Image of US Military personnel stack coffins containing the remains of the victims of the Jonestown Tragedy for transport to Dover Air Force Base, Delaware (NAID 6413436)

Remembering Jonestown 40 Years Later

Today’s post is written by Victoria Otero, an Archivist at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland. November 18, 2018 marked 40 years since the passing of 918 people in the jungles of Guyana. While debate still exists as to whether or not the event was one of mass suicide or mass murder, the event … Continue reading Remembering Jonestown 40 Years Later

The Department of State Reports on the George Foreman-Muhammad Ali Fight (“The Rumble in the Jungle”) 1974, Part II

Today’s post was written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. Part 1 discussed preliminary activities relating to the bout, including the “Zaire 74” festival.  In the lead-up to the fight, Foreman's sparring partner inflicted a cut over Foreman's right eye during a training session … Continue reading The Department of State Reports on the George Foreman-Muhammad Ali Fight (“The Rumble in the Jungle”) 1974, Part II

The Department of State Reports on the George Foreman-Muhammad Ali Fight (‘The Rumble in the Jungle’) 1974, Part I

Today’s post was written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. One of Muhammad Ali's signature fights, perhaps even more famous than his wins over Sonny Liston, is the world heavyweight match with George Foreman in Kinshasa, Zaire, in October 1974.  Given that the fight … Continue reading The Department of State Reports on the George Foreman-Muhammad Ali Fight (‘The Rumble in the Jungle’) 1974, Part I

Malvin Whitfield: Ambassador for Track and Field

Today’s post was written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. Malvin "Mal" Whitfield, a gold medal-winning track star of the 1948 and 1952 U.S. Olympic Teams died in November 2015.  He was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in June 2016.  Whitfield served in the … Continue reading Malvin Whitfield: Ambassador for Track and Field

The National Archives, the Fireman’s Insurance Building and the Carter G. Woodson House

RG 64, entry NA-273A. Center Market, looking southwest on 9th St., 1928 What do these three have in common? They all are properties within the District of Columbia, properties that appear in National Archives Textual series housed in Washington, DC. Initially, I had hoped to trace the property ownership of the land upon which the … Continue reading The National Archives, the Fireman’s Insurance Building and the Carter G. Woodson House

Firefly Project and the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (“Smoke Jumpers”)

Today's post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher and Dr. Sylvia Naylor, archivists at the National Archives in College Park. This post is also featured on our Rediscovering Black History blog. In April 1945 the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion received orders to move to the West Coast for a special assignment.  Members of this all African American unit hoped to finally see combat … Continue reading Firefly Project and the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion (“Smoke Jumpers”)

William H. Hunt, American Pioneer

This post is also featured on our Rediscovering Black History blog. At the outbreak of World War I, William H. Hunt was serving as the U.S. Consul in St. Etienne, France.  In addition to his official duties, Hunt was also a true American pioneer.  In 1914, he was one of the very few African Americans … Continue reading William H. Hunt, American Pioneer

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

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 of complaint and praise, … Continue reading NAACP vs the Washington DC Police Department: A 1957 hearing before the DC Board of Commissioners

African Americans and the American War for Independence

Today's post is by Dr. Greg Bradsher. Englishman Nicholas Cresswell, during July 1777, wrote in his journal that the American army was composed of a “ragged Banditti of undisciplined people, the scum and refuse of all nations of earth.”  Baron Curt von Stedingk, a Swedish colonel in French service, described the American army in Savannah … Continue reading African Americans and the American War for Independence

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 by … Continue reading That Cognac Can Get You Into Very, Very Bad Trouble!