The Cartographic Branch holds thousands of drawings, plans, and maps relating to forts, fortifications, and other military structures. These can be found in a variety of record groups and series, including RG 77 Fortification Map File (NAID 305749), RG 77 Miscellaneous Forts File (NAID 305806), RG 92 Post and Reservation Maps (NAID 305818), RG 92 … Continue reading Civil War Defenses of Washington Fort Plans Now Available Online
From the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol Building, the next time you are out and about exploring Washington, D.C. and taking in as many memorials, monuments, and museums as you can, I have a suggestion for your sightseeing list. Although located next to a familiar residence on Pennsylvania Avenue, I doubt the spot I am … Continue reading An “Illuminating Post”: Silent Stars Support the Third and Fourth Liberty Loan Campaigns
Washington, D.C. is no stranger to protests. Most are one-day affairs, consisting of a march or rally with some speakers and a musical guest or two. A handful, though, have been more long term, with protestors spending days or weeks camped out in our nation’s capital to fight for their cause. Two of the most … Continue reading Protest Camps in D.C.: The Poor People’s Campaign and the Bonus Army Marchers
Last July, while completing a training rotation in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab, I was tasked with inspecting the condition of film. Inspections are a basic operation the lab performs to ensure film holdings are properly handled and maintained. After spending most of my time with black and white film, I was excited when asked to inspect color footage. … Continue reading Youth Visits Our Nation’s Capital: A Glimpse of Spring 1939 in Washington, D.C.
This post was written in collaboration with Carla Simms The National Zoo in Washington D.C. is one of the capital’s most celebrated landmarks. The zoo was created by an act of congress in 1889, and officially made a bureau of the Smithsonian Institution the following year. Since its founding, the zoo has been a pioneer in … Continue reading Historic Maps and Photos of the National Zoo
Previously we shared a blog post about counterfeiters and briefly mentioned how the artistic gifts of some were used to counterfeit money. This installment will discuss the creation of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and how currency was legitimately made in 1914. In 1914, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing’s (BEP) operations moved to … Continue reading Engraving, Inking, Trimming: The Production of Paper Currency in 1914
In honor of the Major League Baseball playoffs, the Cartographic and Architectural Branch has pulled together a few records featuring the national past-time.
“The question always comes when you live in a community that’s oppressed and people are living like we have to live in the black community, how do you get a handle on all these problems? And you solve them by trying to create in the citizens an awareness of a need for dramatic and drastic … Continue reading The People and the Police: Washington D.C.’s Police-Community Relations Program, 1968
On October 21, 1967, an estimated crowd of 100,000 gathered by the Lincoln Memorial in Washington to protest the Vietnam War and march on the Pentagon. Organized by the National Mobilization Committee to End the War in Vietnam, the demonstration was the first major national protest against the Vietnam War. Along with the signs, chants, and other … Continue reading This Week in Universal News: The March on the Pentagon, 1967
This week, we’ll be taking a look at Project Blue Book, via the National Archives' film holdings. Project Blue Book was not the United States Air Force’s first investigation into the reports of unidentified flying objects. It wasn't even the second. Project Blue Book was actually the third formal analysis of UFO sightings, coming after … Continue reading Project Blue Book: Spotting UFOs in the Film Record