Accessing World War I Photos in the Digital Age

April 6 marks the 100th anniversary of the United States’ entry into World War I, as well as the culmination of a massive digitization project from the National Archives. Through a generous donation made by an anonymous donor, the National Archives was able to digitize over 110,000 photographs and nearly 300 reels of film related to … Continue reading Accessing World War I Photos in the Digital Age

World War II Veteran Lloyd Heller Shares Details About Production of 1943 Tank Training Film

In August, an e-mail came to motion picture archivist Carol Swain’s inbox asking about a World War II training film called Security on the March. Richard Herde contacted the Motion Picture unit looking for information about a film his 100-year-old uncle, Corporal Lloyd Heller, had helped make while serving as a tanker in the United … Continue reading World War II Veteran Lloyd Heller Shares Details About Production of 1943 Tank Training Film

John Ford and the First Battlefront of World War II

John Ford’s War Mention John Ford’s name today, and most people think of Westerns. Stagecoach, Fort Apache, or The Searchers might come to mind. But Ford actually directed a lot of films that weren’t Westerns, not the least of which were made while serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. While no one … Continue reading John Ford and the First Battlefront of World War II

The Great Beard Contest of 1941

Last week, Heidi transferred several reels of film documenting "overseas activity" in the summer of 1941. Nestled among shots of city streets and training exercises were playful scenes depicting a facial hair contest at Fort Stotsenburg in the Philippines. If a beard contest doesn't scream "put me on the Internet" I don't know what does, so … Continue reading The Great Beard Contest of 1941

Two Down, One to Go: Preparing Soldiers for More War

After the Allied victory was declared against Nazi Germany on May 8, 1945 (a date known to history as V-E Day), US military officials presented troops with Two Down, One to Go, a film that serves as both Q+A session and pep talk to prepare them to shift their attention to Japan. https://youtu.be/do1-nBjYjdY Of primary … Continue reading Two Down, One to Go: Preparing Soldiers for More War

Supporting Troops on the Homefront: The North Platte, Nebraska Canteen

The story of the North Platte, Nebraska canteen reads more like a Frank Capra movie rather than an Army film production. As the story goes, a rumor had started that a train carrying troops from Nebraska would be arriving at North Platte on Christmas Day 1941. About five hundred townspeople came to greet the train bearing food and … Continue reading Supporting Troops on the Homefront: The North Platte, Nebraska Canteen

A Superfly Shambles: Weekend with a Superman

Sometimes we come across government films that are so well-produced and visually appealing that it stands to reason that they must also have an effective message. Sometimes that's just not the case. Curious Alice is one such film. Weekend with a Superman is another. http://youtu.be/OBaZNBxIlHk Produced in 1975, “Weekend with a Superman” was part of the Army’s … Continue reading A Superfly Shambles: Weekend with a Superman

Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 3rd 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 sound recordings relating to former Marine Sergeant Jon M. Sweeney who was a prisoner of war (POW) in Southeast Asia from … Continue reading Declassified Motion Pictures and Sound Recordings – 3rd Quarter

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

Images of the Week:Thanksgiving with the Troops

The theme this week is Thanksgiving and the U.S. Military. Local Identifier: 165-WW-472A-7, "Thanksgiving cheer distributed for men in service. New York City turned host to the boys in service today and cared for every man in uniform", Underwood and Underwood., ca. 1918 Local Identifier: 342-FH-3A-14796, "After receiving permission from the farm owner, these men, … Continue reading Images of the Week:Thanksgiving with the Troops