Spotlight: The Launch of Sputnik 1

Sixty years ago today, October 4, 1957, the Soviet Union sent into orbit the first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1. The beach ball sized satellite, weighing 183.9 pounds, took 98 minutes to orbit the Earth on its elliptical path. Sputnik's launch captured the world's attention and caught the American public off-guard. They feared the Soviets' ability … Continue reading Spotlight: The Launch of Sputnik 1

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”

A Spirited Republic in Motion: Prohibition is Repealed!

This post was written by Heidi Holmstrom. Heidi works in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, which is responsible for performing conservation and preservation work on motion picture records held across the National Archives. This month the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC opened a brand new exhibit, Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History. The exhibit contains many records from NARA’s … Continue reading A Spirited Republic in Motion: Prohibition is Repealed!

This Week in Universal News: Winter Hat Fashions for 1956.

Long considered an essential accessory, this week's featured Universal News story shows us the latest in hat fashions for the 1956-1957 winter season. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kC3vcEbjMU From the release sheet: HAT FASHIONS In New York, creations of the country's foremost milliners for the November to January season are previewed. Ranging from chic miniature pillboxes to resplendent toques and … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: Winter Hat Fashions for 1956.

This Week in Universal News: The 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin

This week's story is from the 1936 Summer Olympics, held in Berlin, Germany. The games are most well-known for the controversy surrounding them; there was strong support in the United States and around the world for a boycott because of the Nazi regime's racist ideology and discriminatory actions against Jews. The United States' team attended the games, but several Jewish … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: The 1936 Summer Olympics in Berlin

This Week in Universal News: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 1964

Fifty years ago, in what came to be known as the Gulf of Tonkin Incident, North Vietnamese patrol boats attacked the U.S.S. Maddox. The events led to Congress passing the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, which allowed the president to increase U.S. involvement in Vietnam without Congressional approval. In this week's Universal newsreel, the story, including … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: The Gulf of Tonkin Incident, 1964

This Week in Universal News: A Hovercraft Crosses the English Channel, 1959

On July 25, 1909, Louis Bleriot became the first man to fly over the English Channel. In 1959, the flight was commemorated with the first crossing by hovercraft. Taking a hovercraft between England and France was a reality for commercial passengers between 1968 and 2000, when a commercial hovercraft service offered transportation across the English Channel. … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: A Hovercraft Crosses the English Channel, 1959

“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

This Week in Universal News: Tragedy at the Indianapolis 500, 1960

There was a time when it was legal to set up a tower of scaffolding and charge spectators for a ticket to climb it and watch the Indianapolis 500. That changed in 1960 when a tower holding more than a hundred spectators toppled, killing two and injuring dozens. This week's Universal newsreel features the Indianapolis … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: Tragedy at the Indianapolis 500, 1960