Cartoonist Clifford Berryman on Thanksgiving

Political cartoonist Clifford Berryman made use of Thanksgiving throughout his career to highlight timely political issues near the holiday. Below are two examples of his Thanksgiving-themed cartoons: These and other cartoons by Clifford Berryman can be found in Record Group 46 in the series "Berryman Political Cartoon Collection, 1896-1949" (ARC Identifier 306080) as part of the Center … Continue reading Cartoonist Clifford Berryman on Thanksgiving

Plumage of Pomp: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935

The past Saturday, I was visiting the Florida Keys and took a bike tour of parts of Islamorada, a village which spans several islands. The meeting place for the tour was a memorial to the victims of the 1935 Labor Day hurricane located near mile marker 82 of U.S. Route 1. Our guide was very knowledgeable … Continue reading Plumage of Pomp: The Labor Day Hurricane of 1935

Halloween at the Tule Lake Relocation Center

70 years ago today, Japanese Americans at the Tule Lake Relocation Center celebrated a harvest festival by wearing costumes. At the Tule Lake Relocation Center, later the Tule Lake Segregation Center, over 24,000 Japanese Americans were imprisoned because of suspected disloyalty to the U.S. government under Executive Order 9066.  Starting in 1943, Tule Lake became a … Continue reading Halloween at the Tule Lake Relocation Center

Skateboarding into Combat

Marines skateboarding into combat... sounds like something out of a Back to the Future sequel, right? Well, as a matter of fact, the U.S. military experimented with using skateboards in combat situations. In the March 1999 exercises known as Urban Warrior '99, the military experimented with the potential use of skateboards to detect trip wires … Continue reading Skateboarding into Combat

Happy World Red Cross Red Crescent Day!

Today is Henry Dunant's birthday, which is also celebrated as World Red Cross Red Crescent Day. In honor of that holiday, I thought I would mention some Red Cross records of historical interest that can be found at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland (Archives II) in Collection ANRC, Records of the American National … Continue reading Happy World Red Cross Red Crescent Day!

Political Sensitivity at the Peak of the Cold War

In February 1963, the United Nations (UN) held the UN Conference on the Application of Science and Technology for the Benefit of the Less Developed Areas (UNCAST) in Geneva, Switzerland. This conference, held at the peak of the Cold War, brought together about 1,600 delegates from 96 countries, including delegations from both the West and … Continue reading Political Sensitivity at the Peak of the Cold War

Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI)

Given the recent appearance of the development company Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI) in the news regarding the case of Alan Gross, the development worker who was jailed in Cuba in 2009 accused of working for U.S. intelligence services, I thought it would be worthwhile to mention that records relating to development projects of DAI can … Continue reading Development Alternatives, Inc. (DAI)

The CIA in Guatemala

In June 1954, Guatemalan president Jacobo Arbenz Guzmán was overthrown in a coup that was orchestrated by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and carried out by the Guatemalan exile Colonel Carlos Castillo Armas. Arbenz was targeted in large part because of his land reform policies that affected U.S. companies, namely the United Fruit Company. There … Continue reading The CIA in Guatemala

Uncle Walt, Papa, and The Prom Queen of Soul

What do Walt Disney, Ernest Hemingway, and Whitney Houston have in common? They all served with the American Red Cross! Disney served as a Red Cross ambulance driver in France during World War I. Likewise, Hemingway served as an ambulance driver in Italy during World War I. In fact, Hemingway's service was the inspiration for … Continue reading Uncle Walt, Papa, and The Prom Queen of Soul

Thanksgiving in Rome, 1944

During World War II, the American National Red Cross (ANRC) provided many services to enlisted men serving abroad in Europe and elsewhere. Importantly, they set up clubs for enlisted men to enjoy for recreational purposes in order to take a break from their wartime duties. One of these clubs was in Rome. In 1944, the … Continue reading Thanksgiving in Rome, 1944