The period for a new election of a citizen to administer the executive government of the United States being not far distant, and the time actually arrived when your thoughts must be employed in designating the person who is to be clothed with that important trust…” — George Washington on leaving office
Patriotism and election fever is sweeping the country today. If you’re looking for something to do while waiting in line to vote, we suggest downloading the Manual for the United States of America.
The manual is actually a compendium of American documents: Declaration of Independence; U.S. Contstitution; Federalist Papers; Washington’s Farewell Address; Emancipation Proclamation; Gettysburg Address; United Nations Charter; Censure of Joseph McCarthy; 1963 Nuclear Test Ban Treaty; Indian Bill of Rights; 2001 Patriot Act; list of U.S. Presidents; list of U.S. States.
The manual is extremely intuitive and straightforward. It’s an easy-to-use tool that is simple enough for young students and informative enough for amateur history buffs. What I really like about this all-American app is that it goes beyond the “expected” historical documents with additional texts that are just as important to how we became a nation — and, as a nation, came of age. It provides an American time line using speeches and legal documents. Also, each document has interesting tid-bits in the notes section.
The only reason this app didn’t rate a perfect score is that for a text-based app it’s kind of a memory hog. The first time I fired up the app and started browsing, I received a message that the app was running low on memory. I ignored it at first without problems. But, after seeing the message 3 times, I decided a re-boot was in order. Restarting my iPhone made the message go away, but browsing for longer than a few minutes or looking at the “detail” view images brought the message back.
All in all, the Manual for the United States of America is an interesting collection in support of democracy. Election or not, you’ll probably want to keep this app around. After all, you never know when you’ll need to break out a copy of the Patriot Act.

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