It’s the 100th anniversary of the Girl Scouts, and thousands of girls and young women have descended on Washington, DC, for the Girl Scout Rock the Mall event this weekend. It seems like the perfect time confess my own history crush, a woman who was very involved in the Girl Scouts: Lou Henry Hoover.
Actually, I am not the only person here at the National Archives with a history crush on Lou Henry Hoover. Mention this First Lady’s name at a meeting, and female staff members are practically swooning. Here at the National Archives, Lou Henry Hoover is cool.
What inspires such awe?
Lou Henry Hoover was a scientist, polyglot, author, Girl Scout supporter, and world traveler. She mixed smarts, practicality, and adventure. Apparently Herbert Hoover was charmed “by her whimsical mind, her blue eyes and a broad grinnish smile.”
I actually knew little about her until I started working here and saw a photograph of her in the lab at Stanford University. My coworker was delighted to tell me about Lou, the first woman in Stanford’s geology department.
Rocks may not seem like the setting for romance, but the geology department is where Herbert Hoover met Lou Henry—he was a senior and she was a freshman at the still-new Stanford University. When Hoover finished his degree and went off to Australia to work as an engineer, Lou stayed behind and continued … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on June 8, 2012, under History Crush.
Tags: Boxer Rebellion, china, First Lady, Girl Scouts, herbert hoover, Lincoln Study, Lou Henry Hoover, national archives, White Hosue
The clothes must make the man! Last week’s photo caption contest winner featured Spring Fashion Week and canvas jumpsuits; this week’s winner pokes gentle fun at what our congressmen might look like before they are suited up for work.
Duke Blackwood, the Director of the Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, took on his guest judging duties with a good humor that may make even the stoniest-faced terra-cotta warrior crack a smile.
Congratulations to Logan! Check your email for a code for a 15% discount in the National Archives eStore.
The original caption of the photo reads: “Photograph of the Reagans standing with the Terra Cotta figures in Xi’an, China” (April 29, 1984. ARC 198547). President Reagan’s 1984 trip to China marked only the second time a U.S. President visited since President Richard Nixon’s historic trip in 1972. Reagan met with Chinese President Li Xiannian in an attempt to resolve diplomatic differences between the U.S. and China. He also toured historical and cultural sites in Beijing with First Lady Nancy Reagan, including the Terra-cotta Army of Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor of China. The terra-cotta soldiers were found in a massive burial site, intended to protect the emperor in the afterlife.
Our last photograph featured orderly soldiers below the ground, so this week we thought we’d take to the unpredictable skies. Put your wittiest captions in the comments below!… [ Read all ]
Posted by Victoria on May 10, 2012, under Photo Caption Contest.
Tags: china, Duke Blackwood, Nancy Reagan, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan Library and Museum, terra-cotta army, terracotta army
Last week on Facebook, I posted up a image that my colleague found for Shark Week. It wasn’t a biological shark, but a mechanical one. The caption provided some basic information: “A Chinese soldier guards a line of American P-40 fighter planes, painted with the shark-face emblem of the ‘Flying Tigers,’ at a flying field somewhere in China. The American pursuit planes have a 12-to-1 victory ratio over the Japanese., ca. 1942.”
The comments in the post, however, provided far more information! Facebook users launched into a knowledgeable discussion of dates, forces, and plane types.
But if anyone used our Online Public Access search engine (OPA) to search the online holdings of the National Archives using the words that came up in the discussion (“23rd Fighter Group” or ”Kunming” or “Zhongzheng Type-24,”) this photograph would not appear. A possibly useful record would not make its way to a researcher.
This is why the Archivist has invited “citizens archivists” to join him in crowdsourcing our vast holdings by tagging images and photographs. Users who have knowledge about our holdings can assign tags that make records more findeable for fellow users.
Already, users have contributed hundred of tags. Are you interested in joining the fun? We’d like your help! To learn more about the project, sign up, and start tagging, go here.
Interested in learning more about those strange shark planes? Here’s a … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on August 8, 2011, under - World War II, Social Media Guides.
Tags: 23rd Fighter Group, American Volunteer Group, china, crowdsourcing, Kunming, Online Public Access, OPA, P-40 fighter planes, shark, Zhongzheng Type-24
Sometimes sharing a good meal is the best way to resolve the differences you may have with another. For the United States and China, this strategy helped normalize relations during the peak of the Cold War.
Today, the U.S. and China share a public relationship, but after Mao Tse-tung’s Chinese Communist Party founded the People’s Republic of China, the two countries severed all diplomatic communication for more than two decades. Relations between the two powers did not reopen until President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to mainland China in 1972.
The first evening of the trip, Chinese Prime Minister Chou En-lai hosted an elaborate banquet in honor of President Nixon in the Great Hall of the People on Tiananmen Square. The dinner, which was broadcast live around the globe, consisted of both of customary and exotic Chinese dishes.
In an effort to accommodate the President and his party, chefs prepared familiar items like Chinese sausage, shrimp, roast pork, roast duck with pineapple, and vegetable slices. The menu also included native cuisine like shark’s fin soup, black mushrooms with mustard greens, and spongy bamboo shoots. President Nixon skillfully used chopsticks to sample each dish served to him, maintaining proper Chinese etiquette.
The main beverages served at the banquet were boiled water, orange juice, wine, and, of course, mao-tai. Photographs of Nixon and Chou En-lai toasting each other … [ Read all ]
Posted by Gregory Marose on July 20, 2011, under - Cold War, - Presidents, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: china, Chou En-lai, Mao, mao-tai, Nixon, People’s Republic of China, Tiananmen Square
The New York Times called it “engrossing and eminently fascinating.” The Richmond Times Dispatch said “Discovering the Civil War” “isn’t your typical Civil War retrospective.” And the Neue Zurcher Zeitung called the National Archives’ newest exhibit, “einer grandiosen Ausstellung in Washington.”
Wait . . . was that German?
Yes, DCTW isn’t just making a splash in the United States, it’s big in Switzerland, too, and even got a mention in Der Spiegel, Germany’s largest paper.
Such international reviews only underscore part of what DTCW tells us about the Civil War: that it was an international affair. From the Confederate envoys sent to Europe to secure the blessing of the Pope to Chinese blockades of Confederate goods and ship raids by the CSS Alabama off the shores of South Africa, the Civil War was not just a domestic dispute.
Part one of “Discovering the Civil War” runs through September 2010. Part two, “Consequences,” opens November 2010.… [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on June 29, 2010, under Authors on the Record, News and Events.
Tags: american history, china, css alabama, der spiegel, discovering the civil war, foreign policy, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, odd history, Pieces of History, pope pius, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, south africa, switzerland, weird US history