11-6-2017

Did You Know?

In 1864, Congress authorized the issuance of a number of fractional currency notes which the Secretary of the Treasury was authorized to design. Though he had been asked to print the face of "Clark" (as in Lewis and Clark, possibly) on the five cent note, Spencer Clark, the superintendent of the National Currency Bureau, decided to print his own image on the notes without properly consulting higher authorities. After the notes had been printed and his decision discovered, both his superiors and Congress were enraged at his daring design choices. As a result, a law was passed which restricted who could be shown on U.S. currency - "no portrait or likeness of any living person shall be engraved or placed upon any of the bonds, securities, notes, or postal currency of the United States."

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3, Source 4

11-5-2017

Did You Know?:

In 1829, a man named George Wilson was charged and convicted with robbing the U.S. mail. Facing the sentence of death, his friends appealed to President Andrew Jackson who issued a total pardon on Wilson for his actions. Quite shockingly, Wilson refused to accept the pardon, essentially choosing to die instead. Though the question on whether a presidential pardon can be rejected went to the Supreme Court (United States v. Wilson), it was ultimately determined that a pardon must be formally brought before a judge before its effects can be realized, meaning that Wilson's earlier conviction stood.

Source

11-4-2017

Did You Know?:

Though the U.S. Constitution mandates that Senators be at least 30 years old, this has historically not mattered much given that the average age of a member of that body is 61. Despite how old the Senate seems to be, four times in U.S. history has a person been elected to that body not having reached age mandated by the Constitution: Henry Clay, age 29, in 1806; Armistead Mason, age 28, in 1816; John Henry Eaton, age 28, in 1818; and Rush Holt, age 29, in 1934. The first three of that list were allowed to take their seats in the Senate without objection, while the last, Rush Holt, experienced some roadblocks on his road to the Capitol. Although his opponent in the election argued that Holt was constitutionally unable to be elected, the Senate held that Holt could take his seat so long as he waited six months for his thirtieth birthday to take his oath of office.

Source 1, Source 2

11-3-2017

Did You Know?:

If every signatory to the Declaration of Independence had signed their name as large as John Hancock's, the document would have to be approximately 5.5 inches longer. In fact, only about 34 John Hancock-sized signatures could fit on the document, which is 22 short of the 56 signatures which are actually on the document.

Source