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Victory! Americans Everywhere Celebrated the End of World War II in 1945

(Today’s post is from Jim Worsham, editor of Prologue magazine, the quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration, and is based on a longer article in the Summer 2015 issue.)

President Harry Truman reads the Japanese message agreeing to unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945. (Harry Truman Library)

President Harry Truman reads the Japanese message agreeing to unconditional surrender on August 14, 1945. (Harry Truman Library)

President Harry S. Truman watched the clock closely, wanting to abide by the agreement to make the historic announcement at the same time as our Allies in London and Moscow.

At exactly 7 p.m. Eastern War Time on August 14, 1945, Truman revealed Japan’s response to the Allied demand for unconditional surrender.

The announcement the world was waiting for came just a few days after atomic bombs fell on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the opening shots in the nuclear era.

The emperor of Japan, the statement read, had agreed to unconditional surrender to the Allies. The President then appointed Gen. Douglas MacArthur supreme commander in Japan and the Pacific and who would officially accept Japan’s surrender September 2, 1945.

American servicemen and women gather in front of “Rainbow Corner” Red Cross club in Paris to celebrate the conditional surrender of the Japanese on August 15, 1945. (111-SC-210241)

American servicemen and women gather in front of “Rainbow Corner” Red Cross club in Paris to celebrate the conditional surrender of the Japanese on August 15, 1945. (111-SC-210241)

 

New Yorkers in Little Italy celebrated the Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945. (208-N-43468; National Archives Identifier 535794)

New Yorkers in Little Italy celebrate the Japanese surrender on August 14, 1945. (208-N-43468; National Archives Identifier 535794)

The euphoria that erupted May 8 when Truman announced the Germans … [ Read all ]

Talk #POTUSvacation with us on Twitter!

Work can be stressful, especially when you’re the Commander in Chief.  Each President has sought a place to relax from the rigors of the White House. George Washington escaped to Mount Vernon, and for the next two weeks the Obama family is vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.

This summer, we invite you to explore Presidential vacations!

Let's GoThe Presidential Libraries have film footage, photos, letters, schedules, artifacts, and much more that provide a fascinating view into POTUS vacations. You can choose your own adventure on Instagram and chat with us on Twitter.

On Wednesday, August 19, join us for a #POTUSvacation Twitter chat!  Presidential Library archivists and curators will be on hand to answer your questions and share stories from:

We’ll also be joined by:

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Take a break with Presidential vacations!

Need a vacation? This summer, go on a vacation with 13 of our Presidents!  You can choose your own adventure on Instagram and chat with us on Twitter on August 19 using #POTUSvacation.  

Vacations are an integral part of Presidential history, a way for Presidents to relax and recharge outside of Washington. Many of the iconic images that we associate with Presidents were taken while on retreats from the White House.

 

The tradition of a summer White House dates back to the beginning of the Presidency, and several of our Commanders in Chief have had dedicated family retreats.  These retreats have been a place to recuperate, spend time with family, … [ Read all ]

Before the ADA, there was Deaf President Now

Danica Rice is an archives technician at the National Archives at Seattle, is partially Deaf, and considers herself a member of the Deaf culture and community.

During our celebration of the 25th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), it’s worth reflecting on an event two years earlier that served as a catalyst for the Deaf community and may well have pushed passage of the legislation forward. The eight-day event I refer to is called Deaf President Now, and it happened in Washington, DC, on the Gallaudet University campus and involved marches in nearby areas as well.

The charter for Galluadet University: April 8, 1864, Public Law 43: An Act to authorize the Columbia Institution for the Deaf & Dumb and the Blind to confer degrees.

The charter for Gallaudet University, signed by Abraham Lincoln, April 8, 1864, Public Law 43: An Act to authorize the Columbia Institution for the Deaf & Dumb and the Blind to confer degrees. (National Archives)

In March of 1988, Gallaudet’s Board of Trustees was responsible for choosing between three deaf and one hearing candidate for the presidency of the only fully Deaf university in the country. After hasty deliberation, they chose the hearing candidate.

The resulting uproar among the students and faculty led to marches protesting the decision, which were nationally recognized by the media. Protesters associated themselves with the civil rights movement by stating “we still have a dream,” making it easier for people to understand where the Deaf as a culture and … [ Read all ]

The Archivist’s Favorite Pancakes

Some might say the best part of sleeping over at the National Archives is snoozing the night away beneath the Constitution, but we know the best part is having the Archivist of the United States make you pancakes for breakfast!

Enjoying pancakes made by the Archivist.

Enjoying pancakes made by the Archivist.

Three times a year, kids and their parents can stay overnight at the National Archives. And the next morning, David S. Ferriero is there, taking a break from his job as head of the agency to flip pancakes for our guests.

We asked him to share his favorite recipe that he uses when he makes pancakes at home–and now you can make pancakes just like the Archivist!

The Archivist’s Pancakes

Yield: 30 pancakes—depending on size

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour
4 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
4 tbsp melted butter
2 large eggs

Directions:

1.  Mix together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt

2. Separately mix together milk, butter and eggs

3.  Add dry ingredients to wet and mix—don’t overmix

4.  Spoon or pour batter (amount dependent upon how big you want them) onto griddle or frying pan

5. Sprinkle on chocolate chips or berries and cook for a couple of minutes until underside is brown

6. Flip and cook another couple of minutes

 

Southpaws at work! Patrick Madden, director of the Foundation for the National Archives, and David Ferriero, the Archivist of the United States, flip pancakes.

Southpaws at work! Patrick Madden,

[ Read all ]