Tag: National Archives at Kansas City
In the wake of the 150th anniversary of the Homestead Act, the Exhibits Division’s senior registrar, Jim Zeender, and archivist Greg Bradsher flew out to America’s heartland to share a document that made it all possible.
Last month, they visited the Homestead National Monument of America, four miles west of Beatrice, NE, to install the exhibit. The Homestead Act of 1862 is a four-page document signed by Abraham Lincoln. Because it is written on parchment, the document is very sensitive to fluctuations in humidity. Great care was taken to ensure the case kept relative humidity steady as the Homestead Act traveled to Nebraska. This is the first time all four pages have been displayed.
“The Homestead Act is an important document because it opened the way for settlement of the west,” Zeender said. “It was an engine for immigration to the west, even bringing in people from overseas.” The act granted most Americans the ability to claim 160 acres of undeveloped federal land west of the Mississippi River as long as the claimants were at least 21 years old, lived on the land for five years, and showed evidence of making improvements. Its passage allowed 270 million acres of land to be settled in 30 states.
At the Homestead National Monument, Zeender and Bradsher were briefed on security, given tours of the museum, and gave a series of presentations on the Homestead Act … [ Read all ]
Today’s guest post comes from Jennifer Audsley Moore, who is an archives technician and volunteer coordinator at the National Archives at Kansas City.
Whale: It’s what’s for dinner.
At least, that is how the U.S. Food Administration and U.S Bureau of Fisheries would have it. During World War I, the U.S. Food Administration was established under the Lever Act to ration food and stabilize prices. With farmers and other industries mandated to comply with the act, certain food items such as sugar, wheat, and beef became difficult to procure.
But for the majority of Americans, participation in food rationing was more strongly suggested than mandatory. Advertisements designed to admonish Americans into forgoing sugar, beef, pork, wheat in the name of patriotism abounded. American soldiers fighting in France needed beef and sugar rations, and Uncle Sam needed the ships normally used to import sugar and other luxuries for the war effort.
So just what were Americans at home supposed to serve for dinner? Not beef. Not pork. Chicken perhaps? No. How about whale? Yes, whale.
Perhaps this might not seem far-fetched in Alaska or even New England (although in the Midwest we tend to identify the East Coast with clam chowder and Maryland crab, not whale). But what about in Missouri, the heart and breadbasket of the nation? Catfish and trout may be plentiful … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on September 21, 2011, under - World War I, Recipes, Unusual documents, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: Kansas City, Midwaest, National Archives at Kansas City, pot roast, rationing, recipes, U.S. Bureau of Fisheries, U.S. Food Administration, whale, whale recipes, WWI
But the images above take facial hair to a whole new level! Staff at the National Archives at Kansas City got together and created Potatriot dioramas (inspired by this post). They kept the prisoners’ jumpsuits simple with black and white paper, but then took pipe cleaners and pens to interpret the facial hair, from beards to handlebar to stubble. Truly impressive! Click on the picture to enlarge, or admire the set on Flickr.
You can check out our full set of historic Potatriots dioramas on Flickr. And if you create your own Potatriots scene, send it to email@example.com, and we will add it on Flickr!
Posted by Hilary on July 29, 2011, under Facial Hair Fridays.
Tags: beard, facial hair, handlebar, Kansas City, Leavenworth, National Archives at Kansas City, Potatriots, prison, staff, stubble
The Federal Penitentiary at Leavenworth, Kansas, has housed some famous and infamous inmates, such as “Birdman of Alcatraz” Robert Stroud and Machine Gun Kelly. In the early 20th century, the prison took in some less likely felons—violators of the Oleomargarine Act of 1886.
How did trafficking in this popular butter substitute become a Federal offense? Well, almost immediately after New York’s U.S. Dairy Company began production of “artificial butter” in 1871, regulation began. Dairy interests pushed Congress to pass the 1886 act, which imposed a two-cent tax (per pound) on margarine and also required manufacturers, wholesalers, and retailers of margarine to obtain margarine licenses.
By 1902, 32 states had bans on coloring margarine yellow to make it look more like butter. That same year, Congress increased the tax to 10 cents a pound for colored margarine but imposed a lesser tax of a quarter of one cent per pound on the uncolored stuff.
The exhibit “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” includes the story of felons convicted of violating sections of the Oleomargarine Act and sent to the Federal prison at Leavenworth. Some tried to pass the margarine off as butter; others tried to evade the tax by reusing tax stamps again and again.
Consumers colored their own margarine with yellow food coloring into the 1940s. The federal margarine tax system came to an end in 1951. … [ Read all ]
Posted by Mary on July 6, 2011, under Prologue Magazine, Unusual documents, What's Cooking, What's Cooking Wednesdays.
Tags: american history, Leavenworth, NARA, National archives and records administration, National Archives at Kansas City, Oleomargarine Act of 1886, United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth
Did you catch Mugged! Facing Life at Leavenworth at the National Archives at Kansas City this summer?
The exhibit may be closed now, but you can learn more about the prison, its inmates, and its records in this new article from Prologue. And it’s not too late to see some more mug shots from the exhibits. Check out the album on the National Archives Facebook page.
Located twenty-five miles north of Kansas City, the United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth opened its doors in 1895 as the nation’s first Federal penitentiary. Since it was a Federal prison, the National Archives at Kansas City has many of its records.
The prison is still in use today. While mustaches may not be in fashion for modern inmates, a hundred years ago there plenty of hats, facial hair, and startled expressions. Among the many featured mug shots of prisoners are many fine examples of facial hair: the three below feature mustaches.… [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on August 13, 2010, under Facial Hair Fridays.
Tags: american history, facial hair friday, first Federal penitentiary, Mugged! Facing Life at Leavenworth, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, National Archives at Kansas City, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, United States Penitentiary at Leavenworth, weird US history