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“I never in my life felt more certain that I am doing right than I do in signing this paper…If my name ever goes into history it will be for this act, and my whole soul is in it.”–President Abraham Lincoln, on signing the Emancipation Proclamation, January 1, 1863
The Republican Party’s platform in the 1860 election specifically pledged not to extend slavery any further westward into the territories. When its candidate Abraham Lincoln was elected as the 16th president of the United States, it led to the secession of eleven slave-holding Southern states and the beginning of the Civil War. In a letter to Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune, dated August 22, 1862, he wrote: “My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or destroy slavery.” Despite this letter, just one month later, on September 22, Lincoln issued a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation. Lincoln’s executive order basically stated that if the rebels did not end the fighting and rejoin the Union by January 1, 1863, all slaves in the rebellious states would be freed. It applied to some 3 million of the 4 million slaves in the United States at the time, and allowed them to join the Union Army.
While Abraham Lincoln is often viewed as the Great Emancipator, his ultimate political aim was to restore and preserve the Union. But as a politician, he was also acutely aware of public opinion. Lincoln’s stated views on slavery, and how they evolved over time to include the issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, are reviewed below
Lincoln Wasn’t an Abolitionist.
In a speech at Edwardsville, Illinois, on Sept. 13, 1858, Lincoln said, “Slavery is an unqualified evil to the negro, to the white man, to the soil, and to the State.” While Lincoln did believe that slavery was morally wrong, it was sanctioned by the “the supreme law of the land,” the U.S. Constitution, which he had sworn to “preserve, protect and defend” as President. In his first inaugural address, on March 4, 1861, he stated “I have no purpose directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution of slavery in the States where it exists. I believe I have no lawful right to do so.”
Lincoln Didn’t Believe Blacks Should Have the Same Rights As Whites.
Though Lincoln argued that the founding fathers’ phrase “All men are created equal” applied to blacks and whites alike, this did not mean he thought they should have the same social and political rights. His views became clear during an 1858 series of debates with Stephen Douglas, his opponent in the Illinois race for U.S. Senate. In their fourth debate held in Charleston, Illinois, on September 18, after Douglas had accused him of supporting “negro equality,” Lincoln made his position clear. “I am not, nor ever have been, in favor of bringing about in any way the social and political equality of the white and black races, that I am not nor ever have been in favor of making voters or jurors of negroes, nor of qualifying them to hold office, nor to intermarry with white people.”
Lincoln Thought Colonization Was the Best Way to Confront Slavery.
For much of his career, Lincoln believed that that if a majority of the African-American population would leave the United States and settle in Africa or Central America, it could resolve the issue of slavery. Lincoln first publicly advocated for colonization in 1852 and in a speech delivered in Peoria, Illinois, on October 16, 1854, Lincoln said, “My first impulse would be to free all the slaves, and send them to Liberia, to their own native land.” As president in early 1863, Lincoln also discussed with Register of the Treasury Lucius E. Chittenden his plan to “remove the whole colored race of the slave states into Texas.”
Emancipation Was a Military Strategy.
Lincoln didn’t see the Civil War as a struggle to end slavery, but as an effort to preserve the Union. But as the war dragged on into its second year in 1862, thousands of slaves had fled Southern plantations to Union lines. Since slaves made up a majority of the South’s labor force, Lincoln viewed emancipation as a way to weaken the Confederacy, while at the same time providing the Union with a new source of manpower to crush the rebellion. By the end of the war, over 200,000 African-Americans would serve in the Union Army and Navy. He issued the preliminary proclamation to his Cabinet on September 22, and it was published the following day. On September 24, Lincoln addressed a cheering crowd from a White House balcony: “I can only trust in God I have made no mistake….It is now for the country and the world to pass judgment on it.”
The Emancipation Proclamation Didn’t Actually Free the Slaves.
