Site search

Site menu:

Find Out More

Subscribe to Email Updates

Archives

Categories

Contact Us

Archive for October, 2010

Thursday’s Photo Caption Contest

Rosemary Clooney will star in a remake of the famed “Men who stare at Goats” titled “Women who stare at tables.”

Rosemary Clooney will star in a remake of the famed “Men who stare at Goats” titled “Women who stare at tables.”

The results are in! Our guest judge Tim Walch, director of the Hoover Presidential Library in Iowa, decided that Shannon’s caption takes the prize. “This a wonderful, unexpected, quirky caption-and a great plug for a funny film. Also, we don’t think about Rosemary Clooney enough these days!” he said.

Congratulations, Shannon, you’ve won 30% off at the National Archives eStore! While you won this week’s photo caption contest, this photo’s real caption may take the cake as the longest caption in our holdings. It reads:

Shelby County, Iowa. Informal get-togethers are still very popular in Irwin. Shown here is a group of people playing “Truth and Consequences” at a party given for a boy who is about to be drafted. All the questions used were Biblical. This room is in the basement of the Christian church. The party was preceded by a short prayer, hymn-singing and recitation in the auditorium upstairs. Penalties for those who failed to answer questions correctly were meted out by the minister’s wife. Here, a girl is pushing a bottle top down the table with her nose. All such penalties were answered in good part. A group of ladies took charge of the refreshment quarters. Most of the guests brought something, so that the

[ Read all ]

The orphan called Tokyo Rose

Iva Toguri (Records of US Attorneys, 296678)

Iva Toguri (Records of U.S. Attorneys, ARC 296678, National Archives at San Francisco 118-NCTR-31712-14)

The story of Tokyo Rose is the stuff of legends—an English-speaking Japanese woman who seduced the airwaves of the South Pacific with tales of Japanese success, Allied failures, and honest encouragement to give up the fight and return home. The trouble is, there never was a Tokyo Rose, the name was a GI term used to refer to a variety of female Japanese broadcasters. But that didn’t stop one American woman from being convicted of treason following the war for being the fictitious Tokyo Rose. Her name was Iva Toguri, and she broadcast under the name “Orphan Anne.”

After graduating from UCLA in 1941, Iva Toguri left the United States to visit a sick aunt in Japan. She was set to return to the United States, but didn’t make it before the Japanese bombing of Pearl Harbor.

She became an American stuck in enemy territory. Many Japanese Americans renounced their U.S. citizenship after the bombing of Pearl Harbor to prevent harsh treatment from Imperial Japan. Toguri was a proud American and refused to renounce her citizenship.

She paid the price. Her neighbors threw stones at her and called her a horyo (“POW”). Food rations were so meager she was hospitalized in 1943 with malnutrition.

News from the home front was no … [ Read all ]

Beer = mc2

Albert Einstein's (

Albert Einstein (596270)

In 1885, Munich’s Oktoberfest was celebrated under the glow of the electric light for the first time. Who was responsible for that feat? None other than Albert Einstein himself.

Granted, it may have been his father and uncle who are truly due the credit (Albert was a teetotaling six-year-old at the time), but the math whiz extraordinaire was there checking wiring and ensuring that the Einstein Brothers lights stayed on at the world’s largest fair.

Despite this illuminating achievement, the future was not so bright for the young Einstein or his folks. By 1894, Albert’s uncle and father had mortgaged their home in a bid to grow their flourishing electric company. But the Oktoberfest contract was lost to Siemens, and the Einstein Brothers enterprise fell flat. The family moved to northern Italy to try their luck there, and instructed the  15-year-old Albert to remain in Munich to finish his schooling.

Albert had other ideas. By the next year, Albert had coaxed a doctor to diagnose him with nervous exhaustion which excused him from school (his teacher thought he was a nuisance anyway) and shortly thereafter he arrived on his parent’s doorstep in Italy. By his sixteenth birthday he had written his first essay on theoretical physics, “On the Investigation of the State of the Ether in a Magnetic Field.”

Still, school evaded … [ Read all ]

The price of freedom? About a $1.05

They say you can’t put a price on freedom, but you can put a price on savings bonds! Watch this compilation of famous celebrities plugging savings and stamp bonds, from Mr. Ed and Lassie all the way to the Duke and Bugs Bunny.

[ Read all ]

Before there was broadband, there was a beard

morse

Samuel F.B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph, ca. 1860 - ca. 1865 (ARC 526779)

Long before the push to make high-speed Internet available across America, Samuel Morse was tap-tap-tapping information across America. By 1838, his telegraph machine was using a dot-and-dash system to send messages of up to 10 words a minute. He even convinced Congress to come to up with $30,000 to help him wire America.

Morse was born in 1791, more than 200 hundred years before Twitter was invented. But the telegraph was as radical as Twitter. Morse’s invention was a new, fast method for communicating across distances, and changed the way wars were fought.

Ever wonder how Lincoln communicated with his generals? He certainly wasn’t texting or twittering—but he was telegraphing during the Civil War, giving orders and making decisions. He even received a telegram from General Sherman announcing the surrender of Savannah, GA, as a Christmas present.

Virginia, Petersburg, Field Telegraph Battery Wagon, 09/1864 (ARC 533347)

Virginia, Petersburg, Field Telegraph Battery Wagon, 09/1864 (ARC 533347; 165-SB-73)

[ Read all ]