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

Historian in the Records

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives in College Park, MD. Revered diplomatic historian Walter LaFeber passed away recently.  He wrote many important books, some that influenced the public foreign policy debate.  They include: The New Empire: An Interpretation of American Expansion, 1860-1898 (1963); America, Russia, and … Continue reading Historian in the Records

Spring Forward: Daylight Saving Time Arrives

The clocks move forward one hour in most states this weekend.  See these earlier posts on the origins and implementation of Daylight Saving Time during World War I. All blogs were written by David Langbart, archivist at the National Archives in College Park. Daylight Saving Time Begins, 1916 Part IDaylight Saving Time Begins, 1916 Part … Continue reading Spring Forward: Daylight Saving Time Arrives

Humor in Government: A View of the Sino-Soviet Split, 1964

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives in College Park, MD.  One of the major developments of the Cold War was the evolution of a split between the two major communist powers, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) and the People’s Republic of China (PRC).  The … Continue reading Humor in Government: A View of the Sino-Soviet Split, 1964

Now Available Online: Department of State Central Files, 1906-1910 (The Numerical and Minor Files)

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives in College Park, MD.  A previous post introduced the National Archives program to digitize its microfilm publications beginning with those of the Department of State.  It discussed the digitization of the records that constitute the central files of the Department … Continue reading Now Available Online: Department of State Central Files, 1906-1910 (The Numerical and Minor Files)

Now Available Online: Department of State Records

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives in College Park, MD. The National Archives is pleased to announce that many important records of the Department of State are being digitized and made available online through the National Archives Catalog.  The records consist largely of the various series … Continue reading Now Available Online: Department of State Records

“Amazingly Poor Judgement”: Robert Sam Anson in Cambodia, August 1970

Today's post was written by David Langbart, archivist in Textual Reference at the National Archives in College Park, MD Noted journalist Robert Sam Anson died on November 2, 2020.  The obituaries printed in The New York Times and The Washington Post mentioned that he was captured and held by Communist forces in Cambodia while covering … Continue reading “Amazingly Poor Judgement”: Robert Sam Anson in Cambodia, August 1970