Since Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation as a military measure, it didn’t apply to border slave states like Delaware, Maryland, Kentucky and Missouri, all of which had remained loyal to the Union. In practice, the Emancipation Proclamation didn’t immediately free a single slave, since the only places it applied were those where the federal government had no control–the Southern states that had seceded and were currently fighting against the Union. The proclamation was a presidential order and not a law passed by Congress, so Lincoln then pushed for an antislavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution in order to make slavery illegal. Nearly eight months after Lincoln’s assassination, on December 6, 1865, the 13th Amendment was ratified, abolishing slavery throughout America, and fulfilling Lincoln’s original proclamation that “all persons held as slaves…are, and henceforward shall be free.”
To learn more about Lincoln’s views on slavery, the social and political climate that led to his issuance of the Emancipation Proclamation, its impact on the Civil War and the eventual passage of a Constitutional Amendment abolishing slavery, check out these Research Topic pages available on ProQuest’s eLibrary:
BOOKS ON THE BEACH
About a year ago, I read a Fast Company blog post about a gorgeous pop-up library on a beach in Istres, a town in the South of France. I live in Florida and spend practically every single weekend at my local beach, and I’m a bibliophile to boot, so the idea of a library on the beach thrilled me. I wondered if such a library existed in my part of the world.
Curious, I googled pop-up beach libraries in the U.S. and discovered that, yes, they do exist, just not (at least, at this point) near me.
Santa Monica Public Library (SMPL) is one such library that offers books on the beach. I contacted the library and heard back from Reference Services librarian, Jeff Kaplan, who said he had read the very same blog post about the French beachside library. In fact, the post inspired him to pitch the idea to his library’s Director, Maria Carpenter, who approved the idea to create a series of library pop-ups at their local beaches.
Mr. Kaplan gave me some background information on SMPL at the Beach, which debuted last summer and was a huge success (they had four 12×12 canopies serving over 500 visitors, including 151 participants in their beach programs). According to Mr. Kaplan, they strove to make their pop-ups “a ‘beachified’ version of the library, with all its services, programs and collections represented, not just a bunch of books on the beach.” Services even included a Seaside Story Time for children and reference and instruction services with mobile wifi hot spots.
SANTA MONICA LIBRARY GOES BACK TO THE BEACH – SUMMER 2016
I was happy to learn that beginning July 8, SMPL at the Beach 2016 will offer five seaside pop-up libraries with summer fun programming, including ukelele lessons (I am sooo jealous!), fitness classes, beach games like bocce and ladder toss, music performances and even a Surfside Lounge. The Library Foundation will also be providing free giveaways (beach towels, trucker caps and water bottles).
IOWA LIBRARIES WELCOME RAGBRAI CYCLISTS
July also marks the Register’s Annual Great Bicycle Ride Across Iowa (RAGBRAI), and local libraries are prepared for the fun and for doing what they can to make lives easier for the cyclists. I contacted a few librarians at the libraries situated along this year’s bike route (419.9 miles across state’s scenic southern terrain) and the excitement RAGBRAI generates is palpable among them.
Librarian Joy Stortvedt of Shenandoah Public Library said that they are opening their library on Sunday, July 24, even though they are typically closed that day. Cyclists can use the Shenandoah library to cool off, use the bathrooms and charge their devices. Wifi access will also be provided outdoors, and can be accessed, even when the library is closed, from their outdoor amphitheater. They also hope to offer paperbacks, but aren’t yet certain about their stock. Ms. Stortvedt recommends the library’s brick mural by artist Jay Tschetter (see photo above) and a historic arch as excellent photo ops for the cyclists.
Library Director Debbie Stanton of Washington Free Public Library said that their library will be open to the public until 11 p.m. on July 29, the day RAGBRAI comes through their town. She also shared that they are converting their library’s used bookstore room into an entertainer’s lounge, which will provide “backstage” accommodations for their headlining bands, and they are adapting their two janitors’ sinks into showers for the cyclists. They are also providing overnight accommodations for two teams of bikers (about 50 people total) in their meeting rooms and working with a local Internet service provider and an economic development group to provide wifi access points downtown.
