The Grisly Tale of the “Colorado Cannibal” Alfred Packer, as Seen in the Records of the Office of Indian Affairs

Today’s post is written by Cody White, Archivist and Subject Matter Expert for Native American Related Records. What exactly happened in the brutal winter conditions of Colorado's San Juan Mountains nearly 150 years ago, when Alfred Packer survived by eating the bodies of his five companions, will never be known—only Packer lived to tell the … Continue reading The Grisly Tale of the “Colorado Cannibal” Alfred Packer, as Seen in the Records of the Office of Indian Affairs

Religious Buildings (Churches, Mosques, Synagogues) in the Records of the National Register of Historic Places

St. George--Church, religious (National Archives Identifier 131115264) The month of April is significant for many of the world’s religions.  Easter will be celebrated on Sunday April 17, the Jewish holiday of Passover will take place from April 15 through April 23, and April will also mark the Islamic feast of Ramadan.  Many religious buildings are … Continue reading Religious Buildings (Churches, Mosques, Synagogues) in the Records of the National Register of Historic Places

poster w/Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, James Dean shown standing in 3 columns with GIANT written below imposed over a sunset

Cutting “Giant” Down to Size

The 1956 motion picture Giant was exactly that.  Three hours and 17 minutes long.  Directed by George Stevens.  Filled with stars: Elizabeth Taylor. Rock Hudson. James Dean (in his last film). Sal Mineo. Dennis Hopper. Carroll Baker. Jane Withers. Chill Wills. Mercedes McCambridge. Rod Taylor.  Music by Dimitri Tiomkin.  “Giant” received 10 Academy Award nominations, … Continue reading Cutting “Giant” Down to Size

Guatemala, Great Britain, and the United States and Guatemala’s Claim to British Honduras (Belize), 1931-1948

Today’s post was written by Dr. Greg Bradsher, retired senior archivist from the National Archives at College Park. Guatemala, off and on for more than 100 years, claimed all or part of British Honduras (Belize), a British crown colony on the east coast of Central America, south of Mexico and east of Guatemala. Periodically Guatemala … Continue reading Guatemala, Great Britain, and the United States and Guatemala’s Claim to British Honduras (Belize), 1931-1948

The Department of State and Oversight of Puerto Rico, 1900-1909

One of the original functions of the Department of State was oversight of the territories.  In 1873, an act of Congress (17 Stat. 484) transferred that function to the Secretary of the Interior.  In 1900, however, territorial responsibility was once again thrust on the Department of State after the United States conquered and seized Puerto … Continue reading The Department of State and Oversight of Puerto Rico, 1900-1909

players and officials gathered at the 50 yd line for coin toss

Football Related Records in the National Register of Historic Places

Six-Man Football Team #43, Nov 1938 (NAID 57274602) Super Bowl LVI will be played this weekend (Go Team!).  The month of February is traditionally when the National Football League (NFL) Championship is played, along with the Pro Bowl, which marks the end of the NFL season.  There are a number of football-related records in the … Continue reading Football Related Records in the National Register of Historic Places

form for Indian reservation schedule for census data

The Story of the 1950 Census P8 Indian Reservation Schedule

Special thanks to Claire Kluskens, Archivist and Subject Matter Expert for Census Records, and Rose Buchanan, Archivist at the National Archives in Washington, DC. “Now Mrs. Begay, I want to ask you about the names of the people in your family. Is your husband known by any other name than Richard Begay? Sometimes he is … Continue reading The Story of the 1950 Census P8 Indian Reservation Schedule

Text Message Top 5 of 2021

Please enjoy this countdown of our most popular blog posts of 2021. Thank you for continuing to read the Text Message and we hope you join us for more stories, insights, and highlights from the textual records of the National Archives in 2022! #5 "Lucy, I'm Home!"... from the Army Armed Forces Newsmap, vol 1, … Continue reading Text Message Top 5 of 2021

Tutu and Gore smiling and shaking hands

Desmond Tutu, October 1931-December 2021

Archbishop Desmond Tutu greets Vice President Al Gore, May 10, 1994 (NAID 24717040) Bishop Desmond Tutu died on December 26, 2021.  He was best known for his human rights and nonviolence activities while the Anglican bishop of Johannesburg and then the archbishop of Cape Town, the first Black person to hold either position.  Tutu was a hero of … Continue reading Desmond Tutu, October 1931-December 2021

Black Bull posing with his granddaughter outdoors

Meet Black Bull: A Story of Blackfeet Genealogy

Today’s post is by Cody White, Archivist at the National Archives at Denver and Subject Matter Expert for Native American Related Records. The Blackfeet Agency superintendent arrived at the well-maintained spread in the Heart Butte District—“probably the nicest home on Little Badger,” as another official traveling with him noted—to make the rounds of the reservation … Continue reading Meet Black Bull: A Story of Blackfeet Genealogy