The Battle of Waterloo

(The following is a guest post from Taru Spiegel, reference specialist in the Library’s European Division.) Today marks the 200th anniversary of the history-changing Battle of Waterloo in 1815. This engagement ended in the conclusive defeat of Napoleon and his French generals and was a costly victory for the Anglo-Dutch, Belgian and German forces. The […]

The Sinking of the Lusitania

“The hour of two had struck and most of the first cabin passengers were just finishing luncheon. Suddenly at an estimated distance of about 1,000 yards from the ship there shone against the bright sea the conning tower of a submarine torpedo boat. Almost immediately there appeared a churning streak in the water and the […]

Happy 215th Anniversary Library of Congress!

A Message from the Librarian Today, on the Library of Congress’s 215th anniversary, I want especially to congratulate the Library’s extraordinary staff for their work in building this amazing, one-of-a-kind institution. I am, and always will be, deeply grateful for all they do. The heart and soul of this great library always has been its […]

Here Comes the Sun: Seeing Omens in the Weather at Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inauguration

(The following is a guest post by Michelle Krowl, Civil War and Reconstruction Specialist in the Manuscript Division. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address, for a limited time [March 4-7, 2015] the Library of Congress will display both the four-page manuscript copy and the reading copy of the address in the Great Hall […]

An Architectural Marvel 40 Years in the Making

The Washington Monument is probably one of the most recognizable structures in all of D.C. At 555 feet, the Egyptian obelisk can be seen from miles away. A particularly picturesque vantage point is looking at the monument through the cherry blossom trees along the tidal basin. Built to honor President George Washington, the Washington National […]

Buying a Library

Two hundred years ago today, President James Madison approved an act of Congress appropriating $23,590 for the purchase of a large collection of books belonging to Thomas Jefferson in order to reestablish the Library of Congress. Under Madison’s leadership, the United States went to war with Great Britain in 1812. After capturing Washington, D.C. in […]

Pic of the Week: A Tree Grows … in the Great Hall

Every year, the Library of Congress decorates the Great Hall with a tall tree for the holidays, replete with lights and ornaments for the enjoyment of visitors. Zelma Cook of Tryon, N.C., recalls her first Christmas tree and holidays spent with her family and the mill workers of the village in this excerpt from American Life Histories: […]