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Today’s post is written by David Langbart. Public comment about what is now called the lack of transparency about U.S. foreign policy is not a new phenomenon. The issue goes back to at least World War II, if not before. Recognizing that it needed to better inform the public about its activities, in 1948, the Department […]
Posted by David Langbart on October 18, 2013, under Archives II, Civil Records, Reference.
The National Archives holds records relating to many firsts: First President. First airplane. First computer. First atomic bomb. First man on the moon. Here is another first. This is Lucile Atcherson. [Source: Lucile Atcherson; Official Personnel Folders-Department of State; Record Group 146: Records of the U.S. Civil Service Commission; National Archives, St. Louis, MO] The […]
Posted by David Langbart on September 9, 2013, under Civil Records, NARA beyond DC/MD.
Today’s post is written by David Langbart. To a large degree, working with the records at the National Archives is a never-ending series of fascinating encounters with the original documentation of U.S. history. The following document, a memorandum of conversation (memcon) drafted by Secretary of State John Foster Dulles in January 1954, gives an idea […]
The motto of the National Archives is “What is Past Is Prologue.” Recently, while assisting a researcher at Archives II, I ran into my Dad, even though he died several years ago. A bit of background will help you understand. My father’s first Government service, like most in his generation, came in the military during […]
Posted by David Langbart on February 25, 2013, under Civil Records, History, Researchers, The Process.
From time to time while working in the records, NARA staff find documents that provide new perspectives on events through which they lived. I recently had that experience. I remember well the terrible humanitarian disaster that befell local populations as Yugoslavia ripped itself apart during the 1990s. I remember, too, how many commentators expressed surprise […]
Posted by David Langbart on January 23, 2013, under Archives II, Civil Records, History, The Process.