Library Director Karen Koppe of Letts Public Library let me know that this will be the first time RAGBRAI will go through her small town. She says the library will sell homemade pies and that she has plans to have the kids in town help with making banners, signs and donation buckets for the July 30th event in Letts, which will feature 15 vendors and a DJ. Ms. Koppe also notes that cyclists might be interested to know that the town has a Civil War Medal of Honor recipient buried in the town’s cemetery.
Not only do libraries help plant seeds of knowledge, but some also offer real-life garden plots! The LibraryFarm is one such garden. Located on the grounds of the Northern Onondaga Public Library at Cicero, New York, the LibraryFarm is an organic community garden that donates to three local pantries and offers regular programming dedicated to sustainable gardening and food literacy. Programs range from home solarization to backyard chickens. The garden also includes a neat insect hotel that was constructed out of discarded shipping pallets by the library’s maker club. If you can’t get away for the summer, a community garden is a nice way to relax after a day of work. Check out your community to see if the library or another organization offers garden plots.
SUMMER-THEMED ITEMS YOU CAN BORROW
You might be reading this and thinking, “Aww, but my library doesn’t have a garden, and I don’t live near Santa Monica, California, or one of the many libraries along this year’s RAGBRAI trail in Iowa.” No worries, fellow bibliophiles, these aren’t the only library summer fun spots. Innovative libraries across the country offer a range of summer programming, from summer reading challenges for children and adults (such as the one my local library offers) to puppet shows and more. In addition, many libraries offer summer-themed items you can borrow.
Here are examples of four items you can borrow from some libraries that go hand-in-hand with summer fun:
- Athens County Public Libraries, Athens, OH
- Georgetown Public Library, Georgetown, TX
- Winter Park Public Library, Winter Park, FL
- Mid-Continent Public Library, Independence, MO
- Raymond M. Blasco, M. D. Memorial Library, Erie, PA
- Woodward Memorial Librarry, LeRoy, NY
- Arapahoe Libraries, Englewood CO
- Glen Ridge Public Library, Glen Ridge, NJ
- Sacramento Public Library, Sacramento, CA
- Cumberland Public Library, Cumberland, RI
- Longwood Public Library, Middle Island, NY
- Miami‑Dade Public Library System, Miami, FL
- Seattle Public Library, Seattle, WA
Share with Us!
What is your library doing this summer? Let us know in the comments below or Tweet us a picture at #ProQuest!
The first glass of Coca-Cola was served on May 8, 1886, in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. John Stith Pemberton was a physician and pharmacist who made and sold medicines, photographic chemicals, and cosmetic products in his state-of-the-art laboratories. Among these were a popular perfume called Sweet Southern Bouquet, and a patent medicine known as French Wine Coca. It was advertised as a “nerve tonic, a mental aid, a headache remedy, and a cure for morphine addiction.” The product contained wine and coca leaves from South America and was served at pharmacy counters.
In 1886, Atlanta experimented with an early prohibition law. Since Pemberton’s drink was made with wine, he needed to change the formula. He experimented in his home laboratory to create a new drink that was sweetened with sugar instead of wine. By May 1886, his new formula was ready. Pemberton carried a jug of syrup down the street to Jacobs’ Pharmacy, where it was sold as a soda fountain drink for a nickel a glass. The beverage was later named “Coca Cola”–from its two “medicinal” ingredients: extract of coca leaves and kola nuts. Although the name was used in the marketplace starting in 1886, the Coca-Cola trademark was not registered in the U.S. Patent Office until January 31, 1893.
Dr. Pemberton never realized the potential of his invention. In failing health, he gradually sold portions of his business to various partners. In 1888, just before his death, he sold his remaining interest in Coca-Cola to Asa Griggs Candler, an Atlanta banker, real estate developer and manufacturer of patent medicines. Candler’s genius was in marketing and promotion. In order to get customers to try the product, he created the first coupon, which offered a complimentary glass of Coca-Cola at any fountain. Between 1894 and 1913 an estimated 8.5 million drinks free drinks had been served, and by 1895 Coca-Cola was being sold in every state.
