The Gems of Record Group 242 – Foreign Records Seized

Today’s post comes from Sonia Kahn in the National Archives History Office. It is part one of a series on the history behind some of the seized foreign records housed at the National Archives. When you think of the holdings at the National Archives, it’s likely that three prominent documents immediately come to mind. After … Continue reading The Gems of Record Group 242 – Foreign Records Seized

Making It Official: The Day the Declaration of Independence Was Signed

Today’s post comes from Andrew Grafton in the National Archives History Office. Independence Day in the United States is celebrated on July 4, the day the Second Continental Congress ratified the Declaration of Independence. If you ask just about any American, they can correctly identify that date. What is less commonly known, however, is that … Continue reading Making It Official: The Day the Declaration of Independence Was Signed

John W. Carlin: Bringing the National Archives into the 21st Century

The National Archives was created on June 19, 1934. During the month of June, the National Archives History Office is sharing stories about the former Archivists of the United States. Today's post comes from Sarah Basilion. John W. Carlin was appointed eighth Archivist of the United States by President Bill Clinton in 1995 and served in … Continue reading John W. Carlin: Bringing the National Archives into the 21st Century

Protecting the Bill of Rights: the Mosler Vault

In April 1952 Congress ordered the Library of Congress to transfer the Declaration of Independence and Constitution to the National Archives. The two documents were to go on public display in the National Archives Building along with the Bill of Rights, which was already at the Archives. While the Archives exhibition hall had been specifically … Continue reading Protecting the Bill of Rights: the Mosler Vault

New Web Exhibit on the Freedom Train

For 18 months in the late 1940s, some of the nation’s most important historical documents toured the country in a traveling museum called the Freedom Train. The National Archives History Office has produced a new online exhibit on the Freedom Train, which is available in the Google Cultural Institute. Viewed by more than 3.5 million … Continue reading New Web Exhibit on the Freedom Train

Annual Birthday Party for the Declaration of Independence

Today’s post comes from Rebecca Brenner, an intern in the History Office at the National Archives in Washington, D.C. For almost a half-century, the National Archives has held an annual birthday party on July 4, at the document’s home at the National Archives in Washington, DC. This timeline marks the significant milestones in Archives Fourth … Continue reading Annual Birthday Party for the Declaration of Independence

The Great Seal: Celebrating 233 Years of a National Emblem

Today’s post comes from Meagan T. Frenzer, graduate research intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC. On June 20, 1782, the Confederation Congress approved and finalized the first Great Seal of the United States. The First Continental Congress in 1776 originally commissioned Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and John Adams to create a … Continue reading The Great Seal: Celebrating 233 Years of a National Emblem

The Articles of Association: Liberty through Economic Independence

Today’s post comes from Alley Marie Jordan, graduate research intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, D.C. In celebration of the Magna Carta’s 800th anniversary this year, the National Archives is exhibiting a seminal document on American political and economic liberties: the 1774 Articles of Association. The Articles of Association, written by the … Continue reading The Articles of Association: Liberty through Economic Independence

Carting the Charters

Visitors to downtown Washington, DC, on December 13, 1952, were treated to an interesting sight—armored vehicles escorted by a barrage of military and police personnel. It wasn’t a holiday or the Presidential motorcade or a visiting dignitary. On that chilly December morning, passersby saw the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States … Continue reading Carting the Charters

The burning of Washington

August 24, 2014, marks the 200th anniversary of the British burning of Washington during the War of 1812. In August 1814, British forces occupying the Chesapeake Bay began to sail up the Patuxent River in Maryland. Fearing an attack on the capital, Secretary of State James Monroe offered to scout the British position and report … Continue reading The burning of Washington