Prologue Magazine

Prologue: Archives of Previous Issues


(Indexed by subject and author, organized by year.)

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Tables of Contents

2017:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

2016:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

2015:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2014:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2013:    Spring    Summer    Fall-Winter   

2012:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2011:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2010:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2009:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

2008:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2007:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2006:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2005:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2004:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2003:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter   

2002:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

2001:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

2000:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

1999:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

1998:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

1997:    Spring    Summer    Fall    Winter

Selected Articles

(Links to titles of articles by year of publication, on this page.)



Remembering World War I (Spring 2017) - Archivist David S. Ferriero surveys the many ways the National Archives is commemorating the centennial of World War I.

America Enters the Great War (Spring 2017) - A look at the events that led Woodrow Wilson to ask Congress for a declaration of war, taking the nation into World War I.

12,000 Marks for Texas  (Spring 2017) - After  a devastating hurricane hit Galveston, Texas, in 1900, U.S. consuls in Germany raised funds for assistance. 

JFK in Congress (Spring 2017) -  In his years in the House and the Senate, John Kennedy developed expertise on key issues and prepared him for his 1960 presidential bid.

JFK 100: Milestones and Mementos (Spring 2017) - The Kennedy Library's centennial exhibit showcases artifacts from various periods of John F. Kennedy's life.

Genealogy Notes: Searching for Captain Blye: Exploring Maritime Records (Spring 2017) - Find out how to use maritime records in your genealogical research.

Historians Notebook: The National Archives Role in Amending the Constitution (Spring 2017) - The Archivist of the United States certifies amendments to the Constitution.

Pieces of History: A Gift for the President . . . Garden Gnomes (Spring 2017) -  A German citizen gave President John F. Kennedy an unusual gift.


NARA's Role under the Presidential Records Act and the Federal Records Act (Summer 2017) - Archivist David S. Ferriero reviews the historical background of these two laws.

Where Our WWII Leaders Spent WWI (Summer 2017) - America's top military leaders in World War II had smaller but, in some cases, similar roles to play in World War I.

Tracing an Atrocity: How an Obscure Affidavit in the National Archives Unraveled a Historical Mystery (Summer 2017) - Records uncovered in the National Archives finally documents an 1887 massacre in Louisiana.

Genealogy Notes: “General Condition: Fairly Good” (Summer 2017) - The records of tuberculosis patients at the hospital in Fort Bayard, Arizona, highlight an important era of Army medicine.

Historian’s Notebook: The First Records (Summer 2017) - What were the first records delivered to the National Archives Building in the 1930s?

Pieces of History: Food Will Win the War! (Summer 2017) - Colorful World War I posters exhorted Americans to support the war effort.


Reclaiming Stolen History (Fall 2017) - Archivist David S. Ferrriero reasserts the agency's intolerance for the theft of records.

Remembering Vietnam (Fall 2017) - A new exhibit at the National Archives seeks to help us understand the full impact of the war.

Tony’s Lab (Fall 2017) - A German American cultured bacteria for germ warfare used on horses in the U.S. during World War I.

The Cocoanut Grove Revisited (Fall 2017) - U.S. Navy records add to the story of the 1942 fire at a Boston nightclub that took 492 lives.

Documenting the Death of a President (Fall 2017) - A report on the final status of the records in National Archives holdings pertaining to the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Abraham Lincoln and Herbert Hoover: The Bond of a Simple Engraving (Fall 2017) Herbert Hoover felt a particular connection with the 16th President. 

Genealogy Notes: Homes on the Range (Fall 2017) - Bureau of Indian Affairs surveys give us a look at life on reservations.

Historian’s Notebook: Our First Preservation Program (Fall 2017) - The first preservation staff at the National Archives faced many challenges.

Authors on the Record: David Grann: Killers of the Flower Moon (Fall 2017) - David Grann investigates a series of crimes against the Osage in the 1920s.

Pieces of History: The Color of Grazing (Fall 2017) - Rare colorized photographs of CCC activities are in the National Archives at Denver.


Looking Back—Looking Ahead: Prologue at a Half-Century (Winter 2017–18) - Archivist David S. Ferrriero reflects on Prologue's past and future.

Prologues Story—So Far (Winter 2017–18) - The magazine celebrates 49 years of discovering history as it comes to the end of print production.

Free Speech on Trial: Eugene V. Debs at Canton, Ohio (Winter 2017–18) - Just after U.S. entry into World War I, the nation's leading socialist tested the limits of free speech. 

The Reel Story of the Great War (Winter 2017–18) - Take a look at the rich motion picture holdings in the National Archives.

Safe for Democracy: Black National Guard Soldiers in the Great War (Winter 2017–18) - The heroism of African American U.S. troops in World War I was not acknowledged by their government at the time.

The Revolutionary Summer of 1862 (Winter 2017–18) - During the summer of 1862, the U.S. Congress passed sweeping legislation affecting slavery, civil rights, and westward expansion.

Genealogy Notes: Ireland’s Famine Children “Born at Sea” (Winter 2017–18) - Learn about using online databases to discover those born aboard ships bringing Irish immigrants to America.

Historians Notebook: A Prologue to Prologue: Accessions, the First Journal of the National Archives (Winter 2017–18) - Before Prologue there was Accessions.

Authors on the Record: Ron Chernow on Grant (Winter 2017–18) - We interview Ron Chernow about his new biography of Ulysses S. Grant.

Pieces of History: A Green Light for Prologue (Winter 2017–18) - In December 1967, the National Archives got the go-ahead to start up a new journal, Prologue.



Launching the “History Hub” (Spring 2016) - Archivist David S. Ferriero introduces the “History Hub,” an online meeting place for researchers and archivists.

The Men—and the Women—Who Built the Washington Monument (Spring 2016) - Despite initial enthusiasm, fundraising for and building the Washington Monument took decades.

Murder! Orphans! Escape! (Spring 2016) - The story of five orphans and the attack on their missionary family in China in 1940 is told through records of the U.S. consulate.

Secret Weapons, Forgotten Sacrifices (Spring 2016) - Records of the Office of Scientific Research and Development in World War II document off-beat weapons research and the sacrifices of those who worked on them.

Broken Blossoms (Spring 2016) - The 1935 "Broken Blossoms" trial revealed how poor young Chinese women were lured to San Francisco with promises of marriage and jobs but instead were forced into prostitution.

The Historian's Notebook: The National Archives Goes Underground (Spring 2016) - Limestone caves in the Midwest store thousands of cubic feet of records.

Your Family Archives: Preserving Newspaper Clippings (Spring 2016) - Even in a digital age, newspaper clippings hold valued memories.

Faith on the Firing Line: Army Chaplains in the Civil War (Spring 2016) - Find out how to locate records of Civil War chaplains.

Pieces of History: An Artist in the Rockies (Spring 2016) - Among records of 19th-century U.S. surveys are beautiful sketches and watercolors.


Tracking Down Missing Records (Summer 2016) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses the work of our Archival Recovery Program.

“These People Are Frightened to Death”: Congressional Investigations and the Lavender Scare (Summer 2016) - During the "Lavender Scare" of the 1950s, thousands of federal employees lost their jobs.

From Code-Making to Policy-Making: Four Decades in the Memorable Career of Russell Willson (Summer 2016) - Russell Willson won fame as a young Navy officer for inventing a secrety cryptographic device in World War I and became a chief policy adviser during World War II.

“Written by Walt Whitman, A Friend”: Three Letters from Soldiers (Summer 2016) - An ailing Civil War soldier's letter found in a pension file was actually penned by Walt Whitman.

Citizen Archivists Energize Civil War Digitization Project (Summer 2016) - A dedicated group of volunteers prepare Civil War pension files for digital imaging.

The CCC Indian Division (Summer 2016) - The CCC-ID employed thousands of Native Americans during the Great Depression.

Your Family Archives: Preserving Textiles (Summer 2016) - Clothing, needlework, flags, and other textiles need special attention to preserve them for future generations.

The Historians Notebook: Building on a Tradition of Oral History (Summer 2016) - The National Archives History Office is preserving our own history by capturing the memories of our staff.

Pieces of History: Royal Ordinances for the Danish American Islands (Summer 2016) - What's the oldest document in the National Archives? It depends.


Moving On: NARA’s Role in a Presidential Transition (Fall 2016) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses the National Archives' important role in the transition of presidential administrations.

Centennial—The Park Service's Stewardship of Natural and Man-made Wonders (Fall 2016) - We celebrate the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

A Gateway to the West (Fall 2016) - The Gateway Arch in St. Louis was decades in the making.

A Stalwart of Stalwarts: Garfield's Assassin Sees Deed as a Special Duty (Fall 2016) - Trace the evolution of Charles Guiteau, the Presidential assassin who killed James Garfield in 1881.

The Declaration of Independence and the Hand of Time (Fall 2016) - Although the Declaration is now closely protected in the National Archives, mysteries remain about its treatment for many of its 240 years.

The Historians Notebook: Elections and the Electoral College (Fall 2016) - Through the Federal Register, the National Archives has a role in the Electoral College.

Your Family Archives: Preserving Family Recipes (Fall 2016) - Preserve treasured family recipes to pass on to future generations.

Women Workers in Wartime (Fall 2016) - Explore the personnel records of women who worked for the federal government during both World War I and World War II.

Pieces of History: Taking a Stand for Voting Rights (Fall 2016)  - When Susan B. Anthony was arrested for illegal voting, she was not alone. Fourteen other women were indicted with her.


Celebrating the Bill of Rights (Winter 2016) - Archivist David S. Ferriero outlines the ways we celebrated the 225th anniversary of the Bill of Rights.

Silently. Quickly. By Sea, in Darkness (Winter 2016) - In the first winter of the Korean War, a U.S. submarine carried commandos to disrupt North Korean supply lines.

The Zimmermann Telegram (Winter 2016) - Follow the chain of events leading up to U.S. participation in World War I.

The Day of Infamy (Winter 2016) - The surprise attack on Pearl Harbor 75 years ago thrust the United States into World War II.

Moving Out, Moving In (Winter 2016) - Learn about the important role the National Archives plays in the transition from one Presidency to the next.

Testing the 15th Amendment (Winter 2016) - After passage of the 15th Amendment, African Americans still faced obstacles to excercising their new right to vote.

The Historians Notebook: The Bill of Rights at 225 (Winter 2016) - The Bill of Rights had a long journey from its ratification in 1791 the National Archives today.

Pieces of History: Ratifying the Bill of Rights . . . in 1939 (Winter 2016) - Eleven states ratified the Bill of Rights in 1791 to make it law. Three other states caught up in 1939.



NARA's Future Lies With Its Staff (Spring 2015) - Archivist David S. Ferriero focuses on the agency's third strategic goal: our people.

Ending the Bloodshed: The Last Surrenders of the Civil War (Spring 2015) - Lee's surrender to Grant at Appomattox was the most significant surrender of the war, but it wasn't the official end of the Civil War.

