Covert Cartoons: Animated Anti-Communism in Mexico and Beyond

Still image from "Viaje Interplanetario." (306.6296) In the 1950s, the United States and its allies were deep in the throes of the Cold War. To face and fight the spread of communism, the United States Information Agency (USIA) unleashed anti-communist film campaigns across the globe. Although laden with serious political messages, some films took the … Continue reading Covert Cartoons: Animated Anti-Communism in Mexico and Beyond

Duck and Cover in the Family Fallout Shelter: Civil Defense Preparedness in the Cold War Era

On September 23, 1949, President Harry S. Truman released a brief statement to the press stating that within recent weeks, an atomic explosion had been detected within the U.S.S.R, signaling the start of a new arms race. In order to ease Americans' fears and coordinate civil defense strategies between the federal, state, and local governments, … Continue reading Duck and Cover in the Family Fallout Shelter: Civil Defense Preparedness in the Cold War Era

The Berlin Wall: 30 Years After The Fall

This Saturday, November 9th, marks 30 years since the government of East Germany lifted restrictions regarding travel between East and West Germany. Since 1961, the Berlin Wall had cut off West Berlin from surrounding East Germany, including East Berlin, and its opening reflected the weakening state of the Soviet Union. The following film clips document … Continue reading The Berlin Wall: 30 Years After The Fall

Spotlight: Propaganda

Due to recent physical changes in the Still Pictures Research Room, space became available for staff to showcase reproductions of some of our holdings. This inaugural display was created by Aaron Arthur and Michael Bloomfield to present examples of Propaganda held by the Branch. “Modern propaganda is a consistent, enduring effort to create or shape … Continue reading Spotlight: Propaganda

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

Topic Magazine: Spreading Information to Africa

In 1990, editors at the Harvard Law Review elected their first black president in the journal’s 102-year history.  The newly elected 28-year-old president was a law student and community activist.  By that time, the lawyer-to-be had gained the respect of his peers and professors, all of who praised the student’s modesty, integrity, and drive to … Continue reading Topic Magazine: Spreading Information to Africa

Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 1st Quarter

In an effort to provide information on recently declassified motion pictures and sound recordings the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch will publish a quarterly list of newly declassified records. This quarter's list includes two films documenting post-WWII Europe. Die Erste Schritte [The First Steps] shows the buildup of West German armed forces and the … Continue reading Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 1st Quarter

Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 2nd Quarter

In an effort to provide information on recently declassified motion pictures and sound recordings the Motion Picture, Sound and Video Branch will publish a quarterly list of newly declassified records. This quarter's list consists of films from a series of Army records (Local Identifier 319-IDF/National Archives Identifier 7851390). They are intelligence reports that were obtained … Continue reading Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 2nd Quarter