News From Our Blog

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From the National Archives:

This Week in Universal News: Apollo 1 Disaster

via Media Matters » This Week in Universal News: Apollo 1 Disaster:

On January 27, 1967, the first Apollo mission ended in disaster. Fire broke out during a launch rehearsal, killing pilots Gus GrissomEd White, and Roger Chaffee.

From the release sheet:

ASTRONAUT DISASTER Apollo astronauts Roger Chaffee, Edward White, and Gus Grissom are all killed in a flash-fire aboard their grounded space capsule. Investigators theorize perhaps a short circuit or electrical overload sparked the blaze. The first Apollo flight was scheduled for February.

Universal News Volume 40, Release 10, January 31, 1967

Watch the entire newsreel, featuring cryogenics in Arizona, a Chicago blizzard, and other stories here.

About the Universal Newsreel Collection at NARA:

The Universal Newsreel Collection is one of the most used motion picture collections at the National Archives and Records Administration. Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. Each release usually contained five to seven stories averaging two minutes in length.

In 1974, Universal deeded its edited newsreel and outtake collection to the United States through the National Archives (NARA), and did not place any copyright restrictions on its use (some stories may contain other underlying intellectual property or proprietary use rights).

While Universal disposed of many of the soundtracks, leaving the newsreels incomplete, supplementary material like scripts, shot lists, and event programs can be found in the production files, available for research at Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.

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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.