Breath of Freedom
Breath of Freedom is the story of the one-million-plus African Americans who fought in World War II. Their fight would continue back home on American soil. (2014; 92 minutes) Following the screening, a discussion including Dr. Frank Smith, Jr., director of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, and Maria Höhn, author of GIs and Fräuleins, will be presented. Presented in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference.
Thursday, September 25, at 7 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater

Breath of Freedom

Breath of Freedom is the story of the one-million-plus African Americans who fought in World War II. Their fight would continue back home on American soil. (2014; 92 minutes) Following the screening, a discussion including Dr. Frank Smith, Jr., director of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, and Maria Höhn, author of GIs and Fräuleins, will be presented. Presented in partnership with the Congressional Black Caucus Legislative Conference.

Thursday, September 25, at 7 p.m. in the William G. McGowan Theater

Using World War II Records to Conduct Naval History Research
Jacob Haywood of the National Archives will discuss how to use World War II naval records in the National Archives at College Park for genealogical research.
Tuesday, September 23, at 11 a.m. in Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance).
Thursday, September 25, at 11 a.m. Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room B.
Image: National Archives Identifier: 195567.

Using World War II Records to Conduct Naval History Research

Jacob Haywood of the National Archives will discuss how to use World War II naval records in the National Archives at College Park for genealogical research.

Tuesday, September 23, at 11 a.m. in Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance).

Thursday, September 25, at 11 a.m. Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room B.

Image: National Archives Identifier: 195567.

Author Alan Rems discusses forgotten South Pacific battlegrounds such as Buna, the torpedo-infested waters off New Georgia, and the deadly skies over Rabaul and Wewak. Rems also looks at the major figures and fighting men on both sides of the South Pacific campaigns. 
Join us on Tuesday, July 8 at noon in the William McGowan Theater. Watch live online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeK2pz3ofOM) or join us in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
A book signing follows the program.

Author Alan Rems discusses forgotten South Pacific battlegrounds such as Buna, the torpedo-infested waters off New Georgia, and the deadly skies over Rabaul and Wewak. Rems also looks at the major figures and fighting men on both sides of the South Pacific campaigns.

Join us on Tuesday, July 8 at noon in the William McGowan Theater. Watch live online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeK2pz3ofOM) or join us in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).

A book signing follows the program.

The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), the so-called “Hitler Albums” document the unprecedented and systematic looting of European art by the Nazis, a story recently brought to the screen by George Clooney in The Monuments Men film. The ERR was the main Nazi agency engaged in art looting in Nazi-occupied countries. As the ERR looted, photographed, and catalogued French collections, they created albums, including the one being donated. Each page of the album shows a photograph of one stolen item.
The National Archives and Monuments Men Foundation held a press conference on May 8, 2014 to unveil the last known leather-bound album of art works stolen by the Nazis during World War II.
The Monuments Men Foundation donated this rare album known as “Hitler Album No. 6” to the National Archives in Washington, DC on V-E Day, the anniversary of the end of the war in Europe in 1945.
To view the press conference online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0Je4bz50FM. 
Photo by Michelle Farnsworth. 

The Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg (ERR), the so-called “Hitler Albums” document the unprecedented and systematic looting of European art by the Nazis, a story recently brought to the screen by George Clooney in The Monuments Men film. The ERR was the main Nazi agency engaged in art looting in Nazi-occupied countries. As the ERR looted, photographed, and catalogued French collections, they created albums, including the one being donated. Each page of the album shows a photograph of one stolen item.

The National Archives and Monuments Men Foundation held a press conference on May 8, 2014 to unveil the last known leather-bound album of art works stolen by the Nazis during World War II.

The Monuments Men Foundation donated this rare album known as “Hitler Album No. 6” to the National Archives in Washington, DC on V-E Day, the anniversary of the end of the war in Europe in 1945.

To view the press conference online: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K0Je4bz50FM

Photo by Michelle Farnsworth. 

The United States Army had a television series, “The Big Picture” that ran from 1950 to 1975. This one shows the activities just prior to and including D-Day. It shows the movements of American troops to assembly areas at the various ports of embarkation. 

Video: “The Big Picture,” D-Day Convoy to Normandy National Archives Identifier 2569483. 

These color photographs show the troops getting ready for the D-Day assault at an British port. Most of the color stills in the National Archives show the preparations rather than the invasion.

You can see more color photographs on the Media Matters blog.

Image:  111-C-1258, “These American troops have loaded their equipment onto an LCT and are waiting the signal for the assault against the Continent.”

