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Category: History

Who Was Shirley Chisholm?

In 2020, Senator Kamala Harris of California was chosen to be former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate. She becomes the first Black woman and first person of Indian descent to be on a major party ticket. Many women, especially women of color, have paved the way for Harris and it would be unfair to credit one person over another. However, an important person to start with is the groundbreaking Shirley Chisholm. Born in Brooklyn, […]

Bill of Rights: Ensuring Unstated Freedoms

The Constitution did not just become the law of the land once it was written. Nine of the 13 states needed to ratify it. This was no easy process and a divide emerged. There were the Federalists, who supported the Constitution as it was, and the Anti-Federalists, who had many concerns. The Federalists defended all the protections built into the Constitution, most famously in a series of anonymous articles written in New York, an Anti-Federalist […]

Tales of Our Country: Aaron Burr, King of Mexico?

We’ve talked about Alexander Hamilton and we talked about the duel. It’s only fair that we talk about the man on the other end of the duel, Aaron Burr. When we left him last, he had just fled after shooting and killing Hamilton. This would lead to one of the strangest stories in American history, the former vice president who tried to become the king of Mexico. A little bit of background first. Burr was […]

Declaring War: How the Process Changed over the Years

The Gulf of Tonkin Resolution was an act of Congress in 1964 that effectively gave the president carte blanche in using force for the Vietnam War. But Congress never actually declared war against Vietnam. So was this constitutional? How did this shape the president’s authority to use military force going forward? Let’s start from the beginning. The Constitution declares the president the Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces but gives Congress the power to declare war. […]

Tales of Our Country: The Duel

It’s July 11, 1804. The sun has just risen over the Hudson River that divides New York and New Jersey. Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr are on separate boats crossing to New Jersey, prepared to meet on a rock near Weehawken. They are ready to duel, defending their honor after their long-time rivalry. It all started in 1791, when Burr defeated Phillip Schulyer, Hamilton’s father-in-law. Schulyer would have been a supporter of Hamilton’s federalist ideas, […]

Tales of our Country: Who was Alexander Hamilton?

You may have heard his name sung over and over (and over again). That’s because his life and story made for an unlikely musical hit in 2015. But even after all the singing, you may not know who Alexander Hamilton was, what he did, and how he shaped our country. Alexander Hamilton was born on the island of Nevis in either 1755 or 1757 as accounts vary. Hamilton had a tumultuous childhood having been born […]