Insights for teachers to continue the conversation.

ByEllen Tucker

On May 28, 1892, a group of university professors and interested citizens met in the San Francisco law office of Warren Olney to found the nation’s first nongovernmental wilderness protection organization, the Sierra Club. Naturalist John Muir, whose popular magazine articles had done much to bring about the 1890 Congressional act creating Yosemite National Park, was unanimously named president of the new organization.

From the Blog

Once considered the great American contribution to constitutional government—governance by our own consent through elected, representative lawmakers—Congress is now the most disliked part of our political system. If we understand how Congress works we might better understand how to make representative government work in the 21st century.

From the Blog

An online resource guide at Library of Congress, U.S. Presidential Inaugurations: “I Do Solemnly Swear…,” showcases the development of the inauguration day ceremonies. For each president, library staff have collected primary materials illustrating what made his inauguration unique. There are drafts of inaugural addresses, descriptions of the ceremonies written by attendees (sometimes by the president himself), and a wide variety of memorabilia, including ceremony tickets and programs, prints, photographs and even sheet music. Each entry also includes a list of historical ‘firsts,’ along with factoids like which Bible the president was sworn in on, the number of inaugural balls held, and so on. A particularly interesting set of documents illustrates the very first presidential inauguration ceremonies, those for George Washington.