British Opinion About The United States After Pearl Harbor

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. World War II began on September 1, 1939, with the German invasion of Poland.  France and Great Britain, fulfilling their international obligations, declared war on Germany but could do little to aid the Poles … Continue reading British Opinion About The United States After Pearl Harbor

War of Words: Race-Based Propaganda During World War II

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. World War II was not only a war of battleships and bullets.  Words, in the form of overt and covert propaganda and psychological warfare, played an important role.  See the post Airplanes over France for examples … Continue reading War of Words: Race-Based Propaganda During World War II

Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. During World War II, the U.S. government produced propaganda films to rally public support.  Among the most famous of those motion pictures is Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress released in 1944.  The … Continue reading Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress

“Terry and the Pirates” Spreads the Word on Security During World War II

Today's post is written by David Langbart, Archivist at the National Archives at College Park. From August 28, 1943 to February 6, 1944, the plot line of one of America's most popular daily comic strips, "Terry and the Pirates" by Milton Caniff, included as one element the issue of information security.  Even though the action … Continue reading “Terry and the Pirates” Spreads the Word on Security During World War II

Milton Caniff Explains “Terry and the Pirates”

In early 1945, "Terry and the Pirates" was one of the most popular daily comic strips printed in U.S. newspapers. The strip, launched in October 1934, and written by Milton Caniff (1907-1988), was a serial action-adventure strip set in China and its environs.  Once World War II began, the action took place within the context … Continue reading Milton Caniff Explains “Terry and the Pirates”

RICHARD C. HOTTELET, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE

Noted broadcast journalist Richard C. Hottelet died on December 17, 2014.  He was a great journalist and notable presence on television.  I am old enough to remember reports ending with “Richard C. Hottelet, CBS News.”  The obituaries published in the wake of his death have focused on his journalistic career, and rightfully so.  It is … Continue reading RICHARD C. HOTTELET, GOVERNMENT EMPLOYEE

HOLIDAY HUMOR IN WARTIME: 1942

It might surprise some to learn that government bureaucrats have a sense of humor and that it occasionally appears among the records preserved in the National Archives.  One such instance was recently located in the files of the World War II-era Office of War Information (OWI).  That agency was responsible for formulating and implementing information … Continue reading HOLIDAY HUMOR IN WARTIME: 1942

Yugoslavia 1970: The Writing on the Wall

From time to time while working in the records, NARA staff find documents that provide new perspectives on events through which they lived.  I recently had that experience. I remember well the terrible humanitarian disaster that befell local populations as Yugoslavia ripped itself apart during the 1990s.  I remember, too, how many commentators expressed surprise … Continue reading Yugoslavia 1970: The Writing on the Wall

Vietnam and the Ironies of History

"This is an American soldier – he is your friend."  So read the leaflet prepared by the United States for use in Vietnam.  Underneath that caption, it pictured several American infantrymen advancing into combat. The time, however, was not the 1960s; it was mid-1945 and World War II in the Pacific was drawing to a … Continue reading Vietnam and the Ironies of History