Ten Most Popular “Pieces of History” of 2018

It’s hard to believe 2018 is nearly over! This year we have brought you nearly 100 posts, and below are the most viewed of the year.

We would like to give a big thank-you to the National Archives staff who work so hard to bring you information on what we do here at the National Archives. And a huge thank-you to all of you who share in our love of history—here’s to an even better 2019!

10. The Power of American Indian Boarding School Records

Gwen Granados highlights our holdings at the National Archives at Riverside including two of the Bureau of Indian Affairs largest off-reservation boarding schools: the Sherman Institute in Riverside, CA, and the Phoenix Indian School in Phoenix, AZ.

“First girl attendants on the day they were received after having been “changed,” June 19, 1923. (Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, National Archives)

9. The Lost Gift Stones of the Washington Monument

To celebrate our first President’s birthday, John Lockwood researched in the Records of the Office of Public Buildings and Public Parks of the National Capital to bring you an essay about the gift stones that didn’t make it into the building of the Washington Monument.

The replacement Pope’s stone, installed in 1982. (National Park Service)

8. Remembering Pearl Harbor: the Ni’ihau Incident

Marking the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack, Mike Hancock looks back at a lesser known incident that occurred as a consequence of the bombing.

Japanese naval aircraft prepare to take off from an aircraft carrier on their way to attack Pearl Harbor, 12/7/1941. (Records of the U.S. Navy, National Archives)

7. Alexander Hamilton, “I just need to write something down”

Promoting the three-month showing of Hamilton the musical in Washington, DC, and the National Archives special exhibit of Hamilton-related documents, Historian Jessie Kratz looks back on one of the last documents written by her “history crush,” Alexander Hamilton.

Featured Document - Alexander Hamilton
“Alexander Hamilton: An Inspiring Founding Father” exhibit in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives. The exhibit closed September 19, 2018.

6. LBJ and MLK

Wrapping up Black History Month, Madie Ward explored Martin Luther King, Jr., and President Lyndon B. Johnson’s relationship. The year also marked the 50th anniversary of King’s assassination.

President Lyndon B. Johnson meets with Civil Rights leaders including Martin Luther King. Jr., January 18, 1964. (Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library, National Archives)

5. Founding Fathers Faceoff

Emily Rollman’s announcement of 2018 #FoundersFaceOff champion John Adams was a big hit. The contest was an NCAA bracket-style challenge to determine the post popular signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Adams 900 x 450

4. Alexander Hamilton and the Constitution

It was a big year for Hamilton! In celebration of Constitution Day, Jessie Kratz highlighted Hamilton’s role in writing and ratifying the Constitution.

Alexander Hamilton. Painting by John Trumbull (copy). (Records of Commissions of the Legislative Branch, National Archives)

3. Unsung heroes of World War I: the carrier pigeons

In commemoration of the 100th anniversary of World War I, Garet Anderson-Lind shed light on the carrier pigeon’s role in helping the U.S. win the war.

Photograph of a mobile station that was used to house pigeons when they were deployed away from their home. (National Archives Identifier 17391470)

2. The National Archives and 1968: A Year of Triumph and Tragedy

Taking the silver medal is Kerri Lawrence’s post on the 50th anniversary of 1968—a year of turmoil and change.

Protesters and Chicago police officers in Grant Park, 8/28/1968. (National Archives Identifier 6210767)

1. Vietnam: The First Television War

And at the top spot we have Madie Ward’s post about why Vietnam is considered the first televised war. The post was inspired by the current National Archives exhibit, “Remembering Vietnam,” which closes on January 6, 2019.


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