A Trip to Williamsburg

Today's post comes from Jim Zeender, Senior Registrar in the National Archives Exhibits Program in Washington, DC.  In early September I had the pleasure of taking a train to Williamsburg, Virginia. I have taken trains to Philadelphia, New York, and New Haven numerous times. Overseas, I have been on trains in England, France, Austria and Switzerland. … Continue reading A Trip to Williamsburg

On Exhibit: An Act to establish the NMAAHC

The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) officially opens on September 24, 2016, on the National Mall. It is the 19th and newest Smithsonian Institution museum and is devoted to documenting African American life, history, and culture. The museum was established by a December 16, 2003, act of Congress, but efforts to create … Continue reading On Exhibit: An Act to establish the NMAAHC

The 1986 Immigration Act and My Lifetime Relationship with the Lincoln Cottage

Today's post comes from Jim Zeender, Registrar on the National Archives Exhibits Staff.  On June 1, my colleagues Alexis Hill, Warren Halsey, and I culminated about nine months of work with a visit to the Lincoln Cottage on the grounds of the Old Soldiers Home. Terry Boone and Bill Nenichka had participated in previous trips. A … Continue reading The 1986 Immigration Act and My Lifetime Relationship with the Lincoln Cottage

What is Loyalty?: David Patterson’s Oath of Office

Today’s post comes from Christine Blackerby, Outreach Specialist in the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC. Could a person who had sworn an oath to the Confederacy later loyally serve the United States? One hundred and fifty years ago, the U.S. Senate wrestled with this question for the first time. When states … Continue reading What is Loyalty?: David Patterson’s Oath of Office

Amending America: the 14th Amendment

Join one of the “Amending America” exhibit curators Christine Blackerby for a Facebook Live video on the  Huffington Post Politics page. On July 9, 1868, the Fourteenth amendment to the U.S. Constitution became law. It is arguably the most important of the 27 amendments. The amendment originated after the Civil War when Congress attempted to pass … Continue reading Amending America: the 14th Amendment

On Exhibit: Abolishing Slavery

On December 6, 1865, with Georgia’s ratification of the 13th Amendment, slavery throughout the United States became illegal. Just a few years earlier, in 1861, Ohio Representative Thomas Corwin proposed—and both Houses of Congress passed—a constitutional amendment that would have done the exact opposite. Corwin’s amendment read, "No amendment shall be made to the Constitution which … Continue reading On Exhibit: Abolishing Slavery

National Archives commemorates Memorial Day with video

To commemorate Memorial Day, the National Archives has released a short video about the importance of the holiday. Timed for the 150th anniversary of President Abraham Lincoln’s death and the upcoming sesquicentennial of the 1866 founding of the Grand Army of the Republic (the fraternal organization of Union Civil War veterans), the National Archives created … Continue reading National Archives commemorates Memorial Day with video

Ending the Bloodshed: The Last Surrenders of the Civil War

This post was originally published as an article by Trevor Plante in the Spring 2015 issue of Prologue magazine. Trevor K. Plante is chief of the Reference Services Branch at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. He is a supervisory archivist who specializes in 19th- and early 20th-century military records and is an active lecturer and a frequent … Continue reading Ending the Bloodshed: The Last Surrenders of the Civil War

On Exhibit: Report concerning the death of Abraham Lincoln

Today's post comes from Zach Kopin, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC. On March 4, 1865, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his second inaugural address at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, DC. Dr. Charles A. Leale, a doctor and army surgeon in town from New York, listened with rapt attention to … Continue reading On Exhibit: Report concerning the death of Abraham Lincoln

An airing of grievances: A pension clerk’s appeal

In honor of Festivus, this seems like the perfect document for the airing of grievances. This feature was originally published in Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives (Summer 2013). At the National Archives, and almost any other archival institution, one of the principal rules for using original records is to keep the records in the same order … Continue reading An airing of grievances: A pension clerk’s appeal