'An Imposter If There Ever Was One': The Trials of Charles De Arnaud (Spring 2015) - Charles De Arnaud was the most infamous government claimant of the Gilded Age.

Hitler's Final Words (Spring 2015) - During his last hours in his Berlin bunker, Hitler dictated his final political statement and personal will.

A Fortune in Gold (Dust): How a Seattle Assayer Skimmed a Klondike Fortune (Spring 2015) - George Adams stole a fortune of gold dust off Klondike miners' takings.

Caring for Veterans in the Nation's Capital (Spring 2015) - Explore the records of the U.S. Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C., 1851–1943.

Your Family Archives: Treating Memories as Documents (Spring 2015) - The chief of the National Archives Conservation Laboratory has practical advice for personal documents

Pieces of History: ERs Wallet: A Treasure Trove (Spring 2015) - What did Eleanor Roosevelt keep in her wallet?


Managing Those Emails (Summer 2015) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses the challenges of electronic recordkeeping.

“Hard, Bitter, Unpleasantly Necessary Duty” (Summer 2015) - As part of a Civil Affairs Unit, an American doctor brought medical care to the newly liberated Philippines at the end of World War II.

Tea and Equality (Summer 2015) - A 1929 congressional wives tea became the focus of an uproar because one of women was African American.

Defiant in the Defense of Art (Summer 2015) - Three women put their careers at risk to restore Nazi-seized art to their proper owners.

Using Revolutionary War Pension Files to Find Family Information (Summer 2015) - Find out how to use Revolutionary War pension files in your family history research.

The Historian’s Notebook: A Coast-to-Coast Archives (Summer 2015) - In the 1950s and 1960s the National Archives expanded to cities across the country.

Your Family Archives: Preserving Books (Summer 2015) - Find out some techniques to care for your treasured books.

Pieces of History: Mission Fulfilled (Summer 2015) - General Eisenhower's announcement that the war in Europe was over is short and to the point.


Assembling the Obama Library (Fall 2015) - Archivist David S. Ferriero describes the process of starting up a new presidential library.

Ike at 125 (Fall 2015) - For the 125th anniversary of Dwight Eisenhower's birth, we take a fresh look at his presidency.

Eisenhower, the Frontier, and the New Deal (Fall 2015) - Eisenhower's view of the passing of America's frontier influenced his view of the New Deal.

Eisenhower and McCarthy (Fall 2015) - President Eisenhower worked quietly behind the scenes to discredit Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Mr. President (Fall 2015) - Excerpts from a new book show how historians' views of Eisenhower as President have shifted over the years.

A Reel Story of World War II: The United News Collection of Newsreels Documents the Battlefield and the Home Front (Fall 2015) - The story of how this newsreel came to be and how to find and use the film now to help tell future generations about the Second World War.

The Historians Notebook: The Presidential Libraries (Fall 2015) - The Historian's column looks at the development of our presidential libraries.

Your Family Archives: Preserving Family Photos (Fall 2015) - Find out how to best handle your family photographs.

Discovering Your Neighborhood (Fall 2015) - Records useful for genealogy research can be put to work to uncover the history of a neighborhood.

Pieces of History: Edgar A. Poe: "posessed of no Property" (Fall 2015) - Edgar Allen Poe's financial woes are reflected in his bankruptcy petition.


NARA Joins in Honoring Veterans (Winter 2015) - Archivist David S. Ferriero relates how Honor Flight visits for veterans started at the National Archives.

Murder in Manila (Winter 2015) - An Army officer posted to the Philippines in 1925 murdered the woman he loved.

Walking and Talking with Harry (Winter 2015) - A chance meeting led to regular walks with Truman in the post-presidential years.

Bakuhatai: The Reconnaissance Mission of the USS Burrfish (Winter 2015) - Three frogmen from the submarine Burrfish disappeared on a mission in the South Pacific.

“Amending America” (Winter 2015) - A new exhibit in Washington, DC, explores the how the U.S. Constitution can be changed.

The Historians Notebook: Records of Congress (Winter 2015) - The Historian's column looks at the history of records of the House of Representatives and the Senate.

Your Family Archives: Preserving Scrapbooks (Winter 2015) - The chief of NARA's conservation lab talks about preserving scrapbooks.

Genealogy Notes: The Fate of Mali Kaltman (Winter 2015) - Investigating the records of the Boards of Special Inquiry can turn up new leads in your genealogy research.

Pieces of History: A Civil War Surgeon's Tools (Winter 2015) - Civil War amputation instruments turn up in the records of the American Red Cross.



“Stretch” Goals in Our New Strategic Plan (Spring 2014) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses some of the "stretch" goals in our new strategic plan.

Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures (Spring 2014) - A new exhibit in Washington explores how signatures—famous and ordinary—set the course of the nation.

Kamikazes! (Spring 2014) - A Japanese kamikaze plane crashed into an American submarine in a unique attack toward the end of World War II.

The Scottsboro Boys (Spring 2014) - A group of African American youths were wrongly accused of assault in 1930s Alabama.

“OK, We'll Go” (Spring 2014) - Just what did Ike say to launch the D-day invasion in June 1944?

Depicting the Creation of a Nation (Spring 2014) - Find out the story behind the creation of the murals in the National Archives Rotunda.

Genealogy Notes: When Saying “I Do” Meant Giving Up Your U.S. Citizenship (Spring 2014) - In the early 20th century, women who lost their U.S. citizenship upon marriage applied for its restitution.


Scanning the Past to Make Access Happen (Summer 2014) - Archivist David S. Ferriero reinforces the National Archives' commitment to access to the records.

Topping Off the Tip: How Aluminum Found Its Way onto the Washington Monument (Summer 2014) - A look into how the alumininum tip on the Washington Monument on the National Mall got there.

Being German, Being American (Summer 2014) - German Americans joined the U.S. armed forces in World War I despite often facing suspicion at home.

P.S.: You Had Better Remove the Records (Summer 2014) - As the British advanced on Washington in 1814, it was time to move the government's records to safety.

The President’s Archivist Goes to War (Summer 2014) - Fred Shipman was sent by President Roosevelt to Italy during World War II to survey and preserve archives.

Genealogy Notes: The Army in the Woods (Summer 2014) - Some World War I soldiers harvested spruce trees for airplane production.


Meeting Our Customers’ Needs (Fall 2014) - Archivist David S. Ferriero sees a stronger connection ahead between the National Archives and its customers.

Mission: Lifeguard (Fall 2014) - U.S. submarines acted as lifeguards for downed pilots during World War II.

Saving the Moving Images of World War I (Fall 2014) - The National Archives preservation staff is digitizing World War I motion pictures.

Wet, Cold, and Thoroughly Miserable (Fall 2014) - Life aboard U.S. Revenue Cutters in the 1800s was often "wet, cold, and thoroughly miserable."

Genealogy Notes: Broke, But Not Out of Luck: Using Bankruptcy Records for Genealogical Research (Fall 2014) - Don't be put off by the negative image—bankruptcy records can be a genealogy gold mine.


Maximizing Our Value to the Nation (Winter 2014) - Archivist David S. Ferriero explains the National Archives' strategic goal to ensure the enduring cultural and historical value of our records.

Henry Ford: Movie Mogul? (Winter 2014) - Explore the film collection of auto industry baron Henry Ford—a collection now part of the National Archives.

Spirited Republic (Winter 2014) - A new exhibit at the National Archives in Washington, DC, explores alcohol's role in American history.

“I Got To Do Something To Keep My Family Up” (Winter 2014) - The CCC Indian Division offers a New Deal for the Eastern Band of Cherokees.

The Bloodiest Battle (Winter 2014) - Photographs tell the story of the bloodiest battle of World War II—the "Battle of the Bulge" 70 years ago this winter.

Genealogy Notes: Where’d They Go? (Winter 2014) - Find out how to use migration records in family research.



NARA Opens a Presidential Library (Spring 2013) - Archivist David S. Ferriero welcomes a new Presidential Library.

Defending Norfolk in the War of 1812 (Spring 2013) - Stuart Butler describes the strategy used to protect the port of Norfolk from the British.

Brother vs. Brother, Friend against Friend (Spring 2013) - Jay Bellamy recalls the difficult choices young men made in the months and years before the Battle of Gettysburg.

Burnt in Memory (Spring 2013) - Looking back, looking forward—the 1973 fire in St. Louis and its aftermath.

Searching for the Seventies (Spring 2013) - A look at America in the 1970s as portrayed by DOCUMERICA photographers.

Young Bess in Hats (Spring 2013) - Before she became Mrs. Harry Truman, she was "Young Bess in Hats."

Genealogy Notes: The A-Files (Spring 2013) - Find your immigrant ancestors in this unparalleled 20th-century resource.


The Founding Fathers at a Website Near You (Summer 2013) - Archivist David S. Ferriero announces Founders Online, a searchable website that leads you to the papers of six of our Founding Fathers.

Monuments Men and Nazi Treasures (Summer 2013) - Art and museum specialists with the U.S. Army are called in to sort out treasures discovered in a mine.

The Mutiny at Pisgah Forest (Summer 2013) - During World War I, African American soldiers in South Carolina protested against poor conditions in camp.

Fads and Fashions: The Lighter Side of the Universal Newsreel Collection (Summer 2013) - Newsreels in the Archives document the the ordinary and the quirky sides of American life from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Genealogy Notes: “We’re still alive today” (Summer 2013) - A captured Japanese diary was left behind on Makin Atoll during World War II.


The Struggles for Rights (Fall-Winter 2013) - Archivist David S. Ferriero takes a closer look at the records in the new Rubenstein Gallery.

Records of Rights (Fall-Winter 2013) - A new exhibit at the David M. Rubenstein Gallery examines the "Records of Rights."

Preserving the “Iraqi Jewish Archive” (Fall-Winter 2013) - National Archives staff describe how they restored important documents and the exhibit that tells the story.

“The Following Program . . .” (Fall-Winter 2013) - How the FCC decided who got the nod to put color into our TV sets.

The Secret Treaties with California's Indians (Fall-Winter 2013) - Unratified treaties found new value for California Indians at the start of the 20th century.

The Ike and Harry Thaw (Fall-Winter 2013) -Samuel W. Rushay, Jr., recalls efforts to end the frosty relationship between President Dwight D. Eisenhower and former President Harry S. Truman.

Tin Cans and Patents (Fall-Winter 2013) - The evolution of tin cans for storing food and the changing rules for patents and trademarks.

Genealogy Notes: Ancestors from the West Indies (Fall–Winter 2013) - An overview of Afro-Caribbean immigration from 1900 to 1930.



Working Smarter (Spring 2012) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses the role of the NHPRC in helping archivists work smarter.

They Said It Couldn't Sink (Spring 2012) - National Archives documents detail the losses after the Titanic's sinking.

All for a Sword (Spring 2012) - Sarah Hutchins's quest for a gift for a Confederate cavalryman led to a treason conviction.

Fireworks, Hoopskirts—and Death (Spring 2012) - A deadly fire at a Union arsenal in Washington, DC, took 21 lives.