Consumer demand increased even further in the summer of 1894 when the first Coca-Cola was bottled in Vicksburg, Mississippi. This ultimately led to another brilliant innovation–the unique and iconic bottle. Before refrigeration, soft drinks were kept in coolers of ice. Competitors used similar bottles, and the paper labels often fell off as they soaked in ice water, so consumers often couldn’t distinguish the real thing. So in 1915, the company asked bottling partners to design a new bottle.
In the design brief, they called for “A bottle which a person could recognize even if they felt it in the dark, and so shaped that, even if broken, a person could tell at a glance what it was.” The winning design was submitted by the Root Glass Company of Terre Haute, Indiana. Ironically, it was mistakenly based on the shape of a cocoa pod, which is NOT one of the ingredients of Coca-Cola. The naturally occurring minerals in the sandstone of the local cliffs gave the glass bottle its distinctive green color.
If you want to find out more about the history of this iconic American beverage, view the ProQuest eLibrary Research Topic page on Coca Cola, or visit these websites available on SIRS WebSelect:
- The Coca-Cola Bottle: An American Icon at 100
- Fifty Years of Coca-Cola Television Advertisements
- The History of Coca-Cola
- John Stith Pemberton (1831-1888)
Since the Beginning: Librarians and Star Wars
The first organized Star Wars Day celebration occurred on May 4, 2011, at the Toronto Underground Cinema in Canada. However, librarians — experts in tapping into popular culture as a way of reaching out to their patrons — have been holding Star Wars events long before this date.
Shortly after the film series began in 1977, libraries began offering Star Wars-themed reading programs, film screenings, children’s shows and other events. For example, a quick search in ProQuest’s Historical Newspapers reveals that, in the summer of 1978, La Mesa Library of the San Diego, California, County Library, offered children a space-theme series with a film screening of Hardware Wars, a Star Wars spoof.
Here’s another ProQuest’s Historical Newspaper article from 1979, detailing a Star Wars reading program for children by Terryville Public Library in Terryville, Connecticut.
Star Wars Day in Libraries Today
Librarians and libraries everywhere continue to offer a host of Star Wars programs and events. Here are three such happenings going on:
Moraga Library in Moraga, California, is hosting a Star Wars Day event for kids and teens from 4:00 – 6:00 pm today. Event goers, who are encouraged to come costumed as a favorite Star Wars character, can make origami Star Wars figures, watch a movie and more.
Wake County Public Libraries in Raleigh, North Carolina, are having a Star Wars Fest for all ages at Cameron Village Library, North Regional Library, West Regional Library,and other libraries across Wake County. The festivities will include a screening of The Clone Wars, crafts, activities, and Star-Wars themed books. Some libraries will be holding events later in the week. Check out the website for registration and information.
Xenia Community Library in Xenia, Ohio, is offering an assortment of Star Wars crafts and activities from 4:00-5:00 pm today. According to Head Librarian Kevin Delecki, they will be making buttons, creating Death Stars with cupcake liners and coffee filters, and designing Star Wars-themed pancakes with their PancakeBot (You can read more about PancakeBot here: PancakeBot producing food, opportunities).
Activities, Party Ideas & Lesson Plans
Whether you’re a teacher or a librarian (or both!), here are six links to Star Wars-themed activities, party ideas and lesson plans perfect for Star Wars Day, Star Wars Reads Day or any time throughout the year.
* The Star Wars character Maz Kanata, introduced in the 2015 film Star Wars: The Force Awakens, is based on a high school English teacher named Rose Gilbert.
* Diehard fans continue their celebrations on May 5th, Revenge of the Fifth Day, a play on Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith. On this day, fans release their inner Sith and celebrate the Dark Side.
* “May the force be with you” was first uttered by General Jan Dodonna to the rebel troops in Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope.
