- Colorado River. Grand Canyon, foot of Toroweap, looking up, easterly. The man on the top left side is unidentified. Hillers photo. 1871 - 1878.
NARA ID: 517845
- Grand Canyon. Muav Canyon, Colorado River. The very small figure, a man is down in the canyon, maybe a topographer. Hillers photo. 1871 - 1878.
NARA ID: 518025
These animated gifs were generated from stereograms taken by John Hillers during the Powell Surveys of the Colorado River and the Grand Canyon in the 1870s. They are among some of the earliest photographs taken of the Grand Canyon.
Welcome Back to Earth!
Six days after Astronaut John Glenn orbited the Earth in the Friendship 7 capsule, he rode in a parade with his family and Vice President Lyndon Johnson in Washington, DC.
Washington, DC, Astronaut John Glenn and Mrs. Glenn with their Children Ride with Vice President Johnson in the Washington Parade, 02/26/1962
"I was haunted for days by the horror of it when I first saw some of these children who work in the Cotton Mills…"
Letter from Suzanne Heber Supporting Keating-Owen Child Labor Bill, 02/25/1916
The first child labor bill, the Keating-Owen bill of 1916 used the government’s ability to regulate interstate commerce to regulate the increasingly unpopular use of child labor. The act banned the sale of products from any factory, shop, or cannery that employed children under the age of 14, from any mine that employed children under the age of 16, and from any facility that had children under the age of 16 work at night or for more than 8 hours during the day. Although the Keating-Owen Act was passed by Congress and signed into law by President Woodrow Wilson, the Supreme Court ruled that it was unconstitutional in Hammer v. Dagenhart 247 U.S. 251 (1918) because it overstepped the purpose of the government’s powers to regulate interstate commerce.
This slave manifest for the brig Orleans, which includes Solomon Northup listed as Plat Hamilton on line 33, is now on display at the National Archives.
In 1841, Solomon Northup, a free-born African American from New York, was kidnapped by two white men and enslaved for 12 years in the deep South before he could prove his legal right to freedom. He later wrote about his ordeal in his book “12 Years A Slave” which was made into a movie.
Abducting free blacks for sale into slavery was outlawed in most of the United States. However uneven law enforcement, the marginal rights of free blacks, and mounting demand for slaves after the end of the transatlantic slave trade made kidnapping an attractive and potentially profitable prospect that encouraged the creation of a reverse underground railroad.
Kidnappers gave their victims aliases to hide their true identities. Northup recounted that he first heard the name he would be known by as a slave, “Plat Hamilton,” in New Orleans when it was called from this slave manifest (line 33) for the brig Orleans. Victims who insisted that they were free often faced severe beatings or even death. Northup accepted his identity as “Plat” because “[He] was too costly a chattel to be lost … [and] knew well enough the slightest knowledge of [his] real character would consign [him] at once to the remotest depths of Slavery.”
Vera Williams, a direct descendent of Solomon Northup works at the National Archives. You can read her personal story or learn how she walked in the footsteps of her great-great-great-grandfather.
Maria von Trapp, the last surviving of the seven children portrayed in “The Sound of Music,” died last week at her home in Stowe, Vermont, at the age of 99.
Most Americans know of the von Trapp family from the play and film, and several of the Rogers and Hammerstein songs have become standards. The play and movie tells how the family fled Europe in the late 1930s as the Nazis were tightening their grip on Europe.
In the play, Mary Martin had the role of governess for young Maria and her brothers and sisters. Julie Andrews took that role in the movie, and Carrie Underwood recently had it in a live TV version.
If you want to know what really happened to the real von Trapp family, go to “The Real Story of the von Trapp Family” by Jean Gearin in Prologue magazine, the flagship publication of the National Archives.
In her article, Gearin draws on records from the National Archives to separate fact from fiction about the family and tell what happened to the family members after they arrived in the United States. Gearin is an archivist with the National Archives at Boston.
Image: Photographs from von Trapp Declaration of Intention documents. Records of District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21.
"Serg’t. Stephen A. Swails particularly distinguished himself for coolness and bravery; he is a man in every way competent to do credit in a higher position, and I with pleasure recommend him for a Second Lieutenancy in this Regt."
Letter from Colonel Edward Hallowell to the Governor of Massachusetts, 2/24/1864
Regimental and Company Books of the 54th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment (Colored) Regiment, 05/13/1863 - 09/01/1865. Records of the Adjutant General’s Office
Recognizing the abilities of Sgt. Stephen A. Swails, Col. E. N. Hallowell recommends that Swails be promoted to second lieutenant and Massachusetts Governor John A. Andrew commissioned Swails on March 11, 1864. However, the War Department would deny this request because Swails is “of African descent.” Swails would eventually be granted his promotion in 1865 and his seniority adjusted to May 14, 1864—the day he was assigned duty as a second lieutenant.
Happy Birthday to Ansel Adams, born 112 years ago today.
In 1941, Adams visited the Still Picture Branch in the National Archives to select and print images from the Mathew Brady collection for use in the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibit “Photographs of the Civil War and the American Frontier,” which would open in March 1942.
The National Archives holds 226 photographs taken by Adams in 1941 when the National Park Service commissioned him to create a photo mural for the Department of the Interior Building in Washington, DC. The project stopped because of World War II and never resumed. (For a full list of these photos, go to: http://go.usa.gov/Bf6P)
For more documents from Adams’s visit to the National Archives, go to: http://go.usa.gov/BfFW
Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr. became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962. With the world watching the historic and live-televised event, Glenn orbited the Earth three times in his space capsule, Friendship 7. Four hours and 55 minutes after ignition, John Glenn and Friendship 7 returned to Earth and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.
The John Glenn Story, 1963
From the series: Headquarters’ Films Relating to Aeronautics, 1962 - 1981,Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.
