Wings for This Man: Celebrating the Tuskegee Airmen

Please Note: Primary source documents used in this post may contain harmful language. See NARA’s Statement on Potentially Harmful Language. The First Motion Picture Unit When America entered the war in Europe in 1941, the country's greatest challenge was finding enough manpower to wage a two-front war. The country needed to quickly increase the number … Continue reading Wings for This Man: Celebrating the Tuskegee Airmen

The Production File Tells the Story: How “Death Mills” Came to U.S. Audiences

This post was written by Criss Austin. Criss is the supervisor of the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. On April 29th, 1945 the United States Army liberated the Dachau concentration camp. The 42nd and 45th Divisions and 20th Armored Division, along with Signal Corps photographers and cameramen, assisted the survivors and documented the atrocities they found. … Continue reading The Production File Tells the Story: How “Death Mills” Came to U.S. Audiences

Spotlight: Killers of the Flower Moon and the Ford Film Collection

At first glance, Martin Scorsese, the Osage Nation, and Henry Ford have nothing in common. Scorsese is an award-winning American film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor. The Osage Nation is a thriving American Indian tribe whose ancestral land includes much of Oklahoma, and Ford is an industrialist who changed the manufacturing landscape. But despite assumptions, … Continue reading Spotlight: Killers of the Flower Moon and the Ford Film Collection

X-15A Flight No. 3-7-14: To the Edge of Space

Separation from B-52. 342-USAF-30182, https://catalog.archives.gov/id/68330 The X-15 did not take off. It must have stuck out its thumb, because it hitched a ride into flight. On July 17, 1962, Air Force Maj. Robert White took to the air with his X-15 mounted under the wing of a modified B-52. After separating from the mothership, he … Continue reading X-15A Flight No. 3-7-14: To the Edge of Space

60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

Participants of the March on Washington, D.C. Local ID: 306-SSM-4C-35-4 August 28, 2023, is the 60th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, also known as the March on Washington. More than 200,000 people took part in the demonstration held on the National Mall to advocate for Black Americans' civil and economic … Continue reading 60th Anniversary of the March on Washington

A Marquee Show at Valley Forge

"George Washington's Tent," 79-HFC-482 Without context, "George Washington's Tent" may seem a bit odd even by the standards of government filmmaking. Three minutes of a man silently writing? (You can jump to 3:10 in if you want some action.) Further, it won't take a cinematic expert to note that this work is one long take … Continue reading A Marquee Show at Valley Forge

Drawing Benefits: The USIA’s Space Race Message and the Animators Who Brought It to Life

It’s time for us to return to one of our favorite topics—Cartoons! And not just any cartoons, but the animation produced for the United States Information Agency (USIA). You may already have joined us for our exploration of anti-Communist Mexican cartoons, animation and animatics by the “Walt Disney” of Thailand, or this psychedelic symbolic history … Continue reading Drawing Benefits: The USIA’s Space Race Message and the Animators Who Brought It to Life

Dong Kingman: Watercolor Master

May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month, and in honor of this, we will be highlighting records related to the Chinse American watercolor artist, Dong Kingman.  The Moving Image and Sound Branch has two beautiful color films that capture the work of Kingman and show the process of how he painted his masterpieces.  … Continue reading Dong Kingman: Watercolor Master

Skylab and NASA’s Space Classroom

On May 15th, 1973, NASA launched the first space station. The first three-person crew took up residence 11 days later. Over the course of roughly six months and three crews, Skylab served as a base for scientific research conducted in space. The astronauts’ schedule of experimentation and observation also included scientific demonstrations broadcast to Earth … Continue reading Skylab and NASA’s Space Classroom

Mapping the Moon

RG 77: Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, Lunar Maps, 1961–1962 (NAID 1077479) On April 3, 2023, NASA announced that humans are soaring back to the Moon for the first time in over 50 years, since the return of Apollo 17 in 1972. Four astronauts, Americans, Reid Wiseman, Victor Glover, Christina Koch, … Continue reading Mapping the Moon