* Star Wars featured a librarian, Jedi Master Jocasta Nu, in Star Wars: Episode II – Attack Of The Clones (2002) and in the video game adaption of Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge Of The Sith (2005).
* Historians at the British Library’s Medieval Manuscripts Department revealed a Yoda-like image in a medieval manuscript of canon law now known as the Smithfield Decretals.
Share with Us!
Does your library or classroom hold Star Wars Day events or activities? If so, let us know what you’re doing in the comments below or Tweet us at #ProQuest!
Now’s a great time to catch up on the important elements of your ProQuest K-12 resources. We’ve posted our April webinars and would like to invite you to join us. Share this information also with some of your key faculty who you know would benefit from greater familiarity with your excellent ProQuest library research and learning tools. Our new public webinar page also expands your view of ProQuest possibilities. Not only may you access training for your K-12 focused resources, but you may also learn more about ProQuest’s full array of research and learning tools. Many of these have potential application in advanced secondary learning environments.
By this time next year, a new president will have been sworn into office. Will it be Donald Trump or Ted Cruz? Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders? Will a dark horse emerge from the Republican Party? Has election fatigue set in yet? Are you ready for it to be over?
The campaign for a new president seems to start earlier every election cycle. And although Ted Cruz was officially the first candidate to throw his hat into the ring just last March, his speech and posturing, along with incessant media speculation, started well before his announcement. And he surely was not the only one. Hillary Clinton did not announce her candidacy until April last year, but speculation about her candidacy had been rampant right after President Obama was inaugurated for his second term.
One week from today, the first primaries and caucuses will begin the long, arduous process of seating a new president, beginning with Iowa on February 1st, and then New Hampshire the following week.
The process of electing a president begins with narrowing the field of candidates through individual state primaries and caucuses leading up to the Republican and Democratic national conventions in July. Unless something unexpected happens, expect the field of candidates to narrow considerably after Iowa and New Hampshire.
State primaries, like New Hampshire’s, are typical elections by voters, where the general public go to the polls to cast secret ballots. Unlike New Hampshire, a caucus like Iowa’s is a system of state-wide local gatherings where voters decide which candidate they will support and to select delegates to represent their state at the national convention. Historically, caucuses were the most common way of electing party candidates. They recall a day when up or down votes were cast by cigar-chomping delegates in smoke-filled halls who would call out yea or nay their nominees of choice. Today, most states hold primaries, with only 10 states holding caucuses.
After Iowa and New Hampshire, the caucuses and primaries of Nevada and South Carolina at the end of February, respectively, will lead to Super Tuesday on March 1, where 14 states (and the territory of American Somoa) will cast their votes. Typically, by the time all of the primaries and caucuses have ended in June, a candidate from each party will have emerged as their respective nominee, and it will be on to Philadelphia, where the Democratic Party will hold their national convention, and to Cleveland, which hosts the Republican Party’s convention.
eLibrary has a dedicated selection of Research Topics focused on current and past presidential elections that are good resources for you social studies and government classes. We have an active, updated U.S. Presidential Election, 2016 Research Topic that will help you keep tabs on the current campaign with profiles of each current and former candidates, polls and surveys, political issues and analyses, and primary updates to each current campaign. eLibrary also has Research Topics of past presidential elections (see below), along with a ProQuest Research Topic Guide on elections in the United States here.
Below are more Research Topic resources for your research and discovery:
- American Presidency
- Democratic Party
- Political Parties in the U.S.
- Presidential Debates
- Presidential Inauguration
- Republican Party
- U.S. Presidential Election,1852
- U.S. Presidential Election, 1856
- U.S. Presidential Election, 1860
- U.S. Presidential Election, 1864
- U.S. Presidential Election, 1876
- U.S. Presidential Election, 1912
- U.S. Presidential Election, 1960
- U.S. Presidential Election, 1968
- U.S. Presidential Election, 2000
- U.S. Presidential Election, 2004
- U.S. Presidential Election, 2008
- U.S. Presidential Election, 2012
- U.S. Presidential Election, 2016
- U.S. Presidential Primaries
“What’s the Latest?” is a big question, actually. In the research database world, everything is dynamic and constantly changing and updating. In 2015, ProQuest SIRS Discoverer was all new. ProQuest CultureGrams also received new looks — twice during the year — once over the summer, and again last month in December. Content is continually being updated as well. Most recently, we moved our “offices” — online, that is. You have a new place to log into your ProQuest K-12 resources, and the training team has a new place for you to go to join us for training. Sounds like a great time to get to know your resources even better!
