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Archive for October, 2011

Thursday Photo Caption Contest

Hortence was delighted that the sculptor had captured her and Arnold on their honeymoon so exactly.

We were amused by all your suggestions of light-fingered artists and wild wedding cake toppers, but we were most impressed that several of our captioners knew who the artist was—and what that outrageous piece of silver was!

In the end, we picked up our editorial trident and poked Darren Cole to make him pick a winner. Darren is one of the managers of Today’s Document, a Tumblr blog that brings you a piece of the National Archives every day, whether serious or silly.

Congratulations to Julie! Check your e-mail for a 15% discount in the eStore.

Judge Darren was the one who suggested the picture—and he thought the funniest thing about it was the original caption: “Matronly visitor to the National Gallery Washington, DC, scrutinizing Benvenuto Cellini’s ‘Salt Cellar’ on temporary exhibit, ca. 1947″ (ARC 541887).

This week’s photograph features a “matronly” lady, but no tridents! Give us your best caption in the comments below!

Your caption here!

[ Read all ]

Need a Halloween costume? Four food frights from our holdings

This postcard (ARC 2657925) was enclosed with several others as part of a letter from Acting Secretary of State Robert Bacon to U.S. Ambassador to the United Kingdom Whitelaw Reid regarding postcards that were circulating in South Africa regarding the meatpacking industry.

Do you like to be scared? If you do, forget about watching Halloween or The Ring or even the Treehouse of Horror episode on The Simpsons.

If you really like to be scared, you should come to the National Archives’ “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” exhibit and see the records that document why the Government became involved in food safety. Before Federal regulation in 1906 with the Pure Food and Drug Act and the Meat Inspection Act, American citizens were chowing down on food flavored or preserved with sulfuric acid, formaldehyde, and borax.

Perhaps you could even craft some Halloween costumes from them. Here are four terrifying costumes inspired by our holdings:

Poison squad member
In 1902, these 12 Federal employees were true guinea pigs in the name of food safety. For five years, they sat down to delicious meals at the Bureau of Chemistry’s basement kitchen and ate a poisonous substance. They were not told what it was, or where in the food it was disguised. Then Chief Chemist Harvey Wiley recorded their symptoms, which were unpleasant but apparently not fatal. The “Poison … [ Read all ]

Finding the girl in the photograph

Today’s guest post is from Edith Lee-Payne.

Edith Lee-Payne at the March on Washington. The original caption reads “Photograph of a Young Woman at the Civil Rights March on Washington, D.C., with a Banner, 08/28/1963,” photographed by Rowland Scherman (National Archives Identifier 542030)

The dedication of the Martin Luther King, Jr., memorial will take place this Sunday, October 16. One of the women in attendence will be Edith Lee-Payne.

You might recognize her. Photographer Rowland Scherman snapped a photo of Edith, then a 12-year-old girl with her mother, holding a banner at the March on Washington.

But although the photograph was taken in 1963, Ms. Lee-Payne did not know about the image until 2008. With the help of a librarian and an archivist, she was able to locate the photograph of herself at the march.

Here, in her own words, is her story of attending the march on August 28 and finding her record in the National Archives more than 40 years later.

********

Washington, DC, was home for my mother before settling in Detroit, Michigan. After Dr. King led a march in Detroit on June 23, 1963, my mother scheduled our vacation to attend the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, which also happened to be my twelfth birthday.

I lived the dream Dr. King spoke of. My neighborhood was integrated. We attended the same schools and sometimes shared … [ Read all ]

Get your smartphone–we’re on SCVNGR!

Admiral Farragut wishes he had a smartphone to play the new Civil War trek on SCVNGR (ARC 529975).

We’re excited to announce that you can now play with historic records outside the National Archives Building!

The Foundation for the National Archives, the National Archives’ nonprofit partner, has partnered with mobile gaming company SCVNGR to build a game that lets you experience our historic records in the very places where their creators lived and worked.

Find Mathew Brady’s studio, see a now-disappeared canal, and learn about Civil War nicknames by downloading the SCVNGR app (pronounced “scavenger”) on your iPhone or Droid. Then follow the “trek” in an easy walk around the National Archives neighborhood, completing history challenges, earning points, and winning  rewards!

You can even complete certain challenges on the trek to win a special SCVNGR coupon to use for 15% off in our Gift Shop at the National Archives Building.

For more information on how to play, watch the “How to Play” video on http://www.scvngr.com/.

Happy trekking!… [ Read all ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest

"I got to get outta this place If it’s the last thing I ever do."

Choosing this week’s winner was a difficult as balancing a hat on a burro, so we turned to Mary Ryan, who has seen many strange yet historic images from the holdings of the National Archives in her role the managing editor of Prologue magazine.

Congratulations to Kim! Check your e-mail for a code for 15% off in the National Archives eStore.

Our guest judge recognized the setting of this picture from a Prologue article about the Mexican Punitive Expedition, but apparently this beast of burden was not being punished by the Army. The original caption reads “Privates Daly, Ball, and Baldwin, Company A, 16th Infantry, testing out the burro. This burro came to camp one day and ever afterward persisted in hanging around. September 29, 1916. 1922.”

This week’s image features a trio of people, but there are no burros in this one! Just an expression of surprise . . . or shock . . . or arty thoughtfulness. Give us your best caption in the comments below!

Your caption here

[ Read all ]