Celebrating the Presidents of the United States with Primary Sources

 As we prepare to celebrate Abraham Lincoln’s birthday on February 12th and George Washington’s birthday on the 15th we thought it might be helpful to remind our readers of some of the resources we have on the presidents of the United States. We hope you enjoy the post below and the many other blog posts and teacher resources we have that honor the lives and work of the presidents.

Celebrating Washington’s Birthday: A Presidential Blog Round-Up

By law, the third Monday of February is called Washington’s Birthday, in honor of the first president of the United States after the ratification of the Constitution. However, many now use the day to honor or commemorate all U.S. presidents.

Are you looking for ways to celebrate George Washington or others who have held the highest office in the United States? Teaching with the Library of Congress has published a number of posts documenting their lives and experiences  using primary sources from the Library’s collections.

Inaugural Program Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Garner, 1933

Inaugural Program Franklin D. Roosevelt and John Garner, 1933

Washington, Jefferson and Lincoln: A Primary Source Set Honoring Three Presidents
Explore the legacy of three of our most important presidents using primary sources. This set includes resources that will help younger students understand the lives and how we commemorate these three individuals.

Beyond the Oath: Presidential Inaugurations Past to Present in Library of Congress Primary Sources
Explore the importance of the presidential inauguration and how the tone set at the inauguration can set the tone for the presidency.

Sculpture of Lincoln as captain in militia, 192-?

Sculpture of Lincoln as captain in militia, 192-?

George Washington: Living the “Rules of Civility”
Explore the rules that guided Washington’s behavior and helped him successfully navigate the experience of being the new nation’s first president.

The Person Behind the Presidency: Humanizing History
Explore the writings of Theodore Roosevelt to learn more about the man behind the office.

Point of View in Statues of Abraham Lincoln: Three Looks at a Leader – A Primary Source Starter
Explore how different memorials honor the life of Abraham Lincoln.

How do you plan to celebrate President’s Birthday? Let us know in the comments.

Complex Encounters, Continuing Exchanges: Exploring Varied Stories of Immigration Using Primary Sources

This post is adapted and excerpted from the Library of Congress article of the same title in the 2016 National History Day Theme Book. Primary sources have tremendous power to complicate seemingly straightforward stories, and are an essential part of every National History Day project. One view of exploration, encounter, and exchange is fairly linear. […]

Using Historic Drawings and Photos of Buildings to Engage Students In Engineering

The following is a guest post by Michael Apfeldorf of the Library of Congress. While researching an article for the January 2016 issue of NSTA’s The Science Teacher Magazine, I ran across a blueprint of R. Buckminster Fuller’s Geodesic Dome Home. I was reminded that analyzing drawings and photographs of historic structures can launch an investigation […]

Primary Sources in the Science (and Math) Classroom: Thomas Jefferson’s Measurement Problem

This post was co-written by Trey Smith, the Library of Congress 2015-16 Science Teacher in Residence, and Max Ray-Riek, a Project Manager from The Math Forum, now on staff at the National Council of Teachers of Mathematics. Last August, Julie Miller in the Library’s Manuscript Division wrote about Thomas Jefferson’s quest for an odometer. Jefferson’s […]