On the Trail of John Ford’s D-Day Documentary
“When I came across the four reels prepared by SHAEF Public Relations, the lack of sound other than narration suggested the film was a rushed effort, completed perhaps days after the assault. My suspicions were aroused… How was this important production forgotten?”
Images from "D-Day to D plus 3" film reels created by the Depart of Defense, Department of the Army, Office of the Chief Signal Officer. June 6-9, 1944.
On July 2, 1961, Ernest Hemingway died at the age of 61. Though he and President Kennedy never met, President Kennedy more than once expressed his admiration for Hemingway and his work.
In a statement on Hemingway’s death, President Kennedy said, “Few Americans have had a greater impact on the emotions and attitudes of the American people than Ernest Hemingway…he almost single-handedly transformed the literature and the ways of thought of men and women in every country in the world.”
Happy 80th Birthday to the National Archives (that’s us)!
Today in 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the National Archives Act, “to establish a National Archives of the United States Government.”
Five years later, in 1939, FDR planted the seed for the Presidential Library system when he donated his personal and Presidential papers to the Federal Government.
Before this, Presidents or their heirs often dispersed Presidential papers at the end of the administration. Though many pre-Hoover collections now reside in the Library of Congress, others are split among other libraries, historical societies, and private collections. Sadly, many materials have been lost or deliberately destroyed.
FDR’s decision stemmed from a firm belief that Presidential papers are an important part of the national heritage and should be accessible to the public. He asked the National Archives to take custody of his papers and other historical materials and to administer his library.
Act of June 19, 1934 (“National Archives Act”), Public Law 73-432, 48 STAT 1122, “to create a National Archives of the United States Government and for other purposes.”, 06/19/1934.
Franklin D. Roosevelt portrait, 1933. From the FDR Presidential Library.
The Constitution Avenue Entrance of the National Archives, Washington, D.C. 1935.
The National Archives is celebrating eight decades of history throughout today, learn more here.
This morning was the Big Reveal for the first document to be displayed in our new Records of Rights exhibit!
Deputy Archivist Debra Wall (in yellow) and journalist Cokie Roberts revealed the 14th Amendment at our tweet up.
The public voted online, and the 14th Amendment received over half the votes.
The other documents from the vote will be displayed in the David M. Rubenstein Gallery over the upcoming year. Come and visit us: http://www.archives.gov/nae/visit/rubenstein-gallery.html
Be sure to check out FRANKLIN to discover archival documents and photos from the FDR Library!
On December 4, 2013, the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library launched FRANKLIN. What is FRANKLIN you ask?
FRANKLIN is a virtual research room and digital repository that provides free and open access to the digitized collections of the Roosevelt Library – to everyone, anywhere in the world. Whether you are a lover of history, a student working on a school project, or an experienced scholar and author, FRANKLIN opens a door to some of the most significant and in-demand historical materials our Library has to offer. Now you can search by keyword, browse through photograph galleries and document lists, and for the first time open whole folders of archival documents online – a level of discovery that till now was only possible in-person.
Many of the most important documents of the twentieth century are now available for you to view on FRANKLIN – from your living room, classroom, office or dorm room. With this initial launch, FRANKLIN makes 350,000 documents and 2,000 public domain photographs available to you now. And we will be adding even more digitized content in the months and years to come.
FRANKLIN is the result of a special cooperative effort — a unique combination of public, nonprofit, and corporate support. The Roosevelt Library and its parent agency, the National Archives, worked with nonprofit partner the Roosevelt Institute to digitize a large amount of microfilmed archival documents. The Library’s digital partner and web host, Marist College, then developed and implemented FRANKLIN’s underlying database infrastructure based on the Archon platform. Marist runs the system using powerful servers manufactured by Marist and Roosevelt Library corporate partner, IBM.
So go to the Roosevelt Library’s website www.fdrlibrary.marist.edu to start exploring FRANKLIN today!
Rare Footage of FDR in his Wheelchair
While doing research at the National Archives in College Park, MD, Ray Begovich recently stumbled upon a film showing President Franklin D. Roosevelt in a wheelchair.
While we can’t state definitively that this is the earliest or only existing footage of FDR being pushed in a wheelchair, it is very rare. It’s a great example of how researchers can explore, discover, and learn from our holdings here at the National Archives.
Franklin D. Roosevelt was diagnosed with polio, in 1921, at the age of 39. The disease resulted in paralysis of both of his legs. Although FDR’s disability did not directly interfere with his role as President, his use of a wheelchair was concealed when he was in the public eye.
The film, shown here, captures President Roosevelt on a visit to Pearl Harbor descending a ramp on the USS Baltimore. He appears to be in a wheelchair, though the chair is obstructed by the ramp. 7/30/44. The 8-second clip starts around 7:35 minutes.
Ernest Hemingway Fighting a Bull
The Running of the Bulls is happening now in Spain. Ernest Hemingway’s 1926 novel, “The Sun Also Rises” famously described the Fiesta de San Fermin that brings thrill-seekers to the crowded streets of Pamplona alongside fighting bulls.
Here’s a photo of Hemingway bullfighting in Pamplona, Spain. Hemingway was participating in “The Amateurs” in 1925, one year before the publication of “The Sun Also Rises.”
Explore more from the Ernest Hemingway Collection at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
Today in history — FDR Approves the National Archives Act
On June 19, 1934, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed “An Act to establish a National Archives of the United States Government, and for other purposes.” Read more from Prologue Magazine.
Photo: An image of the construction of the National Archives Building is from June 1934, the month that President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed into law the National Archives Act.
Happy Birthday to Us!
"I am a little country boy eight years old."
-Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson letter to FDR
A guest post from Sherri DeCoursey, who used the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library to find a special piece of history for her father.
For as long as I can remember, a photo of FDR and a letter have hung side-by-side in the den of Mom and Dad’s home. The yellowed letter, written by FDR’s secretary Missy LeHand, was in response to a letter my father wrote the President in 1941. My dad—Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson—was eight years old in 1941. Dad will be 80 in June of this year…
Wouldn’t it be amazing, I thought, to have a glimpse of my father at such a young age—however small that glimpse was—if only to expand what I already knew about him as a father, business professional, family provider, veteran, jokester, and as we’ve grown older—a friend. What in the world would eight-year-old Forest Delano Roosevelt Ferguson have to say to the man running the country during such perilous times?
Seventy-two years after my father penned his letter, I discovered the answer to these questions in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library. Read more on The National Archives blog
Today at noon, the National Archives released 950 pages of records sealed in U.S. v. Liddy, the Watergate break-in case. The sealed proceedings include evidentiary discussions held outside the jury’s hearing, pretrial discussions between defendants’ lawyers and the Court, and post-trial sentencing information.
The 36 folders of documents total approximately 950 pages. A folder title list is available here: http://go.usa.gov/gWG5
Image: Document from Exhibits B and C.