Atlantic Crossing: The Christmas Visit

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD.  The PBS miniseries Atlantic Crossing tells a story of a princess stealing the heart of the president of the United States in a made-for-television drama about the World War II relationship of President Franklin D. Roosevelt … Continue reading Atlantic Crossing: The Christmas Visit

More Department of State Records Now Available Online: Consular Despatches, 1783-1906

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. The National Archives is pleased to announce that additional records of the Department of State have been digitized and are now available online through the National Archives Catalog.  An earlier post described the microfilm digitization project … Continue reading More Department of State Records Now Available Online: Consular Despatches, 1783-1906

Problems with Mutiny on the Bounty, 1960

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. Mutiny on the Bounty is a major 1962 Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer motion picture starring Marlon Brando, Trevor Howard, and Richard Harris.  It is a fictionalized account of the true mutiny that took place on HMAV Bounty in April … Continue reading Problems with Mutiny on the Bounty, 1960

Responding to the release of “On the Beach:” Early use of emojis

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. An earlier post discussed the U.S. Government’s preparations for dealing with international reaction to the 1959 motion picture On the Beach. That film depicted the post-apocalyptic world after a nuclear war.  It was the first major … Continue reading Responding to the release of “On the Beach:” Early use of emojis

Mike Nichols: Coming to America, 1939

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. Mike Nichols was one of the greats of American stage and screen.  Successful as comedian, actor, and director (of stage and screen), he is one of the few to have won the so-called EGOT prize – … Continue reading Mike Nichols: Coming to America, 1939

Confederate Descendants in Brazil, 1908

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. The following is an example of the odd requests made to the Department of State. After the Civil War ended in 1865, numerous Confederates fled the United States.  They had many reasons to leave – economic … Continue reading Confederate Descendants in Brazil, 1908

directing that 3 classes of communication be established

To Avoid Embarrassment: Setting Priorities for the Handling of Documents in the Department of State, 1907

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. The pre-World War II Department of State is often referred to as a sleepy, slow-moving bureaucracy.  This is especially true of the period before the First World War.  Even departmental officials made remarks along those lines.  … Continue reading To Avoid Embarrassment: Setting Priorities for the Handling of Documents in the Department of State, 1907

Mark Twain Goes Overseas in the 1950s

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. The actor Hal Holbrook, who died in January of 2021, had a long and distinguished career.  He appeared on stage and in many motion pictures and television shows.  Those of us of a certain age especially … Continue reading Mark Twain Goes Overseas in the 1950s

“A Stupid Insult:” MAD Magazine and the British Royal Family, 1959

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives at College Park, MD. In June 1959, the U.S. embassy in London sent a despatch with the subject line “Denigration of the British Royal Family in American Cartoon Magazine.”  With it, the embassy’s public affairs officer, F. Bowen Evans, enclosed … Continue reading “A Stupid Insult:” MAD Magazine and the British Royal Family, 1959

Finding Its Way Back Home: The Saga of a Misfiled Document

This post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives in College Park, MD. Archival mantra holds that a misfiled document is as good as gone forever.  That is, unless somebody finds it, recognizes its status as a misfile, and refiles it in its proper location. It can, however, be … Continue reading Finding Its Way Back Home: The Saga of a Misfiled Document