A Medal for Miss Baker, the Original Space Monkey

As I am writing this, there are six people in space, all aboard the International Space Station. While these missions are now routine, in the 1950s scientists weren’t certain that the human body could survive in a weightless environment. Years before the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sent Alan Shepard into space, American rockets carried … Continue reading A Medal for Miss Baker, the Original Space Monkey

Majestic Mount Rainier: Finding My Park in the Archives

This year the National Park Service is celebrating its Centennial and encouraging Americans to “Find Your Park.” Even though I now reside on the opposite side of the country, I know my park will always be Mount Rainier National Park in Washington State. Growing up outside Seattle, my family took advantage of summer weather to … Continue reading Majestic Mount Rainier: Finding My Park in the Archives

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”

Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 4th 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. From July 1, 2014 through September 30, 2014 the following records were declassified. Motion Pictures: Local Identifier           Title 342-SFP-387 Operation of System 119-L     … Continue reading Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 4th Quarter

The Roswell Reports: What crashed in the desert?

Decades after the Roswell Incident people are still fascinated by it. Last October we wrote about National Archives moving image holdings relating to Project Blue Book and unidentified flying objects (UFOs). In addition to Project Blue Book we also have records relating to the alleged UFO crash in Roswell, New Mexico in 1947. The U.S. … Continue reading The Roswell Reports: What crashed in the desert?

“An Awful Lot to Live For”: Lou Gehrig’s Final Season in the News

In 1939, the Fourth of July coincided with Lou Gehrig Appreciation Day at Yankee Stadium. A day usually reserved for parades and fireworks was transformed into one of the most solemn, heart-wrenching, and inspiring moments in the history of sports. It was here, before 62,000 fans, that Gehrig proclaimed he was the “Luckiest man on the … Continue reading “An Awful Lot to Live For”: Lou Gehrig’s Final Season in the News

Forrest Gump at the Archives

Films from the National Archives can be found all over the world. Clips from our collection end up in documentaries, television shows, museums, classrooms, and living rooms. But sometimes, they end up in places you would not expect.  When dealing with archival film, you never know what you’re going to get… In commemoration of the … Continue reading Forrest Gump at the Archives

Happy Birthday National Archives!

The National Archives turns the big 8-0 on June 19. You may have thought the Archives was older considering our country is almost 250 years old, but it wasn’t until 1934 that President Franklin Roosevelt signed the National Archives Act (48 Stat. 1122) creating the National Archives as an independent agency. What, you might ask, … Continue reading Happy Birthday National Archives!

Diary of a Sergeant

Harold Russell is an anomaly in film history. When Russell was cast in the classic film, The Best Years of Our Lives, he had practically no acting experience.  Despite being the only person to win two Academy Awards for the same performance, Russell had no desire to be an actor. Moreover, Russell’s rise to stardom came in … Continue reading Diary of a Sergeant

How Computers Changed the Tax Game

As April 15 approaches, Americans across the country are filled with dread as they file their taxes and watch money disappear from their pockets. If history provides any relief, we are not the first to feel the burden. In 1789, Ben Franklin famously wrote, “In this world nothing can said to be certain, except death … Continue reading How Computers Changed the Tax Game