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Archive for December, 2010

If our Founding Fathers had Twitter (Final!)

thumbbill2We here at the National Archives noticed that many politicians these days use Twitter to deliver messages. Often this involves using numbers instead of letters, and symbols to convey a complex point in just a few words.

So we asked our readers: “what if the authors of the Bill of Rights only had 140 characters per amendment?” Last week we started counting down from Amendment X and we’ve posted the winning results below.

Archivist David Ferriero picked the pithiest tweets and the winners will receive a reproduction of the Bill of Rights, compliments of the National Archives eStore. You have three chances left to play! Today we’re tweeting the Second Amendment, and tomorrow we’re tweeting both the First Amendment and giving out a prize to the person who can best summarize the ENTIRE Bill of Rights in just 140 characters. Use #BillofRights to play and to follow along!

[ Read all ]

Amend Original Text Twitter Version Winner
X The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people. Power to the People! (conditions apply, void where prohibited) @azaroth42
IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. Standard rights still apply. @jwt3K
VIII Excessive bail shall

‘Open’ for business

You may have noticed that things look a little different on our website today. That’s because the National Archives just received a digital makeover, streamlining our look and feel and moving some items around on the back end too. While overhauling our website may be our most visible change here, we’ve been making improvements all year to encourage openness and improve accessibility. Here are three other ways we’ve improved:

  • Social media. It’s hard to believe that in 2009 we didn’t have a single blog, Twitter account, YouTube page, Flickr account, or Facebook account. Over the past year we’ve had a veritable explosion of all these–dozens of Facebook pages, participation in Twitter contests, daily blog posts for every audience, viral videos, and millions of Flickr views–as just a few ways we’re helping to bring the Archives to you.
  • Federal Register. Earlier this year a young group of developers helped to revamp the Federal Register, America’s one-stop shop to see what’s going on in the Federal Government. Streamlined, easy-on-the-eyes and intuitive, this new website brought the Federal Register into the digital age.
  • Wiki. Our Archives Wiki just got a nod from the White House, showing up on their OpenGov website as further proof that we’re working to make your National Archives as accessible and interactive as possible. Researchers and users of all kinds
  • [ Read all ]

FHF: Santa in the 70s

 

They just lit up the White House Christmas tree here in Washington, DC, and temperatures here have taken a North Pole-style turn for the worse (I am beginning to wonder if I’ll need to knit myself a neard).

So, here at Facial Hair Friday, I thought it might be time to do a search for “Santa” in ARC. After all, that jolly old elf has a very famous and lush beard.

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa!

Well, Santa Cruz in California. A place where it is warm and sunny and this extremely hip cat from 1972 is enjoying on an amusement park ride with his family. And he is sporting an Afro, mutton chops, goatee, and an attitude of awesome, proving that it was possible to be cool in the 70s.

Great facial hair grown after the 1860s! It warms the cockles of my chilly heart.… [ Read all ]

Thursday’s Photo Caption Contest

It’s not all downhill for you, Jodi! In fact, things are looking up since you won last week’s photo caption contest earning you 30% off at the National Archives eStore.

The original caption? “Party ‘nature sliding’ on the perpetual snow slopes below Paradise Glacier.” Yes, folks back in ’17 really knew how to cut loose. If you’re looking for a gift for the nature slider in your family you can order prints of this photo (and many other images) on our Pictopia site, which is offering free shipping through the holidays.

Long before there was Twitter in the world—and long before we launched our ongoing Bill of Rights Twitter Contest—people were using dots and dashes instead, not emoticons to spread the good word. But all that Morse coding took wires, and all that wiring took men way up on poles to fix it . . . or at least that’s what we think this photo is of. Until we can dig up its original caption, can we borrow yours? Post your wackiest comments, and you could be next week’s winner!

77-f-194-6-62telegraph[ Read all ]

War Comes to America

Sixty-nine years ago today, the Congress of the United States declared war following the delivery of a speech by Franklin Delano Roosevelt that included these words:  “Yesterday … a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked … With confidence in our armed forces–with the unbounding determination of our people–we will gain the inevitable triumph–so help us God.”

When the House cast the vote to declare war on the Japanese Empire, only one voice rose in dissent, that of House Representative Jeanette Rankin, the first woman to serve in Congress who represented the state of Montana before women could even vote (read our POH post, “Women can’t vote, but they can run for Congress“). As the lone voice in the 388-1 vote, Rankin only said “as a woman I can’t go to war, and I refuse to send anyone else.”

While Rankin may not have been eligible to go to war, men were, and many needed convincing. It was imperative that the nation knew what caused the conflict and why America had entered it. Part of the solution to this was the “Why We Fight” series, an acclaimed look at who America was and why it was at war against the Axis powers.

The series was a who’s who of Hollywood. Frank Capra, who … [ Read all ]