The Artist at War (Spring 2012) - Artists in camouflage units did their bit during World War I.

Genealogy Notes: Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? (Spring 2012) - Questions on the 1940 census tell us about employment and income of the American work force.


To Choose a President (Summer 2012) - Archivist David S. Ferriero describes the Federal Register's role in the Electoral College.

Attachments: Faces and Stories from America’s Gates (Summer 2012) - An exhibit at the National Archives tells the stories of immigrants to the United States.

An Orphan of the Holocaust (Summer 2012) - Thirteen-year-old Michael Pupa came to America after fleeing the Nazis and spending years as a "displaced person" in Europe.

Finding the Stones (Summer 2012) - The National Archives discovers several engravings done by William Stone of the Declaration of Independence.

The War of 1812: Stoking the Fires (Summer 2012) - Impressement of seamen was one American grievance before the War of 1812, but the U.S. Navy seized British sailors on occasion.

Genealogy Notes: Question 22 (Summer 2012) - The 1940 census provides a glimpse of the demographics of the New Deal.


A Prime Location in New York City (Fall 2012) - Archivist David S. Ferriero describes the new downtown home of the National Archives at New York City.

One Step from Nuclear War (Fall 2012) - The 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis prompts a search for historical perspective.

“The President Is Very Acutely Ill” (Fall 2012) - When President Harry Truman fell ill in 1952, the full story of his illness was kept from the press.

An Ailing Ike (Fall 2012) - President Dwight Eisenhower's health in 1960 affected the politicals fortunes of his Vice President, Richard Nixon.

Choosing a President (Fall 2012) - How the nation really elects its President and Vice President—and how the National Archives plays a part in the Electoral College.

Errors in the Constitution (Fall 2012) - Over the course of two centuries, small errors have crept into the U.S. Constitution at the hands of scribes and printers.

Genealogy Notes: Family Experiences and the New Deal (Fall 2012) - The correspondences files of the Federal Emergency Relief Administration document personal experiences during the Great Depression.


Volunteers—and the Impact They’re Having (Winter 2012) - Archivist David S. Ferriero salutes our many volunteers across the nation.

Nixon on the Home Front (Winter 2012) - In President Nixon's centennial year, we look at his administration's domestic policies.

How the West Was Settled (Winter 2012) - Greg Bradsher describes how the Homestead Act lured settlers into the sparsely populated West in the 1800s.

A Heart of Purple (Winter 2012) - Fred Borch tells the story of America's earliest military decoration.

The Mystery of the Sinking of the Royal T. Frank (Winter 2012) - Looking for the facts behind the sinking of a transport ship off Hawaii in the early months of World War II.

Genealogy Notes: The 1940 Census Revisited (Winter 2012) - Another, more detailed, look at what you can find in the 1940 population census.



Increased Security for America's Records (Spring 2011) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses the measures NARA is taking to protect our holdings.

A Look Back at John Brown (Spring 2011) - Paul Finkelman takes a look at the man whose body "lies a-mouldering in the grave" and his role in history.

Two Americans and the Angry Russian Bear (Spring 2011) - Fred L. Borch recounts the court-martials of two American Army officers who angered our Russian allies during World War II.

Back to a Forgotten Street (Spring 2011) - Robert Fahs recalls how journalist Bernard B. Fall tried to warn U.S. officials about the perils of a war in Indochina.

Genealogy Notes: “I Am Still in the Land of the Living”—The Medical Case of Edson D. Bemis (Spring 2011) - One man's case file demonstrates how to research Civil War veterans' postwar medical histories.


Making Access Easier (Summer 2011) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses ways we're making the records available to more people in more ways.

What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? (Summer 2011) - A 2011 exhibit chronicles the federal government's effect on the American diet in war and peace.

Working Magic with Cornstalks and Beanpoles (Summer 2011) - National Archives records reveal how the U.S. Military Railroads kept the trains running for the Union during the Civil War.

Congressional Play-by-Play on Baseball (Summer 2011) - Records of congressional hearings contain unexpected treasures—including important threads in the history of baseball.

Jesse S. Haire: Unwilling Indian Fighter (Summer 2011) - Jesse Haire, a soldier in the U.S. Army cavalry, gives an eyewitness view of history in his journals.

Genealogy Notes: The Rejection of Elizabeth Mason: The Case of a “Free Colored” Revolutionary Widow (Summer 2011) - The rejection and appeals in a pension file shed light on African American participation in the Revolutionary War.


A Culture of Vigilance (Fall 2011) - Archivist David S. Ferriero reaffirms NARA's commitment to protecting the records in our custody.

1 Archives Drive (Fall 2011) - A new home for the National Personnel Records Center keeps the records of military and civilian personnel safe and accessible.

Federal Files on the Famous—and Infamous (Fall 2011) - Our St. Louis facility has files on anyone who got a paycheck from Uncle Sam.

Hit the Road, Jack! (Fall 2011) - Jack Kerouac, in his pre-Beat days, sought to join the U.S. Navy, but the Navy rejected him.

The 1961 Berlin Crisis: Some New Insights (Fall 2011) - Recently declassified documents shed new light on the Berlin Crisis of 1961.

Genealogy Notes: Leaving the Army during Mr. Madison's War (Fall 2011) - War of 1812 Army discharge certificates are an unexpected source of information about military service.


A Leading Role for Change (Winter 2011) - The President charges the National Archives and Records Administration with overseeing a major overhaul in the way agencies create and manage their records.

While Chicago Burned (Winter 2011) - Federal court records reveal the reactions of some Chicago residents when fire destroyed the heart of one of our largest cities in 1871.

Let the Records Bark! (Winter 2011) - M. C. Lang dives into the personnel records of "a few good dogs" in the Marine Corps during World War II.

“Whitman, Walt, Clerk” (Winter 2011) - Kenneth Price shares his discovery of thousands of documents in the Archives penned by Walt Whitman during his tenure as a government clerk.

Remembering Pearl Harbor (Winter 2011) - Deck logs of the ships hit at Pearl Harbor 70 years ago reveal in real time what went on during the attack.

In Search of a Better World (Winter 2011) - A new exhibit about Benjamin Franklin provides new insights into the life of one of America's Founding Fathers.

Genealogy Notes: Dangers in the CCC (Winter 2011) - Civilian Conservation Corps accident reports between 1933 and 1942 can be rich resources for family historians.



Taking the Leading Role on Declassification (Spring 2010) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses NARA's role in streamlining the records declassification process.

Out of War, a New Nation (Spring 2010) - Pulitzer–prize-winning historian James McPherson discusses the lasting impact of America's bloodiest war.

At the Edge of the Precipice (Spring 2010) - Robert V. Remini shares an excerpt from his book about Henry Clay's role in the Compromise of 1850.

Abraham Lincoln and the Guerrillas (Spring 2010) - Daniel E. Sutherland examines how Lincoln dealt with unconventional warfare waged by both Unionists and Confederates.

“A Reasonable Degree of Promptitude” (Spring 2010) - Claire Prechtel Kluskens reviews how pension office handled the unprecedented growth in its caseload during and after the Civil War.

Discovering the Civil War (Spring 2010) - Exhibit curator Bruce Bustard explains how the National Archives' latest exhibit makes the Civil War "strange again" for its viewers.

“I Have the Honor to Tender the Resignation . . .” (Spring 2010) - Trevor K. Plante presents a selection of letters from Southern officers resigning their commissions in the U.S. military as states seceded from the Union.

Genealogy Notes: Slavery and Emancipation in the Nation's Capital (Spring 2010) - Damani Davis shows how to use federal records to explore the lives of African American ancestors from Washington, DC.

Authors on the Record: The Civil War on the High Seas (Spring 2010) - An interview with Craig L. Symonds, author of Lincoln and his Admirals.

Pieces of History: A Seal of Guilt (Spring 2010) - The metal die for the seal of the Knights of the Golden Circle was confiscated when the Knights' founder was arrested in 1863.


Creating a More Open Government (Summer 2010) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses how NARA is meeting the President's Open Government Directive.

Magellans of the Sky (Summer 2010) - Robert Crotty recalls when flight was young and a race to circumnavigate the globe got worldwide attention.

Children as Topic No. 1 (Summer 2010) - Marilyn Irvin Holt documents the evolution of White House conferences on children in the 20th century.

No Pensions for Ex-Slaves (Summer 2010) - Miranda Booker Perry examines the federal government's active, and successful, role in suppressing a movement to gain federal pensions for ex-slaves in the 19th century.

Frame After Frame (Summer 2010) - Philip W. Stewart provides an overview of the motion picture holdings of the National Archives in College Park.

Women of the Polar Archives (Summer 2010) - Audrey Amidon puts the spotlight on two women who were drawn to the Arctic regions and whose exploits were captured on film.

Institutional Memory (Summer 2010) - Frances M. McMillen and James S. Kane relate the history of St. Elizabeths Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Genealogy Notes: 68,937 and Counting (Summer 2010) - Tim Rives and Steve Spence investigate a little-used source for genealogical research: inmate case files from the U.S Penitentiary at Leavenworth.


Making Tough Choices on NARA’s Budget (Fall 2010) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses the budgetary challenges facing the National Archives.

Operation Blissful (Fall 2010) - A battalion of U.S. Marines lured Japanese troops away from a key U.S. target during World War II in the South Pacific—with a bit of help from Lt. John F. Kennedy.

In Freedom’s Shadow (Fall 2010) - Renty Greaves was a slave in South Carolina, but after the Civil War he rose to prominence as a business leader and elected official in the only state to have a black majority in the legislature during Reconstruction.

A Soldier of the Revolution (Fall 2010) - Who was the real Isaac Rice, a veteran and chronicler of the Revolutionary War? (Fall 2010) - The National Archives' newest teaching tool puts primary source documents into the hands of students and teachers around the world through a rich, interactive online environment.

Genealogy Notes: U.S. Census Schedules for Americans Living Overseas (Fall 2010) - Where do you look for your ancestors if they were Americans living abroad?


Transforming the Archives (Winter 2010) - Archivist David S. Ferriero discusses changes to make the Archives a better place for staff and customers.

The Founding Fathers Online (Winter 2010) - Learn about an ambitious project to put online all the writings of six prominent Founding Fathers.

The Magna Carta Returns to the Archives (Winter 2010) - David M. Rubenstein went to an auction one night—and ended up buying the only copy of the Magna Carta in America to bring it back to display at the National Archives.

The Nuremberg Laws (Winter 2010) - The original documents used by Adolf Hitler's Third Reich to legalize the persecution of Jews came to the National Archives in 2010.

Genealogy Notes: New Questions in the 1940 Census (Winter 2010) - The 1940 census will be released in 2012. Learn what new information to expect that will reflect America in the Great Depression.



A Year of Celebration for Our 75th Anniversary (Spring 2009) - Acting Archivist Adrienne C. Thomas previews NARA activities coming up this year.

