Archive for 'Facial Hair Fridays'
Today’s featured facial hair is a fan find! Thank you to Paul H. for alerting us to this wonderful forked beard.
In fact, this beard really looks like there’s enough hair to be two beards. Perhaps Colonel Strother had a beard for each of his names?
Before his stint in the Army during the Civil War, David Hunter Strother had toured Europe to study art and was a successful magazine illustrator and writer. He published his artwork under the delightful nom-de-plume of “Porte Crayon.”
When the Civil War began, his artistic talents meant he was assigned as a topographer in the Army, but by 1864, Colonel Strother was chief of staff to his cousin Gen. David Hunter. He was involved in the shelling of the Virginia Military Institute and later promoted to colonel of the Third West Virginia Cavalry.
He wrote about his wartime experiences for Harper’s Monthly as “Personal Recollections of the War.”
After the war, he continued to work as an artist until 1879, when he was appointed by President Hayes as General Consul to Mexico City, a post he held for the next six years.
In 1940, the “Porte Crayon Memorial Society” lobbied to have a mountain in Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia named after Strother. Mount Porte Crayon is not for casual day hikers, however. It’s far from any trailhead or road, and extreme … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on January 6, 2012, under - Civil War, Facial Hair Fridays.
Tags: 3rd West Virginia Cavalry, artist, beard, forked beard, Harper's Monthly, Mexico City, nom-de-plume, Porte Crayon, President Hayes, Strother, Virginia Military Institute, White House
Are these the most famous sideburns in music history? They might be the most famous sideburns in the National Archives.
If you are a fan of Elvis, you’ve seen the photograph: Nixon and Elvis shaking hands in the White House. This is the most-requested image in our holdings. The quirky story behind the meeting of the King of Rock and Roll and the President of the United States is featured in this online exhibit.
But it’s not the only record we have of Elvis.
In December of 1957, Elvis was drafted for the U.S. Army. This career change was an upsetting event for fans. The Eisenhower Library has a letter from three girls in Montana who despaired over a possible shaving of the singer’s sideburns: “You don’t no how we feel about him, I really don’t see why you have to send him in the Army at all, but we beg you please please don’t give him a G.I. hair cut, oh please please don’t! If you do we will just about die!”
But their letter writing was in vain. On March 24, 1958, Presley signed his acknowledgement of service obligation and entered the Army. (Alas, his sideburns did not.)
Since Elvis served in the military, his file is part of the permanant holdings of the National Personnel Records Center. Elvis was no ordinary soldier—his fame meant that … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 30, 2011, under Facial Hair Fridays, Letters in the National Archives, Myth or History.
Tags: 1958, army, Basic Training, draft, Eisenhower Library, Elvis, Elvis Presley, letters, military file, montana, Nixon, nprc, photograph, Presley, rock and roll, sideburns, US Army, White House
I was going to try to find another bearded man to feature, but it’s practically Christmas Eve, and let’s face it, Santa Claus has the most famous beard (and reindeer) of all.
It’s like a giant cloud of fluffy white snow around his chin. It’s his defining characteristic. In the middle of July when there’s an older gentleman on the beach sweating under a large white beard, we just know that’s really Santa on vacation.
We have lots of pictures of the jolly old elf in our holdings. Santa Claus was a popular figure for World War II advertisments to encourage citizens to buy war bonds. No word on whether his snowy-white beard was the deciding factor in buying them, but I bet it made buying them more like a Christmas gift and less like a patriotic duty.
But my favorite image of Santa Claus from our holdings is the one above.
The original captions reads: “Personnel of USS LEXINGTON celebrate Christmas with make-shift decorations and a firefighting, helmeted Santa Claus, 12/1944.”
These young men were away from home over the holidays in 1944, but they still managed to bring the spirit of St. Nick to their ship during wartime. Someone took the time to make paper chains and paper tree, and hang a hand-drawn sign. And what else embodies the Christmas spirit like making your fellow serviceman wear a giant beard made of cottonballs?
It must … [ Read all ]
Yesterday was the anniversary of the Atlanta premiere of Gone with the Wind. The National Archives has at least two connections with this movie, and one of them is a mustache.
The National Archives was given a copy of the award-winning and controversial film. It was given to the first Archivist in 1941 by Senator Walter F. George of Georgia and Eastern Division Manager Carter Barron of Loews. [UPDATE: The multi-reel 35mm technicolor print, which was accepted as a gift donation (we still have the accession dossier), was later destroyed in a 1978 fire at the National Archives nitrate vaults at Suitland.]
But in the end, it all comes back to the mustache–in this case, the trim but bristley lip hair of actor Clark Gable, who portrayed Rhett Butler in Gone with the Wind. He was nominated for an Academy Award for his performance.
It’s not the only movie connection with Gable. We have stills from Call of the Wild that came into our holdings as part of records from the National Parks Service. This movie is also notable in Clark Gable’s personal life–his offscreen affair with with onscreen lover Loretta Young resulted in a daughter, Judy Lewis. Young hid her pregnancy from the public but later adopted Judy.
The National Archives also holds a copy of Combat America, a film produced by Gable. On the promotional poster, a mustachioed Gable … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 16, 2011, under - Presidents, - World War II, Facial Hair Fridays.
Tags: Call of the Wild, Clarke Gable, Combat America, First Motion Picture Unit, Georgia, Gone with the Wing, Judy Lewis, Loews, Loretta Young, MGM, national personnel records center, Rhett Butler, Ronal Reagan, The Archivist
Today’s guest post comes from Tammy Kelly at the Truman Presidential Library.
This week’s Facial Hair Friday photo is a most unexpected person: Harry S. Truman, before he became President! At the Truman Library, we know of only two photographs of Truman wearing any kind of facial hair, so this is a rare photo, indeed.
What prompted this mustache? Truman was away from home.
Truman served as a captain of Battery D of the 129th Field Artillery during World War I. After his discharge, he joined the Army Reserves and participated in yearly training camps, usually held during the summer. Truman had always fancied himself a soldier, and by and large, he had enjoyed his time in the Army. Participating in the Reserves allowed him to continue to fulfill his dreams—and provided a convenient means to get together with “the guys” for a little politicking, poker playing, and tale-telling, as well as for the fresh air and exercise.
But while Truman enjoyed getting away from the stresses of his job, he also desperately missed his family. Whenever he was away from his wife, Bess, for more than a day or two, he wrote her a letter. The Truman Library has over 1,300 letters that Harry wrote to Bess over the course of their life together. There are several written in July of 1927, when Truman was away … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 9, 2011, under - Presidents, - World War I, Facial Hair Fridays.
Tags: 129th Field Artillery, Army Reserves, facial hair, Fort Riley, Harry Truman, howitzer, Jackson County, Kansas City, letters, Margie Truman, mustache, secret mustache, toilet paper, Truman, Truman Library, world war i, WWI