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“In a Legendary Light”

We’re wrapping up our celebration of American Archives Month. Throughout October we teamed up the Academy of American Poets to publish original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives. To view the all the poets performing their original works, visit the National Archives YouTube Channel

Marilyn Monroe posing for the 3rd U.S.Infantry Division, 02/17/1954. (National Archives Identifier 531435)

Marilyn Monroe posing for the 3rd U.S.Infantry Division, 02/17/1954. (National Archives Identifier 531435)

Today’s poem, “In a Legendary Light” by Regie Cabico, was inspired by an image of Marilyn Monroe.

Born Norma Jeane Mortenson in 1926, Monroe endured a different childhood to become one of the most well-known sex symbols of the 20th century.

As a model, actress, and singer, Monroe dominated Hollywood during the 1950s and early 1960s.

This 1954 photo shows Monroe appearing with the USO Camp Show “Anything Goes.” She is posing before a group of enthusiastic fans after a performance for the 3rd U.S. Infantry Division in Korea.

Monroe’s life was tragically cut short in 1962 when she died of a drug overdose.

This photo is just one of the millions and millions of photographs housed within the National Archives. Many photographs can be viewed in our online catalog and on our Flickr page.

In a Legendary Light

by Regie Cabico

I walk with simple people
who wish me to believe that I am not an instant…

I lock the door and hear a … [ Read all ]

“The Conversation”

In celebration of American Archives Month, the National Archives is teaming up with the Academy of American Poets. Throughout the month we’ll be publishing original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives. To view the poets performing their original work, visit the National Archives YouTube Channel. 

Transcription of John Glenn's Flight Communications, February 28, 1962. (National Archives at Fort Worth, TX)

Transcription of John Glenn’s Flight Communications, February 28, 1962. (National Archives at Fort Worth, TX)

Today’s poem, “The Conversation” by Sandra Beasley, was inspired by her personal connection to the transcript of John Glenn’s Official Communication with NASA’s Command Center upon his retry after orbiting the earth.

U.S. Astronaut John Glenn was the first American to conduct a manned space orbit of the earth on February 20, 1962, aboard Friendship 7. Glenn traveled for nearly five hours, going 17,500 miles per hour, 160 miles above earth. He circled the planet three times before heading back.

This is the official transcript of his in-flight communication with Mission Control in Florida documenting the events upon reentry.

Despite some touch-and-go moments, and potential problems with his life-saving heat shield, the spacecraft, which Glenn had to manually control, splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean. Glenn, unhurt, was then picked up by the destroyer USS Noa off the coast of Bermuda.

The mission was a huge gain for the United States, which was then engaged in a the space race with … [ Read all ]

The National Archives at New York

We are wrapping up our month-long celebration of American Archives Month with a post about the National Archives at New York City.

In 1950 the National Archives and Records Service (NARS), which was then part of General Services Administration (GSA), began a pilot Federal Records Center project. The original objective of the Federal Records Center was to provide a central depository for economical and efficient storage, maintenance, and servicing of inactive Federal records.

Federal Records Building, Brooklyn, NY, 1950. (Records of the National Archives)

Federal Records Building, Brooklyn, NY, 1950. (Records of the National Archives, RG 64)

As part of this project, NARS secured warehouse space at the Brooklyn Naval Supply Activities Depot, located at 29th Street and 3rd Avenue, Brooklyn, NY, totaling 50,000 square feet. The Brooklyn FRC received its first records in May, 1950—the records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

The building that housed the original Brooklyn FRC, pictured here, still stands—it is now the home of the Metropolitan Detention Center.

The New York Federal Records Center moved in 1952 from Brooklyn to what was known as the “Federal Office Building” located at 641 Washington Street in Manhattan—at the corner of Washington and Christopher Streets.

Federal Office Building, (New York Federal Records Center), 1952 (Records of the National Archives)

Federal Office Building, (New York Federal Records Center), 1952 (Records of the National Archives, RG 64)

The FRC occupied 330,000 square feet of space on 10 floors of the Romanesque Revival structure.

Completed in 1899, the building was … [ Read all ]

“Mango Poem”

In celebration of American Archives Month, the National Archives is teaming up with the Academy of American Poets. Throughout the month we’ll be publishing original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives. To view the poets performing their original works, visit the National Archives YouTube Channel. 

17th Infantry head for action in the Philippine Islands. (National Archives Identifier 533179)

17th Infantry head for action in the Philippine Islands. (National Archives Identifier 533179)

Today’s poem, “Mango Poem” by Regie Cabico, was inspired by documents within the National Archives related to the Philippine-American War (1899–1902).

After the United States defeated Spain in the 1898 Spanish-American War, Spain ceded the colony of the Philippines to the U.S. in the Treaty of Paris.

On February 4, 1899, just two days before the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty, fighting broke out between American troops and Filipino nationalists. Led by Emilio Aguinaldo, the nationalists wanted Philippine independence.

The Philippine-American War lasted three years. Approximately 125,000 American troops served. Of those, 4,200 were killed and 2,900 were wounded.

During the conflict, more than 20,000 Filipino troops were killed, and as many as 200,000 Filipino civilians died from violence, famine, and disease.

Despite a proclamation by President Theodore Roosevelt announcing the end to the war in 1902, intermittent fighting continued throughout America’s rule over the colony. In 1946 the Philippines gained independence from the United States.

Read our Prologue article for more information on records at … [ Read all ]

“In the Event”

In celebration of American Archives Month, the National Archives is teaming up with the Academy of American Poets. Throughout the month we’ll be publishing original poems inspired by the holdings of the National Archives. To view the poets performing their original work, visit the National Archives YouTube Channel.

"Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903. (National Archives Identifier 7580929)

“Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903. (National Archives Identifier 7580929)

Today’s poem, “In the Event” by Joshua Weiner, was inspired by a photograph of the Wright Brothers’ original aeroplane during its first flight in 1903.

Brothers Orville and Wilbur Wright began experimenting with aviation in 1896 at their bicycle shop in Dayton, Ohio. They first began with manned gliders and traveled to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in 1900 to test their crafts.

They chose Kitty Hawk because it had regular breezes and soft surfaces ideal for landing.

After multiple successful flights with the glider, they decide explore the possibility of engine powered aircraft. They designed and built their own craft, and on December 17, 1903, Orville piloted the first powered airplane.

This photo, taken by John T. Daniel of the Life-Saving Service, documented that historic first flight. Orville and his plane soared 20 feet above the beach. The flight lasted 12 seconds and covered 120 feet of ground.

The original caption reads: Original Wright Brothers’ 1903 Aeroplane (“Kitty Hawk”) in first … [ Read all ]