Truman at 125 (Spring 2009) - The man from Missouri shaped a postwar world with decisiveness, determination, and common sense.

Independence and the Opening of the West (Spring 2009) - Raymond H. Geselbracht chronicles the relationship between Truman and Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton over a famous mural.

Harry Truman’s History Lessons (Spring 2009) - Samuel W. Rushay, Jr., examines the way the 33rd President used history to make some of the important decision of the post–World War II era.

Adventures with Grandpa Truman (Spring 2009) - Clifton Truman Daniel recalls memorable visits with his famous grandfather.

DOCUMERICA (Spring 2009) - A highlight of the Environmental Protection Agency's ambitious project to capture environmental crises and cures in the 1970s.

NARA’s Up-to-Date in Kansas City (Spring 2009) - Kimberlee N. Ried previews the Central Plains regional archives' move to the cultural and historical heart of Kansas City.

Using the Congressional Serial Set for Genealogical Research (Spring 2009) - Jeffery Hartley introduces researchers to the genealogical potential of this multivolume collection of congressional reports and documents.


Becoming World Class (Summer 2009) - The Acting Archivist reflects on the Archives' growth into a world-class archives.

In the King’s Service (Summer 2009) - Hugh Finlay had some big shoes to fill after King George III fired the nation's first postmaster, Benjamin Franklin.

Our Story (Summer 2009) - On June 19, 1934, the National Archives was born. Seventy-five years later it has grown into the nation's record keeper. Learn about its colorful past here and in the timeline of NARA history.

When the “Enemy” Landed at Angel Island (Summer 2009) - The story of hostile aliens and deported resident radicals interred at San Francisco's Angel Island during World War I.

Sitting in Judgment (Summer 2009) - Judge Advocate General Myron C. Cramer not only prosecuted German saboteurs during World War II but also presided at the trials of Japanese war leaders.

The First Nixon Library (Summer 2009) - The first library named for Richard Nixon was in Hong Kong.

The NHPRC: Extending the Archives’ Reach (Summer 2009) - Kathleen Williams traces the 75-year history of the National Archives' grant-making arm.

Lead the Way (Summer 2009) - A guide to research on Indian Scouts during the opening of the American West.


Our Wonderful Volunteers (Fall 2009) - NARA's many volunteers are an important part of the National Archives family

Face to Face with History (Fall 2009) - A rare photograph of an African American Union surgeon is discovered among the pension records in the Natinal Archives.

“I Wish to Acknowledge” (Fall 2009) - Over the years many archivists have helped Pulitzer Prize–winning authors, and less prolific writers research their works. Learn the stories behind the books.

These Walls Can Talk (Fall 2009) - An examination of the sculptural decorations on the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

The Congressional Archives (Fall 2009) - The Center for Legislative Archives maintains the records of both houses Congress, and holds a few surprises as well.

Coastal Bastions and Frontier Forts (Fall 2009) - Explore what can be found within the records of U.S. military posts, 1821–1920.


An Amibitious Agenda (Winter 2009) - Archivist David S. Ferriero looks ahead with an ambitious agenda for the National Archives.

Cartography, Politics—and Mischief (Winter 2009) - An 1848 map of the United States contains some puzzles.

Shaping the National Archives (Winter 2009) - Greg Bradsher recounts how Wayne Grover, the third Archivist of the United States, placed the building blocks of the agency as it is known today.

The Alaskan Frontier in Panorama (Winter 2009) - Some of the first panoramic photos of the Alaskan wilderness are held in the National Archives. Richard E. Schneider tells the story of how these century-old photos were preserved.

A Place in the Archives (Winter 2009) - Love, dinosaur tracks, and your own letters are all part of the National Archives. Miriam Kleiman shows us the personal side of our nation's holdings.

A Tower in Nebraska (Winter 2009) - What do Maryland's National Naval Medical Center and Nebraska's state capitol building have in common? A lot more than you'd think. Raymond P. Schmidt recounts how Franklin Delano Roosvelt's design for the medical center was inspired by a stopover in middle America.

“How an eagle feels when his wings are clipped and caged” (Winter 2009) - Japanese internment camp newspapers provided a sense of community in World War II, and provide a unique insight for researchers today.



A Word about the Archives' Budget—and the Quality of Our Staff (Spring 2008) - The Archivist discusses the impact of NARA's appropriations for fiscal year 2008.

Jim Crow, Meet Lieutenant Robinson: A 1944 Court-Martial (Spring 2008) - A fight against bias in the Army presages a historic baseball career for Jackie Robinson.

“No Little Historic Value”: The Records of Department of State Posts in Revolutionary Russia (Spring 2008) - War, revolution, and natural disaster took their toll on U.S. embassy and consular records.

Ready Access: NARA's Federal Records Centers Offer Agencies Storage, Easy Use for 80 Billion Pages of Documents (Spring 2008) - The Federal Records Centers Program provides an essential service for U.S. Government agencies.

To Protect and to Serve: The Records of the D.C. Metropolitan Police, 1861–1930 (Spring 2008) - Police records document the historical and social fabric of the nation's capital.


Finding Out Who You Are: First Stop, National Archives (Summer 2008) - The Archivist discusses the indispensable role of the National Archives in genealogical research.

Sage Prophet or Loose Cannon? (Summer 2008) - A sharp Navy intelligence officer predicted Japan's actions while earning the ire of the top brass.

Battlefilm: Motion Pictures of the Great War (Summer 2008) - A look at NARA's trove of images of World War I.

LBJ: Still Casting a Long Shadow (Summer 2008) - The legacies of the Great Society and the Vietnam War buildup that shape history's assessment of the nation's 36th President.

Attacking the Backlog (Summer 2008) - A major Archives project works to get a billion unprocessed records available to the public.

Exodus to Kansas (Summer 2008) - An 1880 congressional inquiry investigated the beginnings of the African American migration from the south.


The Constitution: A Treasure Worth the Wait in Line (Fall 2008) - The Archivist reflects on the U.S. Constitution.

A Victor in Defeat: Chief Gall's Life on the Standing Rock Reservation (Fall 2008) - Lakota Chief Gall, a leader at the Battle of Little Big Horn, had to adopt a new status as an agency Indian following his surrender to the U.S. Army in 1881.

Lynching: Ida B. Wells-Barnett and the Outrage over the Frazier Baker Murder (Fall 2008) - Ida B. Wells-Barnett joined her voice to others' in expressing national outrage over a murderous attack on an African American postmaster and his family.

The Ordeal of a Biographer (Fall 2008) - One former President, Herbert Hoover, writes about an earlier President, Woodrow Wilson.

The Electoral College: A Message from the “Dean” (Fall 2008) - The National Archives manages the Electoral College, which elects our President and Vice President every four years.

The Forgotten Federal Census of 1885 (Fall 2008) - An "extra" census helps researchers find information that may not be found anywhere else.


Challenges: Those We Met, Those We Face (Winter 2008) - The Archivist looks at the road ahead for the National Archives on the eve of its 75th anniversary.

FDR: The President and the High School (Winter 2008) - Franklin Roosevelt's interest in architecture led to close involvement in the planning and construction of a high school in Hyde Park.

BIG! Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the National Archives (Winter 2008) - An insider's look at the Archive's newest exhibit by BIG!'s curator, Stacey Bredhoff.

Archival Vintages for The Grapes of Wrath (Winter 2008) - Who were the real people behind Tom Joad and all the others in the John Steinbeck's classic novel of the Great Depression?

Camp David (Winter 2008) - For 70 years, Presidents and their families have enjoyed this idyllic retreat in the Maryland mountains.

Escorting a Presidency into History (Winter 2008) - When a President leaves office, the National Archives is standing by to take custody of his records, which will help determine how history treats him.

Follow the Money (Winter 2008) - Learn how to track down pension payments made to Revolutionary War Army veterans and widows.

Author Interview: The First Time Around—Book Chronicles the British-American Coalition Force in World War I (Winter 2008) - Mitchell Yockelson, author of Borrowed Soldiers, tells the stories of the early American divisions in World War I.



Civic Education: Lighting the Path to the Future (Spring 2007) - Civic education is an essential element of NARA's overall mission.

A Discovery: 1798 Federal Direct Tax Records for Connecticut (Spring 2007) - Researchers can find a wealth of information in a rare collection of documents.

Diplomacy and Duels on the High Seas: Littleton Waller Tazewell and the Challenge of HMS Euryalus (Spring 2007) - Carefully laid plans for a dramatic confrontation between two ships are upset by the outbreak of peace in the War of 1812.

The 200th Anniversary of the Survey of the Coast (Spring 2007) - Many of federal scientific agencies can trace their roots to Thomas Jefferson's order for a charting of the young nation's ever-growing coastline.

School House to White House: The Education of the Presidents (Spring 2007) - A NARA exhibit gives us a peek at the report cards, homework, athletic prowess, and musical abilities of our modern Presidents when they were students.

Sharing the Excitement of History: NARA's New Boeing Learning Center Supports Education Programs Nationwide (Spring 2007) - This latest part of the National Archives Experience will serve as the focal point for NARA's civic education efforts throughout the nation.

A Final Appeal to Capitol Hill: The U.S. House's Accompanying Papers File, 1865–1903 (Spring 2007) - Citizens exercising their constitutional right to petition left future generations a weath of genealogical information.


Progress toward a Goal of Greater Access (Summer 2007) - Allen Weinstein discusses NARA's efforts to increase and make easier access to our holdings nationwide.

American Mysteries, Riddles, and Controversies!: New Exhibit at the Hoover Presidential Library Challenges Visitors to Ask Better Questions in the Search for Answers (Summer 2007) - When details are lacking, history sometimes leaves the door open to wild and imaginative speculation about what really happened.

“Tear Down This Wall”: How Top Advisers Opposed Reagan’s Challenge to Gorbachev—But Lost (Summer 2007) - One of Ronald Reagan's most famous speeches came close to losing its most memorable line—until the deciding vote was cast.

“Sweltering with Treason”: The Civil War Trials of William Matthew Merrick (Summer 2007) - Lincoln's administration finds a way to work around a federal judge with Confederate sympathies.

Rich, Famous, and Questionably Sane: When a Wealthy Heir's Family Sought Help from a Hospital for the Insane (Summer 2007) - Psychiatric records from a government hospital provide a peek into the private lives of wealthy and prominent families and their squabbles over sanity.

Chasing Technology: The Challenge of Preserving Audiovisual Records (Summer 2007) - Archivists face great challenges in preserving film, tape, and sound recordings.

“Their . . . Bedding is wet Their floors are damp”: “Pre-Bureau” Records and Civil War African American Genealogy (Summer 2007) - Discover what the records show about life for African American refugees before the Freedmen's Bureau.


Honoring a Sacred Obligation to History (Fall 2007) - The future role of NARA and the Nixon Library.

Herbert Hoover’s Boy Biographer (Fall 2007) - An 11-year-old boy writes a biography and gains a few moments of fame.

