An image of Harvey Milk and Jimmy Carter shaking hands.

Jimmy Carter and Harvey Milk: On the Campaign Trail and Beyond

Today’s post is written by Daria Labinsky, an Archivist at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum June 25 marks the fortieth anniversary of gay rights activist and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk’s Gay Freedom Day speech, sometimes called the “Hope” speech, in which he called on President Jimmy Carter to speak out against Proposition 6, … Continue reading Jimmy Carter and Harvey Milk: On the Campaign Trail and Beyond

U.S. Domestic Discrimination as a Problem in the United Nations, 1949

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. The effect of race discrimination on U.S. international relations during the years after World War II was a critical issue for U.S. foreign policy and remains so to this day. After World War II, … Continue reading U.S. Domestic Discrimination as a Problem in the United Nations, 1949

1953 anti-desegration letter

A Record of Protest

Today’s post is written by M Marie Maxwell, an archives specialist who works at Archives I.   Recently, as a citizen, I attended a local community meeting regarding a contentious proposal, hosted by a city government department. Besides the subject being contentious, attendees against the proposal and the city representatives did not agree on how to voice … Continue reading A Record of Protest

Foreign Diplomats and Domestic Discrimination

By David Langbart The late 1950s and early 1960s saw the establishment of numerous newly independent nations in Africa and Asia.  This led to an influx of foreign diplomats from countries not previously represented in Washington.  At that time, the Nation’s Capital was still very much a Southern city and the non-Caucasian diplomats assigned there, … Continue reading Foreign Diplomats and Domestic Discrimination

Foreign Policy Aspects of Integration of the U.S. Armed Forces

By David Langbart By Executive Order 9981 (NAID 300009), dated July 26, 1948, President Harry S Truman ordered the integration of the armed forces of the United States.  Given the stationing of large numbers of American forces overseas after World War II, that move potentially had ramifications for U.S. relations with host countries.  With that … Continue reading Foreign Policy Aspects of Integration of the U.S. Armed Forces

Foreign Policy and Domestic Discrimination

By David Langbart As the Department of State noted in a major 1950 publication “There is no longer any real distinction between ‘domestic’ and ‘foreign’ affairs.”  (Our Foreign Policy, Department of State Publication 3972, released September 1950).  In the post-World War II Twentieth Century, perhaps no issue better illustrates that statement than the movement for … Continue reading Foreign Policy and Domestic Discrimination

NAACP vs the Washington DC Police Department: A 1957 hearing before the DC Board of Commissioners

By M. Marie Maxwell Earlier this month millions of Americans voted. Voting is one of the hallmarks of our democracy, and one method to make their elected officials accountable to the people. Government accountability, for the elected and the unelected, is also found through peaceful protest, letters, petitions, journalistic exposes, court actions and other expressions … Continue reading NAACP vs the Washington DC Police Department: A 1957 hearing before the DC Board of Commissioners

That Cognac Can Get You Into Very, Very Bad Trouble!

  As Black History Month draws to a close, nothing illustrates the great progress of the civil rights movement more than a glimpse at a bleaker era. The work we do every day at the National Archives is for the express purpose of preserving historical context, even the disturbing parts, as exemplified in today’s post, written … Continue reading That Cognac Can Get You Into Very, Very Bad Trouble!

Enforcing the Voting Rights Act

By Jason Clingerman On August 6, 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. While this was a major milestone in ensuring that no one could “deny or abridge the rights of any citizen of the United States to vote on account of race and color,” violations of individual voting rights … Continue reading Enforcing the Voting Rights Act

The 1968 Riots in Washington, DC

By M. Marie Maxwell Recent events in London, of riots being reported in various parts of the metropolitan area, reminded me of a series in the Archives I holdings documenting a similar event in the American capital in 1968. Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, upon hearing of the civil rights … Continue reading The 1968 Riots in Washington, DC