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Tag: National archives and records administration

Hats off to Bess Truman!

Here at Prologue: Pieces of History, we have Facial Hair Friday. On the Harry S. Truman Library’s Facebook page, they celebrate Millinery Monday! When I was very little, I loved poking through my mother’s old hatboxes stored in the basement. Alas, the era of wearing hats for every occasion had passed, but she had saved her favorites.

Bess Truman apparently did the same thing. The Truman Library has several of her hats and many more photographs of her in hats at various stages of her life. Scrolling through the Truman Library’s page is a good substitute for exploring my mother’s hatboxes. Not only do you get to see some remarkable chapeaux, but you also get to see the very stylish young Bess Wallace (and others) wearing the hats.

Because Millinery Monday covers the span of Bess Truman’s life, we get to see how hat styles changed from the start of the 20th century through its late decades. We also get to see a part of the library’s collection that is not usually seen by the public. On the National Archives Facebook page, click through our list of “Favorite Pages” to find out more about the Presidential libraries, regional archives, and other units that are all part of the National Archives and Records Administration. You’ll be surprised at what you’ll find.

Besides looking through the old hatboxes … [ Read all ]

Thursday’s Caption Contest

The winning caption
When I voted to approve appropriations for the country’s highways, I didn’t think I’d have to build them!

Last’s week winning caption goes to Marc, whose plowman did not expect to have quite such an active role in government.

If you thought this looked like a victorious pursuit for these two well-dressed gentlemen, you would be correct. In this image from the Roosevelt Presidential Library, the Victory Garden Program Secretary is plowing Boston Common in 1944. There are no records on how many rutabagas were successfully planted and harvested.

This week’s mystery photo is more ominous than victorious! Put your caption in the comments box below.… [ Read all ]

Aloha treatment for a 1954 Hawaii petition

The work the National Archives Preservation staff does every day is hardly “everyday.” A recent post about Hawaii’s petition for statehood on the Preservation Program’s Facebook page demonstrated this fact. This preservation project stemmed from a request from our Center for Legislative Archives. Each archival unit creates annual and long-term preservation plans, and the Center’s list named several petitions to Congress. One of these presented a challenge—a massive wooden spool 68 inches wide containing a roll of paper 16 inches in diameter.

This mammoth petition contains the names of 116,000 supporters of Hawaii statehood. Hawaii had been annexed by the United States in 1898 and became a U.S. Territory in 1900. Attempts at statehood over the next 60 years met opposition from both native Hawaiians and Congress. In the 1950s, the statehood movement gained momentum, and Hawaii became our 50th state on August 21, 1959.

This giant scroll came to the National Archives by way of the U.S. Senate. The Governor of Hawaii had presented the petition to the Vice President of the United States, who then (as President of the Senate) brought it before the Senate on February 26, 1954.

As an official document of the U.S. Senate, it eventually came down the street to the National Archives. It had been stored in a safe place, but over the years, the exposed outer … [ Read all ]

Thursday’s Photo Caption Contest

This week’s winner is Tommy R! His clever caption combines the discoveries of the atomic age with a nifty Latin neologism. Tommy, we’ll be sending you a 15% discount for the National Archives eStore.

The original caption tell us that “Sister Mary Helene ven Horst, science instructor at Marycrest College in Davenport, Iowa, teaches students the theory of radiation and the use of radiological monitoring instruments. . . . ca. 1960.” The photo is from the series for civil defense photographs in the Records of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

This week, give us your best captions for this photo plucked from the holdings of the National Archives. YOU tell us what’s going on and take a chance to win an eStore discount for yourself.… [ Read all ]

It’s Washington’s Birthday—really

Monday is a federal holiday, but what holiday is it? So many ads on television and in print tell us it’s Presidents/President’s/Presidents’ Day. Images of Lincoln and Washington sometimes accompany these ads.

But here at the National Archives, we know it’s still officially Washington’s Birthday. This year the holiday is actually close to GW’s birthday (February 22), but in many years the holiday falls closes to Lincoln’s (February 12).

How did this once-fixed holiday become blurred and shared with all U.S. Presidents? Look to the Uniform Monday Holiday Bill of 1968, which moved the observance of our first President’s birth from its actual day to the third Monday of February.

Read the whole story in Prologue: “By George, IT IS Washington’s Birthday” (Winter 2004).… [ Read all ]