The fiery trial through which we pass, will light us down, in honor or dishonor, to the latest generation. . . . In giving freedom to the slave, we assure freedom to the free—honorable alike in what we give, and what we preserve. We shall nobly save, or meanly lose, the last best, hope of earth. President Abraham Lincoln, 1862.
Two original versions of President Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation will be displayed together for the first time in the Schomburg Center in New York City from September 21 to 24.
This is a rare opportunity to see the signed draft that is part of the holdings of the National Archives. This document represents the transformation of the Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation from intent to action. On September 22, 1862, Lincoln’s handwritten draft was transcribed, affixed with the Seal of the United States, and signed by him. The Proclamation now carried the force of law.
The Proclamation had been in development since the summer. In July 1862, President Lincoln read his “preliminary proclamation” to his Cabinet but decided to wait for a Union military victory to issue it. On September 17, 1862, over 6,000 Union and Confederate men died at Antietam in the bloodiest day in American history. Thousands more were wounded or missing. It was also the 75th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution.
On … [ Read all ]
In honor of the 225th anniversary of the Constitution, we challenged citizens on Twitter to take the Preamble of the Constitution and distill its meaning into a twitter-sized bite. The Archivist of the United States chose the winner on the Constitution Day. Congratulations to Jean Huets, who will receive a pocket-sized Constitution from the Foundation for the National Archives.
Five people worked together as the Committee of Style to polish and refine the 52-word Preamble, a paragraph that provided the reasons and purposes behind the creation of the Constitution. In fact, one of the greatest phrases of the Constitution comes from the Preamble: “We the People.” Could any other wording express the emotions and the meaning behind the four-page Constitution better than these three words?
We think it can—and we think you can do it! We want you to tweet the 52-word Preamble in 140 characters or less.
From today through September 17—the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Constitution—we’re asking you to condense the meaning of the Preamble in a bite-sized tweet.
On Constitution Day, September 17, the Archivist of the United States will choose the winner, who will receive a pocket-size Constitution from the Foundation for the National Archives.
The rules are simple: shorten the Preamble down to as few words (or letters) as possible while retaining the Preamble’s meaning, then tweet us your response using the hashtag #Preamble.
“We the People of the United States, in Order to
form a more perfect Union, establish Justice,
insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the
common defence, promote the general Welfare,
and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves
and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this
Constitution for the United States of America.”… [ Read all ]
Our new exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” opens on June 10 and has over 100 original records about food.
But what if you could do more than just look at the records? What if you could taste them—and taste history?
Chef Jose Andres—the 2011 Outstanding Chef at the James Beard Foundation Awards, host and executive producer of PBS series Made in Spain, and owner of several restaurants—had some good ideas of how he might cook up history.
This morning at a press event at the National Archives, the Archivist and Chef Andres announced a special partnership between the Foundation for the National Archives and ThinkFoodGroup inspired by “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”
On July 4, Chef Andres will open a pop-up restaurant called America Eats Tavern, which will be a culinary destination and an extension of the National Archives exhibit. The name comes from the Works Progress Administration (WPA) writers project of the 1930s.
What will American history taste like? Count on native ingredients and long-forgotten dishes and inspiration from generations of immigrants. Burgoo and Oysters Rockefeller are on the menu!
Chef Andres is also the Chief Culinary Advisor to the exhibit and wrote the introduction to the new recipe book Eating with Uncle Sam: Recipes and Historical Bites from the National Archives. He will also be speaking at the National Archives on June 10 about the … [ Read all ]
The National Archives has over 3,000 employees, but not all of them are archivists. There are educators, social media writers, preservationists, security personnel, and Federal Records Center workers. Some of us handle records all day, but for many of us, our jobs do not bring us into direct contact with the records.
That’s why it is so exciting to go inside the Treasure Vault, as we call the specially secured and fire-safe room that holds some of the most interesting and precious documents of the National Archives. Today, some of our staff from various departments took a special trip to Treasure Vault of the Center for Legislative Archives (CLA), which holds the records of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate.
These treasures range in content and across time, from Clifford Berryman’s political cartoons (when CLA acquired them, the drawings were stored in trash bags) to a radar map showing Japanese planes approaching Pearl Harbor to the electronic records from the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks on the United States (the 9/11 Commission).
But my favorite record from Congress? It was George Washington’s inaugural address. The two sheets were in a protective case, but when the archivist held them up in front of me, it was still thrilling to see the pages written in Washington’s own hand and to imagine the President reading the address aloud in New York.
I love my job writing … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on May 10, 2011, under Rare Photos, Unusual documents.
Tags: 9-11 Commission, Archivist, careers, Center for Legislative Archives, Congress, george washington, jobs, John Berryman, national archives, Pearl Harbor, Treasure Vault