Contact the ProQuest Training and Consulting Team to learn all about what’s new and what’s so important about your ProQuest resources. You can contact us directly to arrange a free meeting or join us in one of our public webinars, as noted above. We’re happy to answer your questions and help you get a great start to the second half of this academic year!
Elvis Presley rose from humble beginnings to become the ‘King of Rock and Roll.’ He remains an international pop culture icon almost 40 years after his death. On the eve of his 81st birthday, here are 10 things you may or may not know about Elvis:
1. Elvis Aaron Presley was born on January 8, 1935 in a two-room house in Tupelo, Mississippi to Gladys Love (Smith) and Vernon Elvis Presley. He had a stillborn identical twin brother, named Jessie Garon.
2. Presley, who never received formal music training or learned to read music, studied and played by ear. He identified the Pentecostal church as his primary source of musical training.
3. When he was 13 years old, he and his family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. His music career began there in 1954, when he recorded a song with producer Sam Phillips at Sun Records.
4. In December of 1957, Elvis was drafted into the U.S. Army. Three girls from Montana wrote a letter to President Eisenhower in which they begged him not to give Elvis a G.I. haircut and cut off his sideburns.
5. While he was in the Army and stationed in Germany, he met 14-year-old Priscilla Ann Beaulieu. They married eight years later, on May 1, 1967, at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas.
6. Elvis is the best-selling solo artist in the history of recorded music, selling more than 1 billion recordings worldwide.
7. His only child Lisa Marie Presley was born on February 1, 1968. Ironically, the daughter of the ‘King of Rock and Roll’ was briefly married to Michael Jackson, the ‘King of Pop.’
8. On December 21, 1970, Presley visited President Richard Nixon in the Oval Office. The photo of Nixon and Elvis shaking hands in the White House is the most-requested image in the holdings of the National Archives.
9. Elvis died at age 42 at his Memphis home on August 16, 1977. Elvis bought the mansion named Graceland in 1957 for $100,000. It was opened for tours in 1982, and since then an average of 500,000 visitors pay tribute annually.
10. Elvis was buried twice. Elvis was originally placed in a crypt next to his mother, Gladys, at the Forest Hill Cemetery in Memphis. Shortly after, several young men attempted to steal his remains. His father Vernon then decided to move both bodies to the grounds of Graceland. He received special permission from city officials to do so, and they both rest there today.
To learn more about Elvis Presley’s life, music, legacy, and his lasting influence on American culture, visit ProQuest’s eLibrary Research Topic page, or one of these editorially selected websites, available on SIRS WebSelect:
Two hundred and forty years ago this week, the year the American colonies declared independence from the British crown, a relatively unknown English immigrant, recently transplanted from Norfolk, England, brought the new year in with a literary roar. Six months before Thomas Jefferson penned the inspirational draft of the Declaration of Independence, Thomas Paine, known as a “professional radical” in some circles, anonymously wrote and published a small 7×5 inch, 79-page pamphlet called “Common Sense,” a manifesto advocating for immediate independence for the American colonies from England and the British imperial system. In the pamphlet, much like the Declaration of Independence, Paine systematically laid out the grievances of the colonists, detailed the tyrannies of the British monarchy (specifically, King George III) and aristocracy, and called for a democratic government and written constitution.
