Key Documents in American History
from The National Archives


Using the National Archives selection of 100 of America’s milestone documents as a starting point—from the Declaration of Independence to the Warren Commission Report; the Dred Scott decision to the Civil Rights Act; Eli Whitney’s cotton gin patent to John Glenn’s Official Communication with the Command Center—"Key Documents in American History" adds additional post-1965 records, such as the Pentagon Papers and the 9/11 Commission Report, for a total of 111 historic documents in a format not available in printed form.

Reproductions of the documents, transcripts, and links to the National Archives official sites for each featured document are accompanied by original introductions by William G. Scheller, along with more than five hours of audio commentary. Links to the complete reports are provided for records that number in the hundreds of pages, such as the Warren Commission Report on the assassination of John F. Kennedy and the Pentagon Papers.

Designed to be intuitively interactive, internal links to the table of contents, transcripts, and other documents provide American history students and enthusiasts with a comprehensive, in-depth look at the documents that reflect the story of America in one easily accessible form.

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