This self portrait, with carefully groomed mustache in the center, is a glamorous photo of a hardworking, groundbreaking photographer. James Stephen "Steve" Wright was from a working-class family in Washington, DC. By the 1940s he was head of photographic operations for the Federal Works Agency. But like many young black men at the time, he … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Portrait of the Artist with a Mustache
Today's post comes from Nikita Buley, an intern in the National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications. In the late 1700s, as Americans fought for their independence, most men were clean-shaven. As we moved into the 1800s, however, facial hair—elaborate facial hair, at that—came back into style. Despite this shift, many men remained clean-shaven. A … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: The Curiously Facial Hairless Members of Lincoln’s Cabinet
It was a long, hard journey to the United States in the early 20th century, but even a successful voyage did not guarantee that the immigrant would be able to enter or stay. Deportation was a threat. When immigrants were deported, it could be because of serious crime like murder or petty crime like theft. … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Mustaches and Moral Turpitude
Don't be fooled by the sleepy demeanor of this mustachioed man. It's 1933, and the world is changing. And the Federal Government would be recording these changes on April 1, 1940. Over 120,000 enumerators would fan out across 48 states and 2 territories, with copies of this Federal Decennial Census Population Schedule. They would use … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: The Enumerated Mustache
Happy St. Patrick's Day! With all the hoopla over the upcoming release of the 1940 census on April 2, we haven't really been thinking about facial hair all that much. But then fellow National Archives staff member Jeannie (of the OurPresidents tumblr blog) sent me this photograph, and genealogy, facial hair, and St. Patrick's Day all … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: When Irish mustaches are smiling
Today's guest post comes from Tammy Kelly at the Truman Presidential Library. This week’s Facial Hair Friday photo is a most unexpected person: Harry S. Truman, before he became President! At the Truman Library, we know of only two photographs of Truman wearing any kind of facial hair, so this is a rare photo, indeed. … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: A Letter from Hairy Harry
It's the most wonderful time of the year! No, I don't mean the frenzied season of gift-giving. I'm talking about November, the month when several of your friends who have maintained clean-shaven faces suddenly begin to grow mustaches. If you love facial hair, this is your time. Yes, it's Movember! The month when men grow mustaches to … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Movember
We may be a litttle short-staffed on this quasi-holiday, but I couldn't let Facial Hair Friday go by without a nod to some historic beards. Today's honoree is Gen. Albion P. Howe, veteran of the Mexican War and the Civil War. When a captain in the U.S. Army, Howe served under Col. Robert E. Lee at … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: “Howe” do they do it?
In honor of Bastille Day earlier this week, we present a French "moustache." This moustache decorates the face of General Giraud, here seen out walking in the gardens of the cliffside fortress Konigstein, where he was held as a POW by the Germans. He was captured in May of 1940 and escaped two years later. … Continue reading Facial Hair Friday: Daring escapes from Nazi prisons!