Unlike the Declaration of Independence, however, “Common Sense” was not only a list of grievances, but also a call to arms. Paine, a well-read, Enlightenment-era man, with a proclivity for scholarly writing replete with footnotes and Latin phrases, wrote the pamphlet in simple terms intended for the average layman. It was a rallying cry to colonists reluctant to commit to a war of independence. After publication, “Common Sense” immediately sold 50,000 copies leading up to the revolution, which in those days was unheard of. Its impact was profound. Farmers and townspeople alike stopped to read it. After publication of “Common Sense,” anyone who was sitting on the fence over whether to go to war suddenly found themselves on one side or the other. And Paine’s other writings had such a huge influence on George Washington that he ordered his officers read aloud Paine’s “The American Crisis” to his troops. Paine later had all royalties from “Common Sense” donated to buy mittens for the troops.
While Paine’s legacy is undeniable, his death and burial was sadly ironic. Because of his religious views (he had been held in contempt for his ridicule of Christianity), Paine died a broken man and his funeral was attended by only six people. Because of his views and writings on Christianity, the Quakers refused Paine’s request to be buried in one of their cemeteries. Ten years later, after being buried under a walnut tree on his farm in New York in 1809, journalist and friend William Cobbett, hoping to cement Paine’s legacy, disinterred his bones and shipped them back to England. After Cobbett was unable to gain support for a memorial in his honor, he put Paine’s bones in a trunk where they were eventually forgotten. Later, after Cobbett’s death, they were lost altogether.
To this day, the location of Paine’s bones are unknown. The impact Thomas Paine had on the American and international political and social landscape, however, is not.
Writings by and about Thomas Paine
The Age of Reason
The American Crisis
Thomas Paine and the Making of Common Sense
The Rights of Man
Works of Thomas Paine
On December 16, 1972, the Miami Dolphins tallied a 16-0 victory over the Baltimore Colts, completing the first undefeated 14-0 regular season record in the history of the NFL. They are the only team in NFL history to finish a season unbeaten and untied, and then go on to capture a Super Bowl victory that made them world champions, ending with a perfect 17-0 overall record. Over 40 years later, the Dolphins remain the only NFL team to complete an entire season undefeated and untied from the opening game through the Super Bowl (or the NFL championship game).
Six players from the ’72 Dolphins team have since been enshrined in Pro Football’s Hall of Fame: Nick Buoniconti (linebacker), Larry Csonka (fullback), Bob Griese (quarterback), Jim Langer (center), Larry Little (guard), and Paul Warfield (wide receiver), along with head coach Don Shula. It had not become common practice for Super Bowl champions to be invited to the White House until after 1980, so the 1972 Dolphins never got their White House visit. On August 20, 2013, 40 years after their historic perfect season, President Obama welcomed the team to the White House to celebrate and recognize their accomplishment.
Prior to the 1972 Dolphins, the only other team to ever complete the regular season undefeated and untied is the Chicago Bears, who accomplished the feat in both 1934 and 1942. However, both of those Bears teams lost in the NFL Championship Game. In 1985, the Chicago Bears were 12-0 when they visited Miami in a nationally televised Monday night showdown. Members of the undefeated 1972 team were in attendance and watched the Dolphins claim a 38-24 upset victory. The Bears went on to an 18-1 season, capped by winning the Super Bowl, but the Dolphins’ claim on the only perfect season was still intact.
The most recent team to challenge the Dolphins’ exclusive hold on an undefeated season was the 2007 New England Patriots, who finished the regular season with a 16-0 mark. (The Patriots were able to compile a better regular season record than the 1972 Dolphins because the NFL lengthened the regular season schedule from 14 to 16 games in 1978.) New England added two playoff wins and entered Super Bowl XLII undefeated (18-0), but the dream of a perfect season fell short as they were defeated 17-14 by the New York Giants.
This season, with three games left in the regular season, the Carolina Panthers remain undefeated at 13-0. Stay tuned to find out if they can duplicate the perfection achieved by the 1972 Miami Dolphins team.
eLibrary has over 100 Research Topic pages related to the NFL and its teams, coaches, players and commissioners. To view a few of them related to this post, check out the links below:
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