Category Archives: Uncategorized

Inventing in Congress: Patent Law since 1790

Today’s post comes from Samantha Payne, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC.  In August 1791, two men received identical patents from the Federal Government. John Fitch and James Rumsey claimed to have invented the same technology: a … Continue reading

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Congress Counts: History of the U.S. Census

Today’s post comes from Samantha Payne, intern in the Center for Legislative Archives in Washington, DC.  The Constitution requires that Congress conduct a census every 10 years to determine the representation of each state in the  House of Representatives. When the authors … Continue reading

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150th Anniversary of the Freedman’s Bank

Today’s post was written by Damani Davis, reference archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. On March 3, 2015, the National Archives will commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Freedman’s Savings & Trust Company, better known as the “Freedman’s … Continue reading

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A look back at 2014

What a year! Here’s some of the highlights of the last 12 months of the National Archives that we shared on our blog. Thanks for reading in 2014–we’ll see you in 2015 with more pieces of history! The National Archives turned … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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A WASP’s Story

Today’s post comes from Ashley Mattingly, an archivist at the National Archives in St. Louis. The year was 1943, and Elizabeth “Betty” Maxine Chambers was a young mother and a widow. Betty’s husband, Army pilot Lt. Robert William Chambers, had … Continue reading

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No Thanks…

With Thanksgiving just two days away, this cartoon reminded residents of the nation’s capital of one reason not to be thankful in 1921—the high cost of living in the United States. Prices had spiraled upward in the years following World … Continue reading

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Laying the cornerstone for the FDR Library

On November 19, 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt laid the cornerstone of the Roosevelt Library and Museum in Hyde Park, NY—the first Presidential library within the National Archives. In front of an estimated 1,000 onlookers, Roosevelt placed inside the cornerstone … Continue reading

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Was Harding’s mistress a spy? The National Archives knows and tells.

Today’s post comes from Miriam Kleiman of the National Archives Public Affairs Staff. I’ve worked at the National Archives for many years and have always been content with our 13 Presidential libraries (Hoover through Bush 43). Sure, I’ve thought wistfully … Continue reading

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The Ike Jacket

Today’s post comes from Timothy Rives, deputy director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. In honor of Veterans Day and those who have worn a uniform while serving their country, here’s the story behind the famous jacket now on … Continue reading

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