Today’s Document from the National Archives

Document for January 16th:
An Act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States (Pendleton Act), January 16, 1883


Pendleton Act

An Act to regulate and improve the civil service of the United States, January 16, 1883; Enrolled Acts and Resolutions of Congress, 1789-1996; General Records of the United States Government; Record Group 11; National Archives.

Following the assassination of President James A. Garfield by a disgruntled job seeker, Congress passed the Pendleton Act, establishing a merit-based system of selecting government officials and supervising their work. It was signed into law on January 16, 1883, by President Chester A. Arthur, who had become an ardent reformer after Garfield’s assassination.

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Yesterday's document: January 15th
Portrait of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Tomorrow's document: January 17th
Farewell address by President Eisenhower

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