Milestone Documents in American History

Attention history buffs and history students!  The Chatham Area Public Library has a new resource just for you.  Milestone Documents in American History is now more than just a book–although it is a book that can be found in the reference section under call number 973 MIL.  But if you’re at home and can’t make it to the library, you still have access to this important reference material online; all you need to access it is your library card number.

What documents might you expect to find in this database?  Some examples include:  Revolutionary era standards such as Patrick Henry’s ‘Liberty or Death’ speech, the Declaration of Independence, and the Constitution. Important Presidential sources include Thomas Jefferson’s first inaugural address, Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, Franklin Roosevelt’s speech following the attack on Pearl Harbor, John F. Kennedy’s 1963 address on integration, and George W. Bush’s address on September 11, 2001. Influential decisions of the Supreme Court are also included, from Marbury v. Madison to Brown v. Board of Education to Bush v. Gore. Critical documents related to minority rights are also present: Andrew Jackson’s message ‘On Indian Removal,’ the Seneca Falls Declaration, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, and the Equal Rights Amendment.

While the full text of these primary documents is one major aspect of the database, that’s not all you get.  Learn more about the document and its place in history from the other information that is included in each entry.  This additional information includes a timeline, information about the document’s author and intended audience, a glossary, bibliography for further research, a discussion of the document’s impact, essential quotes from the document, and cross-references to related documents.

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