Image: 111-SC-1237, “American troops at a British port descend into barges which will take them to troop ships from which they will launch the attack against Hitler’s Fortress Europe.”

Image: 111-SC-1248, “Medics and litter bearers going up the ramp of an LCT which will take them to France for the assault against Hitler’s Europe.”

Image: 111-SC-1232, “American troops at a British port descend into barges which will take them to troop ships from which they will launch the attack against Hitler’s Fortress Europe.  Note Barrage balloons in the background.”

Today is the 70th Anniversary of D-Day, these images show the moments before and after the landing operations onto Omaha Beach.

Almost immediately after France fell to the Nazis in 1940, the Allies planned a cross-Channel assault on the German occupying forces, ultimately code-named Operation Overlord. By May 1944, 2,876,000 Allied troops were amassed in southern England. The largest armada in history, made up of more than 4,000 American, British, and Canadian ships, lay in wait, and more that 1,200 planes stood ready. Against a tense backdrop of uncertain weather forecasts, disagreements in strategy, and related timing dilemmas, Eisenhower decided before dawn on June 5 to proceed with Overlord.

As the attack began, Allied troops came against formidable obstacles; Germany had thousands of soldiers dug into bunkers, defended by artillery, mines, tangled barbed wire, machine guns, and other hazards to prevent landing craft from coming ashore. By the end of the day 155,000 Allied troops were ashore and in control of 80 square miles of the French coast but at a heavy cost of 4,900 casualties. 

To view more images and find out more information about D-Day visit our new online Google Cultural Institute exhibit “1944 D-Day and the Normandy Invasion”:  http://bit.ly/1m88DjY. Follow along with events around #DDay70.

Images: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer (RG 111), General Records of the Department of the Navy, 1798-1947 (RG 80), and Records of the U.S. Coast Guard (RG 26).

Omaha Beach and Utah Beach were two of five sectors that made up the Allied invasion of German occupied France. They are located on the coast of Normandy, facing the English Channel, and are each 5 miles long.

Taking Omaha was the responsibility of the United States soldiers, with sea transport and naval artillery support provided by the U.S. Navy and elements of the British Royal Navy. 

These two maps of Omaha beach alerted the 1st and 29th U.S. Divisions, the 5th Ranger Battalion, and 5th Engineer Special Brigade to the expected obstacles that they would encounter when they landed on June 6, 1944.

In addition to Omaha Beach, the U.S. soldiers assaulted Utah Beach. These two maps of Utah Beach alerted the VII U.S. Corps and the U.S. 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions to the obstacles that they would encounter when they landed.

Maps from the records from the Army Map Service (RG 77)

Did you know that no one is sure what Eisenhower actually said on June 4 to launch the invasion?

Eyewitnesses to Ike’s historic decision could not agree on what he actually said. Was it “Well, we’ll go” or “All right, we move” or “OK, boys, we will go.”

Even Eisenhower himself was not consistent in his recollections of what he said. In a 1964 article for Paris Match, he recalled that he said: “We will attack tomorrow.”

Tim Rives, deputy director of the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, tells the full story of the these lost words in Prologue magazine.

In this photograph, General Dwight D. Eisenhower talks with paratroopers of the 101st Airborne Division in Newbury, England, on June 5, 1944, prior to their departure to drop behind enemy lines as part of the D-Day invasion. The soldier with a “23” tag was a fellow Kansan, Lt. Wallace C. Strobel.

70th Anniversary of D-Day screening: The True Glory
The True Glory, a joint production of the U.S. Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information, is the epic filmed record of the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy and the Allied push across Europe. (85 minutes.) The National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab has created a new digitally restored version of the film for this screening. Also shown will be two short subjects preserved by the Academy Film Archive, City Throngs Cheer Fall of Germany(1945; 3 mins.) and Seeds of Destiny (1946; 20 mins.).
Friday, June 6 at noon in the William McGowan Theater (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
Please note that some images may be disturbing to viewers.
This program is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives.

70th Anniversary of D-Day screening: The True Glory

The True Glory, a joint production of the U.S. Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information, is the epic filmed record of the June 6, 1944, invasion of Normandy and the Allied push across Europe. (85 minutes.) The National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab has created a new digitally restored version of the film for this screening. Also shown will be two short subjects preserved by the Academy Film Archive, City Throngs Cheer Fall of Germany(1945; 3 mins.) and Seeds of Destiny (1946; 20 mins.).

Friday, June 6 at noon in the William McGowan Theater (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).

Please note that some images may be disturbing to viewers.

This program is presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in partnership with the Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives.