Sometimes Laughter Is the Best Medicine
Photograph of President Gerald Ford and Comedian Bob Hope Visiting First Lady Betty Ford in the President’s Suite at Bethesda Naval Hospital, Bethesda, Maryland, Following the First Lady’s Breast Cancer Surgery, 10/05/1974
The classic television series The Twilight Zone premiered 55 years ago on October 2, 1959.
Here its host and creator, Rod Serling, riffs on his iconic role, narrating a Fire Safety PSA:
Excerpted from: Smokey Bear TV Spot, CARELESS KILLERS.
From the Series : Public Information and Training Motion Picture and Television Productions. Records of the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture, 1794 - ca. 2003
Only you can prevent forest fires—in the Twilight Zone…
From the first days on a campaign trail to the final days living in the White House, the First Ladies of the United States have attracted attention in numerous ways. Both historic and modern First Ladies have harnessed the power of fashion to build identity and inform Americans. In conjunction with our exhibition “Making Their Mark,” we present a distinguished panel to discuss and examine the fashions of America’s First Ladies through conversation and photos. Moderated by Tim Gunn, star of Project Runway, panelists include Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology; Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Deputy Chair and Chief Curator of Political History and the First Ladies Collection, Smithsonian National Museum of American History; and Tracy Reese, a fashion designer who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama. Presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association.
Tuesday, September 30, at 7 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater
The discussion will be streamed live on YouTube.
PEP (Person of Exceptional Prominence) Spot Light:
John Coltrane (September 23, 1926 – July 17, 1967)
Legendary jazz performer and inductee to the Jazz Hall of Fame, John Coltrane is one of the most dominant figures that has influenced generations of jazz musicians. Prior to his association with musical greats like Dizzy Gillespie, Johnny Hodges, and Earl Bostic, John Coltrane entered military service in 1945 and played in the Navy jazz band while stationed in Hawaii.
When Coltrane entered military service, all personnel were required to have a chest x-ray as part of their induction requirements. Within John Coltrane’s record, one such x-ray exists. As the reformatting staff of the Preservation Programs at St. Louis scanned his military record for public use, his x-ray was scanned also. There are several preservation reasons why x-rays are scanned. First, the x-ray is part of Coltrane’s file, and thus an integral part of his historical record which is available to the public. Secondly, providing a scanned image eliminates the need for a user to wear clean gloves so no oils from their hands would transfer onto the silver emulsion of the x-ray. Secondly, the base that the x-ray film is on is acetate film (a.k.a Safety Film) which decomposes over time letting off gases that smell like vinegar hence, the commonly used term “vinegar syndrome”. Vinegar Syndrome occurs when acetic acid is released from the acetate based film leading to the vinegar smell. This deterioration makes the plastic film base brittle, buckle, shrink, and liquefy. Keeping the film in a controlled environment helps reduce the continuation of the base’s degradation. Lastly, the x-ray can be scratched easily if not handled appropriately.
On occasion, the x-rays are digitally enhanced so the image is clearer, and in doing so, helping the researcher and improving public access. These documents and x-rays are placed on DVDs so researchers can access exact replicas and prevent damage to the original document.
It’s not every day that an international photographic icon drops by
- See our previous posts featuring Ansel Adams’ work →
- Or search the National Archives’ online catalog for more →
Happy 115th Birthday, Ernest Hemingway!
Author Ernest Hemingway enjoys a drink with other war correspondents on the island of Mont St. Michel, off northern France, in the summer of 1944. Born on July 21, 1899, the author would have likely celebrated his 45th birthday a few weeks before this scene.
Excerpted from: D-Day to Germany, 1944
Taken by newsreel cameraman Jack Lieb, this color home movie was donated by the Lieb family to the National Archives in 1984. You’ll see D-Day from a perspective different than the official military film or commercial newsreel. With his personal footage, Lieb takes the viewer through the preparations in England, where he spent time with war correspondents Ernie Pyle, Jack Thompson, and Larry LaSueur, to the liberation of Paris and finally into Germany. Along the way, Lieb captured his experience on 16mm Kodachrome, filming everyday people in France and the occasional celebrity, such as Edward G. Robinson or Ernest Hemingway. (Hemingway shows up around 26:45.)
