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Tag: National archives and records administration recognition day

Archives Spotlight: Making the Constitution accessible

October is American Archives Month! To celebrate, we’re running a series of “spotlights” on the many locations that make up the National Archives. Today’s post features the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and was written by Rick Blondo, management and program analyst at the National Archives.

In 1999, National Archives staff members Bruce Ashkenas and Bob Menoche rated the original display cases.

The Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, and the Bill of Rights are on permanent display in the Rotunda at the National Archives Building. But up until 2003, some visitors could not easily see these important documents or the documents displayed along with them.

The design of the original display cases, built in 1935, meant that items were displayed flat or nearly flat with the front edge of the cases about 40 inches above the floor. This height and angle made it nearly impossible for young children or people in wheelchairs to see the documents.

The original cases were rated poorly by short testers.

New display cases, installed as part of a building-wide renovation from 2000 to 2005, make those documents easily viewable by all visitors. During the renovation, we learned there was no accessible design standard for exhibit display cases containing original archival records. We consulted with experts and used a mock-up to test different heights and angles of display.

In 1999, volunteers tested and

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What’s Cooking Wednesday: A Commander-in-Chef’s Recipe for Vegetable Soup

President Eisenhower cooking for friends at a cookout at Camp David, 8/14/1960 (67-381-2, Eisenhower Library)

The only five-star general ever to be elected President of the United States, Dwight Eisenhower was a man of many accomplishments. That is why it should come as no surprise that Ike was a leader in the kitchen as well.

Throughout his Presidency, Eisenhower used the kitchen on the third floor of the White House to prepare his own soups and stews. A cookbook in the Eisenhower Presidential Library includes detailed recipes for old-fashioned beef stew, Mexican chili, and vegetable soup.

Since the 34th President was particularly fond of vegetable soup, his personal recipe can be found on the library’s web site.

According to the Eisenhower recipe, a good beef soup bone and a couple of pounds of beef or mutton are essential for flavoring. All of the meat should be placed in a kettle along with five quarts of water. It is important at this point to add a teaspoon of salt, a dash of black pepper, and some chopped garlic or onion. Once these instructions have been followed, the soup should be left to boil until the meat literally falls off of the bone.

Next, the kettle and stock should be placed in a very cool setting all night and until you are ready to make your soup the next … [ Read all ]

1924 round-the-world fliers complete their mission

The proposed route for the Army's 1924 Round-the-World Flight. (342-FH-3B-7965011279AS)

The proposed route for the Army's 1924 Round-the-World Flight. (342-FH-3B-7965011279AS)

At 1:28 p.m. on September 28, 1924, two planes landing in Seattle made history. The Chicago and New Orleans had flown 26,345 miles in 66 days to become the first airplanes to circumnavigate the globe. Four planes had started the journey on April 6, but the Seattle and Boston had been forced down over Alaska and the Atlantic, respectively.

Read the story of this amazing flight and the intrepid pilots in “Magellans of the Air” (Summer 2010 issue of Prologue). On our YouTube channel, you can listen to author Rob Crotty talk about this feat in a short video or watch original footage of the 1924 flight (54-minutes).… [ Read all ]

Top 10 National Archives Web Sites

The National Archives is a behemoth of information.

There are 10 billion or so pages of documents and hundreds of thousands of reels of motion picture footage, all spread out among regional archives, Presidential libraries, and Federal Records Centers to name a few.  But the National Archives family is bigger than just that: we’ve also got the Federal Register and administer the Electoral College, along with the National Declassification Center and plenty of other organizations.

Because of this, navigating through the National Archives—digitally or otherwise—can get a little intimidating. That’s why we here at Pieces of History have put together a top 10 list of some of our favorite haunts in the digital world of the National Archives. By no means is this an official list, or a complete one, or an authoritative compendium/finding aid/compass to navigate the Archives. But it isn’t a bad place to start. Have a NARA website you love, but we missed? Let us know!

fr2010) The Federal Register. Admittedly, this might not look like much now, but FR 2.0, a private/public web site overhaul of the Federal Register, goes live on July 26 and will blow your mind. The sneak peeks show a sleek and user-friendly website that has finally harnessed the power of the contents of the Federal Register.  So what is the Federal Register? It’s the newspaper of … [ Read all ]

What’s on in your neck of the woods?

Each month the National Archives in the Regions puts together a calendar of events that lays out all the great things going on around the country related to our nation’s records. At the top of that calendar is always a great story based on a few records found in our regional locations, and this month is no exception. Read about Mickey Mantle, Ernest “Mr. Cub” Banks, and the Selective Service; and then find out which regional archives is closest to you!

The National Archives in the Regions July Calendar of Events

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