Mole in place at the Archives

Researching in original records often provides the researcher with surprises. Usually the surprise takes the form of an unknown letter, a reference to your topic in an unexpected place, or a lead that directs you to a new set of records to mine. Once in a great while, the surprise is something no one could … Continue reading Mole in place at the Archives

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

Thanksgiving, as American as apple pie

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. Here, in short, are the documents that made Thanksgiving. On October 3, 1789, President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789, as an official holiday of "sincere and humble thanks." The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving … Continue reading Thanksgiving, as American as apple pie

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

FHF: The Beard Gap

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. In the history of Presidential elections, there has never been a battle of the beards. Beards have challenged mustaches. Mustaches have challenged clean-shaven candidates. Clean-shaven candidates have challenged beards. But never in the history of our republic, have two bearded … Continue reading FHF: The Beard Gap

Before Playboy, there was Flossie

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. Sixteen-year-old boys loved her. Parents of 16-year-old boys did not. Yes, long before Hugh Hefner donned his trademark smoking jacket, before Larry Flynt shocked a nation with Hustler, there was Miss Flossie Lee. In the 1890s, the Augusta, Maine, entrepreneur ran … Continue reading Before Playboy, there was Flossie

Where was the Navy born?

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. Tomorrow there will be a spirited debate at the USS Constitution Museum in Boston, Massachusetts. The Archivist of the United States, David Ferriero, will be there. So will senior archivist Trevor Plante. They are convening at the museum that honors the … Continue reading Where was the Navy born?

Gesundheit!

Today's post comes from National Archives Office of Strategy and Communications staff writer Rob Crotty. When it comes to casualty statistics, we often compare wars. In World War II, it's estimated that 50 million were killed. During the Civil War, over a half million people lost their lives. In World War I, nearly 16 million were … Continue reading Gesundheit!