Wearing Lipstick to War: An American Woman in World War II England and France (Fall 2007) - Remembering Liz Richardson, one of the "Red Cross girls".

Nixon’s Library Now a Part of NARA: California Facility Will Hold All Documents and Tapes From a Half-Century Career in Politics (Fall 2007) - Tracing the Nixon documents from private library to federal repository.

Listening to Nixon: An Archivist's Reflections on His Work with the White House Tapes (Fall 2007) - The ongoing work of processing the Nixon tapes.

Preserving the Past, Keeping Pace with the Future (Fall 2007) - A look at preservation programs at the National Archives.

Looking for an Ancestor in the Panama Canal Zone, 1904–1914 (Fall 2007) - Exploring court records created during the building of the Atlantic-Pacific link.


The National Archives and the World (Winter 2007) - The Archivist discusses the National Archives' role on the international stage.

The First Proposal, or, What a Future President of the United States Did When He Was Rejected by the Woman He Loved (Winter 2007) - Young Harry Truman pursued Bess despite being spurned time after time.

Mission to Štĕchovice: How Americans Took Nazi Documents From Czechoslovakia—and Created a Diplomatic Crisis (Winter 2007) - In postwar Europe, an American unit clandestinely removed Nazi records from a booby-trapped cave.

Digging Deep at the National Archives: Film, Still Pictures Holdings Were Major Resource for Ken Burns's World War II Documentary (Winter 2007) - Filmmaker Burns mined the vast holdings of World War II records at the National Archives.

Opening the Files on War Crimes (Winter 2007) - A final report from the panel that made public documents on Nazi and Japanese actions during World War II.

Native Americans in the Antebellum U.S. Military (Winter 2007) - Learn how to find the hundreds of American Indians who served in the U.S. military between 1815 and 1858.



After a Disaster: The National Archives as “First Preservers” (Spring 2006) - NARA's post-hurricane records recovery efforts.

VIPs in Uniform: A Look at the Military Files of the Famous and Famous-To-Be (Spring 2006) - A look at the military files of some of the famous and famous-to-be, including Elvis Presley, Steve McQueen, George S. Patton Jr., and Jack Keroauc.

Beyond the Box Score: Baseball Records in the National Archives (Spring 2006) - Explore a wealth of information about baseball and its illustrious past found in an unlikely place—the records of the National Archives.

When an American City Is Destroyed (Spring 2006) - How the U.S. military became the "first responders" and took charge

Hemingway on War and Its Aftermath (Spring 2006) - How his chronicles of World War I affected one of the 20th century's most influential writers and, in turn, the course of American literature.

A Founding Father in Dissent: Elbridge Gerry Helped Inspire Bill of Rights in His Opposition to the Constitution (Spring 2006) - Today Gerry might be all but forgotten, but his participation in the Constitutional Convention was key to shaping our government.

Lights! Camera! History! Ideas! (Spring 2006) - The William G. McGowan Theater Serves as a Venue for Documentary Film and Policy Forums

An Extraordinary President and His Remarkable Cabinet: Doris Kearns Goodwin Looks at Lincoln’s Team of Rivals (Spring 2006) - A noted author discusses her work on her latest book.

The World War II Army Enlistment Files and AAD (Spring 2006) - NARA's online Access to Archival Databases allows searches for World War II personnel.


Strictly Unclassified: Some Thoughts on Secrecy and Openness (Summer 2006) - The Archivist addresses concerns about access to records.

Ike's Interstates at 50 (Summer 2006) - Young Dwight Eisenhower's views on the importance of good roads later served as a catalyst in creating today's half-century-old interstate highway system.

Reclaiming Pieces of Camelot (Summer 2006) - A complicated legal trail led to the recovery of many long-missing papers and artifacts from John F. Kennedy's years in the White House and Congress.

NARA’s Oldest Partnerships: Affiliated Archives (Summer 2006) - Some of the holdings of the National Archives are actually stored and made accessible right where they were created and are mostly frequently used.

Native Americans in the Census, 1860–1890 (Summer 2006) - Genealogists pursuing Native American ancestry should look for leads in earlier censuses.


Pursuing Civic Literacy: NARA Education Programs Promote New Ways to Teach History (Fall 2006) - NARA remains committed to engaging Americans in the study of their own history through written records that document that history.

Into the Woods: The First Year of the Civilian Conservation Corps (Fall 2006) - The first of Franklin D. Roosevelt's major New Deal programs is launched before the last echoes of his inaugural address are gone.

Prelude to McCarthyism: The Making of a Blacklist (Fall 2006) - In the early days of the Cold War, the Attorney General draws up a list that sets the boundaries for loyalty.

Abner Pratt and Michigan’s Honolulu House (Fall 2006) - A 19th-century U.S. consul leaves his post under a cloud but builds a Hawaiian palace in the upper Midwest.

The D-Day Classroom: Eisenhower Library Program Offers Students Lessons in History and Leadership (Fall 2006) - At the Eisenhower Library, students can once again decide whether June 6, 1944, is a good day for the Allies to storm the beaches of Normandy.

The Story of the Female Yeomen during the First World War (Fall 2006) - The vague language of the Naval Act of 1916 opened the door to women volunteering in the U.S. Navy.


Roosevelt Mythistoricus (Winter 2006) - Archivist Allen Weinstein recalls how an eight-year-old boy struggled to come to terms with FDR's death in 1945.

The Christmas Tree Ship: Captain Herman E. Schuenemann and the Schooner Rouse Simmons (Winter 2006) - The Rouse Simmons, laden with trees for the Chicago holidays, mysteriously disappears in frigid Lake Michigan.

FDR at 125 (Winter 2006) - To mark the 125th anniversary of FDR's birth on January 30, 1882, Prologue looks at the impact of his presidency and his legacy.

A “New” FDR Emerges: Historians, Teachers, Authors Take a Fresh, Sometimes Critical, Look at Roosevelt (Winter 2006) - Prominent FDR historians take a fresh look at his life and times.

FDR, Archivist: The Shaping of the National Archives (Winter 2006) - In the spring of 1934, FDR took a keen interest in the newly established National Archives.

NARA’s Armies of Volunteers (Winter 2006) - They serve on the front lines, without pay, and help the National Archives provide first-rate customer service at all locations around the country.

The Final Voyage of the Portland: Reconstructing the List of the Steamer’s Crew through NARA Records (Winter 2006) - Genealogy Notes reconstructs the crew list of the Portland, which went down off the coast of New England in 1898.

Fala and the Barkers for Britain (Winter 2006) - Pieces of History looks at how FDR's “best friend” helped in the war effort.



Secrecy and Salesmanship in the Struggle for NARA's Independence (Spring 2005) - Robert Warner, sixth Archivist of the United States, recounts the steps toward an independent National Archives in the 1980s.

The Frozen Sucker War (Spring 2005) - In pre–air-conditioning America, Good Humor and Popsicle square off in search of market share in the growing frozen sucker market.

Belva Lockwood: Blazing the Trail for Women in Law (Spring 2005) - She stood up to a President, became the first woman to argue before the Supreme Court, and helped stir the woman suffrage movement.

Winema and the Modoc War: One Woman's Struggle for Peace (Spring 2005) - A Modoc woman sought to foster better relations between her tribe and the U.S. Government.

Finding Place for the Negro: Robert C. Weaver and the Groundwork for the Civil Rights (Spring 2005) - A future cabinet member shaped government policies toward African Americans during the Depression and World War II.

20th-Century Veterans' Service Records: Safe, Secure - and Available (Spring 2005) - How records of soldiers, sailors, and airmen are preserved in our St. Louis facility and how to get copies of them.

Sealing the Sacred Bonds of Holy Matrimony: Freedmen's Bureau Marriage Records (Spring 2005) - A state-by-state look at marriage licenses, certificates, registers, and reports in federal records that document marriages of former slave couples.


At the National Archives, Pursuing Two Great Goals to Improve Service to Our Customers (Summer 2005) - NARA is committed to fulfilling electronic records initiatives and expanding its public and educational outreach.

Getting the Message Out: The Poster Boys of World War II (Summer 2005) - The Boy Scouts of America were mobilized to distribute the government's patriotic messages and warnings about spies and saboteurs on the home front.

Monuments, Manifest Destiny, and Mexico (Summer 2005) - The 2,000-mile U.S.-Mexican boundary line is drawn, and redrawn, amid politics and turmoil on both sides of the border.

The Presidential Libraries Act after 50 Years (Summer 2005) - FDR had already built his presidential library and donated it to the government, but it took some carefully crafted legislation before any more Presidents could do so.

Those Elusive Early Americans: Public Lands and Claims in the American State Papers, 1789–1837 (Summer 2005) - The thousands of claims and other records preserved from the records of the Senate and House contain a wealth of information on individuals and families living in America from 1789 to 1838.


Where Have You Gone, James Madison? (Fall 2005) - Archivist Allen Weinstein discusses the relevance of the U.S. Constitution and the thoughts of its leading architect, James Madison.

The "Fast Mail:" A History of the U.S. Railway Mail Service (Fall 2005) - As the railroads speeded America's westward movement, post office cars made the nation's mail move faster, too.

The "Z Plan" Story (Fall 2005) - Japan's secret plan to defeat the U.S. fleet is lost at sea, but soon drifts into "enemy" hands—those of American generals and admirals.

Finding Ordinary Americans with Extraordinary Stories (Fall 2005) - The search for the real people whose stories live within the records of the National Archives brings surprises, joy, and sadness.

There's a NARA Near You! Exploring the Regional Archives (Fall 2005) - Nearly one-quarter of NARA's holdings are located in its regional archives, and there may be one near you.

"You have the body": Habeas Corpus Case Records of the U.S. Circuit Court for the District of Columbia, 1820–1863 (Fall 2005) - These case files can provide names of individuals and family members; birth, marriage, and death information; and detailed information on the daily lives of the people involved in the cases.


Bill of Rights Memories (Winter 2005) - Allen Weinstein writes about some "radical" notions in need of some attention.

Movie vs. Reality: The Real Story of the von Trapp Family (Winter 2005) - How the producers of The Sound of Music altered the story of the family that endeared itself to audiences on stage and screen.

Trading Gray for Blue: Ex-Confederates Hold the Upper Missouri for the Union (Winter 2005) - Former Confederate prisoners joined the North to help keep peace in the West.

Voices of Emancipation: Union Pension Files Giving Voice to Former Slaves (Winter 2005) - After the Civil War, African American citizens provided an oral history of their lives in bondage.

The ERA: Technology to Aid Archivists, Historians (Winter 2005) - Lockheed Martin's role in building an archives for digital records.

Serving at the Pleasure of the President: The Nomination Papers of the United States Senate, 1789–1946 (Winter 2005) - In providing "advice and consent" for Presidential appointments, the Senate has also produced controversy and drama.



The ERA: An Archives of the Future and for the Future (Spring 2004) - The National Archives continues its progress toward building the Electronic Records Archives.

