The Nuremberg Trials, 75 Years Later

The International Military Tribunal, more commonly known at the Nuremberg trials, began this week 75 years ago in Nuremberg, Germany. The trials were a series of military tribunals held to convict major Nazi German leaders on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit each of these crimes. It … Continue reading The Nuremberg Trials, 75 Years Later

Searchable Stock Shots: 306-LSS Films Now Online!

A couple of years back, the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab started seeing an uptick in researcher reference requests for one specific series of films: 306-LSS, a group of more than 400 black and white reels of stock footage that ended up in the hands of the United States Information Agency (USIA). As the … Continue reading Searchable Stock Shots: 306-LSS Films Now Online!

Victory at Yorktown

On the morning of October 19th, 1781, British troops along with their allies marched out of Yorktown, Virginia with flags furled to surrender to combined American and French forces.  The siege and surrender at Yorktown proved to be the decisive blow to British hopes of regaining control of the American colonies. To celebrate the anniversary … Continue reading Victory at Yorktown

A group of men holding still and movie cameras poses around President Truman.

Harry S. Truman and the “One More Club”: The President Makes a Movie

Today’s post is by Laurie Austin. Laurie is an audiovisual archivist at the Harry S. Truman Presidential Library. In honor of Home Movie Day 2020, Laurie is sharing the story of how President Truman came to turn his camera on the White House photographers, with delightful results. President Harry S. Truman had a fascinating relationship … Continue reading Harry S. Truman and the “One More Club”: The President Makes a Movie

VJ-Day 75th Anniversary

Friday, August 14th, marks the 75th anniversary of the surrender of the Empire of Japan, ending the Second World War. To commemorate this event, the National Archives Moving Image and Sound Branch would like to present films from our holdings documenting the tremendous moment in world history. After the surrender of German forces on the … Continue reading VJ-Day 75th Anniversary

The Draggin’ Wagon: An All American Soap Box Derby

This week’s blog post covers the U.S. Information Agency (USIA)’s film The Draggin’ Wagon, (Local Identifier: 306.6618).  The film offers a unique look into the life of a young African American boy, Clarence Carter Jr., and his journey to create a homemade Soap Box car for the 1963 Soap Box Derby in Washington, D.C. The … Continue reading The Draggin’ Wagon: An All American Soap Box Derby

Summer Theater in The March of Time

The October 18, 1935 release of the The March of Time newsreel serial contains a segment on "Summer Theatres." The outtakes from this segment shine a light on a time when summer stock theater was an important way for emerging actors and other artists to be seen by film studio representatives. Often taking place outdoors, sometimes in a mere tent, … Continue reading Summer Theater in The March of Time

The Big Picture: Nurses in the Army

In 1951, the United States Army created a television series called The Big Picture, which they would describe as “the official television report by the U. S. Army to its members and to the American people.” Episodes were made available at U. S. Army facilities around the world, as well as television stations across the … Continue reading The Big Picture: Nurses in the Army

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

Film Preservation 101: Why does this film smell like vinegar?

Film Preservation 101 is an occasional series in which we answer our most frequently asked questions.  You may have heard that old films can be dangerous, and potentially even explosive (we covered this topic in Film Preservation 101: Is Nitrate Film Really Dangerous?) and you’re worried about your grandfather’s home movies that you keep in … Continue reading Film Preservation 101: Why does this film smell like vinegar?