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.
Ordinary citizens were not the only people to petition the First Congress. The clerks in the Public Offices of Congress submitted this petition on September 2, 1789 asking for a raise in salary. Unfortunately for these clerks, this petition was not considered.
Petition of Sundry Clerks for an Increase in Salary, 9/2/1789, SEN 1A-G3, Records of the U.S. Senate
"$4.00 per month"
From the series: Freedmen’s Labor Contracts, 05/1865 - 12/1867
Following the Civil War, the Federal Government established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands to aid former slaves. One of the services this agency provided was assisting freedmen with labor contracts. This contract, dated August 28, 1865, acknowledged that Robert McKenzie would pay Truss B. Hall $4 a month for his service until December 25, and that Hall would “obey all lawful commands as he use to when a slave.”
Do you have what it takes to succeed for Administrative Professionals Day?
Among the holdings of the National Archives at Fort Worth are the records of the Bureau of Apprenticeship and Training (RG 300). These documents, dating from the late 1950s to the late 1960s, offer insights into how secretaries were viewed and trained. They also offer a glimpse of an era gone by.
"Brooke’s Your Reflector Number I (Personality) Quiz" from the Secretarial Training Program in Waco, Texas from January 1959 to June 1959 (Online catalog identifier 7280725).
This flashback comes courtesy of our colleagues at the National Archives at Fort Worth, and their blog series: Flashback! Secretaries of the 1950s and 1960s: Do You Have What it Takes to be One
How did you score? Do you have a “good personality rating for the business world”?
Women at work in a lumber yard, 1919:
"Labor. [African-American] women at work in lumber yards. [African-American] women, dressed in men’s clothes, lifting heavy pieces of lumber., 02/05/1919"
From the series: General Photographic File, from the Records of the Women’s Bureau
"Flashlight photo 6 P.M. going home from King Mfg. Co. Two of the smallest boys been in mill 2 years. One of the larger for 4 years. Augusta, Ga., 01/13/1909"
Long distance calls
Photograph of Women Working at a Bell System Telephone Switchboard, 12/22/1943
From the series: Women Working In Industry, 1940 - 1945; Records of the Women’s Bureau
This photograph shows a telephone switchboard where overseas phone calls were handled during World War II. Many women patriotically joined the industrial workforce to work in shipyards or an aircraft factories, but many more worked in service or clerical jobs as secretaries, bank tellers, retail clerks, and telephone operators.
Relatively speaking, how many hours did you work Mr. Einstein?
During World War II, Albert Einstein worked as a part-time Federal employee developing underwater weapons for the U.S. Navy. This is his time card for July 1943 through June 1944.
Time Card for Albert Einstein, 07/01/1943 - 06/30/1944
Kaiser shipyards, Richmond, California. Miss Eastine Cowner, a former waitress, is helping in her job as a scaler to construct the Liberty Ship SS George Washington Carver launched on May 7, 1943.
From the series: Negro Activities in Industry, Government, and the Armed Forces from the Records of the Office of War Information.
Photograph of a Broken Fire Escape after the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, 03/25/1911
One of the deadliest industrial disasters in United States history, the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire in New York City left 146 workers dead in 18 minutes on March 25, 1911.
Locked doors kept the workers from escaping; there was not enough water to put out the flames, and firemen’s ladders were too short to reach the upper stories. Many of the young women and men working there leapt out the windows and fell to their deaths onto the sidewalk outside. Others were crushed in the elevator shaft or when the fire escape collapsed.
The fire led to sweeping reforms in labor laws and safety standards, providing a boost to labor unions, and was a pivotal event in the career of future labor secretary Frances Perkins.
(Last year’s post has additional photos of the fire and the victims, a few may be considered graphic.)
GRAPE/LETTUCE BOYCOTTERS PICKET THE JEWEL FOOD STORE, 08/1973
From the Records of the Environmental Protection Agency. (12/02/1970 - )
This picture of a boycott outside of a grocery store in Chicago reminds us that the 1970s was a decade of protest and change.
Frances Perkins: First Woman Cabinet member
80 years ago today, President Franklin D. Roosevelt notified the U.S. Senate on March 4, 1933, that he had nominated Frances Perkins of New York to be Secretary of Labor. A lifelong labor reformer, she rose to prominence following the tragic Triangle Shirtwaist Fire. She was confirmed as Secretary of Labor and became the first woman appointed to a Cabinet position. She was the longest serving Labor secretary, serving for 12 years between 1933 and 1945. She was also the first woman to enter the Presidential Line of Succession.
Keep reading at Prologue: A Factory Fire and Frances Perkins
Proof of Residency for Chinese-Americans
Under the provisions of the Chinese Exclusion Act, Chinese immigrants and laborers were required to obtain a certificate as proof of their legal residency. These two documents are held in the Commissioner’s Case Files for the Second Judicial District of the Arizona Territorial Court. These case files are held at the National Archives at Riverside. The men pictured were named Ah Stu and Lee Ching Goon.
Observing Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month
To pay tribute to the many generations of Asian-Pacific Americans that have enriched our nation’s history, the National Archives at Riverside will be highlighting some of our holdings relating to Asian American history in our region (Southern California, Arizona, and Clark County, NV), including records relating to enforcement of the Chinese Exclusion Act, records relating to Japanese internment and relocation, and many more.
For more information about Asian-Pacific Heritage Month, see http://asianpacificheritage.gov/
Approved May 6, 1882, The Chinese Exclusion Act was the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States. It provided an absolute 10-year moratorium on Chinese labor immigration. For the first time, Federal law proscribed entry of an ethnic working group on the premise that it endangered the good order of certain localities.