Spotlight: Flag Day

The flag of the United States of America was adopted 240 years ago on June 14, 1777. Throughout our nation's history our flag has taken on many forms, growing with the country it so proudly represents. It has also taken on many affectionate monikers - the American Flag; the Stars and Stripes; Old Glory; the … Continue reading Spotlight: Flag Day

Utility Patent Drawings

One fascinating way to look at our history is by studying the tools we have invented and used throughout the years. There is no better way to do this than by looking at the patent drawings we hold in the Cartographic Branch at the National Archives. The majority of the patent drawings we have are … Continue reading Utility Patent Drawings

Polar, Planes, and Puppies: The Photos of E.J. Demas

Though the first Byrd Antarctic Expedition took place more than twenty years after the likes of Robert Falcon Scott and Ernest Shackleton, little had changed when it came to the available methods of transportation. Explorer Richard E. Byrd had large tractors to move supplies, but still relied heavily on dog sleds, skis, and schooners ships, which … Continue reading Polar, Planes, and Puppies: The Photos of E.J. Demas

Recently Opened Series: German World War II Maps

One of the most interesting ways of seeing World War II military operations from the point of view of the Axis powers is by looking in the National Archives' materials held in Record Group 242: National Archives Collection of Foreign Records Seized. This record group includes documents, films, photographs and maps that were seized from the Axis … Continue reading Recently Opened Series: German World War II Maps

Fractured Ideals: Japanese American Internment through a Government Lens

America stands unique in the world: the only country not founded on race but on a way, an ideal. Not in spite of but because of our polyglot background, we have had all the strength in the world. That is the American way. –President Ronald Reagan December 1945, in honor of Kazuo Masuda and August 10, … Continue reading Fractured Ideals: Japanese American Internment through a Government Lens

Polar Pack: Your Favorite Arctic Explorers in Trading Card Form

Beef up your knowledge of polar exploration by taking a look at these trading cards from Hassan Cork Tip Cigarettes found in the Brainard Collection of Arctic Exploration, DLB-AA. The set of 49 cards depicts portraits of explorers, scenes of Inuit life, expedition ships, and scenic landscape views. The reverse side of the cards provides biographical … Continue reading Polar Pack: Your Favorite Arctic Explorers in Trading Card Form

Visualizing Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later

Tomorrow marks the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. In remembrance of the event, we are presenting related maps, photographs, ship plans, and films held by NARA's Special Media Division. Photographs documenting the aftermath of the attack may be found in the General Photographic File of the Navy (RG 80-G, RG 80-GK), Color Photographs … Continue reading Visualizing Pearl Harbor 75 Years Later

Spotlight: American Cities

This week's images are streetscapes of American cities from 1917 and 1918. Images were pulled from RG 4-G: U.S.Food Administration. Do you recognize any of these places? Can you imagine walking along these streets during WWI?     For more on WWI era food rationing, see "Spotlight: War Time Candies" and "Spotlight: Baking in WWI."

Spotlight: The Making of Coffee

Coffee is a morning staple for many of us. The gurgle of the coffee pot; the ceramic warmth of a favorite mug; the rich aroma of caffeinated bliss... Yes, whether we make it ourselves or buy it from our friendly neighborhood baristas, coffee is culturally pervasive. And it has been for generations. But have you ever wondered about … Continue reading Spotlight: The Making of Coffee

Classes, Teachers, Workbooks – School in the CCC

The Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) was established by Congress in early 1933 as part of Franklin D. Roosevelt’s New Deal.  As the country faced the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl in the 1930's, several government initiatives were developed to provide relief. This relief was often accomplished through job creation. Although many of the programs … Continue reading Classes, Teachers, Workbooks – School in the CCC