Update: For some reason it appears the Times has pulled this awesome research tool. I'll try to find out why.
The New York Times launched an amazing research tool, creating a great online browser for all their content from 1851-1922. The Times is also offering the data in API so that, if you can, you can create your own browser. The Times blog says:
"As part of eliminating TimeSelect, The New York Times has decided to make all the public domain articles from 1851-1922 available free of charge. These articles are all in the form of images scanned from the original paper. In fact from 1851-1980, all 11 million articles are available as images in PDF format. To generate a PDF version of the article takes quite a bit of work — each article is actually composed of numerous smaller TIFF images that need to be scaled and glued together in a coherent fashion."
If you do research - or are in any way in need of scanning the 1855 adverts for local New York haberdashers - this is not to be missed. Check out the TimesMachine. (There might be some kind of server problems right now.)
The article to the left references a large scale congressional investigation into lobbyist actions in an attempt to block President Woodrow Wilson's tariff bill, a key element of his New Freedom agenda. The investigation sought to discover if Senators had been bribed or received undue influence from these lobbyists and ultimately required every sitting Senator to testify to their personal finances, campaign contritbutions, and relationships with lobbyists and other company agents. This amounted to the first full disclosure by members of Congress in regards to the personal finances, their campaign contributors, and the nature of the lobby. A first for transparency in Congress.