In Full Bloom: Still Photographs of Cherry Blossoms

For more than a hundred years, we have celebrated cherry blossoms blooming along the Tidal Basin. First planted in 1912, the cherry trees were a gift of friendship to the People of the United States from the People of Japan. Here in the Still Picture Branch at the National Archives, we have many photographs within our holdings that show the beauty of the cherry trees throughout the years.

Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey Exhibit

I’m pleased to announce the recent opening of a new exhibit at the National Archives Building, Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey, which will run until July 6, 2025. The creation of the exhibit was a collaborative effort between our Museum staff and the Still Picture Branch. The exhibit features photographs from the series … Continue reading Power & Light: Russell Lee’s Coal Survey Exhibit

Documerica Photographer Spotlight: Erik Calonius

Today’s post is written by Larry Shockley, archives specialist in NARA’s Office of Innovation.  In 1972 a freelance photographer by the name of Erik Calonius was hired by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to capture photographs relating to EPA activities, environmental problems, and everyday American life in the 1970’s. Many of the photos that Calonius … Continue reading Documerica Photographer Spotlight: Erik Calonius

Spotlight: Valentine’s Day Greetings and Dances

Happy Valentine's Day from the National Archives Special Media Division! Did you know that the oldest known printed Valentine's Day card was published in January 1797? The verse printed on the card reads: "Since on this ever Happy day,All Nature's full of Love and PlayYet harmless still if my design,'Tis but to be your Valentine." … Continue reading Spotlight: Valentine’s Day Greetings and Dances

Sergeant Dennis Fisher and Marine Corps Combat Photography in Vietnam

Camera slate taken April 13, 1968 during Operation No Name II. Courtesy of Sergeant Dennis Fisher. As a photographer, you know what it takes to make a good picture but doing it under combat conditions challenges everything you have ever learned. Sergeant Dennis Fisher In April, the Still Picture Branch was fortunate enough to welcome … Continue reading Sergeant Dennis Fisher and Marine Corps Combat Photography in Vietnam

Breakfast in the Archives!

Every now and then when looking through a box of photographs in our holdings, a new potential "thread" of information will present itself that sparks curiosity for further research on a particular keyword. Sometimes it's a subject or topic directly relating to the reference request I am working on, and sometimes it is completely random. Recently, the word "Breakfast" popped into my head and immediately following was the thought: I wonder what we have on that!

These Dogs Deserve a Round Of A-Paws!

This week is International Assistance Dog Week (August 6-12) which was established to raise awareness and honor the incredible work that assistance dogs do to help individuals with disability related limitations. It was also created to recognize the trainers, puppy raisers, and handlers that have devoted their time and expertise to these dogs to ensure … Continue reading These Dogs Deserve a Round Of A-Paws!

Go for Broke: The 442nd Infantry Regiment

111-SC-176302 - Original Caption: [Company] E. of the 442nd Infantry Regiment comprising Japanese-American lads snapped in formation in Camp Shelby, Mississippi. 5/13/43. Photographer: Pvt. Raymond D’Addario. Signal Corps Photo #165–NR1-43-95. The 442nd Regimental Combat Team was activated on February 1, 1943, and was composed almost entirely of second-generation American soldiers of Japanese ancestry, also known … Continue reading Go for Broke: The 442nd Infantry Regiment

Operation Homecoming Activities at Sheppard Air Force Base

This year marks the 50th Anniversary of Operation Homecoming and the return of nearly 600 American prisoners of war from Vietnam. In 1973, Sheppard Air Force Base had the honor of serving as a reception point for Operation Homecoming, helping to welcome home Vietnam POWs after years of captivity.

April 1968 Washington, D.C. Riots

In April 1968, Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. traveled to Memphis, Tennessee to support sanitation workers that were on strike. It was in Memphis on April 3rd that King would give his final speech, “I’ve Been to the Mountaintop." The next day, on the evening of April 4th while at the Lorraine Motel, King was … Continue reading April 1968 Washington, D.C. Riots