Pictured above is Elizabeth Schuyler Hamilton (1757-1854), the wife of Alexander Hamilton who served as US Secretary of the Treasury during the Georgetown Washington administration. Elizabeth was born in Albany, N.Y. and was the second child of Revolutionary War General Philip Schuyler. Although women of the 18th century rarely wore wigs, they increasingly hired professional hairdressers to add false hair to their natural hair, thus augmenting it with padding, powder, and ornaments. Other common items for hair decoration included plumes, feathers, “mock garland,” silk ribbons, and artificial flowers. A high forehead was also part of the fashion, so hair was often brushed back severely from the forehead. National Archives Identifier: 532936
Before serving as the third president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson represented Virginia in the Continental Congress, and then served the state as a wartime Governor (1779–1781). Although his natural hair color was usually described as sandy or red, Jefferson often wore it dressed and powered white, a common fashion practice for men at the time. In fact, in a letter he wrote to his grandson in Philadelphia from his Virginia estate, Jefferson implored, “I must pray you to put half a dozen pounds of scented hair powder into the same box. None is to be had here, and it is almost a necessary life with me.” Looks like even our Founding Fathers could not escape the prominent fashion trends of the colonial era! National Archives Identifier: 518078
Baroness Riedesel was the wife of General Friedrich Adolf Riedesel of Brunswick, a region which was then part of the German Confederation. The Baroness accompanied her husband during the Saratoga Campaign in the American Revolutionary War and kept a journal of the campaign. In this picture, she is seen wearing a Brunswick gown, also simply known as the Brunswick. This style dress was a two-piece costume of German origin consisting of a hip-length jacket with “split sleeves” (flounced elbow-length sleeves and long, tight lower sleeves) and a hood, worn with a matching petticoat. It was also popular in England and the U.S. for traveling. National Archives Identifier: 530956
Benjamin Lincoln was an American army officer who served as a major general in the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War. He is notable for his involvement in three major surrenders during the war: Battle of Saratoga, 1780 Siege of Charleston, and the British surrender at Yorktown. The sword Lincoln is sporting is depicted in typical army officers’ fashion. Army officers typically carried two different swords. One is used for full dress—mostly ceremonial in character, as in this picture—and the other used primarily in hand-to-hand combat. National Archives Identifier: 530962
Get ready to put your best fashion foot forward—and take a step back into the trends of the past—with the National Archives!
This fall, the National Archives and the Foundation of the National Archives will be hosting the opening night of the 21st DC Fashion Week. This semiannual event was originally created to spotlight the nation’s capital as a dynamic center of international fashion.
Now celebrating its 10th year anniversary, DC Fashion Week continues to serve as DC’s premier apparel trade show. Featuring the collections of emerging U.S. and established international designers alike, DC Fashion Week will showcase major upcoming trends for spring and summer 2015.
The opening event for DC Fashion Week will be held on Wednesday, September 24, at 7 p.m. in the National Archives Rotunda with the fashion show starting at 7:30 p.m. This event is free with reservations from DC Fashion Week.
More information regarding opening night will be posted on our various social media platforms in the coming weeks.
To help us get into a fashion frame of mind for this exciting event, the National Archives will be celebrating with six weeks of style. Keep your eyes out every Monday for new Pieces of History posts that will share the stories behind some of our most fashionable—and fascinating—holdings here at the National Archives.
Every week will focus on a distinct decade or era of fashion with fun themes, from Revolutionary War: Fashion during America’s Fight for Freedom to Get Your 1970s Groove On. You can follow these themes more closely as we spotlight a different fashion-related record daily on the U.S. National Archives Tumblr blog.
Be sure to check out our Pinterest account throughout these next six weeks for fun, fashion-related postings as well! There will be a new Pinterest board that corresponds with the decade or theme featured on both Tumblr and Pieces of History that week.
We hope you are excited for our fantastic fashion records as we begin to showcase the numerous “signature styles” from the National Archives.
Photo: Photograph of First Lady Betty Ford with designers Donna Karen, Donald Brooks, Albert Capararo, Kasper, Kay Unger, Chester Weinburg, Liz Claiborne, Shannon Rodgers, Leo Narducci, Anthony Muto and Calvin Klein, 03/29/1976. National Archives Identifier 7347181
Modernist choreographer Pina Bausch died suddenly in 2009 while Wim Wenders was in the midst of filming her. A groundbreaking visionary whose cogent and compelling work with Tanztheater Wuppertal transformed the history of dance, Bausch believed in blending the formal vocabularies of theater, dance, sound, and design. (2011; 103 minutes, rated PG)
Presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Art.
Thursday, August 14, at 7 p.m. at William G. McGowan Theatre.
Making Their Mark Adult Education Workshop Series
Join us for a special evening viewing of the “Making Their Mark" exhibit and learn the basics of Handwriting Analysis.
Marilyn Maze, a certified graphologist, opens up the world of handwriting with an interactive demonstration and analysis of historical figures handwriting. Covering the history of graphology and making connections to current uses of graphology, Ms. Maze will be leading an in-depth demonstration about how personality traits are tied to our handwriting and what we can learn from it. Examples from the National Archives stacks will be used. Participants will also have the opportunity to give Ms. Maze a sample of their handwriting to be analyzed. Come see what you can discover about a person from the mark they make!
This is the first of four in a series of hands-on workshops for adults in conjunctions with the “Making Their Mark” exhibit. To register or for more information please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with “MTM Workshops” in the subject line.
Wednesday, August 13, 5:30 p.m.-7:30 p.m. at the Boeing Learning Center
"Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures" is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives.
Family and educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company – Newell Rubbermaid
Image by Jeff Reed
The Nixon Tapes
President Richard Nixon captured every word spoken in key locations in the White House and Camp David from 1971 to 1973 on a voice-activated taping system. Historian and author Douglas Brinkley and Luke Nichter have transcribed the tapes, giving us an unprecedented account of one of the most controversial Presidencies in U.S. history. A book signing follows the program.
President Nixon’s resignation letter and President Ford’s pardon of Richard Nixon will be on display in the East Rotunda Gallery from August 8 to 11.
Friday, August 8 at noon in the William McGowan Theater (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution).
Image: Richard M. Nixon press conference releasing the transcripts of the White House tapes., 04/29/1974. National Archives Identifier: 194576.
The National Archives Museum’s “Featured Documents” exhibit is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Toyota.
Climb Your Family Tree to 100,000 Facebook Likes!
Are you currently a researcher or want to learn more about your family tree? Do you have a friend or family member who wants to learn more about their ancestors? Stay tuned to our page!
For the next two weeks, we will be attempting to reach our goal of 100,000 Facebook followers by August 15. Along the way, we will be featuring tips and tricks relating to genealogy! The National Archives has tons of resources just for you relating to genealogy and researching your family history.
We will be hosting events, including a special #AskaGenealogist Day and a how-to on getting a researcher card here at the Archives. Share, Like, and Comment on our posts to help us get to 100,000!
We even have a special incentive! The person who is our 100,000th like will receive a poster package including a Rosie the Riveter poster, a Declaration of Independence poster, and a Bill of Rights poster!
We Can Do It! Climb your Family Tree to help us get to 100,000 likes!
Image: We can do it!, ca. 1942- ca.1943 (National Archives Identifier: 535413).