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

Summer Road Trip: Albuquerque to Las Vegas

Entering: Albuquerque, New Mexico As we leave Texas and the Boll Weevils in our rear-view, we continue our journey through the Southwest with a stop in Albuquerque, New Mexico. We enter Albuquerque through Record Groups 18-AA: "Airscapes" of American and Foreign Areas, 1917 – 1964; 30-N: Historical Photograph Files, 1896 – 1963; and 75-AO: Photographs … Continue reading Summer Road Trip: Albuquerque to Las Vegas

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

Title IX and Women’s Soccer in NARA’s Film Holdings

This month, 24 soccer teams from around the world will compete in the eighth FIFA Women's World Cup taking place in France. 2019 also marks twenty years since Mia Hamm and company of the United States Women's National Soccer Team won the 1999 FIFA Women's World Cup. Their win in 1999 became an iconic moment in American sports … Continue reading Title IX and Women’s Soccer in NARA’s Film Holdings

75th Anniversary of D-Day

This post was compiled by Harry Kidd.  Harry is a volunteer at the National Archives working on textual and photographic digitization projects.  Harry is a former Navy photographer and came across this story while researching military photographers. On June 6, 1944 tens of thousands of American servicemen landed on the Normandy Beaches. The National Archives' … Continue reading 75th Anniversary of D-Day

Animatics and Anti-Communism: Payut Ngaokrachang Animates Hanuman for the USIA

We work on a lot of cartoons in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab. Some were made for military service members. Some were made to illustrate the dangers of drug use. But the most consistently surprising cartoons are the ones we find in the films of the United States Information Agency (USIA). During the Cold War … Continue reading Animatics and Anti-Communism: Payut Ngaokrachang Animates Hanuman for the USIA

A Mother, a Baby, a Name: Identifying One of the Youngest Survivors of the Holocaust

In five brief seconds at the end of a reel of U.S. Army Signal Corps footage, a mother shows off her baby. Out of context, she might look like any new mother photographed with a newborn. With one hand holding a blanket away from the baby’s face, she smiles and appears to laugh with joy. … Continue reading A Mother, a Baby, a Name: Identifying One of the Youngest Survivors of the Holocaust

Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

For National Medal of Honor Day, observed on March 25 every year, the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch of the National Archives wanted to honor Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr., the only combat photographer to receive the honor after "gallantly giving his life for his country" as stated in his Medal of Honor … Continue reading Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

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