Tag: National Archives building
Opened in 1935, the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, was created to hold the nation’s most important and influential documents in American history.
The National Archives History Office has produced a new online exhibit on the National Archives Building, which is available in Google Cultural Institute.
In the 19th century, historians and elected officials began campaigning for a central archive to hold all of the Federal Government’s records. At that time, Federal records were in grave danger of permanent loss as a result of damage from improper housing.
Congress finally authorized the construction of the National Archives Building by passing the Public Buildings Act in 1926. President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the legislation establishing the National Archives as an agency in 1934.
Occupying a unique position in Washington—halfway between the White House and the Capitol— the National Archives Building was designed by celebrated architect John Russell Pope.
At the building’s cornerstone ceremony in 1933, President Herbert Hoover declared:
“This temple of our history will be appropriately one of the most beautiful buildings in America, an expression of the American soul. It will be one of the most durable, an expression of the American character.”
The National Archives Building is an architectural … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jessie Kratz on September 8, 2015, under National Archives History, News and Events, Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tags: Constitution Avenue, john russell pope, National Archives building, online exhibit
In 1797, President George Washington designated two acres in the heart of Washington City for use as a public marketplace. For the next 134 years, Center Market was a Washington D.C. landmark on Pennsylvania Avenue, until it was demolished in 1931 to make way for the National Archives Building.
The National Archives History Office has produced a new online exhibit on Center Market, which is available in the Google Cultural Institute.
Throughout its history, Center Market was loud and lively. The marketplace was filled with crowds of people and transportation of all kinds. Street vendors or “hucksters,” farmers, and market men sold fruits, vegetables, and live animals to city-dwelling Washingtonians. The market attracted middle-class ladies, community leaders, businessmen, and social reformers.
In its earliest days, Center Market was no more than a collection of ramshackle wooden sheds. Bordered by the Washington Canal, the swampy land earned it the nickname “Marsh Market.”
Early Washingtonians recalled hunting wild ducks in the wetlands near the market and purchasing live fish right from the Canal.
As the city of Washington D.C. grew, so did complaints about the dirt and disorder of the public market.
A group … [ Read all ]
Today’s post comes from Rebecca Brenner, an intern in the History Office at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.
For almost a half-century, the National Archives has held an annual birthday party on July 4, at the document’s home at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
This timeline marks the significant milestones in Archives Fourth of July celebrations:
- 1776: Representatives to the Second Continental Congress signed the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration was printed on July 4, and John Carlisle, a friend of George Washington’s and successful merchant, read it aloud on the streets of Philadelphia.
- 1952: The Library of Congress, which held the Declaration from 1924 through 1952, transferred the document to the National Archives. The first Independence Day it was on display at the Archives was July 4, 1953.
- 1969: The National Archives Fourth of July became more extensive. A special exhibit opened to the public. In the early afternoon, the U.S. Army Band played a concert on the Constitution Avenue side of the Archives.
- 1970: Visitors listened to the annual reading of the Declaration of Independence in the Rotunda.
- 1976: Celebrations reached new levels when the Declaration turned 200 years old and the Archives established its annual July 4th event. On July 2,
Posted by Jessie Kratz on June 30, 2015, under - Constitution, - Declaration of Independence, - Revolutionary War, National Archives History, News and Events, Pennsylvania Avenue.
Tags: National Archives building
Hanging in the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance lobby of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, is a small plaque with the names of four men:
Ralph Leroy Dewsnup, Charles Edward Lewis, Julius Mayers and Augustus Julius Siko.
These four men were National Archives employees who died serving the United States during World War II.
In 1946 the National Archives created the plaque to honor these men and their service to our country.
The plaque’s dedication ceremony took place on January 29, 1947, in the Pennsylvania Avenue lobby, although now the plaque is displayed on a different wall than where it was originally unveiled.
The ceremony, attended by more than 100 National Archives employees, began with an invocation. Two National Archives staff members then performed a rendition of Kipling’s “Recessional.”
Bess Glenn, the employee association’s president, then unveiled the plaque.
She remarked, “To give expression to our feeling of respect and admiration for these lost comrades, the employees of the National Archives have erected this memorial plaque. In honoring these four men we honor also all members of our staff who were in the armed services of our country.”
Following the unveiling, Archivist Solon J. Buck received … [ Read all ]
On April 12, 1965, a small group of people gathered at the triangular plot on Pennsylvania Avenue near the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.
They were family and close friends of President Franklin D. Roosevelt and were assembled to dedicate a memorial to the late President on the 20th anniversary of his death.
The memorial was very much unlike the current FDR Memorial on the tidal basin. It was—and still is—a small and simple block of marble made from the same quarry as the FDR’s gravestone at Hyde Park, NY. The memorial was paid for by private donations that were not made public (although their names are sealed into the base of the stone).
The modest design was intentional—on September 26, 1941, Roosevelt had told his friend Supreme Court Justice Felix Frankfurter:
… [ Read all ]
“If any memorial is erected to me, I know exactly what I should like it to be. I should like it to consist of a block about the size of this (putting his hand on his desk) and placed in the center of that green plot in front of the Archives Building. I don’t care what it is made of, whether limestone or granite or whatnot, but I want it plain without any ornamentation, with