Just Between You and Me: Children's Letters to Presidents (Spring 2004) - When youngsters write to the White House, the subject can be anything: dogs, messy rooms, Elvis Presley, or a $10 bill.

Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka: A Landmark Case Unresolved Fifty Years Later (Spring 2004) - With its decisive ruling, the Supreme Court transformed America's schools, fueled the civil rights movement, and stirred the nation's conscience.

An Alleged Wife: One Immigrant in the Chinese Exclusion Era (Spring 2004) - How U.S. authorities kept a Chinese bride in limbo for nearly two years and how others fought for her release.

Archivist Announces Results of The People's Vote (Spring 2004) - The votes are in! See what voters chose as the 10 most influential documents in U.S. history.

The National Home for Disabled Volunteer Soldiers (Spring 2004) - Using records of veterans homes to gather information about Civil War and later veterans.


Providing Customer Service of the Highest Order (Summer 2004) - Archivist John W. Carlin describes improvements in our new Research Center in Washington, DC.

Cold Mountain's Inman: Fact Versus Fiction (Summer 2004) - A look behind the story in the book and motion picture.

LBJ Champions the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Summer 2004) - How President Lyndon Johnson laid the groundwork for this historic legislation and battled fellow southerners for its passage.

The Booker T Four’s Unlikely Journey from Prison Baseball to the Negro Leagues (Summer 2004) - Four Leavenworth inmates went from the prison yard to professional baseball.

The Ordeal of Herbert Hoover (Summer 2004) - The 31st President hid his warm, human side as he fought the Great Depression, only to be rejected by the voters.

Bridging the Mississippi: The Railroads and Steamboats Clash at the Rock Island Bridge (Summer 2004) - Building the first railroad bridge across the Mississippi.

Creating the National Archives (Summer 2004) - Seventy years ago, on June 19, 1934, FDR signed into law "an Act to establish a National Archives of the United States Government."

Authors on the Record: (Summer 2004) - President Jimmy Carter talks about the setting for his book, The Hornet's Nest, the first-ever novel by a U.S. President.

Researching the Career of a Nineteenth-Century Physician (Summer 2004) - Using NARA records to fill out details of the life of a locally notable individual.


NARA Marks Twentieth Anniversary of Independence Legislation (Fall 2004) - Archivist John W. Carlin recalls an important chapter in this agency's history.

A Boy Who Would Be President: Harry Truman at School, 1892–1901 (Fall 2004) - A look at a young man's report cards and his interpretations of William Shakespeare.

See History As It Happened: The National Archives Experience Highlights America's Film Treasures (Fall 2004) - A new theater and a new exhibition will draw on the sights and sounds of NARA's film holdings.

Changing Channels: The Civil Rights Case That Transformed Television (Fall 2004) - A 1960s battle over a Mississippi TV license brought major changes on the screens and behind the cameras.

Documenting Democracy at State and Local Levels (Fall 2004) - For 40 years, the National Historical Publications and Records Commission has reached out to thousands of archives and records repositories across the country.

At the Federal Register, Tending to the Details of Democracy (Fall 2004) - How a NARA unit records all of our democracy's actions.

A Gold Mine of Naturalization Records in New England (Fall 2004) - A valuable set of naturalization records for five New England states.


The Public Vaults Offer An Exciting Journey through American Records (Winter 2004) - A new permanent exhibit in Washington, DC, lets you explore history through the public record.

The Flip Side of History (Winter 2004) - No treasure maps can be found, but the backsides of some famous documents still provide us with some interesting facts about American history.

By George, IT IS Washington's Birthday! (Winter 2004) - That federal holiday in mid-February may be Presidents' Day to some people, but officially it still belongs to the man from Mount Vernon.

From Pearl Harbor to Elvis: Images That Endure (Winter 2004) - Some of the most requested photos from NARA depict the milestone events of World War II and a famous visitor to the White House.

Behind the Scenes with NARA's Exhibits Staff (Winter 2004) - Meet the people behind the Public Vaults and all the agency's other exhibits.

The Official Register of the United States, 1816–1959 (Winter 2004) - Explore the national directory of employees, agents, and officers of the federal government.



Construction Projects Now Under Way Will Protect Records of the Past . . . And of the Future (Spring 2003) - The National Archives and Records Administration is upgrading its facilities to better preserve the records and serve our customers.

Harry Truman, Poker Player (Spring 2003) - The 33rd President often looked forward to a game of cards to relax and enjoy the company of friends or his staff—and even a visiting British legend.

"Incited by the Love of Liberty": The Amistad Captives and the Federal Courts (Spring 2003) - When enslaved Africans aboard a Spanish ship rebelled, their quest for freedom played out within the U.S. Federal court system.

Historic Murals Conservation at National Archives Building (Spring 2003) - Barry Faulkner's depiction of the presentations of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution will light up the Rotunda after major restoration work.

Jefferson Buys Louisiana Territory, and the Nation Moves Westward (Spring 2003) - A surprise offer is quickly accepted, but the deal takes many documents and much time to complete. The "paper trail," however, is preserved at the National Archives.

AAD: A New Tool to Search NARA Databases (Spring 2003) - The Access to Archival Databases (AAD) tool allows researchers for the first time to search selected databases in NARA's holdings.

Honoring Our War Dead: The Evolution of the Government Policy on Headstones for Fallen Soldiers and Sailors (Spring 2003) - Learn when the government started providing headstones for military personnel and how to use the records in your genealogical research.


Rotunda Reopening Launches New Era for National Archives (Summer 2003) - The Charters of Freedom return to public display, and the National Archives Experience gets ready to take off.

Sixty Years Later, the Story of PT-109 Still Captivates (Summer 2003) - His boat destroyed, John F. Kennedy eludes the Japanese and challenges the sea to lead his crew to safety and becomes a war hero.

20 July 1969 (Summer 2003) - How Americans observed the day on Earth when man first landed on the Moon is recreated in this special preview of the National Archives Experience.

Safeguarding Hoover Dam during World War II (Summer 2003) - This huge dam is also a wartime target, but in the late 1930s and early 1940s, federal officials couldn't agree on how, or whether, to protect it.

Fort Archives: The National Archives Goes to War (Summer 2003) - In wartime Washington, a young agency proves its worth in the drive for victory and wins over skeptics who question its value.

NARA's Library Offers "The Light at the Beginning of the Tunnel" (Summer 2003) - The Archives Library Information Center (ALIC) offers researchers and archivists on-site and online resources.

Enhancing Your Family Tree with Civil War Maps (Summer 2003) - How to use an often-overlooked resource for filling out your Civil War research.


Cast Your Vote! Public to Choose Most Influential Documents in American History (Fall 2003) - Archivist John Carlin urges you to vote this fall on which documents have had the greatest influence on our country.

"Jitterbugs" and "Crack-pots" Letters to the FCC about the "War of the Worlds" Broadcast (Fall 2003) - Sixty-five years ago, a radio play alarmed the nation.

Renewing the Spirit of Independence (Fall 2003) - This fall we celebrate the return of the Charters of Freedom, the reopening of the Rotunda of the National Archives Building, and the first phase of the National Archives Experience.

A New Era Begins for the Charters of Freedom (Fall 2003) - Conservators reveal details of their work on our founding documents.

The Stone Engraving: Icon of the Declaration
By Catherine Nicholson

NARA Conservators Meet the Challenge Every Day
By Mary Lynn Ritzenthaler

A Top-to-Bottom Renovation for the National Archives Building (Fall 2003) - The grand structure gets an upgrade after 68 years.

NARA's New Research Center Features Ease, Speed, Efficiency (Fall 2003) - The public gets improved access to our holdings.

A "Top Secret" Exhibit Previews the National Archives Experience (Fall 2003) - Our visitors will be able to open "secret" documents.

The EARS Have It: A Web Search Tool for Investigation Case Files from the Chinese Exclusion Era (Fall 2003) - An online database gives researchers greater access to case files at NARA's Pacific Region in San Bruno, CA.

Plans of Division: Describing the Enumeration Districts of the 1930 Census (Fall 2003) - The Census Bureau divides up the country into manageable pieces to conduct the 1930 census.


FDR, His Library, and the National Archives (Winter 2003) - The Roosevelt Library opens a new visitors center with the National Park Service.

Found at the Presidential Libraries: Dr. Seuss, Air Force One, and the San Diego Chicken (Winter 2003) - Amid White House documents and tapes, you'll find some unusual items that are now part of history.

Celebrating the Wright Brothers' First Flight: The International Civil Aeronautics Conference of 1928 (Winter 2003) - How an international aviation conference observed a quarter-century of aviation - when the age of flight was young.

Aviation Records Take Flight at NARA: The First Twenty-five Years (Winter 2003) - A survey of records relating to the early years of manned flight. 

American POWs on Japanese Ships Take a Voyage into Hell (Winter 2003) - The Access to Archival Databases (AAD) tool gives researchers online access to information about World War II prisoners.

The Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom Reopens at the National Archives (Winter 2003) - A historic homecoming for America's founding documents gets a Presidential touch and officially launches the National Archives Experience.

Reports from the Front (Winter 2003) - A National Archives Experience exhibit will bring you eyewitness of military engagements from the Revolutionary War to the Vietnam War.

Our Documents at Work in the Nation's Classrooms (Winter 2003) - Teachers use Our Documents to bring primary sources into the classroom.

De Smet, Dakota Territory, Little Town in the National Archives (Winter 2003) - Finding records of Laura Ingalls Wilder's family in the National Archives.



A Time to Act: The Beginning of the Fritz Kolbe Story, 1900–1943 (Spring 2002) - Recounts how Kolbe, a mid-level official in the German Foreign Office, supplied the Allies with some of their most important intelligence of World War II.

Spoils of War Returned: U.S. Restitution of Nazi-Looted Cultural Treasures to the USSR, 1945–1959 (Spring 2002) - The story of how the United States undertook an unprecedented program of cultural restitution in an effort to restore displaced treasures to the countries from which the Nazis had confiscated them.

The Idea of "Conspiracy" in McCarthy-Era Politics (Spring 2002) - Fear of conspiracies and hostile influences behind the scenes permeated political discourse on both the left and right.

When FDR Said "Play Ball" (Spring 2002) - When America's entrance into World War II cast doubt on the future of baseball, FDR gave a "green light" to the national pastime.

Updating Harry Truman's Library: Interactive Features Enliven New Exhibits after Extensive Renovation (Spring 2002) - The library's new exhibits and educational space break new ground in its efforts to make Truman and his times come alive for new generations of Americans.

Preparing for the 1930 Federal Population Census (Spring 2002) - To most effectively use the census, it is important for researchers to know as much as possible about where a person lived in 1930.

The WPA Census Soundexing Projects (Spring 2002) - The indexes to census schedules and immigration records developed by WPA workers have been a tremendous help to genealogists.


Developing a New National Archives Experience (Summer 2002) - Through a new interactive "National Archives Experience" visitors to the National Archives Building will learn about the past and how documents and records have shaped the nation and the lives of its citizens.

