Category Archives: Motion Pictures

The Challenger’s Teacher in Space Project: Photos and Video

by Judy Luis-Watson, Manager of Volunteer and Education Programs at the National Archives at College Park, MD The inclusion of a teacher, who would become the first private citizen in space, made the Space Shuttle Challenger mission especially exciting. This … Continue reading

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Film Preservation 101: Why are old films sometimes pink?

Film Preservation 101 is an occasional series in which we answer our most frequently asked questions. Please submit your  burning questions about film preservation in the comments below! What is Color Fading? Why are old films sometimes pink? The simple answer … Continue reading

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FDR’s “Four Freedoms” Speech

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss Kovac is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. On January 6, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation in the 153rd State of the Union Address. Known more popularly … Continue reading

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Vintage Footage Reveals How NORAD Tracks Santa

This Christmas Eve, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD) will have tracked Santa Claus’s journey around the world for 60 years. Colonel Harry Shoup began the tradition in 1955, after receiving a phone call from a child expecting to reach Santa … Continue reading

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Holiday Mail Call! A Package’s Path to You

It’s the time of year when fireplace mantles are filling up with holiday cards and brown-wrapped parcels are delivered to doorsteps. The packages, letters, and cards we drop into mail-slots across the country contribute to an annual crescendo in the … Continue reading

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Favorite Film Finds of 2015

In the past year, staff in the motion picture preservation lab handled nearly three million feet of film. Films might come to us for inspection and repair, photochemical duplication, or digitization. To follow up last year’s list, we’ve identified a handful of films that … Continue reading

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Gobble Gobble: America’s Thanksgiving Turkey Tradition

While it is generally understood that venison graced the table of the first Thanksgiving celebration, the idea of Pilgrims chowing down on turkey is solidly enshrined in the American imagination. The 1930 film The Turkey Business shows how the “early explorers” … Continue reading

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An Update on Kodacolor Decoded

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives’ Motion Picture Preservation Lab. You might remember a fun little post last summer about the Yellowstone Kodacolor discovered within a National Park Accession deposited with … Continue reading

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Spotlight on Veterans: Navy Women in Parachute Rigger Training

There aren’t many schools that include jumping out of an airplane as part of your final exam, but that’s just what these women parachute riggers had to do in 1951. Women sailors in the Navy went through the same training as … Continue reading

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Before They Were Famous: Actors Who Appeared in Government Films

Robert Mitchum To the People of the United States (1943) More than a decade before he terrorized children as creepy preacher Harry Powell in Night of the Hunter (1955), and two years prior to his Oscar-nominated role as Lieutenant Walker … Continue reading

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