"Atoms for Peace"
President Dwight D. Eisenhower was determined to solve “the fearful atomic dilemma” by finding some way by which “the miraculous inventiveness of man” would not be dedicated to his death, but consecrated to his life. In his Atoms for Peace speech before the United Nations General Assembly on December 8, 1953, President Eisenhower sought to solve this terrible problem by suggesting a means to transform the atom from a scourge into a benefit for mankind.
“Atoms For Peace" posters From the series: Propaganda Posters Distributed in Asia, Latin America and the Middle East, ca. 1950 - ca. 1965. From the Records of the U.S. Information Agency
National Miner’s Day
December 6 is the anniversary of the Monongah, West Virginia Mining Disaster, the worst in U.S. history, on December 6, 1907.
"James Robert Howard has gotten his safety lamp at lamp house. Of the 232 employees at this mine, 60% are Negroes., 08/13/1946"
Russell Lee, photographer.
(Ed. note: corrected photographer credit)
Cheers, Prohibition Ends!
Eighty years ago on December 5, 1933, the 21st Amendment was ratified, as announced in this proclamation from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The 21st Amendment repealed the 18th Amendment of January 16, 1919, ending the increasingly unpopular nationwide prohibition of alcohol.
The 110th Anniversary of The Great Train Robbery
Moving images changed with the debut of The Great Train Robbery in December of 1903. Produced by Thomas Edison, inventor of many audio and visual playback machines, the film began to shift the focus from novelty films such as Carmencita to plot-based cinema.
The Great Train Robbery was one of the first crime dramas and archetype of the western genre. The film introduced moviegoers to robberies, chase scenes, and gun shoot-offs. The film was also one of the first to incorporate a full cast of actors and to shoot on-location.
Most of the films preserved at the National Archives were produced by government agencies. Yet The Great Train Robbery was produced by the Edison Company. This raises the question, how did it get here?
Learn the answer - and more background to The Great Train Robbery at our Media Matters blog: Media Matters » The Great Train Robbery
As Fire Prevention Month comes to a close, here’s a catchy reminder from country star Eddy Arnold and the Forest Service about everyone’s favorite forest fire prevention advocate.
Ever wondered - is it Smokey Bear or Smokey the Bear?
Smokey’s official name has no “the” in the middle though. It was added in 1952 to achieve proper rhythm in the song “Smokey the Bear”, written by Steve Nelson and Jack Rollins.
Did you know? Just like his colleague Woodsy Owl, Smokey has a Public Law (P.L. 82-359) protecting him. Congress passed the law in 1952 to prevent Smokey from being used to sell commercial products. It was believed that this would dilute Smokey’s forest fire prevention message. Their strategy seems to have worked. Wildfire prevention is one of the most successful campaigns that the Ad Council has ever produced.
"Reckon I been in mill 2 years. Don’t remember."
Springstein Mill. John Lewis (boy with hat), 12 years old, 1 year in mill. Weaver — 4 looms. 40 [cents] a day to start, 60 [cents] a day now. Brother and mother in mill. Morris Small (boy with cap), “Reckon I been in mill 2 years. Don’t remember.” Chester, S.C., 11/28/1908
Excited for Thanksgiving?
If you really want to work up an appetite, check out this playlist of other Thanksgiving-themed films recently digitized by our Motion Picture Preservation Lab and now on the U.S. National Archives’ YouTube Channel.
Mission: Turkey! Thanksgiving Dinner and the U.S. Military
Are you ready for Thanksgiving? If it’s your turn to cook, no doubt the next few days will be stressful. But imagine trying to cook Thanksgiving dinner for an entire ship or regiment, or being a mess sergeant tasked with cooking and bringing the meal to troops in the field. Do you know how you’re cooking your turkey yet? According to a Navy chef in 1956, the best way to roast your turkey is upside down.
Learn more about the mission of providing Thanksgiving dinner in the U.S. military, using examples from 111-DD, Filmed News Releases of the Department of Defense, recently digitized by our Motion Picture Preservation Lab and now on the U.S. National Archives’ YouTube Channel!
What’s your special turkey technique?
Where’s your turkey coming from this Thanksgiving?
A Pilgrim hunts for turkey for the “first Thanksgiving” as dramatized in this re-enactment, courtesy of the Department of Agriculture’s 1930 film: The Turkey Business. (No comment on the historical accuracy of this footage.)
If you want to work up an appetite for Thursday, check out this playlist of other Thanksgiving-themed films recently digitized by our Motion Picture Preservation Lab and now on the U.S. National Archives’ YouTube Channel.
So what’s your turkey source? Store bought, hunted, a CSA/farm-share, self-raised, or do you just order it off the restaurant menu?
It’s not Dr. Who’s TARDIS, but we hope you’ll find this 1940s-era Lancaster County, PA phone booth a close approximation on the 50th anniversary of everyone’s favorite time lord!
"Lancaster County, Pennsylvania. Public phone booths like this one are common in Conservative Amish and Mennonite communities, since telephones are not allowed in homes. 03/17/1941"
Irving Rusinow, photographer