Race, Nationality, and Reality (Summer 2002) - America's immigration and nationality laws have been subject over the years to vague and varying interpretations by judges, lawmakers, the public.

Nazi Looted Art: The Holocaust Records Preservation Project (Summer 2002) - The Holocaust Records Project is providing greater access to the records that tell the story of artworks and artifacts damaged and looted during World War II.

Revisiting Korea: Exposing Myths of the Forgotten War (Summer 2002) - Korean War scholar James Matray exposes some of the myths of the war's beginnings, U.S. involvement, the conduct of the war, and its contribution to the Cold War.

Spotlight on NARA: The Freedmen's Bureau Preservation Project (Summer 2002) - Post-Civil War–era records that document the federal government's assistance to newly freed slaves are now being preserved on microfilm by the National Archives and Records Administration.

The 1930 Census in Perspective (Summer 2002) - The 1930 census reflected the emerging values of early 20th-century America.


The Constitution of the United States: Document of the People (Fall 2002) - The Constitution laid the foundation for the Government of the United States of America, setting our fledging democracy on its way to becoming the great nation we live in today.

Spotlight on NARA: A Classroom Called NARA (Fall 2002) - The National Archives is more than a custodian of historic documents and vital records. We're also a vast resource for students and teachers to learn more about U.S. history—by visiting us either in person or via the Internet.

Forty Years Ago: The Cuban Missile Crisis (Fall 2002) - President John F. Kennedy mobilized the nation's armed forces during the hottest point in the long Cold War, when the United States and the Soviet Union stood just a few steps away from a nuclear exchange.

"Remember Me": Six Samplers in the National Archives (Fall 2002) - Not all records and documents in NARA's vast holdings are on parchment, paper, or computer disks. A few are actually needlework samplers that were considered official records by the U.S. Government.

Band of Angels: Sister Nurses in the Spanish-American War (Fall 2002) - Records in the National Archives document the service of a dedicated group of women religious who tended the sick and wounded during the Spanish-American War.

The Black Market in Postwar Berlin: Colonel Miller and an Army Scandal (Fall 2002) - An Army officer's testimony before a Senate special committee unleashed an avalanche of allegations of wrongdoings in the U.S. Office of Military Government in Germany after World War II.

An Overview of Records at the National Archives Relating to Military Service (Fall 2002) - A useful starting point for those researching individuals whose service records may be in the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C.


Join Us for "A Day in the Life" of NARA (Winter 2002) - September 17, 2002, was a typically busy day for NARA, starting with the President's announcement of a new civics initiative and continuing with day-to-day tasks and special Constitution Day activities.

Jefferson Looks Westward: President Secretly Sought Funds from Congress to Explore Louisiana Territory, Develop Trade (Winter 2002) - Before the Louisiana Purchase was accomplished, Jefferson planned a expedition to the west.

Letters from the Middle Kingdom: The Origins of America's China Policy (Winter 2002) - In 1834 John Shillaber, a would-be consul to China, writes his observations on the U.S. role in China.

Travels of the Charters of Freedom (Winter 2002) - Our founding documents, the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, had a long and sometimes perilous existence before being entrusted to the National Archives in 1952.

Guarding the Railroad, Taming the Cossacks (Winter 2002) - The U.S. Army on Russian soil? Just after World War I, American soldiers were on a special mission in Siberia, where the enemies were wily, unconventional—and dangerous.

"Our Documents" Captures America's Milestones (Winter 2002) - A White House initiative to boost civic literacy focuses on milestone documents in NARA's holdings—some very famous ones and some lesser-known ones that charted our nation's history.

"Blisters on My Heels, Corns on My Toes": Taking the 1930 Census of Population (Winter 2002) - The story of the people behind the taking of the 1930 population census. How did the Census Bureau gather that vast amount of data?



Preserved in Full, for Future Generations (Spring 2001) - We have taken care to ensure that all the records of the 2000 decennial census are properly preserved until they are made public in 2072.

LBJ Fights the White Backlash: The Racial Politics of the 1964 Presidential Campaign (Spring 2001) - Johnson and Goldwater confront the growing issue of race in the Presidential contest.

Mutual Admiration and a Few Jokes: The Correspondence of Harry Truman with Groucho and Harpo Marx (Spring 2001) - Letters in the Truman Library reveal the unlikely relationship between the President and two of the Marx Brothers.

Return to Sender: U.S. Censorship of Enemy Alien Mail in World War II (Spring 2001) - An examination of censorship conducted at INS detention centers.

Building NARA's "Archives of the Future" (Spring 2001) - NARA's plans for an Electronic Records Archives to preserve the growing volume of digital records.

Researching African Americans in the U.S. Army, 1866–1890: Buffalo Soldiers and Black Infantrymen (Spring 2001) - How to find the military records of African American soldiers who served in the late 19th-century.


Creating the National Archives Experience (Summer 2001) - What the renovated and redesigned Rotunda will offer in 2003.

Roosevelt and His Library (Summer 2001) - FDR's personal involvement in creating the first Presidential library.

The Voyage of the "Coolie" Ship Kate Hooper, October 3, 1857–March 26, 1858 (Summer 2001) - Tells of an American ship that brought Chinese workers to Cuba, a journey that saw the death of its captain, several mutinies by the laborers, and ended with crew members in a Havana jail.

The Search for the Site of the Sand Creek Massacre (Summer 2001) - Using archival research, archaeological excavation, and tribal memory, the National Park Service explored the site of an 1864 massacre of a Cheyenne and Arapaho village.

"Two Japans": Japanese Expressions of Sympathy and Regret in the Wake of the Panay Incident (Summer 2001) - Recalls the great outpouring of sympathy from the Japanese public in 1937, 4 years before Pearl Harbor, after Japanese forces sank a U.S. Navy gunboat.

The Army Medal of Honor: The First Fifty-five Years (Summer 2001) - The Civil War origins of the Medal of Honor and guidance on how to find records of recipients.


Black Men in Navy Blue during the Civil War (Fall 2001) - A look at the black sailor's experience in the Union navy.

Defunct Strategy and Divergent Goals: The Role of the United States Navy along the Eastern Seaboard during the Civil War (Fall 2001) - Reflects how the war might have changed had the powerful Union fleet been used more effectively.

The Diplomats Who Sank a Fleet: The Confederacy's Undelivered European Fleet and the Union Consular Service (Fall 2001) - How a small group of dedicated government employees in the State Department worked to prevent the Confederacy from acquiring all the ships it needed.

Eisenhower and the Red Menace (Fall 2001) - Eisenhower's strategy to combat Joseph McCarthy and his hunt for communists in the government.

Shedding Light on War Crimes (Fall 2001) - The work of the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Records Interagency Working Group (IWG).

The Rost Home Colony, St. Charles Parish, Louisiana (Fall 2001) - Finding family ties in the records of a Freedmen's Bureau experiment.


Moon Rocks and Moon Germs: A History of NASA’s Lunar Receiving Laboratory (Winter 2001) - With the push to reach the Moon came the realization that a quarantined laboratory was needed to hold returning astronauts and lunar samples.

FDR's "Day of Infamy" Speech: Crafting a Call to Arms (Winter 2001) - The story of how FDR wrote one of the most famous speeches of the 20th century.

Semper Fidelis, CodeTalkers (Winter 2001) - The unbreakable code of the Navajo "code talkers" helped the U.S. Marine Corps battle across the Pacific from 1942 to 1945.

A New Look for NARA's Web Site: Friendlier, Easier, More Helpful (Winter 2001) - Plans for changing the online face of the National Archives and Records Administration.

Researching Confederate Marines in the Civil War (Winter 2001) - Tips for researching an often overlooked group of Civil War servicemen.



With Easter Monday You Get Egg Roll at the White House (Spring 2000) - A delightful history of the annual White House Easter Egg Roll.

Electronic Records of Korean and Vietnam Conflict Casualties (Spring 2000) - Online resources: state casualty list extracts from the Korean and Vietnam conflicts.


The Hours Before Dallas: A Recollection by President Kennedy's Fort Worth Advance Man (Summer 2000) - A first-person account of JFK's last day.

Researching Service in the U.S. Army during the Philippine Insurrection (Summer 2000) - How to document an ancestor's military service in an often-overlooked conflict.


Grant, Babcock, and the Whiskey Ring (Fall 2000) - The first—and so far only—time an American President has testified voluntarily in a criminal trial.

Top Secret: Recovering and Breaking the U.S. Army and Army Air Force Order of Battle Codes, 1941–1945 (Fall 2000) - After 60 years, archvists and researchers can decipher the codes used to identify soldiers and units in World War II.

New Life for the Charters of Freedom: The Story So Far (Fall 2000) - The Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights receive conservation treatment and new encasements.

By Way of Canada: U.S. Records of Immigration Across the U.S.-Canadian Border, 1895–1954 (St. Albans Lists) (Fall 2000) - A guide to using immigration records of the U.S.-Canadian border.


Abrupt Transition (Winter 2000) - How nine of our Presidents have ascended to the office under unusual circumstances, usually upon the death of their predecessors.

Garrison's Constitution: The Covenant with Death and How It Was Made (Winter 2000) - Examines the debates in the Constitutional Convention that touched on slavery in America.

Living with the Hydra: The Documentation of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Federal Records (Winter 2000) - An in-depth survey of relevant federal records from the founding of the republic through the Civil War.

Peaceful Transition of Power: American Presidential Inaugurations (Winter 2000) - The swearing-in ceremony allows for the peaceful transfer of power from one U.S. President to another.

Myths and Realities about the 1960 Census (Winter 2000) - Corrects the myth that substantial data from the 1960 census has been lost because the hardware to read the tapes is obsolete.



Nazi Gold: The Merkers Mine Treasure (Spring 1999) - American troops discover gold and art in a German mine at the end of World War II.

Strategies for Reconstructing Careers of Foreign Service Officers, 1869–1887 (Spring 1999) - A guide through 19th-century political patronage in the U.S. foreign service.


Standing In for the President (Summer 1999) - A look at the role of the President's press secretary.

Will the Real Molly Pitcher Please Stand Up? (Summer 1999) - Searching through the records to find real-life candidates for the legendary figure.

World War I Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimages, Part I (Summer 1999) - Mothers and widows of U.S. soldiers who died overseas during World War I sailed to Europe to see the graves of their sons and husbands.


Civil War Cat-and-Mouse Game: Researching Blockade-Runners at the National Archives (Fall 1999) - Using the example of the Banshee, an archivist surveys federal records useful for tracking down Civil War blockade-runners.

A Notable Passage to China: Myth and Memory in FDR's Family History (Fall 1999) - Recounts the Delano family's clipper ship voyage to Hong Kong in 1862.

World War I Gold Star Mothers Pilgrimages, Part II (Fall 1999) - Mothers and widows of U.S. soldiers who died overseas during World War I sailed to Europe to see the graves of their sons and husbands.


Race Relations in the United States and American Cultural and Informational Programs in Ghana, 1957–1966 (Winter 1999) - The U.S.'s effort to improve America's image in Africa.

