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Airplanes filled the sky over Normandy, France, on June 6, 1944.  D-Day.  Some planes dropped bombs; some planes towed gliders; some planes dropped paratroopers; some planes dropped . . . paper.  Paper in the form of propaganda leaflets.  The propaganda was aimed both at the French and at the Germans.

Two days after D-Day, William Phillips, then working in the U.S. Embassy in London, sent his colleague James Clement Dunn, Director of the Office of European Affairs in the Department of State, copies of several of those leaflets (now found in file 811.20200/6-844 of the Central Decimal Files, 1940-1944, NAID 302021).  Two examples of the leaflets follow.

The first example, addressed to the “Citizens of France” by Dwight D. Eisenhower as Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, informs them that “The day of deliverance is coming.”  Among other things, this leaflet states (translated from selected portions of the text):

-We will destroy the Nazi tyranny root and branch, so that the people of Europe are reborn in liberty.

-The courage and the immense sacrifice of millions who fought under the banner of the Resistance have already contributed to the success of our arms.

(Continuing translated text):

-The presence of the enemy among you has imposed the tragic necessity of aerial bombing and military and naval operations that have caused you so much loss and suffering. You have accepted these sacrifices with courage and in the heroic tradition of France, as it was the inevitable cost to which we all had to consent to achieve our goal: liberty.

-I am counting on your help for the definitive crushing of Hitlerite Germany and for the restoration of traditional French liberty.

-Once victory is won and France is liberated from the oppressor, the French people will be free to choose, as soon as possible under democratic methods, the government under which they want to live.

-The enemy will fight with the courage of despair. He will employ all means – no matter how cruel – to try to block our progress. But our cause is just, our arms powerful.  With our valorous Russian allies, we march towards certain victory.

The second example is aimed at German troops.  The front says “Four Front War” and illustrates the existence of the four fronts: the Eastern front (“Ostfront”), the Southern front (“Sudfront”), the Home front (“Heimatfront”), and the Western front (“Westfront”).  Note how the arrow showing the Cross-Channel attack points to Calais, not Normandy, apparently as part of the continuing misinformation campaign aimed at diverting German attention away from the primary landing area.


“Four Front War”



The second page says “East front . . . . Home front . . . . South front . . . . and now West front.”  The numbered paragraphs describe the reverses befalling Germany on the three fronts listed.  The leaflet closes with:







“Four Front War” reverse



Source and Notes:

William Phillips to James C. Dunn, June 8, 1944, file 811.20200/6-844, 1940-44 Central Decimal File, Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.

I thank my colleagues Ashby Crowder and Sylvia Naylor who provided the translations of the documents used to prepare this post.

The Historical Office at the Department of State recently published a history of the documentary publication now referred to as Foreign Relations of the United States (FRUS).  The book, entitled Toward “Thorough, Accurate, and Reliable:” A History of the Foreign Relations of the United States Series, also is available online.  The history describes the origins and evolution of the series and includes information on the production of the volumes.

A recently found document provides a good illustration of the early 20th century production process.  The FRUS volume for 1908 included Despatch No. 265 from the U.S. Embassy in St. Petersburg, Russia.  In that despatch, Secretary of Embassy Montgomery Schuyler reported the signing of a convention relating to the preservation of peace in the Baltic region.  The image below is how the document appeared in its published form.  While marked as an extract, there is nothing to indicate how much of the document is not included:


The original document follows.  As you can see, it is marked for the typesetter.  The word “Extract” is penciled in at the top of the first page, and directions to omit the final four paragraphs are penciled in the left margin of each page.  Finally, the document is stamped to indicate that it was published in the 1908 FRUS.

From the perspective of over 100 years, it seems clear that the more interesting parts of the despatch, the Ambassador’s analysis, were omitted.  But given that the volume was issued less than 4 years after the date of the document, that information was considered too sensitive for public release and only the fact of the signing of the convention could be published.

Today, of course, the producers of FRUS in the Historical Office compile and produce a manuscript from copies of the documents, so the originals will not include publication markings.  More importantly, when excisions are made in documents, readers are informed of the amount of text (number of lines or pages) that is omitted.


Source: Despatch No. 265, from Embassy Russia, April 25, 1908, Numerical File 25818, Record Group 59: General Records of the Department of State, National Archives.  Also available on roll 1172 of National Archives Microfilm Publication M862.


Today’s post was written by Cody White, Archivist at the National Archives at Denver.

On February 28th, 1876, four Crow Indians enlisted in the U.S. Army as Indian Scouts at Fort Ellis Montana. Those four men: Curly, Goes Ahead, White Man Runs Him, and Hairy Moccasin, were under the command of Colonel Gibbons when on June 21, 1876 near Rosebud, Montana, they were turned over to Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer. The rest, as they say, is history.

