A personal prologue at the National Archives

By David Langbart The motto of the National Archives is "What is Past Is Prologue." Recently, while assisting a researcher at Archives II, I ran into my Dad, even though he died several years ago.  A bit of background will help you understand.  My father's first Government service, like most in his generation, came in … Continue reading A personal prologue at the National Archives

Follow the money: the origins of the Secret Service

Today's post is by National Archives Volunteer Bill Nigh. This is the sequel to his earlier post. _____ In my first post, I briefly described the volunteer project based on the records of the U.S. Secret Service  (Record Group 87).  I stated that this organization began its presidential security mission following a presidential assassination, but its initial … Continue reading Follow the money: the origins of the Secret Service

The U.S. Secret Service: It Took 42 Years to Protect the President

Today's post (part one in a two-part series) is by National Archives Volunteer Bill Nigh. When I was assigned my first volunteer project, one associated with the U.S. Secret Service (Record Group 87), I wasn’t sure what to expect.  Like many my age, I picture the Secret Service agent climbing on the rear deck of … Continue reading The U.S. Secret Service: It Took 42 Years to Protect the President

Remembering Pearl Harbor

By David Langbart In the aftermath of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 71 years ago today, agencies of the U.S. government swung into action.  The Army and Navy immediately went on a war footing as did American diplomats in the Department of State and at embassies and consulates around the world.  Since the formal … Continue reading Remembering Pearl Harbor

An example of a FBI document, this one describing lab tests done on wine Khrushchev gave to Kennedy

The Challenge of Federal Bureau of Investigation Records: Abbreviations and Euphemisms

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher. The National Archives holds a substantial quantity of Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) records. And in the forthcoming years even more records will be accessioned.  The FBI case files contain  a variety of documentation, including FBI agent reports; teletype-messages; prosecutive summaries; accounts of interviews and physical surveillance; letters; … Continue reading The Challenge of Federal Bureau of Investigation Records: Abbreviations and Euphemisms

“Thank you very, very much J. Edgar Hoover”

Today’s post is written by Dr. Greg Bradsher. On May 10, 1966, J. Edgar Hoover, the Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, wrote Alex Rosen, head of the Bureau’s General Investigation Division, thanking him for a gift certificate to a Washington, D.C. nursery.  The gift was in honor of Hoover’s anniversary as director.  “I shall … Continue reading “Thank you very, very much J. Edgar Hoover”

The CIA in Guatemala

By Jason Clingerman 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 … Continue reading The CIA in Guatemala

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

How the West was Won: Marshal Dake, the Earp Brothers, and the Tombstone Shootout

On October 26, 1881, a 30-second gunfight became the stuff of legend. Today marks the 130th anniversary of the shoot-out at the O.K. Corral, and to commemorate the occasion, Katie Beaver, a summer intern in textual processing, wrote the following post. One of the most well-known stories of the “Wild West” comes from Tombstone, Arizona: … Continue reading How the West was Won: Marshal Dake, the Earp Brothers, and the Tombstone Shootout

Legends in the “Twin Territories”

This post was written by Katy Berube, who was a summer intern in textual processing. When Deputy Marshal Bass Reeves began to sing softly to himself, people who knew him ran for cover.  An uncommon reaction, you might think, but from many accounts it was best to steer clear of a singing Bass Reeves as … Continue reading Legends in the “Twin Territories”