From the National Archives:
Wright Brothers Take Flight
On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful sustained powered flight of a heavy-than-air vehicle near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Surfman John T. Daniel of the U.S. Life-Saving Service snapped this picture when the Wright Flyer made its historic first flight.
“Original Wright Brothers 1903 Aeroplane (‘Kitty Hawk’) in first flight, December 17, 1903, at Kitty Hawk, NC. Orville Wright at controls. Wilbur Wright at right (First flight was 12 seconds)”
By Orville Wright and John T. Daniels, December 17, 1903 (165-WW-713-6); Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs; Record Group 165; National Archives.
via Archives.gov: Testimony to Flight
Image description: Today is Bill of Rights Day. On December 15, 1791, the United States adopted the Bill of Rights.
The First Federal Congress of the United States proposed twelve amendments to the Constitution. The first two were not ratified by the states. The rest of the amendments were ratified and became known as the Bill of Rights because they contained guarantees of essential rights and liberties omitted in the crafting of the Constitution.
Read the Bill of Rights.
Image description: Affectionately referred to as “Mr. Cycle,” this device from the collection of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History was the first prototype polymerase chain reaction (PCR) machine.
PCR was a revolutionary laboratory technique developed in 1983 that allows scientists to quickly and inexpensively copy segments of DNA. It’s also an important tool in the field of biotechnology, which is the use of biological processes or organisms to create products or technologies for human use.
See more objects from the new exhibit “The Birth of Biotech.”
From the National Archives:
Barney, Ready for His Close-Up
From 2002 through 2008, Barney and Miss Beazley (who came to the White House in 2004) hosted a series of holiday videos at the White House recorded by the White House Communications Agency.
The 2002 video being filmed in this photograph can be viewed on the Barney Cams page of the George W. Bush Library website.
Barney Tours the White House for the Barney-Cam Holiday Video, 12/09/2002
RIP Barney (September 30, 2000 - February 2013)
Image description: Sailors honor men who were killed in the attacks on Pearl Harbor.
Today is the anniversary of those attacks. The day following the surprise attacks, President Franklin Roosevelt addressed Congress calling Dec. 7, 1941, “a date that will live in infamy.”
Later that day Congress declared war against Japan and officially entered the United States into World War II.
Find more Pearl Harbor images.
Photo from the Navy.