President Franklin Roosevelt signed the ambitious but controversial Tennessee Valley Authority Act 80 years ago on May 18, 1933, to provide navigation, flood control, electricity generation, fertilizer manufacturing, and economic development in the Tennessee Valley, a region particularly affected by the Great Depression.
In the only land battle of World War II to take place on incorporated U.S. territory, American forces began the invasion of Attu, in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, to dislodge occupying Japanese Forces on May 11, 1943.
U.S. FORCES BLAST JAPANESE FROM ATTU [ETC.], 1943
From the “United News” Newsreels series from the Office of War Information
What’s up, Doc?
75 years ago a prototypical “Wascally Wabbit” debuted in Porky’s Hare Hunt, although Bugs Bunny would not make his first official appearance in a more familiar form until 1940.
Footage from “Bond Rally, 1941.” Excerpted from Uncle Sam Speaks, ca. 1987, a compilation of U.S. savings bond and stamp promotions by celebrities used in a National Archives and Records Administration exhibit entitled “Uncle Sam Speaks: Posters and Broadsides.”
(Image of Bugs Bunny copyrighted by Warner Bros.)
Happy International Dance Day!
Carmencita, Spanish Dance, 03/1894
William Heise, cinematographer. William Dickson, producer. From the Motion Picture Films series of the Thomas Armat Collection
Likely the oldest motion picture in the National Archives’ holdings, this Kinetoscope is one of the first films produced by Edison Studios. (A longer clip is available on the National Archives’ YouTube Channel.)
From the Records of the Food and Drug Administration
Seventy years ago Swiss Chemist Albert Hofmann first discovered the hallucinogenic effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in April 1943. This public health film explores the history of hallucinogenic drugs, and specifically the effects and therapeutic uses of LSD. Combining graphics that suggest a hallucinogenic experience, snippets of interviews with users (who explain their reasons for taking the drug) and doctors, and taped sessions of research with volunteers, the film delves into the destructive effects as well as possible theraputic uses of the drug.
Happy Birthday to the Man of Steel!
Superman first debuted 75 years ago in Action Comics #1, published April 18, 1938.
Copyright by National Comics Publications and Superman Inc. and donated to the Treasury Department as a public service by Superman, Inc.
H/T to the USPS Stamps Tumblr for the tip!
The Space Shuttle Challenger lifts off on its maiden voyage, 30 years ago on April 4, 1983.
Space Transportation System Number 6, Orbiter Challenger, lifts off from Pad 39A carrying astronauts Paul J. Weitz, Koral J. Bobko, Donald H. Peterson and Dr. Story Musgrave, 04/04/1983
The Battle of Bismarck Sea, March 2, 1943
Japanese attempts to check Allied advances in New Guinea during World War II were frustrated when their convoy of reinforcements was intercepted and destroyed by coordinated air assaults by American and Australian forces.
From: APPOINTMENT IN TOKYO
Old Faithful Geyser. Yellowstone National Park, 1869 - 1878
From the series: Hayden Survey, William H. Jackson, Photographs, 1869 - 1878; Records of the U.S. Geological Survey.
Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn, Jr.: American Classical Pianist and Cultural Hero of the Cold War, July 12, 1934 - February 27, 2013
“TEXAS PIANIST WINS TOP SOVIET MUSIC PRIZE In Moscow’s Bolshoi Theatre, Texas’ Van Cliburn wins the Tchaikovsky Competition, one of the toughest and most prestigious in the world of music with a bravura performance that makes him the toast of Moscow. A rare feat by an American-born, American-trained musician.”
Lost in a storm on February 12, 1935, the airship USS Macon emerges from the clouds in this stock Navy footage.
RIGID AIRSHIP GROUND OPERATIONS, SUNNYVALE, CALIFORNIA, 1934 - 1935
Macon’s sister airship the USS Akron shared the same fate and was lost in the Atlantic 2 years earlier. However lessons learned from the Akron disaster enabled the rescue of nearly the entire crew of the Macon.
Both were among the largest airships ever built, and included their own complement of Sparrowhawk “parasite fighters” that could be launched while in flight.