This World War I veteran wore his uniform to enter Santa Anita Park assembly center. He joined other people of Japanese ancestry evacuated from the West Coast during World War II.
Dorothea Lange took this photograph on April 5, 1942.
Just a few weeks before, on February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt had signed Executive Order 9066. The War Department used this order almost exclusively to intern thousands Americans of Japanese descent until the order was rescinded in 1944.
Today is the Day of Remembrance for Japanese Americans interned during WWII. Read more about the Executive Order 9066 on the OurPresidents Tumblr.
Image: National Archives, 210-G-3B-424
Today is the Day of Remembrance for Japanese Americans Interned During WWII
On February 19, 1942, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066 granting the War Department broad powers to create military exclusion areas. Although the order did not identify any particular group, in practice it was used almost exclusively to intern Americans of Japanese descent.
Although there were no reliable reports that Japanese-Americans on the United States West Coast presented a subversive threat, on March 2, 1942 the military declared California, Oregon and Washington State strategic areas from which Americans of Japanese decent were to be excluded.
More than 110,000 Japanese-Americans (64% of whom were American-born citizens) were required to abandon their homes and jobs and to live in 10 relocation camps.
The United States Supreme Court finally ruled that continued detention without cause was unconstitutional, and the military relocation order was rescinded in December 1944.
Japanese Americans near trains during Relocation. Circa 1942.
Baggage check during Japanese Relocation. Circa 1942.
Exclusion order posted at First and Front Streets in San Francisco directing removal of persons of Japanese ancestry from the first section of the city to be affected by evacuation. Evacuees will be housed in War Relocation Authority centers for the duration., ca. 07/1942.
Photograph of Dust Storm at Manzanar War Relocation Authority Center, 07/03/1942.
-from the FDR Library
Who were the Real Monuments Men?
German loot stored in church at Ellingen, Germany found by troops of the U.S. Third Army. 4/24/45.
Can’t make tonight’s The Monuments Men talk with Robert Edsel at the National Archives? (Watch it online on the usnationalarchives Ustream channel). Or want to brush up on your history in advance? Read about the real “Monuments Men.”
Made up of art historians, museum curators, archivists, and architects, the men and women from the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives (MFA&A) Section of the Allied Expeditionary Forces, aka the “Monuments Men,” were assigned to protect Europe’s cultural heritage.
Learn about individual Monuments Men in the recent series on the Text Message blog:
- Walter Kirtland Hancock, Hometown Hero: St. Louis’s Monuments Man
- Ronald Balfour, A British Monuments Man Killed in Action
- Sir Charles Leonard Woolley, An Unlikely Monuments Man
- Walter J. Huchthausen, A Monuments Man Killed in Action
- Seymour J. Pomrenze, A National Archives Monument Man
- Mason Hammond, the First American Monuments Man in the Field
- Edith Standen, A “Monuments Man” in Germany 1945-1947
- Karol Estreicher, The Polish Monuments Man
- S. Lane Faison, An Office of Strategic Services Monuments Man
- Sir Hilary Jenkinson, An Archivist Monuments Man
- Walter Horn, A Monuments Man Investigator
- Douglas Cooper, A British Art Historian and Collector Monuments Man
Read up on the author of many of these pieces: Greg Bradsher: Monuments Men expert at the National Archives
More on the Monuments Men at:
- Media Matters » The Real Monuments Men
- Prologue: Pieces of History » Nazi Art Looter’s Diary, Long Missing, Found and Online for the First Time
- Prologue: Pieces of History » You won’t see this in the Monuments Men movie
- Monuments Men and Nazi Treasures by Dr. Greg Bradsher, via Prologue Magazine
- Hi-res and public domain images relating to looted art
- Dr. Greg Bradsher’s extensive online finding aid to these materials
- In 2011, the National Archives launched the International Research Portal to Nazi-era records, providing digital access to millions of Nazi-era cultural property–related records through a single portal for the first time.
- The Eisenhower Library has a number of records related to the Monuments Men.
Issued by President Franklin Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, this order authorized the evacuation of all persons deemed a threat to national security from the West Coast to relocation centers further inland. In the next 6 months, over 100,000 men, women, and children of Japanese ancestry were moved to assembly centers. They were then evacuated to and confined in isolated, fenced, and guarded relocation centers, known as internment camps.
The U.S. Government would eventually be compelled to compensate surviving internees for their treatment in 1988.
Executive Order 9066 dated February 19, 1942, in which President Franklin D. Roosevelt Authorizes the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas, 02/19/1942
Read more at Our Documents
It’s an evening dedicated to the Monuments Men on Wednesday, February 19, at 7 p.m. at the National Archives in Washington, DC.
Robert Edsel has dedicated years to painstaking research about the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program–the group known as the Monuments Men–and has written several books including The Monuments Men: Allied Heroes, Nazi Thieves and the Greatest Treasure Hunt in History.
Edsel and a panel will discuss his books, the recent film adaptation starring George Clooney, his work as founder and chairman of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art, and the work of the Monuments Men.
The panel includes Greg Bradsher, senior archivist at the National Archives and author of Holocaust-Era Assets: A Finding Aid to Records at the National Archives at College Park, MD; Nancy Yeide, head of the Department of Curatorial Records at the National Gallery of Art; Michael Kurtz, professor at University of Maryland College of Information Studies and former Assistant Archivist for Records Services at the National Archives; and Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat, President Clinton’s special representative on Holocaust-era issues.
A book signing of The Monuments Men and Saving Italy will follow the program.
Image: Artworks that were confiscated and collected for Adolf Hitler, seen here examining art in a storage facility, were designated for a proposed Führermuseum in Linz, Austria. (242-HB-32016-1)
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