Spotlight: The Launch of Sputnik 1

Sixty years ago today, October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union sent into orbit the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. The beach ball sized satellite, weighing 183.9 pounds, took 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. Sputnik's launch captured the world's attention and caught the American public off-guard. They feared the Soviets' ability … Continue reading Spotlight: The Launch of Sputnik 1

Operation Hi-jump: Exploring Antarctica with the U.S. Navy

In August of 1946, a year after the end of World War II, the United States Navy mounted an expedition to Antarctica officially titled The United States Navy Antarctic Developments Program, 1946-1947. The mission, more commonly referred to as Operation Hi-jump, was organized by Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, Jr., USN (Ret) and led by Rear Admiral Richard H. … Continue reading Operation Hi-jump: Exploring Antarctica with the U.S. Navy

60 Years On: The Little Rock Nine

September 2017 marks 60 years since the desegregation of Central High School in Little Rock, Arkansas, a key event of the American Civil Rights Movement. NARA Holdings Relating to the Desegregation of Central High School The Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch at the National Archives has in its holdings several reels of unedited footage … Continue reading 60 Years On: The Little Rock Nine

Universal News: The Chicago Cubs vs. the Detroit Tigers in the 1945 World Series

The Cubs are in the playoffs and could make it to the World Series. Is this their year? They haven’t won the World Series since 1908 and haven’t played in a World Series since 1945. Some people have attributed the World Series drought to a curse by Billy Sianis, who was ejected from Wrigley Field for … Continue reading Universal News: The Chicago Cubs vs. the Detroit Tigers in the 1945 World Series

Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Margaret Chase Smith and Shirley Chisholm

In this week of firsts, we consider the women who first ran for major party nominations in the United States: Margaret Chase Smith and Shirley Chisholm. Margaret Chase Smith Margaret Chase Smith won her first seat in the House of Representatives in a special election after her husband, Clyde Smith, died in 1940. One week … Continue reading Cracking the Glass Ceiling: Margaret Chase Smith and Shirley Chisholm

Universal News Presents “A Whirl with the Squirrels”

Squirrels have long been popular in American culture. In 1959 Jay Ward introduced us to Rocky the Flying Squirrel and today we have the Unbeatable Squirrel Girl and her squirrel friends. The Washington Post even has an annual squirrel photography contest. So it’s no surprise that in 1953 the producers of the Universal Newsreel series … Continue reading Universal News Presents “A Whirl with the Squirrels”

From Selma to Montgomery: The Selma Voting Rights Movement

This year, Martin Luther King Jr. Day falls on January 18, the anniversary of a march that Dr. King helped lead from Brown Chapel A.M.E. Church to the Selma Courthouse for the purpose of voter registration. The marchers were not allowed to register, but this was just one skirmish in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s … Continue reading From Selma to Montgomery: The Selma Voting Rights Movement

Spotlight on Veterans: Navy Women in Parachute Rigger Training

There aren’t many schools that include jumping out of an airplane as part of your final exam, but that’s just what these women parachute riggers had to do in 1951. Women sailors in the Navy went through the same training as men at the Parachute Materials School at Naval Air Station Lakehurst in New Jersey. These … Continue reading Spotlight on Veterans: Navy Women in Parachute Rigger Training

This Week in Universal News: The War of the Worlds Broadcast, 1938

On October 30, 1938, CBS broadcast a radio play of H.G. Wells' The War of the Worlds. The novel, first published in serial form in 1897, tells the story of an alien invasion of England. The Mercury Theatre on the Air production changed the location to New Jersey and employed a series of news bulletins to heighten the realism of the story. … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: The War of the Worlds Broadcast, 1938

This Week in Universal News: The March on the Pentagon, 1967

On October 21, 1967, an estimated crowd of 100,000 gathered by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to protest the Vietnam War and march on the Pentagon. Organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the demonstration was the first major national protest against the Vietnam War. Along with the signs, chants, and other … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: The March on the Pentagon, 1967