Pictographs, Petroglyphs, “Rock Art,” What is the difference?

The National Archives is celebrating American Archives Month throughout October. Follow us on social media and share your archives stories using the hashtag #ArchivesMonth. Today's post comes from Larry Shockley, an archives specialist at the National Archives at College Park, MD.  The National Archives' holdings offer many keys to understanding our past. With a simple search … Continue reading Pictographs, Petroglyphs, “Rock Art,” What is the difference?

Woodstock: Three days of Peace, Music, and Toilets

Woodstock was a three-day music festival held in Bethel, New York, August 15–18, 1969. Plagued by poor planning and bad weather, the expected audience of 100,000 ballooned to over 400,000. There wasn’t enough food, water, or bathrooms, and frequent rains turned the festival’s picturesque farmland into a field of knee-deep mud. Though a logistical and … Continue reading Woodstock: Three days of Peace, Music, and Toilets

Facial Hair Friday: John Brown

Today is Facial Hair Friday, and we’re looking back at abolitionist John Brown. Today’s post comes from Vincent Bartholomew in the National Archives History Office. John Brown, ca. 1858. (National Archives Identifier 23855306) Abolitionist John Brown, who was previously clean shaven, grew a robust beard during his preparations for the raid on Harpers Ferry as … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: John Brown

The First Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Two hundred and thirty years ago on September 25, 1789, Congress passed the very first proposed amendments to the U.S. Constitution. Ten of these eventually became the Bill of Rights.   During the period of the ratification of the U.S. Constitution, one of the biggest criticisms of the document was that it lacked a bill of … Continue reading The First Amendments to the U.S. Constitution

Constitution Day 1985 and Ross Perot’s Magna Carta

Before David M. Rubenstein owned the 1297 Magna Carta, it belonged to Texas billionaire H. Ross Perot, who for decades generously loaned it to the National Archives. On September 17, 1985—Constitution Day—Perot came to the National Archives to visit his Magna Carta, and address new U.S. citizens. Sadly in July 2019, Ross Perot passed away at … Continue reading Constitution Day 1985 and Ross Perot’s Magna Carta

John Hancock and His Signature

Today's post comes from Michael Hancock of the National Archives History Office. Declaration of Independence in the National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. (Photo by Jeff Reed, National Archives) During my time working at the National Archives in Washington, DC, I often make it a point to visit the Rotunda at the end … Continue reading John Hancock and His Signature

Facial Hair Friday: Ansel Adams—Photographer of the American West

September 10, 2019, marks the 40th anniversary of Ansel Adams’s visit to the National Archives. Today's post comes from Vincent Bartholomew in the National Archives History Office. Ansel Adams visits the National Archives to look at some of his work, September 10, 1979. (Records of the National Archives) A keen landscape photographer, the always-bearded Adams … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Ansel Adams—Photographer of the American West

Pneumatic Tube Transport

Pneumatic tubes were once a ubiquitous feature of Federal buildings both in Washington, DC, and around the country. Eleanor Ernest taking a cylinder with telegrams from the pneumatic tube in which they have been sent across several blocks by air pressure, Washington, DC, June 1943. (Photo courtesy of the Library of Congress) The National Archives … Continue reading Pneumatic Tube Transport

Positives and Negatives

This post documents the survey of photographic materials for transfer from Federal agencies to the newly created National Archives in the mid-1930s. Surveys were conducted while the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, was still being constructed. Today’s post comes from Joseph Gillette, a processing archivist at the National Archives at College Park, MD. Between … Continue reading Positives and Negatives

Rightfully Hers: Woman Suffrage Before the 19th Amendment

Today’s post comes from Vincent Bartholomew in the National Archives History Office. In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, the National Archives exhibit Rightfully Hers: American Women and the Vote highlights activists’ relentless struggle to secure voting rights for all American women. While most Americans consider voting fundamental to the enjoyment of … Continue reading Rightfully Hers: Woman Suffrage Before the 19th Amendment