International Day of Human Space Flight
An outer space view of the Colorado River, surrounded by part of Arizona and Utah. The photo was taken from the space shuttle orbiter Columbia during the first space transportation system test mission, 04/12/1981
April 12 is the anniversary of two milestones in space exploration, Soviet Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's voyage as the first human into space on 4/12/1961 and the first Space Shuttle mission, by the Space Shuttle Orbiter Columbiaon 4/12/1981 (STS-1). This photograph was taken taken on the first day of the mission.
In recognition of Gagarins’ historic first mission, April 12 is now commemorated as the International Day of Human Space Flight.
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
Pumpkin Pecan Pie Recipe
Item from Records of the White House Correspondence Office. (01/20/1981 - 01/20/1989)
Happy Pecan Day! Did you know that the pecan tree is the only nut tree native to North America? In honor of this unique nut, today is Pecan Day. This list of instructions is First Lady Nancy Reagan’s personal recipe for Pumpkin Pecan Pie. Try it at home and see if it is worthy to become a family tradition.
I am very sorry but I am very mad about the oil spill. It is killing nature. And it is killing the sea otters. It makes me very sad because my class is doing a report on sea otters. And sea otters are cute. Sea otters are an endangered species. Please clean up the oil spill.
Mrs. Ashley - 2nd grade
Letter from Kelli Middlestead from the Franklin School, Burlingame, California to Walter Stieglitz the Regional Director of the Alaska Region of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, 04/13/1989
From the series: Exxon Valdez Oil Spill Correspondence, 1989 - 1991. Records of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
Twenty-five years ago today the oil tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling over 250,000 barrels of crude oil and causing one of the worst oil spills and natural disasters in U.S. history.
This 2nd grade student’s letter to usfws is possibly our favorite record ever, but it’s especially bittersweet considering the magnitude of the disaster.
What are your memories of the Exxon Valdez Oil Spill?
Following the Bobsleigh and Luge events at Sochi? In 1980 the US Team needed congressional intervention:
Congress in the Archives will feature staff posts on our blog. Today’s post comes from Sharon Fitzpatrick.
In preparation for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid, NY, Congress passed H.R. 5146, a bill to provide duty-free entry of competition bobsleds and luges. The House Committee on Ways and Means reported, “The President’s Commission on Olympic Sports agrees that a major impediment to participation in these sports is the high cost of equipment. There are no American bobsled or luge manufacturers and this legislation would not adversely affect any United States industry.”
As shown in the document above, the bill was approved by conference report and signed into law on November 9, 1978.
Bill File for H.R. 5146, 11/9/1978, Records of the U.S. House of Representatives
Article II, Section 3, Clause 1 of the Constitution requires that the President “… shall from time to time give to the Congress Information of the State of the Union, and recommend to their Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient.”
President Reagan’s 1986 State of the Union was originally scheduled for the day of the Challenger explosion, January 28, 1986, but it was postponed by a week in response to the accident. Reagan began his message by paying tribute to “the brave seven” Challenger crew members and later reiterated the nation’s commitment to the space program. The version shown above is the official copy Reagan handed to the President of the Senate before the address. The text differs slightly from the final speech made by the President.
First and Last Pages of President Ronald Reagan’s State of the Union Message to Congress, 2/4/1986, Records of the U.S. Senate
Restoring Normal Immigration Procedures for Cuban Nationals, 01/26/1988
In light of the Government of Cuba’s announced decision on November 20, 1987 to begin immediate reimplementation of the December 14, 1984 U.S.-Cuba migration agreement and subsequent actions that evince its intention to abide by this commitment, U.S. efforts set forth in National Security Decision Directive 235 of August 18, 1987 (hereinafter, “NSDD 235”) are determined to have succeeded in obtaining Cuba’s agreement to restore normal immigration procedures…
"President Ronald Reagan greets CAPT. Grace Hopper as she arrives at the White House for her promotion to commodore, 12/15/1983"
Did you notice today’s Google Doodle dedicated to computing pioneer and U.S.Navy Rear Admiral Grace Hopper’s 107th birthday ? Our colleagues at the National Archives at Kansas City found this photo of then-Captain Hopper during her promotion to Commodore 30 years ago in December 1983.
(There are dozens more photos of Rear Admiral Hopper in our online catalog.)
More sharks from the National shArchives!
The original caption reads: “A shark attacks a surveillance towed array sensor system (SURTASS) cable, 04/01/1986”
Can anyone identify the species of shark in the photograph?
This shark gets a beauty treatment on its teeth!
“A member of the 23rd Equipment Maintenance Squadron corrosion control section removes masking from a 23rd Tactical Fighter Wing A-10A Thunderbolt II aircraft after painting it with fresh “shark’s teeth” in 1986.”
Smile - It’s shark week in the #sharchives!
Announcing the nomination
This draft press release from President Ronald Reagan’s administration announces the nomination of Sandra Day O’Connor to become the first woman Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court. O’Connor worked as a lawyer and then a judge in Arizona before becoming an Associate Justice in the U.S. Supreme Court. She retired in 2006.