Facial Hair Friday: Joseph Rainey the first African American in the House

  Joseph Rainey was distinguished in many ways—he was the first African American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives, the first African American to preside over the House of Representatives, and the longest–serving African American during Reconstruction. He also had pretty nice mutton chops. Rainey was born into slavery in 1832 in Georgetown, … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Joseph Rainey the first African American in the House

African American History at the National Archives

February is African American History Month! Visit the National Archives website to learn more about our many events and activities celebrating African American History. In the late 1960s the National Archives began hosting conferences for researchers and scholars. These were held on a variety of subjects, but all related to records held by the institution. The … Continue reading African American History at the National Archives

Poets for Every Age: American Poets and Writers

April is National Poetry Month, which celebrates the importance of poets and poetry. Today’s post comes from Thomas Richardson, an archives technician at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, Missouri. The United States has a rich literary history with some of the most prolific poets of the 19th and 20th centuries. Their writings … Continue reading Poets for Every Age: American Poets and Writers

Asian/Pacific American History: Learning our Legacy

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month. Visit the National Archives website to learn more about related records and resources. APA Heritage Month is an opportunity to…contribute to the wider understanding of what it means to be an American. – Alex Villaseran, archives technician and APA Unity co-chair Asian/Pacific American Heritage Month was … Continue reading Asian/Pacific American History: Learning our Legacy

“Forgotten Soldier” at American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

The exhibition Forgotten Soldier at the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown, Virginia features the “Inspection Roll of Negroes” from the holdings of the National Archives. Today’s post comes from Jim Zeender, senior registrar in the National Archives Exhibits Office. Mary Perth, Boston King, Moses Wilkinson, David George, and Harry Washington were among the thousands of … Continue reading “Forgotten Soldier” at American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

Caribbean American Heritage Month: Marcus Garvey

June is Caribbean American Heritage Month. Visit the National Archives website for more information on related holdings. Today’s post comes from Vincent Bartholomew from the National Archives History Office. Marcus Garvey envisioned a Pan-African and Black Nationalist movement and used the Black Star Line, a shipping corporation, to unite Africans in the U.S. and the … Continue reading Caribbean American Heritage Month: Marcus Garvey

Historic Staff Spotlight: Josef C. James

We are taking a look at past staff and their many contributions to the National Archives throughout history. Today’s staff spotlight is on Josef C. James, the first African American Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Josef C. James—his friends called him JC—was born in Ocala, Florida, in 1915 and grew up in … Continue reading Historic Staff Spotlight: Josef C. James

Historic Staff Spotlight: Robert L. Clarke

We are taking a look at past staff and their many contributions to the National Archives throughout its history. Today’s staff spotlight is Robert L. Clarke, who served as the first official Black History Specialist at the National Archives.   Robert Lewis Clarke was born in Orlando, Florida, on February 27, 1920. He graduated from … Continue reading Historic Staff Spotlight: Robert L. Clarke

Marian Anderson’s 1939 Easter Concert

We’re concluding Black History Month with a post on Marian Anderson from Adam Berenbak in the Center for Legislative Archives. For more information on resources related to African American History, visit the National Archives website. This petition was sent to the U.S. Senate in April of 1939 from the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. It requests that … Continue reading Marian Anderson’s 1939 Easter Concert

Historic Staff Spotlight: Lillian Grandy

We are taking a look at past staff and their many contributions to the National Archives throughout its history. Today’s staff spotlight is on Lillian Grandy, who began her National Archives career as a secretary and ended it as an exhibit specialist with a focus on Black history. Lillian Elizabeth Grandy (née Love) was born … Continue reading Historic Staff Spotlight: Lillian Grandy