Site search

Site menu:

Find Out More

Archives

Categories

Contact Us

Subscribe to Email Updates

Archive for December, 2011

What’s Cooking Wednesday: Holiday Sugar Spike

Have you visited our exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” Don’t wait! The exhibit closes on January 3, 2012.

Are you in a sugar coma yet? If not, there’s still time to make some sweet desserts straight from the records of the National Archives.

These favorite cookie recipes (below) come from the 1966 Forest Service Fire Lookout Cookbook, part of the holdings of the National Archives at Seattle. They look pretty delicious—let us know if you try any of them! Lucky for you, we are not sharing  the Forest Service’s recipe for peanut butter and mayonnaise sandwiches topped with grated carrot.

These aren’t the only holiday-ready recipes in the National Archives. Americans love their sweets and we’ve got lots of dessert recipes. Even during hard times, when sugar was rationed to six tablespoons per day, Americans found ways to cook something sweet. In 1918, the U.S. Food Administration recommended using “molasses, corn syrup, maple syrup, glucose, maple sugar, corn sugar, honey, raisins, dates or figs.” A recipe for “War Time Strawberry Shortcake” uses three cups of strawberries but only three tablespoons of sugar.

In the records of the U.S. Department of Agriculture is a recipe for “Fruit Cake,” published in Aunt Sammy’s Radio Recipes, a popular book for housewives who listened to the radio show. This recipe called for raisins, currants, citron, sugar, cider, jelly, sour cream, and molasses—so it … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: Gone with the Wind

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 ]

Thursday Photo Caption Contest: LOLcat edition

Although it’s been a while since our last caption contest, these young men are still sitting patiently in class. We had a hard time choosing from the comments here and on Facebook. Would we speak quietly and carry a big ruler? Or should we choose the suggestion from the National Archives in Alaska, that back in her day teachers typed with broken fingers?

 Congratulations to Jim H, whose caption in the comments of our Facebook page paid tribute to the late Steven Jobs.

So what were they doing in the days before iPads? According to the original caption this is the “Civilian Conservation Corps, Third Corps Area: typing class with W.P.A. instructor, ca. 1933″ (ARC 197144).

Today’s post is something a little different! To celebrate the Clinton Presidential Library’s first collection on the National Archives Flickr Commons page, we’re featuring Socks the cat! This photograph of Socks in a White House decorated for the holidays was too good to pass up.

Give us your best LOL cat-style caption in the comments below!… [ Read all ]

A homecoming for six pages of parchment

Although the National Archives Building was nearly completed in 1935, the Rotunda sat empty.

Then, on December 13, 1952, an armored Marine Corps personnel carrier made its way down Constitution Avenue, accompanied by two light tanks, four servicemen carrying submachine guns, and a motorcycle escort. A color guard, ceremonial troops, the Army Band, and the Air Force Drum and Bugle Corps were also part of the procession. Members of all the military branches lined the street.

Inside the personnel carrier were six parchment documents. The records were in helium-filled glass cases packed inside wooden crates resting on mattresses.

The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were going to the National Archives.

In 1926, $1 million was appropriated for a national archives building, and in 1930 President Hoover appointed an Advisory Committee for the National Archives to draw up specifications for the building. John Russell Pope was selected as architect, and a year later, ground was broken. By 1933, the cornerstone of the building had been put in place by President Herbert Hoover. Staff were working in the unfinished building by 1935.

But despite this flurry of activity, the vault-like building did not house the founding documents that we call the “Charters of Freedom.”

The documents had been shuttled around to various buildings for various reasons. They started out in the Department of State, and as the capital moved from New York to Philadelphia to Washington, DC, these documents moved too. Eventually … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: A Letter from Hairy Harry

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 ]