Today's post comes from Emma Rothberg, intern in the National Archives History Office. Tucked in a corner in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery at the National Archives in Washington, DC, is a rectangular piece of paper faded grey with time. It is unobtrusive and, due to its small size, could easily be missed among the larger … Continue reading On Exhibit: John Wilkes Booth’s Calling Card
The Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, has housed some famous and infamous inmates, such as “Birdman of Alcatraz” Robert Stroud and Machine Gun Kelly. In the early 20th century, the prison took in some less likely felons—violators of the Oleomargarine Act of 1886. How did trafficking in this popular butter substitute become a Federal offense? … Continue reading What’s Cooking Wednesdays: Crimes against butter
Someone who read my post on Squirrel Appreciation Day alerted me to World Sparrow Day, which was Sunday, March 20. This inspired me to dive back into Online Public Access (OPA) on the National Archives web site. I typed in "sparrow," and amid many references to the U.S. Marines, missiles, and Sparrows Point shipyard were a couple of photographs of the … Continue reading Roosting in the records
Congratulations to Dave M! Our guest judge Lynn Bassanese of the Roosevelt Presidential Library chose your caption, as FDR "was a real Navy man and enjoyed an occasional cocktail so we think he would approve of our choice." It's unlikely President Roosevelt would have enjoyed the wartime cocktail being ladled out, though. The original caption … Continue reading Thursday’s Caption Contest
Here at Prologue: Pieces of History, we have Facial Hair Friday. On the Harry S. Truman Library's Facebook page, they celebrate Millinery Monday! When I was very little, I loved poking through my mother's old hatboxes stored in the basement. Alas, the era of wearing hats for every occasion had passed, but she had saved her … Continue reading Hats off to Bess Truman!
The work the National Archives Preservation staff does every day is hardly "everyday." A recent post about Hawaii's petition for statehood on the Preservation Program's Facebook page demonstrated this fact. This preservation project stemmed from a request from our Center for Legislative Archives. Each archival unit creates annual and long-term preservation plans, and the Center's … Continue reading Aloha treatment for a 1954 Hawaii petition
After a brief hiatus, Facial Hair Friday is back with a special Valentine's week post! When Senator Thomas Hart Benton of Missouri wanted to encourage Americans to emigrate to the west as part of the Manifest Destiny movement, he decided that eyewitness descriptions of the landscape were necessary. So in 1842, Benton sent off his son-in-law … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Grow West, young man!
Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. In the summer of 1942, the Allies' war against Japan was in dire straits. China was constantly battling the occupying Japanese forces in its homeland, supplied by India via the Burma Road. Then Japan severed that supply artery. Planes were … Continue reading The OSS and the Dalai Lama
"Charge 1 . . . Gross neglect of Duty." "Charge 2 . . . Disobedience of Orders." On January 28, 1831, a court-martial convened at the U.S. Military Academy found the defendant guilty of these charges and "adjudg[ed] that the Cadet E. A. Poe be dismissed." So ended Edgar Allan Poe's short career at West … Continue reading Edgar Allan Poe’s military career? Nevermore!
Martin Luther King, Jr., would have been 82 on January 15, and yesterday we observed the national holiday in his honor. The above photograph shows a January 18, 1964, White House meeting between four civil rights leaders—Roy Wilkins, James Farmer, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Whitney Young—and President Lyndon Johnson. A civil rights bill was stuck in the … Continue reading January 18, 1964 – Martin Luther King, Jr. & LBJ