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!… [ Read all ]
In 1943, you wrote a letter to President Roosevelt. In 2011, the National Archives featured your letter on YouTube! How would you feel?
L. J. Weil feels pretty good, actually. “Wonderful! It’s great to be honored this way,” he said when National Archives staff reached him at his home in Lousiana.
Weil’s letter to the President Roosevelt was sent in 1943, and 67 years later it was chosen to be featured as the demonstration model for the National Archives new search engine.
What prompted Weil write to President Roosevelt? Weil was 10 when Pearl Harbor was bombed, an event he still clearly remembers. Two years later, it was 1943, and the United States was in midst of fighting World War II. Weil wanted to help.
He wrote to President Roosevelt, offering his services as a mascot. “I’m twelve years old and a little young to get into anything right now, but when I am a little older, well just you wait and see,” Weil wrote.
Weil did receive a reply but only received what he called a “brush off” from a Marine officer, who noted that there was no law about appointing official mascots. “The patriotic motive which prompted your office of service is appreciated, however, and hope that when you reach the required age of enlistment in the Marine Corps you will avail your self of the opportunity … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on January 12, 2011, under - World War II, Letters in the National Archives.
Tags: 1943, Add new tag, army, L. J. Weil, MArines, mascot, Pearl Harbor, Roosevelt, ROTC, Special Forces Green Beret, Weil, World War II
We may be a litttle short-staffed on this quasi-holiday, but I couldn’t let Facial Hair Friday go by without a nod to some historic beards. Today’s honoree is Gen. Albion P. Howe, veteran of the Mexican War and the Civil War.
When a captain in the U.S. Army, Howe served under Col. Robert E. Lee at Harper’s Ferry in the action against John Brown. During the Civil War, he served in the Army of the Potomac and led his division in the Battle of Fredericksburg. After the war he was a member of the honor guard that watched over Abraham Lincoln’s body and was appointed to the military commission that tried the Lincoln conspirators.
I came upon the general serendipitously. I was actually looking for information about sewing machine inventor Elias Howe, Jr., when I chanced upon the general’s flowing mustachios. Further research into Howe brought me back to Facial Hair Friday for June 25, 2010, when Hilary presented Col. Marshall Howe’s amazing neck beard.
What is it about Howes and facial hair? One even sees a progression of hair upward, moving from Marshall’s neck to Elias’s lower chin to Albion’s extravagent mustache and full beard. Keep your eyes peeled. If you come across any more Howes with noteworthy facial hair, let us know!… [ Read all ]
Posted by Mary on November 26, 2010, under - Civil War, Facial Hair Fridays, Uncategorized.
Tags: albion howe, american history, army, beard, civil war, elias howe, facial hair friday, marshall howe, mustache, National Archives Official Blog
Escape and evasion files are firsthand accounts of a military personnel’s escape from behind enemy lines. In World War II, thousands of U.S. troops crashed in Nazi territory and had to evade capture or escape from German prisons. The National Archives recently digitized 2,953 firsthand accounts of escape and evasion during the war.
Each account reads like a Hollywood script, and although each is a gripping tale of perseverance, there are some that stand out as truly remarkable. We here at POH have summarized and linked our 10 favorite tales, including emergency landings into soccer games, fake Nazi salutes, and Boy Scout disguises.
2nd Lt. John Dunbar – It was the Fourth of July in 1943 when Dunbar’s plane was shot out of the sky over La Pallice, France. After receiving assistance from local Frenchmen in the German-occupied territory he marched for 18 days through France dressed as a peasant. For five of those days he had no food. For the rest, he survived off beer and scraps of food that had fallen off carts along the road. Three weeks later he crossed the Pyrenees mountains on foot into Spain, where he was captured by the Guardia Civil and later released.
Posted by Rob Crotty on September 29, 2010, under - World War II.
Tags: 2nd Lt. Jack E. Ryan, 2nd Lt. John Dunbar, 2nd Lt. Robert Laux, 2nd Lt. Wayne Rader, air force, american history, army, Capt. Edgar Williams, escape, Eugene Squier, Francis Murphy, Jin Clark, Lt. Col George Stalnaker, Lt. Philemon Wright, Maj. Donald Willis, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, Richard Smith, Sgt Elton Kevil, Sgt. Abe Helfgott, Sgt. Richard C. Hamilton, Sgt. Rudolph Cutino, Sgt. Thomas Glennan, Sgt. William Davidson, Stanley Miller, weird US history, William Howell, World War II, WWII
At 1:28 p.m. on September 28, 1924, two planes landing in Seattle made history. The Chicago and New Orleans had flown 26,345 miles in 66 days to become the first airplanes to circumnavigate the globe. Four planes had started the journey on April 6, but the Seattle and Boston had been forced down over Alaska and the Atlantic, respectively.
Read the story of this amazing flight and the intrepid pilots in “Magellans of the Air” (Summer 2010 issue of Prologue). On our YouTube channel, you can listen to author Rob Crotty talk about this feat in a short video or watch original footage of the 1924 flight (54-minutes).… [ Read all ]
Posted by Mary on September 28, 2010, under - Exploration, - World War I, Rare Videos.
Tags: american history, army, aviation history, early aviation, magellans of the sky, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, National archives and records administration recognition day, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, weird US history