Waiting All Night for a Look at History

Americans are used to waiting in line for things they really want: tickets to a rock concert, a World Series game or a controversial new movie, for example. At the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan, this week some people  waited all night for a brief look at one of the nation's most historic documents --- the … Continue reading Waiting All Night for a Look at History

Lincoln to slaves: go somewhere else

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. The issue of slavery divided the country under Abraham  Lincoln's Presidency. The national argument was simple: either keep slavery or abolish it. But Abraham Lincoln, known as the Great Emancipator, may have also been known as the Great Colonizer when … Continue reading Lincoln to slaves: go somewhere else

The Medal of Honor

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. According to Army Regulation 670-1, a soldier can now receive 31 military decorations "as a distinctively designed mark of honor denoting heroism, or meritorious or outstanding service or achievement." During the Civil War, there was only one: the Medal of … Continue reading The Medal of Honor

Rare photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. In 1952, the chief of the Still Photo section at the National Archives, Josephine Cobb, discovered a glass plate negative taken by Mathew Brady of the speaker's stand at Gettysburg on the day of its dedication as a National Cemetery. … Continue reading Rare photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg

The must-have Christmas gift of 1864

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. Each year in America it seems there is one holiday gift that is heavy on demand and short on supply. In 1996, there was the Tickle-Me-Elmo fiasco. In 1983, it was the Cabbage Patch Doll. In 1864, the gift of … Continue reading The must-have Christmas gift of 1864

Facial Hair Friday: Civil War Beards on Film

Yesterday was Veterans Day, and many of my friends on Facebook posted tributes to their family and friends, usually mentioning their grandfathers who fought in World War II. Now, World War II was over 60 years ago, but I personally know WWII vets—my own grandfather and great-uncle. And my father knew family members who were … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Civil War Beards on Film

The peculiar story of Wilmer McLean

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. Today Part Two of "Discovering the Civil War" opens at the National Archives in Washington, DC. The exhibit is divided into a few sections, the last of which is entitled "Endings and Beginnings," a reference to the end of the … Continue reading The peculiar story of Wilmer McLean

Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in the same photo

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. History is full of strange coincidences, and the Civil War is no exception. In the 1950s, Stefan Lorant was researching a book on Abraham Lincoln when he came across an image of the President's funeral procession as it moved down … Continue reading Teddy Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln in the same photo

Is West Virginia Constitutional?

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. On the creation of new states, the Constitution is pretty clear. Article IV, Section 3, reads that "no new States shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State ... without the Consent of the Legislatures of … Continue reading Is West Virginia Constitutional?

Facial Hair Friday: By Request

At least three colleagues here at the National Archives and one commenter have mentioned Horace Greeley as a candidate for the spotlight here at Facial Hair Friday. And upon looking him up and letting out a strangled gasp, I had to agree that his facial hair is indeed worthy of a blog post. I'm not sure that … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: By Request