Constitution of the United States
The Federal Convention convened in the State House (Independence Hall) in Philadelphia on May 14, 1787, to revise the Articles of Confederation. Because the delegations from only two states were at first present, the members adjourned from day to day until a quorum of seven states was obtained on May 25. Through discussion and debate it became clear by mid-June that, rather than amend the existing Articles, the Convention would draft an entirely new frame of government. All through the summer, in closed sessions, the delegates debated, and redrafted the articles of the new Constitution. Among the chief points at issue were how much power to allow the central government, how many representatives in Congress to allow each state, and how these representatives should be elected–directly by the people or by the state legislators. The work of many minds, the Constitution stands as a model of cooperative statesmanship and the art of compromise.
Declaration of Independence
Drafted by Thomas Jefferson between June 11 and June 28, 1776, the Declaration of Independence is at once the nation’s most cherished symbol of liberty and Jefferson’s most enduring monument. Here, in exalted and unforgettable phrases, Jefferson expressed the convictions in the minds and hearts of the American people. The political philosophy of the Declaration was not new; its ideals of individual liberty had already been expressed by John Locke and the Continental philosophers. What Jefferson did was to summarize this philosophy in “self-evident truths” and set forth a list of grievances against the King in order to justify before the world the breaking of ties between the colonies and the mother country.
Bill of Rights
During the debates on the adoption of the Constitution, its opponents repeatedly charged that the Constitution as drafted would open the way to tyranny by the central government. Fresh in their minds was the memory of the British violation of civil rights before and during the Revolution. They demanded a “bill of rights” that would spell out the immunities of individual citizens. Several state conventions in their formal ratification of the Constitution asked for such amendments; others ratified the Constitution with the understanding that the amendments would be offered.
On September 25, 1789, the First Congress of the United States therefore proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution that met arguments most frequently advanced against it. The first two proposed amendments, which concerned the number of constituents for each Representative and the compensation of Congressmen, were not ratified. Articles 3 to 12, however, ratified by three-fourths of the state legislatures, constitute the first 10 amendments of the Constitution, known as the Bill of Rights.
Which President served as a lieutenant colonel in the Spanish-American war? Who was the first Democrat elected after the Civil War? Who introduced Social Security? If you’re looking to learn more about the past Presidents who have led our country, you’re in the right place. Take a look at our full set of biographies. Then, quiz your friends.
The First Ladies
Which two first ladies met their husbands through local newspapers? Who was the first First Lady to make regular nationwide radio broadcasts? Which First Lady cared for wounded soldiers in her husband’s command? Who was originally a Broadway actress before becoming the First Lady? If you’re looking to learn more about the past First Ladies who have helped lead our country, you’re in the right place.
Enlistment into any Branch of the U.S. Military
Enlistment into any branch of the U.S. military by citizens of countries other than the United States is limited to those foreign nationals who are legally residing in the United States and possess an Immigration and Naturalization Service Alien Registration Card (INS Form I-151/551 — commonly known as a “Green Card”)*. Applicants must be between 17 and 35; meet the mental, moral, and physical standards for enlistment; and must speak, read and write English fluently.
* The U.S. military branches cannot assist foreign nationals in obtaining admittance into the United States. Only after immigration procedures are completed and an applicant is legally residing in the United States may an application for enlistment be accepted.
The U.S. government agency responsible for immigration and naturalization is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service. Their web site is at http://uscis.gov/graphics/index.htm
U.S. Department of State Freedom of Information Act (FOIA)
Each federal agency is responsible for meeting its FOIA responsibilities for its own records. This site is designed to familiarize you with the specific procedures for making a request for records controlled by the U.S. Department of State.
FRUS - Foreign Relations of the United States
The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity.
FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES
(UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN & UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS)
The Foreign Relations of the United States series is the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions that have been declassified and edited for publication. This digital facsimile of Foreign Relations of the United States is a project of the University of Wisconsin-Madison Libraries in collaboration with the University of Illinois at Chicago Libraries. This is an incomplete run from 1861-1960 with missing volumes being added as they can be acquired and processed.
FOREIGN RELATIONS OF THE UNITED STATES
(DEPARTMENT OF STATE)
The Foreign Relations of the United States series presents the official documentary historical record of major U.S. foreign policy decisions and significant diplomatic activity. The series, which is produced by the State Department’s Office of the Historian, began in 1861 and now comprises more than 350 individual volumes. The volumes published over the last two decades increasingly contain declassified records from all the foreign affairs agencies.
How to Locate a Person in The United States
Redeem Mutilated Currency (Bureau of Engraving & Printing)
What Do We Mean By Mutilated Currency?
Mutilated currency is currency which has been damaged to the extent that:
Its condition is such that its value is questionable and the currency must be forwarded to the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for examination by trained experts before any redemption is made. One example of mutilated currency may be bills missing relevant security features.
Currency can become mutilated in any number of ways. The most common causes are: fire, water, chemicals, and explosives; animal, insect, or rodent damage; and petrification or deterioration by burying.
Free Public Service
- Clearly more than 50 percent of a note identifiable as United States currency is present, along with sufficient remnants of any relevant security feature and clearly more than one-half of the original note remains; or,
- Fifty percent or less of a note identifiable as United States currency is present and the method of mutilation and supporting evidence demonstrate to the satisfaction of the Treasury that the missing portions have been totally destroyed.