The “Hello Girls”
"American telephone girls on arrival for "hello" duty in France. They all can speak both English and French., 03/1918"
During World War I, over 400 women were enrolled in the U.S. Army Signal Corps to operate telephone* switchboards in France. Despite the sometimes hazardous conditions of their service, they were denied veterans status after the war ended. It would take 60 years until a bill was signed by President Carter granting them veterans status in 1978.
Read more about the “Hello Girls” at the Signal Corps “Regimental” History Site - The Hello Girls
* Today is also the anniversary of Alexander Graham Bell’s patent for “Improvements in Telegraphy”, aka the telephone.
Drawing for Improvements in Telegraphy
After years of experiments, Alexander Graham Bell devised the first apparatus to transmit human speech via machine. Bell patented his “Improvements in Telegraphy" (aka the telephone) on March 7, 1876, making it “…possible to connect every man’s house, office or factory with a central station, so as to give him direct communication with his neighbors.” His work culminated in one of the most profitable and contested of all 19th-century patents.
From the series: Patent Case Files, compiled 1836 - 1993. Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, 1836 - 1978.
Eleanor Roosevelt’s First Press Conference - March 6, 1933
On March 6, 1933 Eleanor Roosevelt held the first of her 348 women’s only press conferences. Before this time, First Ladies had little contact with reporters. Eleanor recognized that holding regular conferences could enhance the public role of the First Lady - a role she transformed during her 12 years in the White House.
About 35 women attended Eleanor’s first press conference which was held in the Monroe Room on the second floor of the living quarters in the White House. The press conferences were attended by the major female reporters of the day - including Lorena Hickok, Ruby Black, Bess Furman, May Craig, Emma Bugbee and Martha Stayer.
Eleanor used these press conferences as a way to not only announce her schedule of activities but also as a platform to publicize the work of women leaders, answer her critics, and entertain questions on a variety of subjects. Topics covered everything from domestic issues like social programs, race, youth activism, etc. to international politics and the role of women in war and peace.
Discharge Petition #14 Filed by Oscar De Priest Regarding H. Res. 236, a Resolution to Prevent Discrimination, 01/24/1934 - 03/05/1934
Item from Records of the U.S. House of Representatives. (04/01/1789 -)
This resolution and discharge petition from Representative Oscar De Priest, a Republican from Illinois, attempted to end racial discrimination in the House of Representatives’ Restaurant. De Priest introduced H. Res. 236 to the House, which called for the creation of a special committee to investigate the House Restaurant’s refusal to serve two African Americans, one of whom was a member of his staff. When the resolution stalled in the Rules Committee, De Priest successfully used a discharge petition to move the bill out and onto the House floor.
Don’t forget to check out the National Archives’ future exhibition “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures,” opening to the public on March 21, 2014!
Mardi Gras, 50 Years Ago: “Bigger and Better than ever”
"MARDI GRAS USHERS IN LENTEN SEASON: The traditional New Orleans Mardi Gras is BIGGER and BETTER than ever as parades continue thru day and night. Pretty girls and grotesque floats all add up to fun for one and all…"
225th Anniversary of the First Congress: We’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution through March 2016.
As recorded in the first House Journal, only eleven representatives were present on March 4, 1789, the first day of the First Congress under the Constitution. Neither the House nor the Senate had enough members present to attain a quorum, so they adjourned from day to day until they could proceed with official business.
March 4, 1933: First Inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt
On this day in 1933, the first inauguration of Franklin D. Roosevelt was held in Washington, D.C. The longest-serving president in U.S. history, and leader through the Great Depression and World War II — two of the nation’s worst crises — Franklin Delano Roosevelt is considered by many to be our greatest president.
Photo: Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Joseph Robinson in Washington, Washington, D.C., March 4, 1933 (National Archives).
(Nice use of the Content Source link, pbsthisdayinhistory!)
Today kicks off our commemoration of the 225th anniversary of the First Congress. Over the next two years (and in addition to our regular content), we’ll be posting documents and stories highlighting the establishment of the new government under the Constitution.
