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Daring Deliveries: The U.S. Post Office and the Birth of Commercial Aviation

At the beginning of the 20th century, dreams of flying morphed from science fiction to reality. From the Wright Brothers’ early expeditions in Kitty Hawk, to the World War I fighter pilots in Europe, the airplane generated excitement around the world. Yet despite intense interest and publicity, the airplane’s practicality was still in doubt. Although […]

“An Awful Lot to Live For”: Lou Gehrig’s Final Season in the News

In 1939, the Fourth of July coincided with Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium. A day usually reserved for parades and fireworks was transformed into one of the most solemn, heart-wrenching, and inspiring moments in the history of sports. It was here, before 62,000 fans, that Gehrig proclaimed he was the “Luckiest man on the […]

Forrest Gump at the Archives

Films from the National Archives can be found all over the world. Clips from our collection end up in documentaries, television shows, museums, classrooms, and living rooms. But sometimes, they end up in places you would not expect.  When dealing with archival film, you never know what you’re going to get… In commemoration of the […]

Diary of a Sergeant

Harold Russell is an anomaly in film history. When Russell was cast in the classic film, The Best Years of Our Lives, he had practically no acting experience.  Despite being the only person to win two Academy Awards for the same performance, Russell had no desire to be an actor. Moreover, Russell’s rise to stardom came in […]

How Computers Changed the Tax Game

As April 15 approaches, Americans across the country are filled with dread as they file their taxes and watch money disappear from their pockets. If history provides any relief, we are not the first to feel the burden. In 1789, Ben Franklin famously wrote, “In this world nothing can said to be certain, except death […]

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