Once upon a time, space was quiet. This was before satellites had cluttered the orbit of the earth, beaming TV shows and text messages and GPS coordinates.
Before 1958, space was very quiet.
On December 18, 1958, the Air Force placed the first communications satellite, a Project SCORE relay vehicle, into orbit.
And then, on December 19, the sound of the a human voice was transmitted through space. It was the voice of President Eisenhower, broadcasting a message of peace to the world below.
This is the President of the United States speaking. Through the marvels of scientific advance, my voice is coming to you from a satellite circling in outer space. My message is a simple one. Through this unique means, I convey to you and all mankind America’s wish for peace on earth and good will to men everywhere.
Fewer than 100 people knew about the project, called SCORE (Signal Communications by Orbiting Relay Equipment). The goal was to put an Atlas missile into orbit and to show that communications satellites could transmit messages to Earth. It was a huge technological breakthrough and a milestone in the space race.
Sputnik 1 had been successfully launched in 1957 and had an … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 19, 2012, under - Cold War, - Presidents, - Space Race, Letters in the National Archives, Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tags: 1958, Christmas, Eisenhower, satellite, SCORE, space, Sputnik
This week marks the 22nd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The National Archives holds many records that relate to American citizens with disabilities. From personal letters to historic legislation, these records from the Presidential Libraries provide insight into disability history.
For the opening of the Public Vaults exhibition at the National Archives Building in 2004, public affairs specialist Miriam Kleiman was assigned to track down and bring to Washington some of the people mentioned in the exhibition. This is her account of her search for John Beaulieu.
I was intrigued by the letters from children in the “Dear Uncle Sam” section of the “Form a More Perfect Union” vault. One unusual letter in the stack interested me a great deal—a letter written in Braille to President Dwight D. Eisenhower by a young boy in the fall of 1956.
Thirteen-year-old John Beaulieu offered the President the following campaign stump speech: “Vote for me. I will help you out. I will lower the prices and also your tax bill. I also will help the negroes, so that they may go to school.”
The return address listed Perkins School for the Blind (Helen Keller’s alma mater) in Watertown, Massachusetts. After my Internet searches led nowhere, I called the Perkins School but was … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on July 25, 2012, under - Presidents, Disability History, Letters in the National Archives, Pennsylvania Avenue, Unusual documents.
Tags: Beaulieu, Braille, Eisenhower, Helen Keller, letter, letter from the President, Miriam Kleiman, national archives, Perkins School, Public Vaults
With Super Bowl Sunday just two days away, we’ve decided to call an audible and make today’s “Facial Hair Friday” into a “Football Friday.”
When the New England Patriots and New York Giants collide in this year’s Super Bowl, the two teams will be competing for more than just a National Football League championship. The winner will also receive a trip to the White House, a place that many gridiron greats have called home.
Football has a rich history at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
President Eisenhower was a standout halfback at West Point. Similarly, President Ford was a star at the University of Michigan, ultimately earning contract offers from the Detroit Lions and Green Bay Packers. As for President Reagan, he earned the nickname “the Gipper” after staring as Notre Dame’s George Gipp in the 1940 film Knute Rockne, All American.
Several Presidents have also remained loyal fans even after their playing days.
President Kennedy, who went out for the team at Harvard, once called legendary coach Vince Lombardi to ask if he would “come … [ Read all ]
Posted by Gregory Marose on February 3, 2012, under - Presidents, Uncategorized.
Tags: Bush, Eisenhower, Ford, Kennedy, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Nixon, Pennsylvania Avenue, Reagan, Super Bowl, Vince Lombardi, washington Redskins, White House
Today’s guest post was written by Miriam Kleiman, who works in the National Archives Public Affairs Office.
George Clooney’s next film—which he will write, direct, and star in—is based on holdings from the National Archives!
Clooney announced last weekend that his number-one priority is to make a film about the “Monuments Men,” a group of cultural scholars and historians who donned Army uniforms to serve the Allies by rescuing, identifying, and trying to return precious artworks looted by Adolf Hitler.
Clooney shared with the press that while the Monuments Men were not trained for combat, they did face live fire and even had to give orders. He offered a possible example: “Don’t aim your tank over there, that’s the Leaning Tower of Pisa!” And it will be a big-budget film, not a small artsy one.
Clooney is now working on the screenplay. The movie will be an adaptation of Robert Edsel’s 2009 book, The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves, and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.
Edsel is no stranger to the National Archives. His work is largely based on National Archives records, including those of the Office of Strategic Services Art Looting Unit, images from the U.S. Army Signal Corps, … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on January 18, 2012, under - World War II, News and Events, Unusual documents.
Tags: Alfred Rosenberg, Bavaria, Captured German Records, Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, Eisenhower, ERR, George Clooney, George Patton, Hermann Goering, hitler, Hitler albums, Hollywood, Jewish art collections, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Monuments Men, National Treasure, Neuschwanstein, Nicholas Cage, Office of Strategic Services Art Looting Unit, Omar Bradley, Robert Edsel, Rose Valland, U.S. Army
As 2011 draws to a close, so does our exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” which will end on January 3, 2012.
It’s been a great year for food here at the National Archives. We’ve had amazing guests come and speak, including Chef José Andrés, our neighbor and Chief Culinary Adviser for the exhibit; Chef Roland Mesnier, former White House pastry chef; Diana Kennedy, guru of Mexican food; Ann Harvey Yonkers, co-director of FRESHFARM markets; Jessica B. Harris, author of High on the Hog; and George Motz, author of Hamburger America.
And of course, we’ve been writing about food-related records in the National Archives almost every Wednesday since the exhibit opened. We thought it would be fun to look back at the Top Ten Food Records in honor of this exhibit. Since we couldn’t include all of the records, we chose the ones that were most striking, strange, or popular.
Here’s our Top Ten list of memorable food records!
TEN: My coworker was constantly amused by this label for “Grains of Health,” which is profuse in its praise but vague in its description of these grains might actually be. Her favorite line: “It is so prepared that the strongest and the most delicate person may drink it at the same table.”
NINE: “Pig Cafeteria” is a … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on December 28, 2011, under - Great Depression, - The 1960s, - World War II, Recipes, Unusual documents, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: Alice Kamps, Ann Harvey Yonkers, B1, butter, candy, chef, crimes against butter, Diana Kennedy, Eisenhower, exploding ketchup, food groups, FRESHFARM Markets, George Motz, Grains of Health, guest speakers, Hamburger America, High on the Hog, Jessica B. Harris, Jose Andres, Kansas City, ketchup, magarine, Nebraska, oleo gang, pastry chef, Pig Cafeteria, poison, Potatriots, Queen Elizabeth, Queen's Scones, Roland Mesnier, scribd.com, Top Ten, USDA, vitamin, vitamin donuts, wedding, whale, Wild West, WWII