembered for his eloquence, activism, and fearless championing against slavery.

On the road to freedom, one (gradual) step at a time

March 15, 2011 By Sarah Winski

There are several reasons why the Act for the Gradual Abolition of Slavery is a remarkable document. First, a fun fact: It’s signed by Thomas Paine of Common Sense.

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