Find out what documents were chosen as the most influential in American history.
The following is a list of 100 milestone documents, compiled by the National Archives and Records Administration, and drawn primarily from its nationwide holdings. The documents chronicle United States history from 1776 to 1965.
The list begins with the Lee Resolution of June 7, 1776, a simple document resolving that the United Colonies “are, and of right, ought to be free and independent states. . .” and ends with the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a statute that helped fulfill the promise of freedom inherent in the first documents on the list. The remaining milestone documents are among the thousands of public laws, Supreme Court decisions, inaugural speeches, treaties, constitutional amendments, and other documents that have influenced the course of U.S. history. They have helped shape the national character, and they reflect our diversity, our unity, and our commitment as a nation to continue our work toward forming “a more perfect union.”
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