The Library of Congress THE LOC.GOV WISE GUIDE  - Current Edition

"They're Back!"

Congress returns from its recess this month to work on the business of the nation. You can learn what Congress has done so far this year and the issues it will face during the remainder of the current session, the 108th Congress by accessing THOMAS, the Library Web site named after the third president and dedicated to providing free information on the nation's lawmakers.

William Clark's compass and case Sen. Lyndon B. Johnson, Senate majority leader, Sept. 1955.

If you need some assistance navigating this site, The Learning Page can help with its Introducing... THOMAS activity. The Learning Page is designed especially for teachers and their students but it can be used by anyone who wants to learn more about using the Library's online materials.

If you are interested in the history of the national legislative body, explore the Continental Congress & Constitutional Convention Broadsides in American Memory, the Library's Web site of more than 8 million American historical items. Before the Constitution was adopted, from 1774 until 1789, there were the Continental Congress and Constitutional Convention. The Continental Congress began as a coordinated effort to resist the British. With the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, the Congress became the central institution for managing the struggle for American independence. A "Special Presentation," "To Form a More Perfect Union," offers a brief overview of how the Revolutionary War was organized through July 1788, when Congress received the momentous news that New Hampshire had just become the ninth state to ratify the new Constitution, making it the law of the land.

"Words and Deeds in American History: Selected Documents" features a section of items on "Congress, Law and Politics" that includes many fascinating documents relating to the Constitution. For example, there is a manuscript of Alexander Hamilton's notes for a speech proposing a plan of government from June 18, 1787.

A. John Trumbull, artist. "Signing of the Declaration of Independence, photographed by Theodor Horydczak ca.1920-1950. Theodor Horydczak Collection, Prints and Photographs Division. Reproduction Number: LC-H8-CT-C01-063.

B. Alexander Hamilton's notes for a speech proposing a plan of government from June 18, 1787. Alexander Hamilton Papers, Manuscript Division. Reproduction Number: A46 (color slide; first scanned image; no page number); LC-MSS-24612-14 (B&W negative; pages [95] and [98]) and LC-MSS-24612-15 (B&W negative; page [71])

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