Vote for our first “Records of Rights” display document!

Today’s post comes from Anna Lewis, social media intern in the Education and Public Programs division.

Give your students the chance to make history!

We want you AND your students to vote for the first landmark document to be displayed in our new exhibition. “Records of Rights” opens December 10 at the National Archives in Washington, DC. We display the Charters of Freedom—the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights—year round, but the rights laid out in those documents didn’t always apply to all Americans. “Records of Rights” will highlight the struggle for voting rights, equal opportunities, free speech and citizenship.

You and your students’ votes will help decide the very first special featured document displayed for the over 1 million visitors to the National Archives each year. Some documents, such as the Emancipation Proclamation and the 1964 Civil Rights Act, are already scheduled to be displayed later to highlight special events and anniversaries.

Which of these five important documents do you and your students think deserves to go on display first? Vote now!

Equal Protection of the Laws—The 14th Amendment

The 1868 joint resolution proposing the 14th Amendment to the states: The 14th amendment established the principle of “equal protection of the laws” and granted citizenship to “all persons born or naturalized in the United States.”


The 1868 joint resolution proposing the 14th Amendment to the states
The 1868 joint resolution proposing the 14th Amendment to the states

Lowering the Voting Age—The 26th Amendment

The 1971 certification of the 26th Amendment: The amendment lowered the voting age from 21 to 18.


The 1971 certification of the 26th Amendment
Page of the 1971 certification of the 26th Amendment

Protecting Americans with Disabilities—The Americans with Disabilities Act

The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act: The ADA, as it’s called, expanded Federal civil rights laws to include disabled Americans, and banned discrimination in employment, public services, public accommodations, transportation, and telecommunications.


The Americans with Disabilities Act
Page of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Ending Segregation in the Armed Forces—Executive Order 9981

Executive Order 9981 of 1948: Signed by President Harry S. Truman, this executive order desegregated the U.S. Armed Forces.


Executive Order 9981
Page of Executive Order 9981

Immigration Reform in 1965—1965 amendments to the Immigration Reform Act of 1952

The Immigration Reform Act of 1965: These amendments to a 1952 immigration law ended the country-based immigration quotas which had favored immigrants from western and northern Europe.


Polls are open until November 15, 2013. Vote as many times as you want for your opportunity to make history!

And if you’re interested in teaching with these documents, you can find them on DocsTeach: the Joint Resolution Proposing the Fourteenth AmendmentCertification of the 26th Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Executive Order 9981 in which President Truman banned the segregation of the Armed Forces, and documents related to Immigration Reform of 1965.

One thought on “Vote for our first “Records of Rights” display document!

  1. This post has been updated with new dates for the opening of the “Records of Rights” exhibition—December 10, 2013, and the voting deadline—November 15. Vote or learn more about the exhibition!

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