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The Framing of the United States Constitution: A Beginner’s Guide

Posted by: Robert Brammer

This post is coauthored by Barbara Bavis, instructional librarian, and Robert Brammer, senior legal information specialist. We often receive questions from patrons who are interested in researching the original intent of the framers of the United States Constitution. Since the framers were not necessarily all of one mind and, on occasion, there was no debate on certain provisions, …

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The First Form 1040

Posted by: Jim Martin

Today is the deadline for filing returns for personal income taxes for 2016. The current federal income tax can be traced back to the Revenue Act of 1913, which was passed after the ratification, by the states, of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution. The act provided that taxes on individual taxpayers would be imposed beginning …

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Wikipedia Congressional Committees Edit-a-thon Event Recap

Posted by: Robert Brammer

On April 7th, the Law Library of Congress, the National Archives, Wikimedia D.C., the Senate, and the Smithsonian cohosted a Wikipedia Congressional Hearings Committee Edit-a-thon in the Madison Building of the Library of Congress. The purpose of the event  was to improve articles in Wikipedia that describe U.S. Congressional Committees. We kicked off the day …

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The Law Librarian of Congress’ Address to the Hispanic Law Conference

Posted by: Robert Brammer

The Law Librarian of Congress, Jane Sánchez, addressed the Hispanic Law Conference at American University’s Washington College of Law on March 29th. In her remarks, Jane stressed the connection between the Law Library’s work and James Madison’s famous quote that is inscribed on the walls of the Madison Building, “Knowledge will forever govern ignorance and a …

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James Madison Birthday Commemoration—Pics of the Week

Posted by: Liah Caravalho

On Thursday, March 16, 2017, the Law Library of Congress and the Library Manuscript Division commemorated James Madison’s 266th birthday. The event was held in the James Madison Memorial Building, which is the United States’ official memorial to the fourth president. The Law Librarian of Congress, Jane Sánchez, spoke about James Madison’s contributions to the …

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Whose Broad Stripes and Bright Stars–Pic of the Week

Posted by: Jim Martin

On this day in 1931, President Herbert Hoover signed into law a bill making The Star Spangled Banner the national anthem of the United States.   The lyrics were taken from a poem by attorney Francis Scott Key who was inspired to write after witnessing the Royal Navy’s bombardment of Fort McHenry while on board ship …