Archive for January, 2017

Online Primary Sources for American History: Presidential Impeachment

“The President, Vice President and all civil Officers of the United States, shall be removed from Office on Impeachment for, and Conviction of, Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors.” U.S. Constitution, Article 2, Section 4

“The Senate shall have the sole Power to try all Impeachments. When sitting for that Purpose, they shall be on Oath or Affirmation. When the President of the United Statesis tried, the Chief Justice shall preside: And no Person shall beconvicted without the Concurrence of two thirds of the Members present.” U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 3, Clause 6


There have been only two impeachments in this country’s history: Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. There would have been a third, but Richard Nixon resigned before that process was implemented.

Here are some primary sources for both:

Andrew Johnson

(A good introduction to this trial can be found here at this Senate Historical Office site.)

Broadsides and other ephemera.

Chronicling America. “The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson.” Hundreds of contemporary newspaper accounts.

Congressional Globe. Contains the debates of Congress between 1833 and 1873. It published a special volume containing the documents on this trial. Also printed as a separate volume: Proceedings in the trial of Andrew Johnson, president of the United States, before the United States Senate, on articles of impeachment exhibited by the House of Representatives. : With an appendix (1868)

Expulsion of the president / opinion of Hon. Charles Summer of Massachusetts, in the case of the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, president of the United States (1868)

Harper’s Weekly. “The Impeachment of Andrew Johnson” Over two hundred contemporary articles from this important chronicle of the times.

Impeachment investigation : Testimony taken before the Judiciary committee of the House of Representatives in the investigation of the charges against Andrew Johnson. Second session, Thirty-ninth Congress, and first session, Fortieth Congress (1867)

Letters. Mostly between Johnson and Abraham Lincoln.

The life and public services of Andrew Johnson. including his state papers, speeches and addresses. (1866)

Public Papers.


Bill Clinton

(A brief overview is here.)

C-SPAN Has selected videos on this topic.

Clinton Impeachment. From The New York Times containing documents, speeches, articles, interviews, etc.

Impeachment of President William Jefferson Clinton : the evidentiary record pursuant to S. Res. 16. (24 vols., 1999)

Proceedings of the United States Senate in the impeachment trial of President William Jefferson Clinton (4 vols., 2000)

Public Papers.

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President Trump’s “Executive Actions”

The media have been using various terms to describe President Trump’s various executive directives; they actually fall into three separate categories: executive orders, presidential memos, and national security presidential memos. The first two, while labeled differently, have essentially the same impact; the latter, in divergence with previous administrations, are available in public. You can find his executive orders here; his presidential memoranda are here; and his national security presidential memoranda are here. So if you want to find out what document implemented the bans, or the shake-up of the National security Council, or allowed the Keystone XL Pipeline to move forward, use the above links to find them. We last addressed executive orders in 2009; both this recent Pew report and this Washington Post article are worthwhile reads. These CRS reports also offer current information: President Trump Freezes Federal Civil Service Hiring; Keystone Revival: Executive Memorandum Paves Way for Possible Approval of Keystone XL Pipeline; Dakota Access Pipeline: Siting Controversy; Affordable Care Act Executive Order: Legal Considerations, Abortion and Family Planning-Related Provisions in U.S. Foreign Assistance Law and Policy.

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Tri-State School Closings: January 23 & 24

Closings are found here and here. Please remember that no list is completely comprehensive; it is a good idea to check your school district’s website for current information.

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A List of Congresspersons Who Are Not Attending the Inauguration

This list is of those who have publicly announced they are not attending this event. There might be more not going  who have not released a statement.

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Online Primary Sources for American History: Presidential Inaugural Speeches

A brief overview of this event is given by the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies. This site presents a chronological listing of all the speeches in full text from George Washington to the present; in addition, it gives the wordage of each speech. The shortest speech?  Washington’s second inaugural speech. The longest was William Henry Harrison’s speech at over 8000 words. (BTW, delivered outdoors in a snowstorm, the speech lasted longer than an hour and a half. Harrison died a month later from pneumonia.)




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Online Primary Sources for American History: The Dr Martin Luther King Jr Digital Archive Project

This archives contains one million online source documents ranging from speeches to oral histories. You can browse the archives by themes, type of document, or keyword. It calls itself a “dynamic” archives because more material is being added. In light of recent events, read letters to and from John Lewis. A goldmine of texts dealing with a tumultuous time in our history. May this always be preserved.

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Text of Report Mentioning the Millions Who Will Lose Coverage If the ACA Is Repealed and Not Replaced

It is a short report, but it is published by the highly regarded, non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

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