You may recall our blog post from the beginning of April about the Avrocar, the U.S. Air Force’s flying saucer. The Avrocar wasn’t the only futuristic mode of air transport developed by the military, and it certainly isn’t the only captured on film. At the National Archives and Records Administration, we also hold films depicting … Continue reading Alternative Aviation: Rocket Men and Flying Platforms
Last fall, we told you about films from Project Blue Book, the United States Air Force investigation into unidentified flying objects. In addition to records related to the search for UFOs, the National Archives and Records Administration also holds records concerning Identified Flying Objects. One of the most remarkable of these is the Avrocar. The Avrocar … Continue reading Avrocar: The U.S. Military’s Flying Saucer
When you watch NARA's video for The March on YouTube the first thing you see onscreen is a note that the film was “Preserved and Restored by the National Archives.” You may wonder why we make the distinction between preservation and restoration. Aren't they the same thing? The differences between preservation and restoration are subtle, … Continue reading Film Preservation 101: Is Restoration the Same as Preservation?
Tomorrow is the fifth anniversary of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act. In commemoration, we are posting this 1973 Public Service Announcement (PSA) in which Batgirl explains the concept of “equal pay for equal work” to her boss (Batman) and co-worker (Robin). http://youtu.be/3LviAKGZxPs The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 was the first piece … Continue reading Holy Act of Congress, Batman! Equal Pay for Equal Work!
As soon as he was able, my Grandfather went to sea. Rodger Holmstrom grew up in Seattle and spent much of his time on boats, large and small, sailing on Puget Sound and the lakes. Instead of the traditional Boy Scouts, he joined the Sea Scouts. When he graduated from high school, the United States … Continue reading My Grandfather Went to Sea: Finding Family Stories in Historical Records
“Oh! I have slipped the surly bonds of Earth . . . . Put out my hand and touched the Face of God.” You may be familiar with these lines—the first and last of John Gillespie Magee, Jr.’s 1941 sonnet “High Flight”. Many of us likely recognize them from President Ronald Reagan’s speech on the … Continue reading Celebrating Aviation with Magee’s “High Flight”
In addition to The Pleasure of Your Company, the Women’s Army Corps’ (WAC) Military Etiquette and Grooming series (1970) featured two more films, each more incredible than the last. Look Like a Winner opens with a male narrator intoning: “Yes, you’ve come a long way…no question about it. You have more to say these days about … Continue reading Don’t Walk Like a Man: Be the Best WAC that You Can Be
The Navy film How to Succeed with Brunettes teaches male officers how to behave like gentlemen, but what were the military’s expectations for the many female recruits? Once again, staff in NARA’s Motion Picture Preservation Lab and Special Media’s Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch were able to find the answer in the large accession … Continue reading The Women’s Army Corps Requests “The Pleasure of Your Company”
There are many sound systems that have been used for motion picture films over the years. Some of the earliest relied on sound recorded to a disc or cylinder that had to be played back in sync with the film. Even after optical soundtracks became the industry standard, there were multiple optical systems available. … Continue reading The Challenge of the Push-Pull Track
I’ve gotten to know President Harry Truman pretty well over the past year. I’m familiar with his opinions, mannerisms, and vocal cadence. In some ways, he reminds me of my grandfather. How did I become so well-acquainted with our 33rd president? I’ve never met him and I’m no presidential historian, but I do work in … Continue reading Getting to Know Harry Truman