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Tag: Kansas

Enemy Aliens in Kansas City

Today’s post comes from Kimberlee Ried, public programs specialist at the National Archives in Kansas City, MO.

After war was declared by Congress in April 1917, non-naturalized “enemy aliens” were required to register with the Department of Justice as a national security measure. A Presidential Proclamation of November 16, 1917, meant that “all natives, citizens, denizens or subjects of the German Empire” age 14 and older who were “within the United States” needed to register as “alien enemies.”

The National Archives at Kansas City has a collection of the Enemy Alien Registration Affidavits for the state of Kansas. These documents are full of valuable information for researchers.

Alexander Walter was born May 18, 1828, in Hanover, Germany. He was also a Civil War veteran who lived in the National Military Home in Leavenworth, KS. He had to fill out this registration form in 1918—at the age of 90.


The registrations occurred from November 1917 to April 1918.  Initially the registration included only men; the regulations stated, “females are not alien enemies.” However, an act of April 16, 1918, extended the definition of “enemy aliens” to include women age 14 and older. This was followed three days later by a Presidential proclamation that included women of American birth who were married to enemy aliens. (American-born women eventually had their citizenship reinstated in the 1920s.)

Each enemy … [ Read all ]

Working at the National Archives: Inside the Ice Cube

Today’s guest post is by Bob Beebe, archives technician at the Federal Records Center in Lenexa, Kansas.

Where’s the coolest place to work at the National Archives? The Ice Cube, of course!

At the Federal Records Center (FRC) in Lenexa, Kansas, one storage bay stands out from all of the other rooms at our facility. It is a stand-alone room, equipped with state-of-the-art scanners and barcodes. And it is just a bit cooler than the rest of the center, checking in at 35°F in the main room and 25°F in the freezer. We refer to the room as the “Ice Cube,” and the items stored in the room are assorted types of film.

The staff members who volunteer to work in the Ice Cube wear parkas, overalls, and gloves to keep warm. We have three to four staff trained to work in the Ice Cube, and they are rotated on a weekly basis. Most weeks, a single person takes care of all of the work for the area with extra help for quality control checks and on the occasional day when we receive a high number of requests. We use barcoding to keep track of the more than 350,000 items stored in the 77,000 feet of space.

We only fulfill requests on days when we can overnight the shipments to the National Archives in College … [ Read all ]