The best thing about Thanksgiving is gathering around the table, stuffing your faces with turkey, and enjoying the pleasant and agreeable conversation with your extended family. Right? Well, to keep the happy conversation flowing, here’s some fun facts about Thanksgiving to keep your family distracted from explosive topics (you know what they are at your house) while they digest that second slice of pumpkin pie.
We associate Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, but the holiday wasn’t official until October 3, 1789, when President George Washington issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789, as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks.” The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving under its new Constitution.
It’s the sesquicentennial of President Lincoln’s Thanksgiving declaration. One hundred and fifty years ago, he declared Thanksgiving a national holiday, and asked that those being thankful also “commend to His [God's] tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged.” The President declared that Thanksgiving would be commemorated each year on the fourth Thursday of November.
The tug-of-war between Thanksgiving and holiday shopping started years ago during the Great Depression. In 1939, President Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday to the third Thursday of November to lengthen the Christmas shopping season and boost the economy, which was … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on November 27, 2013, under - Civil War, - Presidents, Abraham Lincoln, Myth or History, Unusual documents.
Tags: Carter, FDR, George H. W. Bush, green peas, lincoln, military, Pilgrims, Roosevelt, thanksgiving, turkey pardon, washington
Steven Spielberg is being honored by the Foundation for the National Archives for his film legacy, which has brought history to life on the big screen. The National Archives is celebrating the award with a film festival. Lincoln is the last film to be screened. Join us tonight, November 18, at 7 p.m. Tickets are free and distributed an hour before the screening. For details on the award, go here.
Among the official Civil War records preserved by the National Archives is a series of telegrams sent by President Lincoln during his Presidency, including this “bull-dog” telegram to General Grant.
Ulysses S. Grant earned the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” Grant during the Civil War after his 1862 victory at Fort Donelson in Tennessee. For his proven military skills and for his bulldog determination to destroy the Confederate armies, President Lincoln picked Grant in March 1864 to be Lieutenant General of the U.S. Army, making him commander of all Union forces.
In June of that year, Grant set out to capture Petersburg, Virginia, the hub of a railroad system that carried food and supplies to the Confederate capital city of Richmond and to Gen. Robert E. Lee’s army. Although the Union’s initial assaults failed to capture the city, they did sever some of these railroad lines. By July both Confederate and Union forces had dug in … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on November 18, 2013, under - Civil War, - Presidents, Abraham Lincoln.
Tags: civil war, film festival, General Grant, lincoln, Petersburg, Spielberg, telegram, virginia
Now is your chance to ask Steven Spielberg a question on Twitter using the hashtag #askspielberg!
Over the next few weeks, Ken Burns will handpick several tweets and share the questions with the movie director. Spielberg will answer the questions at the at the Foundation for the National Archives 2013 Gala and Records of Achievement Award ceremony at the National Archives.
So tweet your question to @archivesfdn and use the hashtag #askspielberg.
The director is being honored by the Foundation for his film legacy, which has brought history to life on the big screen. The National Archives is celebrating the award with a film festival!
Presented in association with DreamWorks Studios, this free public film festival will showcase:
- Saving Private Ryan (1998; rated R), Friday, November 15, 7 p.m.
- E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982; rated PG), Saturday, November 16, noon
- Amistad (1997; rated R), Saturday, November 16, 7 p.m.
- Lincoln (2012; rated PG-13), Monday, November 18, 7 p.m.
Free tickets will be distributed at the Special Events entrance to the National Archives at 7th Street and Constitution Avenue, NW, beginning 60 minutes prior to showtime. Seating is limited and first-come, first-served.
For more information about the Spielberg Film Festival, visit http://www.archivesfoundation.org/programs/steven-spielberg-film-festival/
Spielberg is receiving the Records of Achievement Award, given to an individual whose work has fostered a broader national awareness of the history and identity of the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on November 8, 2013, under - Civil Rights, - Civil War, - Exploration, - Presidents, - World War II, News and Events.
Tags: Amistad, askspielberg, dreamworks, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, film, Foundation for the NAtional Archives, lincoln, Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg
Today’s blog post comes from Hannah Fenster, summer intern in the Public Affairs Office of the National Archives.
Herman Haupt wasn’t hurting for hair.
The scruff that framed his face and eyes contributed to his imposing persona—which was so stubborn that he often refused the help of other people so he could accomplish a task more quickly.
The intense gaze radiating from under Haupt’s thick eyebrows analyzed many a difficult situation involving Northern railroad strategy and bridge reconstruction during the Civil War. One hundred and fifty years ago this month, from July 1 to July 3, 1863, Union troops at the Battle of Gettysburg used Haupt’s refurbished Western Maryland Railroad to supply Gen. George G. Meade’s army.
Haupt only began assessing and controlling the situation on July 1—but he was the perfect choice to lead the effort.
Not only did he have a steely, goal-driven personality, but he had lived in the Gettysburg area in his younger pre-beard years, and he had been the chief engineer of the Pennsylvania Railroad before his appointment as colonel. His familiarity with the geography and with the railroad business ensured that his transport system exceeded expectations in moving the injured to Baltimore and transferring daily supplies to the battlefield.
Haupt and the U.S. Military Railroad Construction Corps are particularly well known for assembling bridges with limited time … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on July 26, 2013, under - Civil War, Facial Hair Fridays, Uncategorized.
Tags: David A. Pfeiffer, Gettysburg, guest post, Hannah Fenster, Herman Haupt, lincoln, Mathew Brady, Meade, Pennsylvania Railroad, Potomac, Prologue magazine, railroads, Trains, U.S. Military Railroad Construction Corps, USMRCC, Western Maryland Railroad
In honor of Opening Day for the 2013 baseball season, we’ve put together this gallery of baseball-related photos, documents, and artifacts from the holdings of the 13 Presidential Libraries of the National Archives. This summary of Presidential baseball history was compiled by James Kratsas, Deputy Director at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library and Museum. This post originally appeared on the White House blog.
And you can read about even more baseball history in the National Archives in our new, free eBook!
Our national pastime and our nation’s leaders have shared a unique relationship for some 150 years. Presidents throwing out first pitches or hosting World Series winners at the White House are familiar images from each baseball season.
The connection between Presidents and baseball stretches back as far as Abraham Lincoln. According to research conducted for the 1939 Major League Baseball Centennial Celebration, Lincoln was playing baseball in Springfield, Illinois, when he was informed that the Chicago Republican Convention had nominated him as the Presidential candidate. Lincoln is reported to have responded, “They will have to wait a few minutes until I get my next turn at bat.” A year later when he arrived at the White House in 1861, baseball’s popularity had caught on in Washington, DC. As President, Lincoln is said to have played baseball on the White House lawn.
Lincoln’s … [ Read all ]