A Brief Look at African American Soldiers in the Great War

By Matthew Margis When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, President Woodrow Wilson undertook a massive propaganda campaign to expand support for the war.  He declared that, America would help make the world “safe for democracy.”  Democracy though, eluded an entire segment of American society who struggled with the realities of … Continue reading A Brief Look at African American Soldiers in the Great War

Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action

You may remember our July 2016 post about the Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps, made up of women artists who developed camouflage for use by American troops in Europe during World War I. The website Atlas Obscura also featured the story and photos in October 2016. The Women’s Reserve Camouflage Corps photos held by the National … Continue reading Hidden Women Update: WWI Camouflage in Action

Favorite Film Finds of 2016

This post was written with Heidi Holmstrom. In the past year, staff in the motion picture preservation lab handled millions of feet of film. Films might come to us for inspection and repair, photochemical duplication, or digitization. To follow up last year’s list, we’ve identified a handful of films that were digitized in 2016 and … Continue reading Favorite Film Finds of 2016

Photographs of Military Mascots in WWI

Years before the United States Marine Corps officially adopted the bulldog as its mascot or the United States Military academy adopted the mule, many military regiments adopted mascots and pets. Some were donated by local groups and many were found. Many of these mascots had jobs, whether utilitarian or ceremonial. Pigeons carried messages, dogs helped … Continue reading Photographs of Military Mascots in WWI

Spotlight: Baking in WWI

Ever wonder what people of the past were munching on? Well, in WWI, due to food rationing efforts, they were munching on some classic desserts made with unusual ingredient substitutions. Check out some of those experimental recipes below, courtesy of RG 4-G: the U.S. Food Administration. Unfortunately, not all of the experimental recipes survive today. Here is a … Continue reading Spotlight: Baking in WWI

Spotlight: War Time Candies

Imagine a world where no one could give chocolates to their valentine, or send holiday cookies to their family, or hand out candy to adorable trick-or-treaters, or indulge in some after dinner Thanksgiving pie. Imagine a world where every cherished culinary tradition is threatened - especially those traditions which include sweets. Well, such a world is not as far away as one might … Continue reading Spotlight: War Time Candies

Spotlight: American Cities

This week's images are streetscapes of American cities from 1917 and 1918. Images were pulled from RG 4-G: U.S.Food Administration. Do you recognize any of these places? Can you imagine walking along these streets during WWI?     For more on WWI era food rationing, see "Spotlight: War Time Candies" and "Spotlight: Baking in WWI."

The Women of World War I in Motion

As a follow-up to our Women's History Month post The Women of World War I in Photographs, we wanted to highlight moving images that feature women serving.  While working on a project aimed at digitizing a series of films from World War I held at the National Archives, I came across a two-reel set focusing on “patriotic activities” … Continue reading The Women of World War I in Motion

Hidden Women: The Art of WWI Camouflage (Photos)

If you've ever read a Highlights magazine, you've likely played the hidden picture game--the one where children are asked to find out-of-place objects like pencils hidden in trees and candy canes hidden in striped dresses.  As I came across photographs from the Women's Reserve Camouflage Corps, I was instantly reminded of the classic childhood time-killer.  Only this time, … Continue reading Hidden Women: The Art of WWI Camouflage (Photos)

A Worthy Resting Place: American Military Cemeteries Overseas

In 1923, in the wake of World War I, Congress established the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). This independent agency assumed control of commemorative activities begun by the Battle Monuments Board of the War Department.  Together with the Office of the Quartermaster General and the Commission of Fine Arts, the ABMC established and maintains overseas commemorative … Continue reading A Worthy Resting Place: American Military Cemeteries Overseas