The real Monuments Men (and Women) worked to protect Europe’s cultural heritage during World War II. Learn more about them in a Twitter chat on Tuesday, March 11, at 2:30 p.m. ET hosted by the National Gallery of Art, Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and the National Archives.
Get your questions ready and join us on Twitter by following the hashtag #MonMenChat. RSVP here: http://on.fb.me/1kvRWTH
Archives specialist Nancy Wing shows you tips on how to navigate Archives.gov for your genealogy research.
Wednesday, March 12 at 9:30 a.m. in Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance).
Image: Photograph of Dr. Grover and Classes in Archives Administration and Genealogical Research, 1950. National Archives Identifier 3493215
Before John F. Kennedy became a legendary young President, he was the junior Senator from Massachusetts. In his new book, John T. Shaw looks at how a young John F. Kennedy catapulted himself onto the national stage and provides new insight into an underappreciated aspect of Kennedy’s political career.
Join us on Wednesday, March 12, at noon in the William McGowan Theater. Watch live online (http://www.ustream.tv/usnationalarchives) or join us in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
A book signing will follow the program.
Let’s have a Feline Friday! We have images of many Presidential pets in our Presidential Libraries, but few of them are cats. On March 7, 1995, Socks hitched a ride with President Bill Clinton across the South Lawn.
(Photo: Clinton Library, National Archives Identifier: 6036920)
Terry Golway, historian and New York City journalist, dismantles and examines the stereotypes surrounding Tammany Hall in his new book Machine Made: Tammany Hall and the Creation of Modern American Politics.
Join us on Friday, March 5, at 11 a.m. in the William McGowan Theatre. Watch live online (http://www.ustream.tv/usnationalarchives) or join in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
Tammany Hall, New York’s famous political machine, is considered the worst of urban politics; graft, crime, and patronage personified characters like William “Boss” Tweed. While Tammany’s corruption was real, what is forgotten is its role in protecting the poor and immigrants and laying the groundwork for social reform.
A book signing will follow the program.
Susannah E. Brooks discusses how you can use the Internet to find German ancestors.
Thursday, March 6, 11 a.m.
The Tuesday lecture had to be canceled to due the late snow-day opening, but the lecture will be repeated on Thursday in Lecture Room B at the National Archives at College Park.
Image: Illustrated family record or Fraktur for John Moyer of Maryland, ca. 1800-1900, National Archives Identifier 300044.
Maria von Trapp, the last surviving of the seven children portrayed in “The Sound of Music,” died last week at her home in Stowe, Vermont, at the age of 99.
Most Americans know of the von Trapp family from the play and film, and several of the Rogers and Hammerstein songs have become standards. The play and movie tells how the family fled Europe in the late 1930s as the Nazis were tightening their grip on Europe.
In the play, Mary Martin had the role of governess for young Maria and her brothers and sisters. Julie Andrews took that role in the movie, and Carrie Underwood recently had it in a live TV version.
If you want to know what really happened to the real von Trapp family, go to “The Real Story of the von Trapp Family” by Jean Gearin in Prologue magazine, the flagship publication of the National Archives.
In her article, Gearin draws on records from the National Archives to separate fact from fiction about the family and tell what happened to the family members after they arrived in the United States. Gearin is an archivist with the National Archives at Boston.
Image: Photographs from von Trapp Declaration of Intention documents. Records of District Courts of the United States, Record Group 21.
This slave manifest for the brig Orleans, which includes Solomon Northup listed as Plat Hamilton on line 33, is now on display at the National Archives.
In 1841, Solomon Northup, a free-born African American from New York, was kidnapped by two white men and enslaved for 12 years in the deep South before he could prove his legal right to freedom. He later wrote about his ordeal in his book “12 Years A Slave” which was made into a movie.
Abducting free blacks for sale into slavery was outlawed in most of the United States. However uneven law enforcement, the marginal rights of free blacks, and mounting demand for slaves after the end of the transatlantic slave trade made kidnapping an attractive and potentially profitable prospect that encouraged the creation of a reverse underground railroad.
Kidnappers gave their victims aliases to hide their true identities. Northup recounted that he first heard the name he would be known by as a slave, “Plat Hamilton,” in New Orleans when it was called from this slave manifest (line 33) for the brig Orleans. Victims who insisted that they were free often faced severe beatings or even death. Northup accepted his identity as “Plat” because “[He] was too costly a chattel to be lost … [and] knew well enough the slightest knowledge of [his] real character would consign [him] at once to the remotest depths of Slavery.”
Vera Williams, a direct descendent of Solomon Northup works at the National Archives. You can read her personal story or learn how she walked in the footsteps of her great-great-great-grandfather.
You may not recognize Ira H. Hayes from his Marine Corps Paratroop School photograph here, but you would certainly recognize another photograph he appears in: “Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima.”
Hayes was one of the men in a now-famous photograph taken on February 23, 1945, by AP photographer Joe Rosenthal.
Hayes was a Pima Indian. He was born on a cotton farm in the Gila River reservation in Arizona. After the flag-raising photograph catapulted him to fame, President Roosevelt asked that the three surviving men in the photo return to the United States for a war bond drive. He died in 1955 and is buried in Arlington Cemetery.
Image, original caption: Pfc. Ira H. Hayes, a #Pima, at age 19, ready to jump, Marine Corps Paratroop School, 1943. National Archives Identifier 519164.