J. Franklin Jameson: the Father of the National Archives

Today’s post comes from Elle Benak from the National Archives History Office. On December 28, 1955, the American Historical Association dedicated a plaque to J. Franklin Jameson, noting his “persistence and wise guidance” in establishing the National Archives. The plaque still hangs on the wall in the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance of the National Archives Building … Continue reading J. Franklin Jameson: the Father of the National Archives

Featured Document: A Right to a Fair Trial

Gideon v. Wainwright (1963), is the landmark the Supreme Court decision that requires states to provide defense attorneys for criminal defendants who can’t afford them. The case centers on Clarence Earl Gideon, a poor drifter with an eighth-grade education. Gideon was arrested in 1961 for allegedly breaking into pool hall and stealing money and alcohol. … Continue reading Featured Document: A Right to a Fair Trial

Bill of Rights Day

December 15 is Bill of Rights Day which commemorates the ratification of the first ten amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  As we celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights on December 15—Bill of Rights Day—let’s take a look back at the origins and history of that day. On December 15, 1791, the first 10 amendments … Continue reading Bill of Rights Day

Human Rights for all

December 10 is Human Rights Day, commemorating the date the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948. The United Nations was formed in 1945 to prevent the atrocities that occurred during World War II from ever happening again. One of their primary goals was, "promoting and encouraging respect for … Continue reading Human Rights for all

The Day of Infamy Speech: Well-Remembered but Still Missing

Today's post comes from Jim Worsham, editor of Prologue, the quarterly magazine of the National Archives. As news emerged of the Japanese sneak attacks on Pearl Harbor and other U.S. installations in the Pacific 75 years ago, President Franklin D. Roosevelt began writing the speech he would give to Congress the next day. The news was bad, … Continue reading The Day of Infamy Speech: Well-Remembered but Still Missing

The Last Living Doolittle Raider: Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole

Today's post comes from Kimberlee Ried, public programs specialist at the National Archives at Kansas City. Research was provided by Michael Tarabulski, archivist at the National Archives at St. Louis. The 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, is today. For those who fought in World War II, they likely had no idea … Continue reading The Last Living Doolittle Raider: Lt. Col. Richard “Dick” Cole

The National Archives Response to Pearl Harbor

The December 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor not only plunged the United States into world war, but it also had far-reaching ramifications for every single government agency, including the National Archives. Immediately after Pearl Harbor, the National Archives made extensive plans to protect the nation’s records against the threats of war. The National Archives Building, … Continue reading The National Archives Response to Pearl Harbor