News From Our Blog

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From the National Archives:

Edgar Allan Poe: January 19, 1809 - October 7, 1849

Edgar A. Poe,  From the series: Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes

Enlistment Papers for Edgar A. Perry [Poe], 05/26/1827

Literary icon Edgar Allan Poe was born 205 years ago on January 19, 1809.  

Among the holdings at the National Archives are records from Poe’s military career. Frequently in debt, he joined the Army at age 18 in 1827 during one of his bouts of financial difficulties.  His enlistment papers show the master of fiction at work, falsifying his name (“Edgar A. Perry”) and age (22, four years older than his real age at the time). The paper also described him as being 5 feet 8 inches tall, with brown hair, gray eyes, and a fair complexion. 

Poe’s military career fared little better than one of his doomed characters.  While he managed to get a coveted appointment to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, he was eventually court-martialed and dismissed within seven months.

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From the National Archives:

Operation Desert Storm — Declassified
This is the first page of the National Security Directive that authorized the start of U.S. military action in the Persian Gulf from January 15, 1991.  You can see all three pages of the top secret directive here.  
-from the Presidential Timeline

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From the National Archives:

Operation Desert Storm — Declassified

This is the first page of the National Security Directive that authorized the start of U.S. military action in the Persian Gulf from January 15, 1991.  You can see all three pages of the top secret directive here.  

-from the Presidential Timeline

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From Smithsonian Magazine:

Do you recognize this gown? 

First Lady Michelle Obama’s second inaugural gown is now on display at the National Museum of American History  

The ruby-colored chiffon gown designed by Jason Wu is on loan from the White House and will replace the First Lady’s first inaugural gown on display for a year. This special loan coincides with the centennial of the original first ladies exhibition at the Smithsonian. 

Enjoy more First Lady’s gowns here: http://americanhistory.si.edu/firstladies-interactive/the-fashionable-first-lady-text.html

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From the National Archives:

You can’t snuggle with the Constitution, but you can sleep next to it! This sleepover in the Rotunda is open to children, ages 8-12, who are accompanied by an adult. Registration fees are $125 per person (more information at http://www.archivesfoundation.org/sleepover/)
Participants get to meet author Brad Meltzer, who will set the way for an evening of historical missions and discovery. Learn to decode Civil War ciphers, write with a quill pen, dress up in period clothing, and play with historic toys and games from our patent collection.
Children will also get to meet journalist and author Cokie Roberts, and interact with historical characters Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart. The evening wraps up with a selection of Oscar-nominated short films in the William G. McGowan Theater.
Participants will receive the first two books in Brad Meltzer’s brand new children’s series, I am Abraham Lincoln and I am Amelia Earhart. Written by Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos, each book tells the real-life story of an ordinary person who changed the world.
To register, download the Sleepover Registration packet, and send the completed forms to sleepover@archivesfoundation.org.
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From the National Archives:

You can’t snuggle with the Constitution, but you can sleep next to it! This sleepover in the Rotunda is open to children, ages 8-12, who are accompanied by an adult. Registration fees are $125 per person (more information at http://www.archivesfoundation.org/sleepover/)

Participants get to meet author Brad Meltzer, who will set the way for an evening of historical missions and discovery. Learn to decode Civil War ciphers, write with a quill pen, dress up in period clothing, and play with historic toys and games from our patent collection.

Children will also get to meet journalist and author Cokie Roberts, and interact with historical characters Abraham Lincoln and Amelia Earhart. The evening wraps up with a selection of Oscar-nominated short films in the William G. McGowan Theater.

Participants will receive the first two books in Brad Meltzer’s brand new children’s series, I am Abraham Lincoln and I am Amelia Earhart. Written by Meltzer and illustrated by Christopher Eliopoulos, each book tells the real-life story of an ordinary person who changed the world.

To register, download the Sleepover Registration packet, and send the completed forms to sleepover@archivesfoundation.org.


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From the National Archives:

The “Landlord’s Game”

Patented January 5, 1904, this is the printed patent drawing for a game board invented by Lizzie J. Magie, a variation of which would later become the board game “Monopoly.”