In Southern California? Starting today, you can see George Washington’s personal copy of the Constitution and other important documents from the founding of the United States.
George Washington’s historic book, the Acts of Congress, is on a nationwide tour to the 13 Presidential Libraries and Museums. It is on loan from the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
The exhibit opens today at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley. In addition to the Acts of Congress, the Reagan Library will have other treasures from the vaults on display.
The “Stone” copy of the Declaration of Independence was commissioned in 1823 by Secretary of State John Quincy Adams and created by engraver William Stone.
Pictured above left: Cover of Washington’s Acts of Congress, courtesy of Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. Right, close up of the upper left hand corner from the “Stone” Declaration of Independence from the holdings of the Reagan Library.
By George, It’s Washington’s Birthday!
Over two centuries ago, on April 30, 1789, George Washington delivered his first Inaugural Address knowing that he had little to guide him in the job that lay ahead but the principles stated in the Constitution.
During Washington’s first year in office, Congress ordered 600 copies of the Acts of Congress to be printed and distributed to Federal and state government officials. The book compiled the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and other legislation passed by the first session of Congress.
George Washington’s personal copy of the Acts of Congress contains his own handwritten notes in the margins.
Washington rarely wrote on the pages of his books, and the presence of his distinct handwriting makes the historic volume even more remarkable. Customarily, Washington preferred to take notes on a separate sheet of paper, which he would insert into a book. But in his copy of the Acts of Congress, he not only wrote directly in the margins but also drew brackets next to the passages of particular interest to him.
Last year, the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association secured the book at an auction, bringing it back to George Washington’s home. At $9,826,500, it broke world auction records for an American historic document.
Beginning next week, Washington’s Acts of Congress will travel the country and visit the 13 Presidential Libraries of the National Archives through a partnership with Mount Vernon. Learn more at http://www.whitehouse.gov/blog/2013/02/18/archives-george-washington-writes-margins .
Happy birthday George Washington!
February 22, 1732 - December 14, 1799
Photo: George Washington’s copy of the Acts of Congress. His signature appears inside. Printed in 1789. Courtesy of the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association.
Dwight D. Eisenhower receives a 43-pound turkey from Perry Browning of Winchester, Kentucky, president of the National Turkey Federation. Ike holds the book, “Turkey Management,” which was also presented. White House, November 14, 1954.
-from the Eisenhower Library
Tonight: Harry Belafonte / Tomorrow: Tom Brokaw
The Carter Presidential Library has quite a line up of guests this week. This evening, November 16th, Harry Belafonte will visit. The entertainer and civil rights advocate will be speaking about his life and new autobiography.
Tomorrow night, November 17th, television news anchor and author Tom Brokaw will be speaking about his latest book, The Time of Our Lives.
The Carter Library is in Atlanta, Georgia and both events start at 7 pm. Learn more about events at the Library here.
Pictured: Harry Belafonte at the March on Washington, August 28, 1963.