Our 100 Most Important Documents

March 28th, 2007

declaration_stone_thumb_295_dark_gray_bg (100 Most Important Docs).jpg
The National Archives and Records Administration has launched an initiative designed to “promote public exploration of how our understandings of rights and responsibilities have changed over time.” Our Documents: A National Initiative on American History, Civics, and Service is composed of a website (http://www.ourdocuments.gov/), and primary & secondary classroom materials and competitions geared towards improving civic awareness. One of the interesting aspects to this project is the listing of what the project deems the 100 most influential documents in our nation’s history. This list can be found here. Included in the list are Richard Henry Lee’s resolution calling for a definitive break with England (1776), the Dred Scott decision (1857), and Germany’s Surrender at the end of World War II (1945). Each entry includes a high-resolution image of the document, a full description of its context, and links to further reading.The list includes:

* Lee Resolution (1776)
* Declaration of Independence (1776)
* Articles of Confederation (1777)
* Treaty of Alliance with France (1778)
* Original Design of the Great Seal of the United States (1782)
* Treaty of Paris (1783)
* Virginia Plan (1787)
* Northwest Ordinance (1787)
* Constitution of the United States (1787)
* Federalist Papers, No. 10 & No. 51 (1787-1788)
* President George Washington’s First Inaugural Speech (1789)
* Federal Judiciary Act (1789)
* Bill of Rights (1791)
* Patent for Cotton Gin (1794)
* President George Washington’s Farewell Address (1796)
* Alien and Sedition Acts (1798)
* Jefferson’s Secret Message to Congress Regarding the Lewis & Clark Expedition (1803)
* Louisiana Purchase Treaty (1803)
* Marbury v. Madison (1803)
* Treaty of Ghent (1814)
* McCulloch v. Maryland (1819)
* Missouri Compromise (1820)
* Monroe Doctrine (1823)
* Gibbons v. Ogden (1824)
* President Andrew Jackson’s Message to Congress ‘On Indian Removal’ (1830)
* Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo (1848)
* Compromise of 1850 (1850)
* Kansas-Nebraska Act (1854)
* Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857)
* Telegram Announcing the Surrender of Fort Sumter (1861)
* Homestead Act (1862)
* Pacific Railway Act (1862)
* Morrill Act (1862)
* Emancipation Proclamation (1863)
* General Order 143: Creation of the U.S. Colored Troops (1863)
* Gettysburg Address (1863)
* Wade-Davis Bill (1864)
* President Abraham Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address (1865)
* Articles of Agreement Relating to the Surrender of the Army of Northern Virginia (1865)
* 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Abolition of Slavery (1865)
* Check for the Purchase of Alaska (1868)
* Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868)
* 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Civil Rights (1868)
* 15th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Voting Rights (1870)
* Act Establishing Yellowstone National Park (1872)
* Thomas Edison’s Patent Application for the Light Bulb (1880)
* Chinese Exclusion Act (1882)
* Pendleton Act (1883)
* Interstate Commerce Act (1887)
* Dawes Act (1887)
* Sherman Anti-Trust Act (1890)
* Plessy v. Ferguson (1896)
* De Lome Letter (1898)
* Joint Resolution to Provide for Annexing the Hawaiian Islands (1898)
* Platt Amendment (1903)
* Theodore Roosevelt’s Corollary to the Monroe Doctrine (1905)
* 16th Amendment: Federal Income Tax (1913)
* 17th Amendment: Direct Election of U.S. Senators (1913)
* Keating-Owen Child Labor Act of 1916 (1916)
* Zimmermann Telegram (1917)
* Declaration of War Against Germany (1917)
* President Woodrow Wilson’s 14 Points (1918)
* 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution: Women’s Right to Vote (1920)
* Boulder Canyon Project Act (1928)
* Tennessee Valley Authority Act (1933)
* National Industrial Recovery Act (1933)
* National Labor Relations Act (1935)
* Social Security Act (1935)
* President Roosevelt’s Radio Address unveiling the second half of the New Deal (1936)
* President Roosevelt’s Annual Message (Four Freedoms) to Congress (1941)
* Lend-Lease Act (1941)
* Executive Order 8802: Prohibition of Discrimination in the Defense Industry (1941)
* Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan (1941)
* Executive Order 9066: Japanese Relocation Order (1942)
* General Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Order of the Day (1944)
* Servicemen’s Readjustment Act (1944)
* Manhattan Project Notebook (1945)
* Surrender of Germany (1945)
* United Nations Charter (1945)
* Surrender of Japan (1945)
* Truman Doctrine (1947)
* Marshall Plan (1948)
* Press Release Announcing U.S. Recognition of Israel (1948)
* Executive Order 9981: Desegregation of the Armed Forces (1948)
* Armistice Agreement for the Restoration of the South Korean State (1953)
* Senate Resolution 301: Censure of Senator Joseph McCarthy (1954)
* Brown v. Board of Education (1954)
* National Interstate and Defense Highways Act (1956)
* Executive Order 10730: Desegregation of Central High School (1957)
* President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s Farewell Address (1961)
* President John F. Kennedy’s Inaugural Address (1961)
* Executive Order 10924: Establishment of the Peace Corps. (1961)
* Transcript of John Glenn’s Communication with the Command Center (1962)
* Aerial Photograph of Missiles in Cuba (1962)
* Test Ban Treaty (1963)
* Official Program for the March on Washington (1963)
* Civil Rights Act (1964)
* Tonkin Gulf Resolution (1964)
* Social Security Act Amendments (1965)
* Voting Rights Act (1965)

Entry Filed under: Essays

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Trackback this post  |  Subscribe to the comments via RSS Feed


Calendar

March 2007
M T W T F S S
« Feb   Jun »
 1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
262728293031  

Most Recent Posts