National Lighthouse Day is celebrated annually in the United States on August 7th. This holiday marks the day in 1789 when Congress approved an act to establish and support lighthouses, buoys, beacons, and public piers. Since that time, the United States has constructed more than a thousand lighthouses, light stations, range lights, and pier head lights. … Continue reading Shining a Light on Montauk Point Lighthouse in Honor of Lighthouse Day
Summertime seems to have been created to be three months of time to play, rest, relax, and, in general, do the things that make us happy. In the years between 1898 and 1908, inventors were very creative in their efforts to make summertime spectacular, interesting, and somewhat bizarre! So, whether you prefer to spend your … Continue reading Ah, Summertime! You Have the Best Utility Patents!
Fought July 1st, 2nd, and 3rd, 1863, the Battle of Gettysburg remains one of the most well known battles in American history. In honor of the 155th anniversary of the battle, we are featuring various maps related to the Battle of Gettysburg. All of the maps featured in this post are from Record Group (RG) 77, … Continue reading Mapping the Battle of Gettysburg
Under the Valuation Act of 1913, the federal government of the United States directed the Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) to assess the value of railroad property located inside the United States. This information was to be used to determine rates for transportation of freight via those rail lines. This law was an amendment to the … Continue reading I’ve Been Working On the Railroad, and You Can, Too!
In part I of this two-part series, we discussed the role women played in the military during World War II by highlighting those who served in the Women’s Army Corps (WAC), the Coast Guard Women’s Reserve (SPARS), and the Women Air Force Service Pilots (WASP) during World War II. In part II, we will discuss female service … Continue reading Their War Too: U.S. Women in the Military During WWII. Part II
On April 18th, 1945, war correspondent Ernie Pyle was killed by enemy fire on Iejima* during the Battle of Okinawa. At the time of his death, Pyle, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, was well-known for his intimate and personal storytelling that highlighted the experiences of the "average" soldier. Pyle was able to tell the stories … Continue reading Spotlight: Remembering Ernie Pyle
Of all the record groups in the Cartographic Department's holdings, one of the most interesting and varied is RG 77. This record group, with its myriad of smaller series, holds many Revolutionary War, Civil War and Civil War-era maps, (both printed and manuscript), drawings and schematics of forts, posts, and reservations, and original designs for … Continue reading Boston, 1775: A City Under Siege!
Fort Sumter will forever go down in history as the location of the opening shots of the Civil War on April 12, 1861. The Cartographic Branch holds architectural plans and drawings associated with the construction of forts throughout our nation's history. This includes numerous plans relating to Fort Sumter's lengthy construction. Today we are featuring … Continue reading Building Fort Sumter
March is Women's History Month, a great time to highlight important contributions made to our country by women. This year, we are focusing on the role women played in the United States Military during World War II in a two-part blog post. Part I highlights recruitment films from the Women's Army Corps (WAC), the Coast … Continue reading Their War Too: U.S. Women in the Military During WWII. Part I
March 9 marks the famous meeting of the Civil War ironclad ships the USS Monitor and the CSS Virginia at Hampton Roads, Virginia. The Cartographic Branch holds numerous plans and maps relating to the Battle of Hampton Roads and to the Civil War ironclads and ships involved in the battle. This post highlights some of … Continue reading Ironclad Navies: The USS Monitor and CSS Virginia during the Civil War