A recent blog post on presidential inaugurations noted that while the Constitution requires only an oath of office, presidential inaugurations have evolved to include many more activities. Many of these elements, including inaugural addresses, are documented in primary sources from the Library of Congress.
For centuries, national and global leaders have appeared to take important steps toward peace, while still pursuing political concerns. The Library of Congress’s collections of primary sources can encourage students to explore the impact of a variety of peace settlements and how we can find peaceful solutions in our own lives.
As part of the continuing commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War, the Library of Congress just opened an exhibition The Civil War in America, displaying more than 200 items from the Library’s unmatched collections. Students may look at maps, letters, diaries, or photographs to learn about the experiences of those who fought in the war and those who were left behind to tend the homestead. While these sources are excellent, make sure to include music as a way to help students learn about life during the Civil War.
If I say "monument to Abraham Lincoln," what comes to mind? You might think first of the famous Lincoln Memorial, which has a prominent place on the National Mall in Washington and is featured on the back of the five dollar bill. But there are many other statues that pay tribute to the sixteenth president of the United States, each in their own way.
"O, fatal day. O, noble victim. Treason has done its worst. The President has been assassinated." This hand-written diary entry, dated half past 10 o'clock PM, April 14, 1865, concludes simply, "I have just come from near the scene, it is too True."