"…we believe that illiteracy in general goes hand in hand with other undesirable qualities."
From the File Unit: Immigration Restriction League Data and Correspondence with Prescott F. Hall, Secretary, 1906 - 1921. Records of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, 1787 - 2004.
A letter from Prescott Hall, founder and first secretary of the “Immigration Restriction League” to the Commissioner General of Immigration (at the time part of the Department of Commerce and Labor), in support of an “educational test” for new immigrants.
"After the greatest of all air ship flights this afternoon the machine of Wilbur and Orville Wright was smashed into an unrecognizable mass."
This is a press report written by Mr. Salley, a correspondent for the Norfolk Landmark, which describes a successful test flight earlier in the day and the crash of the airplane during a subsequent test flight.
(Several months later on September 17, 1908, Orville Wright would experience a crash which resulted in powered aviation’s first fatality.)
"President Theodore Roosevelt Inspecting Canal Work from Decauville Train"
From the series: Photographs of the Construction of the Panama Canal, 1887 - 1940
The United States formally took control of the property for the planned Panama canal on May 4 1904, taking over from an earlier failed French project. Theodore Roosevelt (seated in the center of the railcar in white) had played a pivotal role throughout the planning and construction of the canal.
The Louisiana Purchase Exposition, aka the St. Louis World’s Fair, opened 110 years ago on April 30, 1904, in St. Louis, Missouri.
April 30 was a big day for Expos and World’s Fairs - the New York World’s Fair also opened the same day in 1939.
Take your Child to Work Day
One of the spinners in Whitnel Cotton Mill. She was 51 inches high. Has been in the mill one year. Sometimes works at night. Runs 4 sides - 48 [cents] a day. When asked how old she was, she hesitated, then said, “I don’t remember,” then confidentially, “I’m not old enough to work, but do just the same.” Out of 50 employees, ten children about her size. Whitnel, N.C., 12/22/1908
Taken by investigative photographer Lewis Hine, this photograph is one of a series of black-and-white prints given to the Children’s Bureau by the National Child Labor Committee. The almost five hundred photographs represent a fraction of the approximately 5,000 photographs Hine took for the committee to document working and living conditions for children.
(A sobering reminder that bringing children to work was not always a purely educational experience or a special occasion.)
We’ll be observing Take Your Child to Work Day at the National Archives on the week of May 5, to coincide with Public Service Recognition Week. Stay tuned!
Happy 105th Birthday Queensboro Bridge! (aka the 59th Street Bridge, Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge)
Construction on this cantilever bridge began in 1901 and opened to the public on March 30, 1909. The bridge connects Long Island City, Queens with Manhattan at 59th and 60th streets. In 2010 it was renamed in honor of former New York City mayor Ed Koch.
THIS IS THE 59TH STREET BRIDGE SEEN FROM THE EAST SIDE DRIVE MANHATTAN, NEW YORK CITY. THE INNER CITY TODAY IS AN ABSOLUTE CONTRADICTION TO THE MAIN STREAM AMERICA OF GAS STATIONS EXPRESSWAYS, SHOPPING CENTERS AND TRACT HOMES. IT IS POPULATED BY BLACKS, LATINS AND THE WHITE POOR. THIS PROJECT IS A PORTRAIT OF THE INNER CITY ENVIRONMENT OF PEOPLE AND STRUCTURES, 08/1974
“I told you not to venture out too early.”
Cartoonist Clifford Berryman’s “Mr. D.C.” admonishes “Miss Spring” who may have arrived prematurely during another unseasonably cold March back in 1909.
"Flashlight photo 6 P.M. going home from King Mfg. Co. Two of the smallest boys been in mill 2 years. One of the larger for 4 years. Augusta, Ga., 01/13/1909"
Photograph of the U.S. Immigrant Building at Ellis Island, 1/11/1900
Records of the National Park Service
Taken on January 11, 1900, this photograph shows construction of the main immigrant reception building at Ellis Island, New York.
A Roosevelt Family Christmas
Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt were married in the spring of 1905. For Christmas that year, Franklin’s mother gave the newlyweds this sketch of a double townhouse she planned to build in New York City - one side for her and the other for them. Completed in 1908, the house had connecting doors on several floors.
-from the FDR Library
What was under your tree this morning? (We’re assuming no blueprints to a new townhouse.)