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

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

Film Preservation 101: Is Restoration the Same as Preservation?

When you watch NARA's video for The March on YouTube the first thing you see onscreen is a note that the film was “Preserved and Restored by the National Archives.” You may wonder why we make the distinction between preservation and restoration. Aren't they the same thing? The differences between preservation and restoration are subtle, … Continue reading Film Preservation 101: Is Restoration the Same as Preservation?

Uncle Sam-I-Am: Dr. Seuss’s Private Snafu

With the 110th anniversary of Dr. Seuss’s birth, we are reminded of his enormous impact on children’s literature. Less remembered, however, was his time spent serving in the US Army’s Information and Education Division. During World War II, Theodor Seuss Geisel inspired thousands of soldiers and honed his storytelling skills. And, before there were cats wearing … Continue reading Uncle Sam-I-Am: Dr. Seuss’s Private Snafu

The Real Monuments Men

Nestled within the Italian Alps, in the small village of San Leonardo, behind the doors of an abandoned jail cell, sat some of the world’s most cherished pieces of art. Together with a nearby repository in Campo Tures, it was estimated that the hidden artwork was worth about 500 million dollars. That was in 1945. … Continue reading The Real Monuments Men

Gangsters, G-Men, and Archivists

The gangster was an icon in the 1920s and 30s.  While prohibition limited the sale of alcohol, the gangster smuggled in liquor from Canada and established speakeasies across the country.  As the Great Depression left thousands unemployed, the gangster embodied a sense of rebellion.  Gangsters were immortalized in cinema and talked about in the papers.  … Continue reading Gangsters, G-Men, and Archivists

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. Operation MANTRAC (Manual Angle Tracking Capability) (Local Identifier 342-USAF-33788/ARC Identifier 68704), is an example of one declassified film. Using some really great animation and a … Continue reading Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 1st Quarter

This Week In Universal News: New Year’s Eve, 1932

This week in Universal News, the New Year is celebrated in the United States and Cuba. 1933 would be the year that Prohibition was repealed, although the festivities evident in this story certainly do not seem lacking. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TbDXtoOXjSI&feature=youtu.be From the release sheet: BIG CITIES CELEBRATE AS 1932 PASSES OUT; GAILY WELCOME 1933 Unprecedented whoppee and … Continue reading This Week In Universal News: New Year’s Eve, 1932