New York City U.S. Custom House Employee: Matthew Henson

Today’s post comes from Dorothy Dougherty, Programs Director at the National Archives at New York City. Matthew Henson, the famous African American explorer, worked nearly 20 years with Admiral Robert Peary exploring the Arctic. On April 6, 1909, Henson and Peary successfully made it to the North Pole, where Henson is credited with placing the U.S. … Continue reading New York City U.S. Custom House Employee: Matthew Henson

Facial Hair Friday: Duke Ellington

April is Jazz Appreciation Month, and today’s Facial Hair Friday honors Washington, DC’s very own mustachioed jazz man: Duke Ellington.  Born Edward Kennedy Ellington on April 29, 1899, in Washington, DC, Duke Ellington was the greatest jazz composer, pianist, and bandleader of his time. His career spanned more than six decades during which he composed … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Duke Ellington

Mae Jemison: First Black Woman in Space

March is Women’s History Month. Visit the National Archives website for resources related to women’s history. Today's post comes from Dena Lombardo, an intern in the Public and Media Communications office. When the space shuttle Endeavour blasted off on its second mission in 1992, it carried the first African American woman into space. But Mae … Continue reading Mae Jemison: First Black Woman in Space

Unratified Amendments: Regulating Child Labor

This is the fourth installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the Progressive Era to regulate child labor. During the Progressive Era, muckraking journalists and photographers drew public attention to a myriad of America’s social problems, one of them being the exploitation of children. Perhaps most … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Regulating Child Labor

Teacher, Principal, and Inventor Clarissa Britain

To commemorate National Women’s Inventor’s Month and celebrate women innovators, we are highlighting Civil War–era inventor Clarissa Britain. Britain secured patents for seven inventions within 18 months. Today's post comes from Jen Johnson, curator at the National Archives at Kansas City. Britain's Patent No. 40,157, Improvements in boilers, October 6, 1863. (Records of the Patent and … Continue reading Teacher, Principal, and Inventor Clarissa Britain

Facial Hair Friday: Mary Ritter Beard

In celebration of Women’s History Month today’s Facial Hair Friday is in honor of a Beard: Mary Ritter Beard to be exact.  Mary Ritter Beard was a historian, author, woman suffrage activist, social reformer, and archivist! Born Mary Ritter in 1876, in Indianapolis, Indiana, she met future husband Charles Austin Beard while attending college. After … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Mary Ritter Beard

The Gridlock of Racial Segregation: When the Light Turns from Brown to Green

In celebration of Black History Month, we are taking a look at the landmark case Green v. New Kent County. Today’s post comes from Michael J. Hancock, archives technician at the National Archives at College Park, MD. There was a time when “freedom of choice” was no choice at all. After the landmark case Brown … Continue reading The Gridlock of Racial Segregation: When the Light Turns from Brown to Green

Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

This is the third installment of a series about unratified constitutional amendments. Today we’re looking at an amendment proposed during the lead-up to the U.S. Civil War that would have protected the institution of slavery. When the second session of the 36th Congress convened in late 1860, the issue of slavery had grown increasingly divisive, … Continue reading Unratified Amendments: Protection of Slavery

Marjorie S. Joyner: More than an Inventor

Marjorie S. Joyner’s patent is on display as the National Archives Museum’s Featured Document celebrating National Women's Inventors Month through March 18. Today's post comes from Jen Johnson, a curator at the National Archives at Kansas City. Born in 1896 in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Marjorie Stewart and her family moved to Ohio, then … Continue reading Marjorie S. Joyner: More than an Inventor

Facial Hair Friday: the First President Not Clean-shaven

Every February we celebrate Presidents Day (the Federal holiday is really George Washington’s Birthday, but I’ll never win that battle). So, today’s Facial Hair Friday is all about the first President with facial hair: John Quincy Adams.  John Quincy Adams, undated. (National Archives Identifier 528668) John Quincy Adams was the sixth President of the United … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: the First President Not Clean-shaven