With the battle (of Little Bighorn, or Greasy Grass) behind them, the four men returned to the Crow Indian Reservation to live out their lives, as one sees when working in the Crow Indian Agency files contained within Record Group 75 at the National Archives at Denver. Record Group 75, Records of the Bureau of Indian Affairs, is a rich collection that often paints a full, cradle-to-grave snapshot of Native American life. These diverse documents chronicle the work of the agencies managing Indian reservations across the country. To demonstrate this, let us examine the historical record of Hairy Moccasin following that fateful afternoon Custer ordered him away before the famous last stand.

We first catch up with Hairy Moccasin 15 years later in an 1891 tribal census from the Census Rolls and Tribal Enumerations, 1889-1920 (NAID 1756288). He is married to Quick and the pair have two sons – Fire Head and Kills the Mud Thrower. Quick’s 70 year old mother also lives with them.

1 (Census, series NAID 1756231)-res

Detail of 1891 Tribal Census, Household of Hairy Moccasin


As the records show, the next ten years would be a tumultuous time for the young family. In the below entry from the series Registers of Indians by Families, 1901-1904 (NAID 1184790), 48 year old Hairy Moccasin is now listed alone with two different children. According to birth and death registers also maintained by the agency, both Fire Head and Kills the Mud Thrower passed away in 1893. Quick gave birth to Bird Eggs and Mary Hairy Moccasin before her own death on August 16, 1901 at the age of 40. The tragedies seemed to pile on as Hairy Moccasin lost his new daughter on March 7, 1902, followed by the death of Bird Eggs on October 1, 1903. Within 12 months of this 1902 family register entry, Hairy Moccasin was all alone.

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Detail, 1902 Family Registry



Five years later Hairy Moccasin filed claim on a parcel of reservation land, as noted in this reservation tract book (from the series Tract Books, 1884-1907, NAID 1910428). The patent was granted in December 1907 and later records will indicate he remained a farmer for the rest of his life.

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Detail, Reservation Tract Book


From a 1912 ledger in the Allotment Registers, 1907-1922 (NAID 1803560) we see an example of Hairy Moccasin’s “signature.” In the early 20th century it was found that many American Indians who could not write did not feel the traditional marking of an “X” was definite, personal, or binding when signing documents; as a result, the Bureau of Indian Affairs switched to using an individual’s thumbprint in some situations.

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“signature” of Hairy Moccasin in an Allotment Register, 1912


In 1921 the Crow Indian Agency took an interest in ensuring that the veterans of the Indian Wars were accorded any due benefits and a flurry of correspondence over the next 20 years was sent between Montana and Washington DC – such as this 1921 letter from the Correspondence Files, 1910-1958 (NAID 1135936) discussing the pension applications of the scouts still alive, including Hairy Moccasin.

5 (Letter, series NAID 1135936)-res

Letter from the Crow Agency to Byington & Wilson, December 5, 1921


Any relief Hairy Moccasin might have received from a military pension was short lived, however, as only 11 months later he succumbed to tuberculosis at the age of 68. We also note here that at some point he remarried, now leaving behind a widow named Strikes First.

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Death Certificate of Hairy Moccassin, 1922, Correspondence Files (NAID 1135936)

Even after death the record trail continues as the Crow Indian Agency approved, recorded, and saved wills of tribal members. Here is the final will of Hairy Moccasin, disposing of his land, horses, and finances (Copies of Wills and other Heirship Documents, 1911-1939, NAID 1807683).  While we now recognize Strikes First as the widow, there is nothing here indicating the relation, if any, of the other three beneficiaries.

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Will of Hairy Moccasin


This is just one of the many stories that can be found in Record Group 75. Recognizing the tremendous historical value of these records, National Archives Research Services staff across the country have been working on a multiyear project to create a new website better detailing these holdings nationwide and how to find them. To access the website and learn more information about American Indian holdings at the National Archives, check out the webpage Researching American Indians and Alaska Natives.

In April of this year, Japan’s Prime Minister, Shinzo Abe, made a state visit to the United States.  In June 1957, Abe’s grandfather, Nobusuke Kishi, then Japan’s prime minister, made a similar visit to the United States.  That visit came to symbolize a renewal of the strength of the U.S.-Japan friendship after World War II.