U.S. Marines in the Boxer Rebellion (Winter 1999) - Research the service of U.S. Marines who served in China in 1900.



"I Am Entitled to the Medal of Honor and I Want It": Theodore Roosevelt and His Quest for Glory (Spring 1998) - Teddy Roosevelt's unsuccessful quest for a Medal of Honor after the Spanish-American War.

"New Glory to Its Already Gallant Record": The First Marine Battalion in the Spanish-American War (Spring 1998) - The Spanish-American War showed the Navy that the Marine Corps had a role in their future war plans.

Documenting United States Naval Activities During the Spanish-American War (Spring 1998) - A look at archival sources on the 100th anniversary of the explosion of the USS Maine.

Sailors, Soldiers, and Marines of the Spanish-American War: The Legacy of USS Maine (Spring 1998) - Locating service records of veterans of the Spanish-American War.


Prosperous Farms and Happier Homes: Arkansas Agricultural Extension Service, 1911–1966 (Summer 1998) - The reports of the Agricultural Extension Service paint a vivid picture of rural America in the first half of the 20th century.

"Any woman who is now or may hereafter be married . . .": Women and Naturalization, ca. 1802–1940 (Summer 1998) - An examination of why women are not represented in early naturalization records.


American Film Propaganda in Revolutionary Russia (Fall 1998) - An examination of American propaganda efforts during World War I.


The Shady Side of the Family Tree: Civil War Union Court-Martial Case Files (Winter 1998) - Often, researching a family member's Civil War military service can be a double-edged sword.



Feeding the Cities: Public Markets and Municipal Reform in the Progressive Era (Spring 1997) - Public markets played a vital role in feeding the cities in the early 20th century.

Snakes & Scribes: The Dawes Commission and the Enrollment of the Creeks (Spring 1997) - A clash of cultures and tribal factionalism complicates the Dawes Commission's near-impossible task.

Riding the Rails Up Paper Mountain: Researching Railroad Records in the National Archives (Spring 1997) - The important role of railroads in American history is reflected in NARA's records.


Institutions of Memory and the Documentation of African Americans in Federal Records (Summer 1997) - Historical background on the use of federal archives for African American research.

Preserving the Legacy of the United States Colored Troops (Summer 1997) - Discovering the records of the U.S. Colored Troops in the National Archives.

Freedmen's Bureau Records: An Overview (Summer 1997) - A look at an invaluable resource for African American history.

From Slave Women to Free Women: The National Archives and Black Women's History in the Civil War Era (Summer 1997) - NARA records help explore women's road from slavery to freedom.

Slave Emancipation Through the Prism of Archives Records (Summer 1997) - Using archival records to discover a people's quest for freedom and justice.

African Americans and the American Labor Movement (Summer 1997) - A brief guide to NARA record groups that document American labor history.

The Panama Canal: The African American Experience (Summer 1997) - Records of the Panama Canal document the inequalities and contradictions faced by black American employees of the Canal.

Black Domestics During the Depression: Workers, Organizers, Social Commentators (Summer 1997) - New Deal agencies record women's lives, livelihoods, and struggles.

Documenting the Struggle for Racial Equality in the Decade of the Sixties (Summer 1997) - An overview of NARA records relating to the civil rights movement in the 1960s.

An Archival Odyssey: The Search for Jackie Robinson (Summer 1997) - Uncovering the civil rights legacy of Jackie Robinson.

From Sophie's Alley to the White House: Rediscovering the Visions of Pioneering Black Government Photographers (Summer 1997) - A look at the success and obstacles encountered by black federal photographers.

The Lions' History: Researching World War II Images of African Americans (Summer 1997) - An archivist highlights primary resources for still picture documentation of African Americans in World War II.

The USIA Motion Picture Collection and African American History: A Reference Review (Summer 1997) - A review of the rich motion pictures resources in the National Archives.

A Guiding Light (Summer 1997) - The story of the making of the Black History: A Guide to Civilian Records in the National Archives.

Documenting African Americans in the Records of Military Agencies (Summer 1997) - Introducing a new reference information paper on military records relating to African Americans.

The Freedman's Savings and Trust Company and African American Genealogical Research (Summer 1997) - These files provide researchers with a rare opportunity to document the black family for the period immediately following the Civil War.


Racial Identity and the Case of Captain Michael Healy, USRCS (Fall 1997) - A Revenue Cutter Service captain's choice of identity.

Alan Turing, Enigma, and the Breaking of the German Machine Ciphers in World War II (Fall 1997) - Computer pioneer Alan Turing breaks the "unbreakable" Enigma code.

The United States Armed Forces and the Mexican Punitive Expedition, Part 1 (Fall 1997) - Background on the expedition and guidance on doing genealogical research on the participants.


The Arctic Sketches of Russell W. Porter (Winter 1997) - A remarkable portfolio of an Arctic explorer's artwork in the National Archives.

The United States Armed Forces and the Mexican Punitive Expedition, Part 2 (Winter 1997) - Guidance on doing genealogical research on the participants in the Mexican Punitive Expedition.



"First in the Path of the Firemen": The Fate of the 1890 Population Census (Spring 1996) - The story of the 1921 fire that destroyed most 1890 census schedules and its aftermath.


Irving Berlin: This Is the Army (Summer 1996) - The story of the creation of a classic World War II show.


How Roosevelt Attacked Japan at Pearl Harbor: Myth Masquerading as History (Fall 1996) - An FDR scholar checks the historical record and refutes assertions that the President misled the public about the coming of war.

Buddies: Soldiers and Animals in World War II (Fall 1996) - An exhibit created for the 50th anniversary of World War II, Buddies commemorates the heartfelt, enduring relationships between soldiers and animals during the war.

The Creation and Destruction of Ellis Island Immigration Manifests: Part 1 (Fall 1996) - An explanation of why the original paper immigration manifests for arrivals in New York City no longer exist.


The Creation and Destruction of Ellis Island Immigration Manifests: Part 2 (Winter 1996)



Untapped Resources: Private Claims and Private Legislation in the Records of the U.S. Congress (Spring 1995) - A guide to combing congressional records for private legislation.

Early Navy Personnel Records at the National Archives, 1776–1860 (Spring 1995) - Clues to searching for genealogical information in pre-Civil War navy records.


Civil War Records: An Introduction and Invitation (Summer 1995) - A marvelous primer to a fascinating part of the Archives holdings.

The Little Regiment: Civil War Units and Commands (Summer 1995) - Part 1 of Michael Musick's fascinating review of Civil War records at NARA.

To Build an Archives (Summer 1995) - The story of the design and construction of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.

Civil War and Later Navy Personnel Records at the National Archives, 1861–1924 (Summer 1995) - United States Navy personnel records for the period 1861–1924 are one of the best secrets in genealogical research.


Honorable Reports: Battles,Campaigns, and Skirmishes - Civil War Records and Research (Fall 1995) - Part 2 of this series on Civil War records at NARA looks at records of military clashes.

Which Henry Cook? A Methodology for Searching Confederate Ancestors (Fall 1995) - How to use NARA records to pin down the identity of a Confederate soldier.


War in an Age of Wonders: Civil War Arms and Equipment (Winter 1995) - Part 3 of the review of Civil War records at NARA looks at arms and equipment.



The Surprising George Washington (Spring 1994) - A look at the man behind the myth.

Confederate Medical Personnel (Spring 1994) - How to find your Civil War-era ancestor, if he or she served the Confederate army in a medical capacity, in the War Department Collection of Confederate Records.


Electronic Records in the National Archives for World War II Research (Fall 1994) - A survey of World War II records created to be "machine readable."


Seward's Bargain: The Alaska Purchase from Russia (Winter 1994) - Secretary of State Seward and Russian minister to the United States, Edouard de Stoeckl, work fast to conclude the sale of Alaska.

Civil War Draft Records: Exemptions and Enrollments (Winter 1994) - Looking for men who did not serve in the Civil War.



Women Soldiers of the Civil War (Spring 1993) - The long-forgotten story of women who secretly served in the Confederate and Union Armies.


The Emancipation Proclamation: An Act of Justice (Summer 1993) - Celebrating the 130th anniversary of the issuance of this landmark document.


Indian Bounty Land Applications (Fall 1993) - A source for the difficult task of tracing Indian ancestors back to the early nineteenth century.


"To the Rescue of the Crops": The Women's Land Army During World War II (Winter 1993) - Women played a crucial role in plowing the ground, planting the seeds, cultivating the plants, and harvesting much of the nation's crops from 1942 through 1945.



Genealogical Fallout from the War of 1812 (Spring 1992) - Discusses the wealth of information contained in Seamen's Protection Certificate Applications.


The Murder of President James A. Garfield (Summer 1992) - After only a few months in office, President Garfield was shot and killed by a disappointed office-seeker.



Do We Have Any Records Relating to French Spoliation Claims? (Spring 1991) - Investigate claims presented by U.S. citizens against France, Spain, and Holland for vessels and cargo taken by privateers before September 30, 1800.


Genealogical Records of the War of 1812 (Winter 1991) - How to use military records to research a War of 1812 veteran.



Esquire v. Walker: The Postmaster General and "The Magazine for Men" (Spring 1990) - Esquire magazine's fight against Post Office censorship in the 1940s.

The Stylistic Artistry of the Declaration of Independence (Spring 1990) - Shedding light on the Declaration as a work of literature and of persuasion.


Thanksgiving: Another FDR Experiment (Fall 1990) - President Franklin D. Roosevelt broke with tradition and declared Thanksgiving to be the fourth Friday in November instead of the last Thursday.


"An American Epic": Herbert Hoover and Belgian Relief in World War I (Spring 1989) - A future President makes his mark as a humanitarian.


The Nixon White House Tapes (Summer 1988) - H. R. Haldeman discloses the story behind the decision to record presidential conversations.


A Heavy Sea Running: The Formation of the U.S. Life-Saving Service, 1846–1878 (Winter 1987) - The fascinating story of the first federal service devoted to saving victims of shipwrecks.


Income Tax Records of the Civil War Years (Winter 1986) - Discover valuable information in records of the first U.S. income tax.


Thus Spoke Chief Seattle: The Story of an Undocumented Speech (Spring 1985) - An archivist searches for the documentary evidence of a widely quoted speech.


Revolutionary War Pension Records and Patterns of American Mobility, 1780–1830 (Fall 1984) - Revolutionary War veterans and their families were a restless generation.


The Past Recaptured? The Photographic Record of the Internment of Japanese-Americans (Summer 1980) - A look at the photographs in the collection of the War Relocation Authority.


The Civil War Era as a Crucible for Nationalizing the Lower Federal Courts (Fall 1975) - A study of legislative efforts to overhaul the federal courts in the Civil War and Reconstruction eras.


Marriage Registers of Freedmen (Fall 1973) - Learn about an invaluable source for African American family history.


Articles published in Prologue do not necessarily represent the views of NARA or of any other agency of the United States Government.