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An Archives Filled with Firsts

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 […]

Why working at the National Archives is so interesting

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 […]

A personal prologue at the National Archives

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 […]

Yugoslavia 1970: The Writing on the Wall

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 […]

Remembering Dave Brubeck

Jazz great Dave Brubeck died on December 5, one day short of his 92nd birthday.  Since then, there have been many retrospectives – in print, on television, on radio, and on line.  Almost all of those remembrances mention the goodwill tour of Poland and the Far East that Brubeck and his quartet made in 1958 […]

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