Both President Dwight Eisenhower and Prime Minister Kishi had a passion for golf and as planning for the visit  began, Secretary of State John Foster Dulles sent the following telegram (that he personally drafted) to the American ambassador to Japan, Douglas MacArthur II (the famed general’s nephew):


Telegram from Secretary of State Dulles, May 17, 1957

Ambassador MacArthur replied with the following message:


Telegram from Ambassador MacArthur, May 18, 1957

The President and Prime Minister played golf on the afternoon of June 19 at the Burning Tree Club at which time the following photograph was made:


President Eisenhower is second from the left; Prime Minister Kishi is wearing the dark shirt. The other gentlemen are not identified.


  • The telegrams come from file 033.9411 in the 1955-59 segment of the Central Decimal File (NAID 302021), part of RG 59: General Records of the Department of State.
  • The photograph is Image 79-AR-4250-H from White House Photographs Taken by Abbie Rowe, 1941-1967 (NAID 520052) in RG 79: Records of the National Park Service.
  • A selection of documents about the visit is printed in Foreign Relations of the United States: Japan, 1955-57, Volume XXIII, Part 1.
  • For more on the overall U.S.-Japan relationship, see The Clash: U.S.-Japanese Relations throughout History by Walter LaFeber.

I appreciate the assistance of my colleagues Cathleen Brennan and Marcus Martin in securing a copy of the photograph.




Today’s post was written by Cody White, Archivist at the National Archives at Denver.

The United States National Park system, its scope and breadth unrivaled in the world, boasts hundreds of parks, monuments, sites, recreation areas, and even the White House within its purview. Saved from development and also federally managed, the most notable geological features within the United States have been preserved and in doing so has also created prime filming locations for Hollywood when unspoiled, natural scenes are required. Accorded its own category in the National Park Services’ (NPS) alphanumerical correspondence filing system, here are three examples of motion pictures filmed on park property that can be found in the National Archives at Denver holdings.

In September of 1949 a battle raged in No Thoroughfare Canyon at the Colorado National Monument; a battle, however, in which there were no casualties as it was a scene for the film Devil’s Doorway, released in 1950. In this first image we see the cast receiving instructions for the mock battle which took place ¼ mile inside the monument boundary. In the second image we see the filming commencing. According to the filming proposal, all scenes requiring structures such as a sheep farm were set up on leased land adjacent to the park.

These filming requests typically contain the same documentation. There is an introductory letter in which the producer or location manager explains what will be done in the park. That is then followed up with the formal contract and deposit for damages. After the filming there is a letter from the park superintendent verifying everything was cleaned up and then oftentimes letters go back and forth clarifying the proper National Park Service byline in the film credits. In this letter from MGM Studios detailing the Devil’s Doorway filming, the producer takes the possibly unnecessary step to assuage the NPS that no sheep will actually be blown up in the park.

Letter from MGM Studios to Robert Rose, Administrative Records (NAID 602229), RG 79

Today Harrison Ford can be regarded as one of the leading actors of his generation, playing everything from the President of the United States to a swashbuckling space smuggler, yet in 1967 he was still just a struggling young actor when he received his first screen credit in Columbia Pictures A Time for Killing, originally entitled “The Long Ride Home.” Several scenes were filmed within Zion National Park, such as a covered wagon ambush on the second switchback below the Zion-Mt Carmel Tunnel as well as various scenes along the Virgin River near the Great White Throne parking lot. From the Zion National Park correspondence files (General Correspondence Files, 1950-1967, NAID 1048636) comes this stub for the $1,000 deposit check issued to the National Park Service to cover any damage. According to further correspondence the sites were cleaned up to the superintendent’s satisfaction so the original check was returned to Columbia Pictures.

Check stub for $1000 deposit, General Correspondence Files (NAID 1048636), RG 79

There have been many motion pictures with scenes filmed at the Carlsbad Caverns National Park, the park standing in for everything from a cave in Africa in King Solomon’s Mines to a cave in the old west in Cave of the Outlaws. It appears that in the 1940s and 1950s the Carlsbad Caverns were the go-to cave set location for filmmakers, including director Terry Morse of the low budget science fiction film Unknown World.

Among the film permit correspondence files within the park records (General Correspondence, 1930-1969, NAID 939395) is this script excerpt, the part of which was filmed at the cavern and possibly sent along with the request to demonstrate what was being proposed. If you secure a copy of Unknown World this scene can be viewed at the 26 minute mark.

Excerpt from Script of Unknown World, Correspondence Regarding Carlsbad National Park, 1930-53, RG 79

Excerpt from Script of Unknown World, General Correspondence Files (NAID 939395), RG 79

In all three of these cases the records seem to indicate the experience was a good one for both the National Park Service and the film studio but this wasn’t always the case; for an example of when things don’t go according to the agreed upon filming proposal be sure to check out my previous Text Message entry “’North by Northwest’ Starring…Mount Rushmore?”