In honor of Veterans Day, today’s post comes from Sarah Basilion, an intern in the National Archives History Office.
The National Archives is one of the best places to research U.S. military records.
As the official repository of military personnel records, the National Archives allows researchers to view documents and records related to the military both online and in person. Researchers can also look through general military records, view architectural and cartographic records, or conduct research on specific wars.
This, however, was not always the case.
Before there was a National Archives, the Department of War was the main repository of military and war records.
After the National Archives was created in 1934, it repeatedly attempted to obtain records held by the department, but by 1936 the department would only transfer small amounts of records.
The first Archivist of the United States, Robert D.W. Connor, was concerned. He knew that the military records held by the War Department were being kept in poor conditions that could irreparably damage the documents.
He also recognized the value such records could have when publicly available to researchers.
After negotiations with the War Department failed, Connor appealed to President Franklin D. Roosevelt … [ Read all ]
Today’s post comes from Ashley Mattingly, an archivist at the National Archives at St. Louis.
During a time when formal scientific weather forecasting was in its infancy, Isaac Cline was a man with a penchant for predicting disasters.
Born in 1861, Cline was a perpetually driven man who joined the U.S. Signal Corps’s weather service in 1882. In 1891, when meteorologists were transferred to Department of Agriculture, Cline moved to the newly created U.S. Weather Bureau.
Cline had a medical degree from the University of Arkansas in 1885, a Ph.D. from Texas Christian University in 1896, and a passion for the study of weather conditions. He spent years observing and writing about the affects of weather and climate on people’s health and mortality.
In 1895 Cline shifted his focus to the practice of more accurately predicting temperature readings to benefit crop production. He also began to focus on disaster prediction, and during the Spanish-American War (1898) he established a storm-warning system along the Mexican coast to help protect the U.S. Naval fleet from hurricanes.
In April 1900, while Cline and his expectant wife, Cora May Ballew Cline, were living in Galveston, TX, with their three children, he successfully predicted the rupture of the Colorado River dam in Austin, TX, saving countless lives.
That September he predicted another impending disaster: a … [ Read all ]
Today’s post comes from Eric Rhodes, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
Assassins’ bullets have claimed the lives of four United States Presidents, and several other Presidents survived attempts on their lives.
It is not widely known, but Harry Truman was the target of such a conspiracy.
Thirteen years before the Kennedy assassination, on November 1, 1950, two Puerto Rican nationalists attempted to take the President’s life. And President Truman’s Missouri-bred “Show Me” instinct might have gotten him killed. The buck certainly would have stopped there.
The day before the attempt, Oscar Collazo and Griselio Torresola boarded a train to Washington from the Bronx in New York. They carried with them two pistols and the goal of bringing national attention to the cause of the Puerto Rican Nationalist Party (PRNP).
Founded in 1922, the PRNP had lobbied for Puerto Rican independence from the United States with both the pen and the sword. By 1950, the party’s charismatic president, the Harvard-educated Pedro Albizu Campos, had come to favor the latter. Campos orchestrated a series of armed uprisings against U.S. military attachés on October 30, 1950, in six Puerto Rican towns.
The nationalist assault culminated with the attempted assassination of Harry Truman by Collazo and Torresola, both activists in the New York chapter of … [ Read all ]
We’re wrapping up our American Archives Month series of blog posts about the Presidential libraries. The records created by Presidents while in office will become part of the National Archives and eventually will be used by researchers. Here’s how it happens!
Today’s post comes from Emily Niekrasz, an intern in the National Archives History Office in Washington, DC.
At the groundbreaking ceremony for the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, held on November 21, 1988, President Reagan proclaimed, “But I believe that scholars of good will . . . will judge our efforts well. But as for us, at present we can only say this: we have done our best and we pray it has been enough.”
At its conception, the future Reagan Library was faced with three major questions:
Where would the library be located?
How would this new institution cope with being the first to adhere to the rules of the Presidential Libraries Act of 1978?
And how would the director and staff manage the papers and gifts of a modern Presidency that lasted two full terms (the first since 1961)?
Just as the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on October 30, 2015, under - Presidents, American Archives Month, National Archives History, National Archives Near You.
Tags: Air Force One, Nancy Reagan, President Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum
October is American Archives Month! We’re celebrating the work of archivists and the importance of archives with a series of blog posts about the Presidential libraries. The records created by Presidents while in office will become part of the National Archives, and eventually will be used by researchers. Here’s how it happens!
Today’s post comes from Alley Jordan, intern in the National Archives History Office.
The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum was established on July 11, 2007, on a nine-acre plot of land in Yorba Linda, CA, where Nixon was born and buried. The city of Yorba Linda is 40 miles southeast of Los Angeles.
To populate the library, records came from the Richard Nixon Library and Birthplace Foundation, a private library, and the National Archives and Records Administration, a Federal agency.
According to the Nixon Library, “The Nixon presidential materials collection contains approximately 4,000 separate recordings of broadcast video, nearly 4,500 audio recordings, 30,000 gifts from foreign heads of states, American citizens, and others, 300,000 still photographs, 2 million feet of film, 46 million pages of documents, and 3,700 hours of recorded presidential conversations.”
After the Watergate scandal caused Nixon to resign, he wanted to secure his tapes and … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on October 29, 2015, under National Archives History, National Archives Near You, Prologue Magazine.
Tags: Archives Month, GSA, Nixon, Nixon Library, Nixon Presidential Library, Presidential Library, Richard Nixon