Illuminating the National Archives

This photo from August 29, 1954, shows the National Archives Building lit up for the very first time, its beautiful columns and attic story glowing while onlookers gather to witness the occasion. Surprisingly, while other Washington, DC, landmarks were illuminated, the National Archives stood dark every night for the first 19 years it was open. … Continue reading Illuminating the National Archives

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

Surrender? Nuts!

On Victory in Europe (V-E) Day, May 8, 1945, Nazi Germany officially surrendered to the Allied Forces at the end of World War II. That same day in the United States, President Harry S. Truman issued a proclamation announcing the war in Europe had ended. Soon after, Archivist of the United States Solon Buck and President … Continue reading Surrender? Nuts!

Symbols of Significance: The Pediments of the National Archives Building

October is American Archives Month! To celebrate the month dedicated to all things archives, we will feature weekly posts on the history of the National Archives. Today’s post comes from Christina James, intern in the National Archives History Office. Measuring 118 feet wide and 18 feet high at their peaks, the pediments on the north and south sides of … Continue reading Symbols of Significance: The Pediments of the National Archives Building

Doors of Monumental Proportions

Today’s post comes from Jessie Kratz, Historian of the National Archives. On June 24 the National Archives celebrates its 80th anniversary. If you have ever visited the National Archives in Washington, DC, you may have noticed two very, very large bronze doors that mark the original Constitution Avenue entrance to the building. Visitors enter through the … Continue reading Doors of Monumental Proportions