Celebrating Victory in Europe (VE) Day, 1945

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. As World War II in Europe drew to a victorious close in late April 1945, the Department of State sent the following circular telegram to American diplomatic and consular officers.[1]  In it, the Department … Continue reading Celebrating Victory in Europe (VE) Day, 1945

Aftermath of War: A World War I Hero Lost at Sea: The Death of Charles Whittlesey, 1921

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. One of the more notable incidents in the combat experience of U.S. troops during World War I is that of the so-called "Lost Battalion." During the fighting in the Meuse-Argonne in October 1918, over … Continue reading Aftermath of War: A World War I Hero Lost at Sea: The Death of Charles Whittlesey, 1921

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

Making Good History: Preserving Records of the February 1893 Negotiations with Hawaiian Commissioners

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. On January 17, 1893, Hawaiian Queen Liliuokalani was overthrown in a coup.  The resulting Provisional Government sent five commissioners to Washington to negotiate a treaty of annexation with the United States.  To accomplish that, … Continue reading Making Good History: Preserving Records of the February 1893 Negotiations with Hawaiian Commissioners

Thanksgiving Around the World, 1918

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park.  This is a revision of an earlier post. Tomorrow marks the centennial of the first Thanksgiving celebration after the armistice effectively ending World War I.[1]  With the end of the war, Americans had more … Continue reading Thanksgiving Around the World, 1918

The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, 1918

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. The Armistice effectively ending World War I went into effect at 11AM on November 11, 1918.  After several earlier false rumors of the suspension of hostilities, official word of the signing of the armistice … Continue reading The 11th Hour of the 11th Day of the 11th Month, 1918

Why Did You Wake Us Up in the Middle of the Night?: Use of NIACT, 1978

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. An earlier post described a minor contretemps involving use of the Department of State communications precedence indicator "NIACT" [Night Action].  That problem persisted over the years as demonstrated by a 1978 exchange of telegrams … Continue reading Why Did You Wake Us Up in the Middle of the Night?: Use of NIACT, 1978

Photographic Intelligence: The Civil War

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. One of the mainstays of intelligence collection is photography.  Among the variety of images collected are overhead photography, aerial photography, and what can only be called regular photography.  All three types are represented in … Continue reading Photographic Intelligence: The Civil War

Why Did You Wake Us Up in the Middle of the Night?: Use of NIACT, 1963

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. On January 21, 1963, at the behest of McGeorge Bundy at the White House, the Department of State sent a circular telegram to 14 embassies in Europe and the U.S. mission in Geneva.[i]  The … Continue reading Why Did You Wake Us Up in the Middle of the Night?: Use of NIACT, 1963

The Presidential Election of 1972: Analysis of Soviet Bloc Opinion

Today’s post is written by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park. The presidential election of 1972 came in the midst of the U.S. rapprochement with the USSR known as detente.  Earlier in the year, President Richard Nixon traveled to Moscow for a major summit with … Continue reading The Presidential Election of 1972: Analysis of Soviet Bloc Opinion