This post was written by Laura Brandt and originally appeared on the Facebook page of the Foundation for the National Archives.
Flexing your literary muscles this month but facing writers’ block? Don’t forget that the National Archives has a wealth of information to enhance your tale, whether you are writing a historical novel or are looking for inspiration for interesting characters or plot twists.
How about a tale of war, heroic birds, and desperate soldiers? During World War I, the U.S. Seventy-seventh Infantry Division attacked the Germans near Charlevaux, France. Only one unit penetrated enemy lines: Maj. Charles W. Whittlesay’s First Battalion of the 308th Infantry Regiment. The battalion was quickly surrounded by Germans—and then came under friendly fire from its own artillery. Whittlesay used his last carrier pigeon to send this three-sentence plea.
Or, what would it be like to be a White House photographer? White House Photographer Cecil Stoughton took this iconic photo of Lyndon B. Johnson’s swearing-in ceremony after John. F. Kennedy was assassinated–but maybe your White House photographer is with President Lincoln at Ford’s Theater, or is covering the President in 2024? Take a look at these photographs for more inspiration!
Are you struggling with character development? How about thinking about what your characters would keep in their wallets? Find out what Eleanor Roosevelt kept in hers…and don’t forget to … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on November 8, 2011, under Letters in the National Archives, Myth or History, petitions, Social Media Guides.
Tags: gunfight, inspiration, intrigue, NaNoWriMo, novel, oleo gang, pigeon, prison, research, romance, wallet, White House Photographer, Wild West, WWI, Yeti
Eleanor Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884. She was the niece of former President Theodore Roosevelt, and later became the wife of future President Franklin D. Roosevelt (her fifth cousin).
She is known for her role as First Lady during the Great Depression and World War II. She was the first woman in that role to hold a press conference, and she was an advocate for minorities, the disadvantaged, and the disabled.
In her post–White House life, she served as chair of the Human Rights Commission for the United Nations General Assembly and as first chairperson of the President’s Commission on the Status of Women.
But to get a different sense of Mrs. Roosevelt’s many causes, interests, and associations, we can look inside her wallet.
Among the many cards and bits of paper, she had a license from the state of New York to carry a pistol, an expired card to the Newspaper Guild’s Press Club in New York City, a Diner’s Club Credit Card, a health insurance card, a “Bell System Credit Card” with instructions on how to make a collect call, a St. Christopher card for the patron saint of travel, and an air travel card.
The contents of her wallet—cards, photographs, bits of poems—at the time of her death in 1962 are now part of the holdings of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. You can … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on October 11, 2011, under - Great Depression, - Presidents, - Women's Rights, - World War I, - World War II, Unusual documents.
Tags: Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, Theodore Roosevelt, wallet