Covert Cartoons: Animated Anti-Communism in Mexico and Beyond

Still image from "Viaje Interplanetario." (306.6296) In the 1950s, the United States and its allies were deep in the throes of the Cold War. To face and fight the spread of communism, the United States Information Agency (USIA) unleashed anti-communist film campaigns across the globe. Although laden with serious political messages, some films took the … Continue reading Covert Cartoons: Animated Anti-Communism in Mexico and Beyond

Now Playing: Historical Films of the U.S. Army Signal Corps

2020 marks the long-awaited completion of the U.S. Army Signal Corps Historical Films digitization project. Boasting over 400 reels of film, Record Group 111 (Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer), Series H (Historical Films) has been digitized in its entirety and will be available in the National Archives catalog and National Archives … Continue reading Now Playing: Historical Films of the U.S. Army Signal Corps

Inside the Muppet workshop.

Season’s Greetings from the U.S. Information Agency: “Vision USA” Visits Emmet Otter

In the 1970s, the United States Information Agency’s "Vision USA" brought images of American life to television screens across the globe. The program focused on current events, and occasionally, Muppets. Episode 72 of "Vision USA," released in 1978, takes a behind-the-scenes look at Jim Henson's "Emmet Otter's Jug-Band Christmas." Emmet Otter was one of the … Continue reading Season’s Greetings from the U.S. Information Agency: “Vision USA” Visits Emmet Otter

Celebrating Apollo 11 Around the World

A crowd greets the Apollo 11 astronauts in Paris, France. (Still image from 255-FR-8950) In late September of 1969, a mere two months after the successful Apollo 11 Moon landing mission, the Apollo 11 astronauts found themselves about to begin a new journey. President Richard Nixon gave permission for the use of Air Force 2, … Continue reading Celebrating Apollo 11 Around the World

50 Years After the Moonwalk: Looking Back at Apollo 11’s Broadcast from the Moon

Fifty years ago, the Apollo 11 spacecraft left the launchpad and began its mission to the Moon with astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin, and Michael Collins. Previous posts on the Unwritten Record covered the intense training undertaken by the prime crew, including 1/6th gravity simulations and lunar lander flight tests spanning several months leading up … Continue reading 50 Years After the Moonwalk: Looking Back at Apollo 11’s Broadcast from the Moon

Gearing Up for Launch: More Scenes from the Apollo 11 Training Program

Previously this blog covered a few aspects of training performed by the Apollo 11 prime crew in preparation for the mission to the Moon. This time we’ll dive deeper (literally, as you’ll see below) into Apollo 11 astronaut training. We last featured the use of the KC-135 reduced-gravity aircraft for simulating the 1/6th gravity of … Continue reading Gearing Up for Launch: More Scenes from the Apollo 11 Training Program

Beyond Astronaut Ice Cream: How Consumer America Engineered Food for Space Exploration

What do corporations like Pillsbury and Whirlpool have to do with Apollo 11? Quite a lot, as it turns out. In fact, many consumer corporations contributed to the success of the moon landing. For example, engineers at Playtex designed the Apollo spacesuits and Westinghouse provided the cameras that transmitted video signals back to Earth. Pillsbury … Continue reading Beyond Astronaut Ice Cream: How Consumer America Engineered Food for Space Exploration

Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch

You may have recently seen Todd Douglas Miller’s Apollo 11 documentary, featuring archival film from the National Archives’ National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) holdings. The film footage of Apollo 11 makes the July 16, 1969 launch and subsequent Moon landing look like a breeze. But the years leading up to the launch were full … Continue reading Practice Makes Perfect: How the Apollo 11 Crew Prepared for Launch