The Aviator, the Explorer, and the Radio Man: The 1925 MacMillan Arctic Expedition

A Little-Known Expedition If you know anything about Admiral Richard E. Byrd, you probably know that he was the first to fly over the North and South Poles, and that he led several expeditions in Antarctica. However, you probably don’t know the story of his first Arctic expedition. In fact, most accounts muddy the details … Continue reading The Aviator, the Explorer, and the Radio Man: The 1925 MacMillan Arctic Expedition

Happy Birthday, Ulysses S. Grant!

This post was written by Mark Meader. Mark is an Archives Specialist with the Motion Picture, Sound and Video branch. He participated in historical reenactments for over forty years, including over twenty years as a Union private in Civil War reenactments. There is a scene in Frank Capra’s film “Mr. Deeds Goes to Town” where Longfellow Deeds … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Ulysses S. Grant!

World War I Combat Artists – Harvey Dunn

Guest blogger Jan Hodges became interested in World War I combat art as a result of her involvement as a volunteer in a holdings maintenance project for documents of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) at the National Archives at College Park. This article is part four of the series about World War I Art and Artists. … Continue reading World War I Combat Artists – Harvey Dunn

From the Front Lines to the Homefront: The Importance of War Films Then and Now

This post was written by Criss Kovac. Criss is the supervisor of the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab.  I was fortunate enough to be able to attend the premiere of Fury Wednesday night and seeing the film (on film even!) reinforced what I know about World War II from the reels I see in NARA’s holdings … Continue reading From the Front Lines to the Homefront: The Importance of War Films Then and Now

A Curious Alice Coloring Book

I still remember the coloring book I received after a man from the power company came to my school and showed us a cartoon about a cat that is repeatedly “zapped” when it makes bad decisions around electricity. Like visits from the fire department and McGruff the Crime Dog, coloring books are a staple of public safety education for children. Much … Continue reading A Curious Alice Coloring Book

With Strings Attached: Rice, Murder, and Awkward Communist Puppets

Let’s suppose you have a child, and that child loves puppet shows. You might decide to introduce your child to The Muppets Take Manhattan or the Thunderbirds television series. Or, you could introduce them to something much darker: a 1952 United States Information Agency (USIA) production titled Tomas and the Huks. Marionettes were fairly popular … Continue reading With Strings Attached: Rice, Murder, and Awkward Communist Puppets

The World of Tomorrow: The 1939 New York World’s Fair

The 1939 New York World’s Fair opened 75 years ago this week. The international exposition was partly a trade show where companies like General Motors and Westinghouse showcased their newest technology, like the latest car models or home appliances, and partly a venue for sixty foreign governments to display their national art, culture, and industry. … Continue reading The World of Tomorrow: The 1939 New York World’s Fair

This Week in Universal News: Beaux-Arts Ball, 1931

On January 23, 1931, architects dressed up as the buildings they designed for the Beaux-Arts Ball in New York.  In this week’s featured story, they are pictured  from left to right, A. Stewart Walker as the Fuller Building, Leonard Schultze as the Waldorf-Astoria, Ely Jacques Kahn as the Squibb Building, William Van Alen as the Chrysler Building, … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: Beaux-Arts Ball, 1931

I Saw Kitty Hawk: Film, Memory, and Archives

A couple of weeks ago, we wrote about the 110th anniversary of The Great Train Robbery, a film that pioneered editing techniques that are so commonplace as to be invisible to viewers today and is acknowledged as the first example of modern film fiction narrative. But this wasn’t the only important innovation taking place in December … Continue reading I Saw Kitty Hawk: Film, Memory, and Archives