(And we agree — it’s hard to choose only five!)
- George Washington’s First Inaugural Address, 4/30/1789
Since March, we’ve been featuring documents and stories from the First Congress. George Washington’s first inaugural address is perhaps our favorite document in our holdings. It’s one of the few documents we hold that is handwritten by Washington.
- Senate Revisions to the House Proposed Amendments to the U.S. Constitution (Senate Mark-up of the Bill of Rights), 9/1789
We have a lot of mark-ups in our holdings, but this is our favorite. This document shows us how the Senate carefully weighed each word of the text when debating the first proposed constitutional amendments passed by the House.
- Photograph of Astronaut Scott Carpenter explaining Phases of his Flight to Astronaut John Glenn, 5/24/1962
Our entire collection of images from the Senate Committee on Aeronautical and Space Science is awesome, but this one is definitely our favorite. Just two regular guys talking about work!
- S.J. Res. 189: the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution as Introduced, 8/5/1964
This made the list for a lot of reasons. Like the Senate Mark-up of the Bill of Rights, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution shows Congress at work. It’s really quit a remarkable piece of legislation!
- Petition for the Establishment of a Roads Department, 12/20/1893
Who would think we’d have a 6 foot petition in our holdings? In fact, it’s one of the largest petitions within the entire holdings of the National Archives! The petition prompted the creation and funding of an office to conduct road research. The office would later become the Federal Highway Administration.