Secrets of the Serial Set

Secrets of the Serial Set

The Clinton-Lewinsky scandal. The Manhattan Project. The Louisiana Purchase. 

These are just a few of the gems to be found in the U.S. Congressional Serial Set, a must-have publication for studying American history. With more than two centuries of documents spanning more than 17,000 volumes, no other publication so beautifully reflects the maturation of the United States as a nation.

The Serial Set is an indispensable resource for any history lover. To prove it, we’ve created Secrets of the Serial Set, a fascinating blog series dedicated to revealing the historic material hidden throughout the immense publication. Each month, join HeinOnline as we explore notable events in U.S. history using the primary sources themselves.

Miss a post? Browse the secrets we’ve revealed so far below.

“These posts have been so informative; they enable both patrons and staff to understand what the Serial Set is and how invaluable it is to all kinds of research.”gail fithian, boston public library

Previous Installments in the Series

The American Flag

July 2021

A consideration of the origins and evolution of the American flag, beginning with the Colonial Era and Revolution and ending with the two World Wars. 

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The Sinking of the Titanic

April 2021

An overview of the disastrous sinking of the Titanic. Covering the voyage from beginning to end, including an overview of the structural issues that caused the ship to flood. 

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Education in America

March 2021

A look at the evolution of education throughout American history. Featuring colonial education, education reform and Horace Mann, education and psychology, and recent developments.

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The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

January 2021

A dive into the great debate about Puerto Rico’s legal status. Featuring the discovery of the island during the Exploration Age, fight over the island during the Spanish-American War, and ultimate U.S. rule. 

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The Iran-Contra Affair

November 2020

An investigation of the oft-overlooked Iran-Contra affair, a political scandal involving the Reagan Administration, the Nicaraguan Civil War, and the Islamic Republic of Iran.

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The Red Scares

September 2020

An exploration of the hysteria that dominated the first half of the twentieth century. Featuring the Bolshevik revolution, the House Un-American Activities Committee, Senator Joseph McCarthy, and more.

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The Apartheid Era

August 2020

A look back on the development and fall of the South African system of apartheid. Featuring Dutch and British colonization, the institution of the system, and African and international resistance.

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The Atom Bomb

July 2020

An overview of the Manhattan Project and the race to create the atomic bomb. Featuring the Einstein-Szilard letter, the Los Alamos Laboratory, the Trinity Test, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and more.

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The Disability Rights Movement

June 2020

The history of individuals with disabilities in America, featuring the establishment of institutions, social Darwinism, eugenics, the Civil Rights movement, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and more.

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The Killing of Osama bin Laden

May 2020

The intelligence community’s successful operation to kill Osama bin Laden, the world-renowned terrorist responsible for the September 11 attacks on the United States.

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The Defense Production Act

April 2020

The passage of the Defense Production Act, a Cold War law relevant to COVID-19 in America. Featuring World War II and the War Powers Acts, the Korean War, and the act’s use since.

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The Rise and Fall of Alcatraz

February 2020

The history of Alcatraz, one of America’s most notorious federal prisons. Featuring the Island of Pelicans, Fort Alcatraz, Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary, and Alcatraz, the park and landmark.

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The Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster

January 2020

The “explosion” of Space Shuttle Challenger and its impact. Featuring solid rocket booster design, the causes of its failure, and the resulting White House and House investigations. 

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The Prohibition of Alcohol

December 2019

The origins and consequences of the 14-year prohibition of alcohol in the United States. Featuring the temperance movement, 18th amendment, National Prohibition Act, and 21st amendment.

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The Assassination of John F. Kennedy

November 2019

The events surrounding the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Featuring the arrest of Lee Harvey Oswald, the Warren Commission, the HSCA, and the JFK Act of 1992. 

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The Impeachment of Bill Clinton

October 2019

The details of the impeachment of President Bill Clinton. Featuring Clinton v. Jones, the Lewinsky affair, the Starr investigation, and the Senate trial.

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The Pacific Theater of WWII

September 2019

The events of the Pacific-Asian Theater of World War II. Featuring the invasion of Manchuria, Pearl Harbor, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, and Japan’s ultimate surrender.

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Constructing the Panama Canal

August 2019

One of the most challenging engineering projects ever undertaken. Featuring the Panama Railroad, the French Panama Canal Project, and the U.S. Panama Canal project.

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The Annexation of Hawaii

July 2019

The controversial annexation of Hawaii to the United States. Featuring the overthrow of Queen Lili’uokalani, the Blount and Morgan reports, the Newlands Resolution, and more.

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The Trial of Susan B. Anthony

June 2019

The life,  arrest, and trial of Susan B. Anthony. Featuring her work in women’s suffrage, the United States v. Susan B. Anthony trial, Anthony’s famous speech, and her petition to Congress.

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The Lewis and Clark Expedition

May 2019

The trials and successes of the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Featuring Thomas Jefferson’s Louisiana Purchase, Sacagawea, and the journals and records of Lewis and Clark themselves.

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