The U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate met for the first time in New York City on March 4, 1789 in Federal Hall. As representatives and senators arrived at the start of the First Congress under the Constitution, members presented their credentials, also known as certificates of election, to their respective chamber to show they were the person duly elected to represent their home state. Above are the credentials of Senator William Few of Georgia, one of eight senators to arrive at the start of the First Congress.
Credentials of Senator William Few from Georgia, 2/5/1789, Records of the U.S. Senate (NAID 7727164)
Minidoka Relocation Center. These two boys are rapidly developing a love for a sport which is entirely new to them…sledding. Teshie Boi (Left), Henry Kumasaka (R). 12/09/1942
Francis Stewart, photographer. From the series: Central Photographic File of the War Relocation Authority
Two boys trying to make the best out of life while in a Japanese-American internment camp. A snowday find submitted to us via twitter:
— Noriko (@apacurator)March 3, 2014
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of America in Congress assembled, That all the territory ceded by Spain to the United States, situated to the eastward of the Perdido, and known by the name of East and West Florida, shall constitute a territory of the United States, under the name of the territory of Florida…
A bill for the establishment of a territorial government in Florida, 03/03/1822
Exactly twenty-three years later on March 3, 1845, Florida would be admitted as the 27th state.
Photograph of Peace Corps Volunteer in Istanbul, 1964
Records of the Peace Corps, National Archives Identifier: 593652
The peacecorps was established by President John F. Kennedy through an Executive Order on March 1, 1961 to administer and coordinate Federal international volunteer programs. The Peace Corps program in Turkey saw 1,460 volunteers serve between 1962 and 1972.
Happy Birthday, peacecorps!
Happy 53rd birthday to us! On this date in 1961, President John F. Kennedy signed the executive order to officially establish the Peace Corps.
(Executive Order 10924 dated March 1, 1961, in which President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps., 03/01/1961)
Descendants of Solomon Northup encounter a record of his enslavement at the National Archives:
Solomon Northup was a free man when he was abducted and sold into slavery in 1841. He survived to recount his story in a memoir, 12 Years A Slave, which is now a motion picture. Yesterday, a few of his descendants viewed the document that marks the beginning of Northup’s journey into slavery—a slave manifest from the brig Orleans. Number 33 on the list of slaves bound for New Orleans is Plat Hamilton, the alias chosen for Northup by his kidnappers.
The descendants of Solomon Northup say they were aware of his story as they grew up, but seeing the actual documentation was an emotional experience. Today’s Washington Post has a story about their visit: http://t.co/b1Pz534rTS
The slave manifest is on display at the National Archives through March 30.
One of the descendants, Vera Williams, works at the National Archives. You can read her personal story (http://go.usa.gov/B68G) or learn how she and Clayton Adams walked in the footsteps of her great-great-great-grandfather Solomon Northup (http://go.usa.gov/B68z).
Photo: Northup descendants Clayton Adams and Vera Williams find his name on the slave manifest at the National Archives. (Photo by Jeff Reed)
Red Cross workers assembled at the IP, Avenue C and 7th Street, Camp Patrick Henry.
Left to right, front row, are Edna Elizabeth Dick of Williamsburg, Kentucky; Mrs. Madeleine Carroll Hamilton; Marcia Hinrichs, Alexandria, Virginia. Left to right, back row, Megan Downey, Cleveland Heights, Ohio; Anne Hayes, Atlanta, Georgia; and Helen Hubbell, New York City.
Official photograph United States Army Signal Corps, Hampton Roads Point of Embarkation, Newport News, Virginia. 02/27/1944
The Navy’s Neptune Party
As a morale boost, a ship will celebrate a sailor’s first trip across the equator with a Neptune Party also known as a Line Crossing Ceremony. At the party crew will dress up in silly costumes and it often includes some head shaving.
Sailors who had heads clipped in bizarre designs during Neptune party aboard the USS Saratoga (CV-3)., 02/1944
Have you ever participated in a Line Crossing Ceremony?