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Celebrating a Glorious Document

Essex County Herald, June 28, 1895. //chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn84023416/1895-06-28/ed-1/seq-1/

While doing a bit of research, the image featured here caught my eye, so I just had to click-through to know more.  As you can see, this image features the signatures of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, and the Fourth of July provided a good excuse to highlight it.

The accompanying article is an interesting story about the document’s travels. Of course, it only tells the story until 1895 when this article was published.  For more information, the National Archives has written a great piece on its travels, that provides a summary for the first half of the 20th Century – including a stay at the Library of Congress.

According to the Archives piece, in 1903 President Roosevelt directed that the records of the Continental Congress were to be turned over to the Library of Congress, and at the time, mention was made of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.  While nothing seems to have been done at the time, a 1920 report on the physical condition of the Declaration indicated that its condition was sufficient to exhibit if certain precautions were taken. On September 29, 1921, President Harding signed Executive Order 3554 transferring custody of both the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to the Library of Congress. The transfer was made and on February 28, 1924, the shrine that held the Declaration of Independence was dedicated at the Library of Congress.  It was removed to Ft. Knox in December 1941 after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, but made the move back to the Library in October 1944. The final leg of its journey happened in December 1952, when it made the trip down Pennsylvania Avenue with a formal enshrining ceremony  on December 15, 1952.

The Declaration of Independence returned: 1944. //www.loc.gov/item/2016647868/

If you want to read more, I recommend a more detailed article written by the Library’s Historian, John Cole, in a 1997 Information Bulletin article detailing the Library’s history with both the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence: //www.loc.gov/loc/lcib/9708/declare.html, as well as an article by Milton O. Gustafson, “The  Empty  Shrine: The Transfer of the Declaration  of  Independence and  the Constitution  to the National  Archives” that was published in the July 1976 issue of The American Archivist.

To Finance the Great War

One of my favorite business titles in the Library’s collection is the Listing Statements of the New York Stock Exchange.   It yields a lot of really interesting information on stocks and bonds issued by companies.  It sometimes even includes company financial information, which can make it a great source for those doing company research. However, […]

An American in Orbit: The Story of John Glenn

This post was authored by Sean Bryant, Science Reference & Research Specialist in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. Fifty five years ago this week John Hershel Glenn Jr. rode an Atlas rocket into a cloudy February morning. In his Mercury space capsule Friendship 7, Glenn became the third person, […]

Hidden Figures No More: African American Women in Space Exploration

Today’s post was written by Denise Dempsey a Science Reference Librarian. The recent release of the new film Hidden Figures, based on the book of the same name by Margot Lee Shetterly, presents a great opportunity to learn more about the contributions of African American women to the Space Race and to space exploration. The […]

The Potato Transformed: Norwegian Lefse

This post was authored by Stephanie Marcus, Science Reference & Research Specialist, in the Science, Technology, and Business Division of the Library of Congress. She is also author of the blog post “Kebabs, Kabobs, Shish Kebabs, Shashlyk, and: Chislic.” I considered writing my December blog post about leeches and bloodletting, but decided that wouldn’t be […]

A.C. Gilbert’s Successful Quest to Save Christmas

When World War I broke out in 1914, President Wilson decided that the U.S. would not at that time join the Allies but would instead remain on the sidelines.  However, in 1916 he did establish the Council of National Defense which was composed of government officials that would coordinate resources and industry if necessary. When […]

Celebrating the NPS Centennial with a Display in the Science & Business Reading Room

This is a guest blog post by Nanette Gibbs, a volunteer working in Science Reference. On August 25, 2016, the National Park Service celebrated the centennial of the National Park Service Organic Act. To mark the beginning of the 2nd century of the National Park Service, a schedule of events is planned that includes live […]

Roosevelt, Muir, and The Camping Trip

This guest post was written by Constance Carter the previous head of Science Reference who now volunteers here at the Library. One of the most delightful children’s books I have read is Barb Rosenstock’s The Camping Trip that Changed America: Theodore Roosevelt, John Muir, and our National Parks (New York, Dial Books for Young Readers, […]

Esther Howland and the Business of Love

Today’s guest post is by Mary Champagne, a reference librarian in the Main Reading Room. Her specialties are post-Civil War U.S. History and Anthropology. Esther Howland, known as “New England’s first career woman,” was a visionary artist and entrepreneur who popularized Valentine’s Day cards in the United States. Beautiful and elaborate European valentines were available […]