The Monuments Men
Last week we were privileged to host two special advance screenings of The Monuments Men, one especially for the staff of the National Archives. Thanks to the generosity of Sony Pictures, Columbia Pictures, and Robert Edsel, author of The Monuments Men upon which the film is based for making this possible. The film will open in theaters around the country on February 7th.
In our East Rotunda Gallery, through the 19th of February, our featured document is an Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR) album that records artwork looted by the Nazis during the Second World War – one of a series of photo albums created for Adolph Hitler’s benefit to document the Nazis’ systematic looting of cultural treasures and to serve as a pick list for his planned museum in Linz after the war. The Army’s Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program recruited the group known as the Monuments Men (although there were also Monuments Women), and they used these albums to return treasures to their rightful owners. The volume on display is one of several recently discovered albums donated to the National Archives by Robert Edsel, the president of the Monuments Men Foundation for the Preservation of Art. The newly discovered albums supplement the 40 already in the custody of the National Archives.
Read the full post on the AOTUS blog.
Associate Justice Stephen Breyer is our first guest in a series of conversations with the Supreme Court Justices of the United States.
Yale law professor and Constitutional scholar Akhil Reed Amar will lead the discussion, focusing on ideas, viewpoints, and issues related to the Constitution and their impact on the American people.
Join us on January 14 at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public. Details here.
Image: Photograph of Supreme Court Building, ARC 594954.
You can’t snuggle with the Constitution, but you can sleep next to it! This sleepover in the Rotunda is open to children, ages 8-12, who are accompanied by an adult. Registration fees are $125 per person (more information at http://www.archivesfoundation.org/sleepover/)
Participants get to meet author Brad Meltzer, who will set the way for an evening of historical missions and discovery. Learn to decode Civil War ciphers, write with a quill pen, dress up in period clothing, and play with historic toys and games from our patent collection.
Children will also get to meet journalist and author Cokie Roberts, and interact with historical characters Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart. The evening wraps up with a selection of Oscar-nominated short films in the William G. McGowan Theater.
Participants will receive the first two books in Brad Meltzer’s brand new children’s series, I am Abraham Lincoln and I am Amelia Earhart. Written by Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos, each book tells the real-life story of an ordinary person who changed the world.To register, download the Sleepover Registration packet, and send the completed forms to email@example.com.
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
And We’re Back!
Congress has restored funding of appropriated activities and the National Archives has begun to resume normal operations.
· Staff will be recalled in a phased manner and should wait for a call from a supervisor before reporting to work.
· The National Archives Building in Washington, DC and the National Archives at College Park, MD will be closed to the public today, October 17 to give staff time to ensure the proper protection of holdings.
· Facilities around the country, including Presidential Libraries, will open to the public as they complete re-start procedures and are ready to accept visitors from the public.
Please check http://www.archives.gov/ for updates, and we’ll let you know on our various social media channels as the situation changes.
…we will now return to our regularly scheduled Tumblr-ing. We missed you!
Image: First Ladies Barbara Bush, Nancy Reagan, Rosalynn Carter, Betty Ford, Pat Nixon, and Lady Bird Johnson at the Dedication of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library , 11/04/1991.
Due to the Federal Government shutdown, the National Archives is closed. We are unable to post or participate in any of our social media channels during this closure. All National Archives facilities are closed, with the exception of the Federal Records Centers and the Federal Register until the Federal government reopens.
Cast your vote! Help National Archives curators select the first original landmark document in the new Rubenstein Gallery when it opens on November 8.
We’re asking the public to choose from five landmark documents:
- the 14th Amendment
- the 26th Amendment
- Americans with Disabilities Act
- the Immigration Act (1965)
- Desegregation of the Armed Forces
Cast your vote now! Go to http://go.usa.gov/DWSw
(The original Berryman cartoon is here: http://research.archives.gov/description/1696624)
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.
"My Name is Harvey Milk — and I want to recruit you."
In 1978, former Governor Ronald Reagan, Supervisor Milk, President Jimmy Carter, and former President Gerald Ford all opposed a ballot initiative sponsored by California state senator John Briggs. The “Briggs Initiative” would have banned gay men and lesbians from being teachers or otherwise employed by California school districts.
Milk, who had been elected to the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1977, gave a rousing speech at the city’s 1978 Gay Freedom Day celebration. In it, he challenged Briggs and others to reexamine American history.
On the Statue of Liberty it says, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free … .” In the Declaration of Independence it is written “All men are created equal and they are endowed with certain inalienable rights … .” That’s what America is. No matter how hard you try, you cannot erase those words from the Declaration of Independence. No matter how hard you try, you cannot chip those words from off the base of the Statue of Liberty.
Milk also expressed his frustration at the “silence from the White House … . There are some 15 to 20 million lesbians and gay men in this country listening and listening very carefully. Jimmy Carter, when are you going to talk about their rights?”
In case the President had not read the speech, Milk sent him a copy along with a note. He hoped that the President would oppose the Briggs Initiative and “take a leadership role in defending the rights of gay people.”
President Carter did eventually state his opposition to the Briggs Initiative. Ronald Reagan, who would soon run against Carter for the Presidency, wrote an op-ed piece opposing the initiative. It was ultimately defeated at the polls in November 1978.
Milk’s speech and his letter to President Carter are included among the holdings of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum.
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!