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

Flight of a Sadako Crane

Today's post comes from Ben Jordi, Public Affairs Specialist in Strategy and Communications, at the National Archives in College Park, MD. Growing up, Clifton Truman Daniel never talked to his grandfather, Harry S. Truman, about his role in the war or the atomic bombings. “Our family met like any other family: on long weekends and … Continue reading Flight of a Sadako Crane

Ida Wilson Lewis, lighthouse keeper and fearless Federal worker

Today's post comes from Ashley Mattingly, who is an archivist at the National Archives at St. Louis, where she manages the collection of archival civilian personnel records. The most well-known lighthouse keeper in the world was an American woman who was a Federal civil servant. Ida Wilson Lewis, lighthouse keeper of Rhode Island, saved somewhere … Continue reading Ida Wilson Lewis, lighthouse keeper and fearless Federal worker

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

Mystery lady identified!

Alan Walker, an archivist in the Textual Processing unit in the National Archives at College Park, MD, just solved a mystery that staff have wondered about for many years. Mark down this auspicious date, for I shall reveal to you the identity of this longtime mystery woman. You've probably seen this photo many a time … Continue reading Mystery lady identified!

“I was a gunner and a gun captain on a 90MM-AAA gun during World War II…”

Today’s post comes from Alan Walker, archivist at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland. Now, maybe it's happened to you: that "needle in a haystack," "home run," unbelievable find that blew you away, and brought joy to a researcher. We archival folks live for that moment. Let me share with you one such moment … Continue reading “I was a gunner and a gun captain on a 90MM-AAA gun during World War II…”

A big cheese for the Big Cheese in 1837

In 1836, President Jackson accepted 1,400-pound wheel of cheese from Col. Thomas Meacham, a dairy farmer near Sandy Creek, NY. The cheese was mammoth, and it sat, ripening, in the White House for over a year. Eventually, Jackson invited everyone in Washington, DC, to stop by and help consume the massive wheel. He threw the … Continue reading A big cheese for the Big Cheese in 1837

Celebrating the life of an ancestor who was a “12 Years A Slave”

This past summer, Vera Williams attended her annual family reunion and Solomon Northup Day. The day honors her great-great-great grandfather, Solomon Northup, a free black man who was kidnapped and forced into slavery in 1841. When Northup escaped, he wrote a book about his experiences and—most shockingly for that era—took his kidnappers to trial. The … Continue reading Celebrating the life of an ancestor who was a “12 Years A Slave”

Tasty tidbits for your Thanksgiving table

The best thing about Thanksgiving is gathering around the table, stuffing your faces with turkey, and enjoying the pleasant and agreeable conversation with your extended family. Right? Well, to keep the happy conversation flowing, here's some fun facts about Thanksgiving to keep your family distracted from explosive topics (you know what they are at your … Continue reading Tasty tidbits for your Thanksgiving table

On display: Siamese-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce

The Siamese-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce is on display from September 20 to October 31, 2013, (new extended display time!) in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Today's post comes from education and exhibit specialist Michael Hussey. The start of official diplomacy between the United States of America and the Kingdom of Siam … Continue reading On display: Siamese-American Treaty of Amity and Commerce