National Archives News

Virtual Programs Newsletter

Issue #29, May 18, 2021

A Message from the Archivist of the United States

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David S. Ferriero

I am pleased to report that the National Archives is now allowing a limited number of visitors into the Rotunda on weekends to view our nation’s founding documents on weekends. Please see our coronavirus information web page for information on timed ticketing.

In this newsletter, staff have collected a citizen archivist mission, an interesting History Hub question, and our featured exhibit of documents and resources related to the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre. In the education spotlight, check out some fun downloadable activities to engage kids in discovering their family history.

Please continue to practice social distancing and stay safe. We hope to see you in person soon.


Citizen Archivist Missions

Award CardHelp us transcribe this large series of index cards for awards that include the Purple Heart, Air Medal Decoration, Commendation Medal, Distinguished Service Cross, and Distinguished Flying Cross. Information included consists of: name, service number, rank, general order number, order date and issuing organization, award type, date awarded and more.

Research Family History

The Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA's) Official Personnel Files (OPFs) provide a wealth of genealogical resources. This presentation from the 2018 Virtual Genealogy Fair covers records maintained in the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis for the TVA Official Personnel Files, as well as other TVA resources that can be found across the National Archives nationwide.

From the Catalog

World War II WASPsU.S. Air Force photographs during World War II and Korean War. National Archives Identifier 542351

This series consists of black-and-white and color photographic prints and slides documenting the activities of the U.S. Air Force and its predecessors during World War II and the Korean War, as well as U.S. military aviation history.


Question of the Week

Man and boy at Tule Lake Relocation Camp“My father was interned at the Tule Lake War Relocation Center during World War II. Where can I find his records?”

See the answer to our Question of the Week on History Hub, our crowdsourced platform for history and genealogical research where anyone can ask questions and get answers from archivists and other community members.

Stop by the History Hub and check out more questions about a variety of subjects. Register and get started on History Hub.


Featured Exhibit

Tulsa, OK, after destruction of Black Wall Street

The Tulsa Race Massacre was the first time the Red Cross mobilized to provide relief outside of a natural disaster. Violence erupted in Tulsa, OK, on May 31, 1921, after a Black man was detained for the alleged assault of a white woman. Twenty-four hours later, White mobs had destroyed 35 city blocks in the Greenwood District, known as Black Wall Street, leaving 10,000 people in need of relief and unknown numbers dead. To learn more, visit the virtual Featured Document exhibit Black Wall Street: 100 Years Since the Tulsa Race Massacre.

Education Spotlight

Immigration journey certificateLooking for fun ways to engage kids in finding family history? We have downloadable family trees and activity sheets for kids of all ages!

Join us on Wednesday, May 19, at 1 p.m. ET on YouTube for Tips and Tools for Engaging Family with Your Research Finds, part of the National Archives Genealogy Series.


Public Programs

From February 2018, here is The Great Stain: Witnessing American Slavery, in which author Noel Ray, assisted by NARA staff, relates firsthand accounts from former enslaved people.

Research Services

Navajo woman and infantIn the mid-1930s, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes conceived the idea of commissioning painted murals for the department’s headquarters building in Washington, DC. Impressed by photographer Ansel Adams’s work, Ickes later broadened the scope of the project to include mural-size photographs and recommended Adams. Learn more about Adams’s photographs for this project, and view the images in the National Archives Catalog.


MoPix Video Selection

The True Glory, co-produced by the U.S. Office of War Information and the British Ministry of Information, chronicles events in the WWII European Theater from D-Day to the surrender of Germany in May 1945. The film won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1946. Read more about NARA's restoration of the film in the Unwritten Record blog.

Visit the Online Store

Obama watchLooking for an extra special gift?

Check out our Premium collection today, a selection of handpicked items from our shop, including the Commemorative Edition President Obama Chronograph Watch (pictured).

Engraved with the date of President Obama’s 2009 inauguration, it makes the perfect gift or addition to your style.