The Fiftieth Running of the Boston Marathon, April 20, 1946
"One hundred and one long distance runners compete in the fiftieth annual marathon race of over 26 miles at Boston in the United States. Among the runners are former winners and young hopefuls. Through the suburbs of Boston the runners make their way. And all eyes are on courageous Stylianos Kyriakides of Greece, who passes last year’s winner. Kyriakides goes on to win in 2 hours, 29 minutes, 27 seconds and gain the laurel wreath."
The Day After the Doolittle Raid
Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai Shek and Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell pose together the day after the Doolittle Raid on Japan. This raid also known as the Tokyo Raid was the first time American forces attacked Japan at home.
Generalissimo and Madame Chiang Kai Shek and Lieutenant General Joseph W. Stilwell, Commanding General, China Expeditionary Forces, on the day following Japanese bombing attack [Doolittle Raid]. Maymyo, Burma., 04/19/1942
"Marian Anderson, world’s greatest contralto, entertains a group of overseas veterans and WACs on [the] stage of the San Antonio Municipal Auditorium…", 04/11/1945
From the series: Photographs of Notable Personalities, 1942 - 1945. Records of the Office of War Information
Earlier this week was the 75th Anniversary of Marian Anderson’s famous outdoor concert at the Lincoln Memorial, on April 9, 1939. (Hear her renowned contralto voice in the audio post!)
Happy 110th Birthday, Times Square!
Originally named Longacre Square, it was officially renamed Times Square on April 8, 1904 in honor of the New York Times.
Snapshots of the “Crossroads of the World” from the 1910s, 1940s, 1970s, 1980s and 2000s:
- New York City celebrating the surrender of Japan. They threw anything and kissed anybody in Times Square., 08/14/1945. National Archives Identifier: 520697
- A view of the neon lights of Broadway. The United Services Organization (USO) GEN Douglas MacArthur Memorial Center, located in Times Square at 45th Street and Broadway…01/01/1983. National Archives Identifier: 6367334
- Peace rumor, New York. Crowd at Times Square holding up Extras telling about the signing of the Armistice. The Government report that the news was not true did not stop the celebration. National Archives Identifier: 533477
- TIMES SQUARE, 08/1973. National Archives Identifier: 554298
- Sailors attached to USS IWO JIMA (LHD 7) gather together for an impromptu group shot while on liberty in Times Square during Fleet Week 2002.05/22/2002. National Archives Identifier: 6640589
- V-J Day in New York City. Crowds gather in Times Square to celebrate the surrender of Japan., 08/15/1945. National Archives Identifier: 531350
Mickey Rooney, Legendary Actor and Entertainer
(September 23, 1920 - April 6, 2014)
"Private First Class Mickey Rooney imitates some Hollywood actors for an audience of Infantrymen of the 44th Division. Rooney is a member of a three-man unit making a jeep tour to entertain the troops. Kist, Germany, April 13, 1945."
From the series: Signal Corps Photographs of American Military Activity, 1754 - 1954
The Merkers Salt Mine Cache
ReichsBank wealth, SS loot, and Berlin Museum paintings that were removed from Berlin to a salt mine vault located in Merkers, Germany. The 3rd U.S. Army discovered the gold and other treasure in April 1945.RG 111-SC-205409
In early April, 1945, the German village of Merkers fell to elements of Lt. General George Patton’s Third Army. Stories soon began to emerge about a local salt mine packed with gold, treasure, and priceless art. At 10 a.m. on April 7, 1945, Lt. Col. William A. Russell of the Ninetieth Infantry Division, and other staff followed German mining officials into the mine. The elevator took them to the bottom of the main shaft twenty-one hundred feet beneath the surface, where the image above awaited them.
(Catch up on some of our earlier Monuments Men posts!)
In 1943, General Eisenhower sat down to write a letter to Ruth Eisenhower, the 4 year old daughter of his younger brother Milton.
In reply to a double-sided sheet of penciled “waves” addressed to “Uncle Ike” and signed “Ruthie,” Eisenhower wrote: “I enjoyed your letter. I know exactly what you said. I am astonished that you have made such progress since last I saw you. Since I cannot write as well as you do, I will have to have this done on the typewriter so your Mother may have to read it to you.” 4/6/43.
-from the Eisenhower Library
"Santa Clara County, California. Motorcycle and Hill Climb Recreation. At the start of the course. The going gets even rougher and steeper further on. The crowd in the background is composed almost entirely of young fellows. At the bottom of the hill can be seen the parking area. Besides the automobiles, approximately 200 motorcyclists had come to this Sunday event, 04/05/1940."
Congress in the Archives will feature guest posts from our staff. Today’s post come from archivist Adam Berenbak, our resident baseball expert. Happy Opening Day, Washington Nationals fans!
In July of 1949, the House Un-American Activities Committee, or (HUAC), held hearings regarding “communist infiltration of minority groups” in response to comments made by actor and activist Paul Robeson. On the final day of the hearings, Jackie Robinson appeared on behalf of the committee despite his reluctance to participate in political affairs.
Robinson, who was in the middle of an MVP season, delivered an eloquent statement, neither defending nor outright condemning Robeson. He denounced racial discrimination and stated that “talk about ‘Communists stirring up Negroes to protest’ only makes present misunderstanding worse than ever. Negroes were stirred up long before there was a Communist Party, and they’ll stay stirred up long after the party has disappeared — unless Jim Crow has disappeared by then as well.”
Robinson spoke for 20 minutes, and then headed straight from Washington, DC, to Brooklyn, where, in a late afternoon game at Ebbets Field, he hit a triple and stole two bases to lead the Dodgers in victory over the Chicago Cubs.
First Page of Statement of Jackie Robinson before House Un-American Activities Committee (HUAC), July 18, 1949, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives, (NAID 7822182)
A Future President Visits the White House, 1949
During his first year as a Congressman Gerald R. Ford was assigned to the House Committee on Public Works. He and the other committee members met with President Truman and toured the White House on April 2, 1949. Afterwards Ford wrote these reflections on the building that would become his residence 25 years later.
Ford’s notes on the White House visit from the Ford Congressional Papers, Committee on Public Works, October 1948-April 1949.
President Truman’s appointment calendar courtesy of the Harry S. Truman Library & Museum.
Today is International Children’s Book Day!
Since 1967, the celebration has been held on the same day as Hans Christian Andersen’s birthday.
This photograph shows children lining up for books at the Taos County bookmobile project while it was visiting a school in Prado, New Mexico. Irving Rusinow, a colleague of Dorothea Lange in the Office Bureau of Agricultural Economics, took the photo in December of 1941.
What’s your favorite book from your childhood?
"Warm Springs, California. Harry Konda is shown above in strawberry field on March 27, 1942, six weeks before he and 142 other farmers were evacuated from this district in Santa Clara County. He is an officer of the Japanese American Citizens League. Evacuees of Japanese descent will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration."
National Archives Identifier: 537589
Dorothea Lange, Photographer. From the series: Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority, 1942 - 1945
"Stay off gobbledygook language."
Seventy years ago, there just wasn’t a suitable term for those brain-scalding, rage-inducing concoctions of grammar and syntax masquerading as language. Well, Mr. Maury Maverick came up with one:
Here is his memorandum to the staff of the federal agency he headed, the Smaller War Plants Corporation; the first known usage of this faintly exotic, yet viciously accurate, addition to the English language.
Memorandum from Maury Maverick to Everybody in Smaller War Plants Corporation. 3/24/1944
From the series: Field Letters and Memoranda, 1943 - 1945. Records of the Smaller War Plants Corporation, 1940 - 1948
(Today’s post comes via Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland.)
These days Mr. Maverick would just be seen as a rather outspoken proponent of what we in the government call “plain language.”
Maybe you call it “jargon,” ”legalese,” or ”doublespeak” — what’s your favorite term for “Gobbledygook”?
"Negro sailors of the USS MASON commissioned at Boston Navy Yard 20 March 1944 proudly look over their ship which is first to have predominantly Negro crew."
From the series: General Photographic File of the Department of Navy, 1943 - 1958
The USS Mason was one of only two ships during World War II with predominately African American crews. The experiences of the USS Mason’s crew would later be dramatized in the film Proud (2004).
More images of the USS Mason and her crew at the U.S. Navy’s History and Heritage site.
Escape and Evasion Case File for Flight Officer Charles (Chuck) E. Yeager, 03/05/1944
On March 5, 1944, future test pilot Chuck Yeager’s P-51 Mustang was shot down while on a mission to Bordeaux, France and he was forced to bailout over Nazi-occupied France. His harrowing account details how he was nearly shot while descending helplessly in a parachute and narrowly escaped capture with the help of the French Resistance.