This post is part of a series on September 11. As the nation’s record keeper, the National Archives holds many documents related to the events of September 11. In this series, our staff share some of their memories of the day and their thoughts on the records that are part of their holdings.
Elizabeth Lanier, Malisa Lewis, and Jill Zawacki have been archivists at the George W. Bush Presidential Library since January 2010. They are currently processing textual records of the Bush administration.
As children, we recall asking family members questions such as “Where were you when John F. Kennedy was assassinated?” or “What was it like to hear about the bombing of Pearl Harbor?” We never anticipated that one day we would be able to answer a similar question: Where were you on September 11, 2001? Several future George W. Bush Presidential Library staff members were actually in New York City on that day, while others were listening to teachers in high school or college classes. Regardless of our location or age, we all felt a … [ Read all ]
“What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?,” our current special exhibition in Washington, DC, examines the Government’s effect on what Americans eat. Government influence was especially visible during wartime, when many food products were reserved for feeding the troops and our Allies.
During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration, headed by Herbert Hoover, urged the American people to voluntarily conserve food, especially wheat, meat, fats, and sugar. Recognizing that a successful program had to reach out to all Americans, the agency distributed printed materials in several languages, including Italian pamphlets in New York City, Chinese food conservation notices in Hawaii, and Spanish recipes in California.
The featured recipes for “pan de la libertad” (liberty bread), using corn, oat, and barley flour instead of wheat, were found in the files of the California State Food Administration, housed at the National Archives at San Francisco. According to a note at the bottom, recipes were translated into Spanish for counties with significant Spanish-speaking populations.
An all-out publicity campaign was waged to educate the citizenry about the need for food conservation and how … [ Read all ]
Posted by Mary on July 27, 2011, under Prologue Magazine, Unusual documents, What's Cooking, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: california, Food Administration, food conservation, national archives, National archives and records administration, NAtional Archives at San Francisco, recipes, Spanish recipes, What's Cooking Uncle Sam?, wheat conservation, world war i
The Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, has housed some famous and infamous inmates, such as “Birdman of Alcatraz” Robert Stroud and Machine Gun Kelly. In the early 20th century, the prison took in some less likely felons—violators of the Oleomargarine Act of 1886.
How did trafficking in this popular butter substitute become a Federal offense? Well, almost immediately after New York’s U.S. Dairy Company began production of “artificial butter” in 1871, regulation began. Dairy interests pushed Congress to pass the 1886 act, which imposed a two-cent tax (per pound) on margarine and also required manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of margarine to obtain margarine licenses.
By 1902, 32 states had bans on coloring margarine yellow to make it look more like butter. That same year, Congress increased the tax to 10 cents a pound for colored margarine but imposed a lesser tax of a quarter of one cent per pound on the uncolored stuff.
The exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” includes the story of felons convicted of violating sections of the Oleomargarine Act and sent to the Federal prison at Leavenworth. Some tried to pass the margarine off as butter; others tried to evade the tax by reusing tax stamps again and again.
Posted by Mary on July 6, 2011, under Prologue Magazine, Unusual documents, What's Cooking, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: american history, Leavenworth, NARA, National archives and records administration, National Archives at Kansas City, Oleomargarine Act of 1886, United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth
Congratulations, Teresa Martin Klaiber, for bringing a smile to the face of Gwen Granados, our guest judge from the National Archives at Riverside. She shared this photograph with us, and we all agreed it was eminently caption-worthy. (Teresa, if you send an e-mail to email@example.com, I can send you your 15% discount code to use at the National Archives eStore.)
The photograph is in a file on “Porpoises, 1965–1967,” among the records of the 11th Naval District in Record Group 181, Records of Naval Districts and Shore Establishments. Its original caption reads, “Sam the Sea Lion and his trainer Walley Ross.”
OK, captioners, get your thinking caps on for this week’s challenge. This Sunday is Mother’s Day, so maybe these ladies are celebrating their day! Write your own caption in the comments section at the bottom of this page.
Posted by Mary on May 5, 2011, under Photo Caption Contest, Uncategorized.
Tags: california, caption contest, NARA, national archives, National Archives at Riverside, Photo Caption Contest, sea lion, seals
Springtime in Washington, DC, makes people think of cherry blossoms—and pandas. While keepers and panda fans anxiously wait for signs that the National Zoo’s Mei Xiang may be expecting a cub, we remember the first pandas to live at the zoo.
President Richard Nixon’s historic trip to China in February 1972 opened diplomatic and trade relations between the two countries and was one of the most successful achievements of his administration. The result that sticks most keenly in the popular memory, though, is the arrival of two chubby black and white furry goodwill ambassadors—Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing.
When pandas’ arrival date was set, President Nixon asked First Lady Pat Nixon to head up the delegation to welcome the pandas to the National Zoo. [Listen to his telephone call to her. It's the last item in the list.] Mrs. Nixon had been captivated by the pandas at the zoo in Beijing and was delighted to officially accept the nation’s own pair.
On April 16, 1972, she officially accepted the gift of the People’s Republic of China and declared, “I think ‘panda-monium’ is going to break out at the zoo.” She was right. Ling-Ling and Hsing-Hsing were the top attractions … [ Read all ]