This is the judgement against Dr. Benjamin Spock, prominent pediatrician and anti-war activist, from the “Boston Five” anti-draft resistance group. (The case was later appealed and conviction set aside)
This document was digitized by teachers in our Primarily Teaching 2013 Summer Workshop at our Boston location. We’ve featured several finds from Primarily Teaching in the past - and see what they’re up to this summer - the Chicago Primarily Teaching Workshop just wrapped up!
An Evening of Memories
After dinner the Fords, Queen Elizabeth, Prince Philip, and their guests moved inside to the East Room for the entertainment portion of the evening. British-born comedian Bob Hope, who had been specially requested by Her Majesty, led a program that also included the musical duo Captain and Tennille.
Hope had previously entertained the British Royal Family at four command performances. On this occasion he sang his trademark song “Thanks For the Memory” with special lyrics recognizing the British guests of honor.
Although the “Captain” Daryl Dragon had been feeling under the weather earlier in the day the show still went on for him and Toni Tennille. Their set included their hits "Love Will Keep Us Together" and “Muskrat Love,” which some commentators felt was not an appropriate song choice to play for Her Majesty.
Helen Keller was born on this day, June 27, 1880.
Helen Keller wrote letters to eight U.S. Presidents, from Theodore Roosevelt through Lyndon B. Johnson, on behalf of her work for the disabilities community. You can find more Presidential records featuring Helen Keller here.
Photo: Eleanor Roosevelt and Helen Keller (both far left) and others in Martha’s Vineyard. 8/25/54.
Professional wrestling legend Hulk Hogan signs autographs for US Air Force (USAF) personnel of the the 509th Bomb Wing (BW), Whiteman Air Force Base (AFB), Missouri (MO), at the 9th Annual Red, White, and Boom Concert in Kansas City hosted by radio station Mix 93.3. The audience and entertainers paid tribute to the USAF personnel of the the armed forces during Military Appreciation Day, 06/26/2004
Item from Records of the Office of the Secretary of Defense. (1994 -)
The National Archives’ new exhibition “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is now open to the public. View our vast collection of signatures that influenced the American narrative.
A Newsreel Cameraman’s View of D-Day
Jack Lieb went to Europe in 1943 with two movie cameras: He brought his 35mm black and white camera to film war coverage for Hearst’s News of the Day newsreels and his 16mm home movie camera to shoot color film to show to his family back home. After the war, Lieb edited the color footage into a film that he would narrate in lectures around the country, in venues as varied as the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. and his daughter’s fourth grade class in Chicago.
In the film below, donated by the Lieb family to the National Archives in 1984, you’ll see D-Day from a perspective different than the official military film or commercial newsreel. With his personal footage, Lieb takes the viewer through the preparations in England, where he spent time with war correspondents Ernie Pyle, Jack Thompson, and Larry LaSueur, to the liberation of Paris and finally into Germany. Along the way, Lieb captured his experience on 16mm Kodachrome, filming everyday people in France and the occasional celebrity, such as Edward G. Robinson or Ernest Hemingway.
Jack Lieb’s film story does not begin and end with his D-Day footage, though. By the time he arrived on Utah Beach with a seaborne element of the 82nd Airborne Division, he had already spent nearly two decades shooting newsreel footage.
Did you know President Kennedy and Bob Hope share a birthday? Here are the duo together at the White House to honor Hope with the Congressional Gold Medal in honor of services to the country and the cause of world peace.
Happy Birthday President Kennedy and Bob Hope!
Maya Angelou, Celebrated Author & Poet
(April 4, 1928 - May 28, 2014)
From the series: Photographs Relating to the Secretary’s Trips, Speeches, and Other Functions, and Agency Officials, Events, and Managed Sites, 2002 - 2009. Records of the Office of the Secretary of the Interior, 1826 - 2009