What do Benjamin Wade, Willie P. Mangum and John Nance Garner all have in common? If not for a last-second decision, or a twist of fate, they might have become Acting President of the United States, in an era before the 25th Amendment existed.
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On April 15, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln died from his assassin’s wounds. But if John Wilkes Booth’s plot were entirely successful, a little-known senator may have been thrust into the White House for almost a year.
It was 225 years ago today that the federal government started to operate under the terms of the U.S. Constitution, as the Confederation Congress ceded power. However, there was a major problem with the first session of the new Congress: not enough members showed up.
This so-called “Lame-Duck” amendment reduced the previous four-month period between the November elections and the March 4 starting date of congressional and presidential terms.
Today we celebrate the ratification of not one, but two constitutional amendments: the 20th Amendment (ratified January 23, 1933) and the 24th Amendment (ratified January 23, 1964). Here’s what you need to know.