May 31, 1913
May 31, 1913 marks the day that William Jennings Bryan announced the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. From this point forward, United States Senators would no longer be elected by their respective state legislatures. Instead, they would be elected by popular vote.
Looking back from our vantage point, the change seems simple enough...logical enough. The controversy surrounding the Seventeenth Amendment, however, caused a "few" years to pass from the initial conversations to the actual ratification. In fact, it was debated first somewhere around the year 1787 by a Scottish-born man named James Wilson. Mr. Wilson was not only a member of the Constitutional Convention, he was one of the first six Supreme Court Justices appointed by George Washington.