National Archives and Records Administration

Commemorating the First Martin Luther King, Jr. Day at the National Archives, 1986

Directive NA86-76 First Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Commemoration, 1986.

Administrative Issuances, 1964 - 1989. Record Group 64: Records of the National Archives and Records Administration, 1789 - ca. 2007.

A @usnatarchives​ directive regarding planned observances and activities to commemorate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on the first Federal holiday observance 30 years ago, January 20, 1986.  The holiday was signed in law three years earlier by President Ronald Reagan on November 2, 1983.

(Special thanks to Alan Walker, an archivist in Research Services at the National Archives in College Park, Maryland for the find!)

“Chicago’s South Side” by photographer John White – National Archives and Records Administration – ARC Identifier No. 556287

JOIN US as we complete the final phase of Post Production for the “Through A Lens Darkly” (TALD) Documentary and Transmedia project.  We appreciate your support for the completion of “Through A Lens Darkly” with a tax deductible donation through the USA projects website and spread the word about our campaign.

Check out the full article at:

To learn more about African American History and Photography at “Through A Lens Darkly” TALD documentary and multimedia project - Digital Diaspora Family Reunion (DDFR) Chimpanzee Productions, Inc.

Also … check out the new trailer for “Through A Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People” USA Projects.


The Wide, Wonderful World of Mold


Mold is commonly found in archival collections that have been housed in damp, humid places. It’s a problem regularly encountered, but not all suspected mold actually is mold. Dirt, stains, and rust sometimes raise alarms, even when mold is not present.

So how can you tell it’s mold, especially when mold can be any possible color? Well, mold is an organism, so look for flowering growth and the tell-tale signs of a food source, such as water damaged areas of a document. The surface of mold growth is soft and fuzzy. Active mold will be wet, while dormant mold will be dry.

Mold staining will occur in mature colonies as the organism expels waste. The color of the staining can vary and depends on different factors such as nutrient source.

But remember, if it is mold, assume it’s toxic and use gloves and respirators, and be sure to clean surfaces moldy documents were in contact with cleaners such as Envirocide.

Read the complete article at

Hillary BUSTED For Secret She Kept Entire Time She Was Secretary Of State

External image

Ahead of the 2016 elections, presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton may have just sealed her fate of being ostracized from office. The truth always has a way of coming out, and hopefully this tidbit is the nail on the coffin of Clinton’s campaign that the country desperately needed to …


Happy 30th Pre-Independence Day, usnatarchives!

An Act to Establish the National Archives and Records Administration, 10/19/1984

Established 80 years ago in 1934, the National Archives did not become an independent agency until April 1, 1985, as authorized in this Act signed on October 19, 1984.

(So while it’s not our anniversary, consider this our “save-the-date” announcement.  Coincidentally, it’s also American Archives Month!)

Equal pay for women, gay rights, and access to abortion. These were some of the issues championed by Midge Constanza, the first female assistant to the president. 

Image credit:Margaret Constanza 5 March 1977 by National Archives and Records Administration. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

‪#‎OTD‬ July 11, 2007, The Nixon Library became part of the National Archives and Records Administration!
Upon the completion of a suitable addition to the library in spring 2010, the Nixon presidential materials were moved to the Nixon Library in Yorba Linda. There, they have been unified with the pre- and post-presidential collections previously owned by the Nixon Foundation as well as a collection of documents from Richard Nixon’s time as vice president that he gave to the federal government while he was in the White House and which had been stored in the National Archives facility in Laguna Niguel for more than three decades.
(Photo: NAID 16916215; July 1968)

Love finds its way.

Interrogation Transcript
Immigration & Naturalization Service Records
National Archives & Records Administration

The story of George and Jim (Part 2 of 3)

[Click here for Part 1]

Jim South, a 24-year-old Canadian real estate agent, moved to Detroit in 1915. On a visit back to Canada, he met George McBurney, a drapery salesman.

A long-distance, romantic relationship developed between the two. They exchanged numerous letters—sometimes two or three a day—and saw each other when they could. George, also a Canadian citizen, moved to Detroit in late 1915.

Detroit, crowded street, ca.1915
Detroit Publishing Company Photograph Collection

Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division

All seemed well, but it wouldn’t last.

On April 10, 1916, the U.S. Immigration Bureau issued a warrant for Jim’s arrest on the grounds that, prior to emigrating, he and George had committed a crime of “moral turpitude,” involving “an unnatural, immoral act.” George was arrested on the same charge.

U.S. officials ruled that this violated American immigration law and ordered their immediate deportation.

During Jim’s interrogation he was asked if George had ever bought him a ring. He replied yes.

“Was it inscribed or engraved with any significant lettering,” immigration officials asked?

Jim replied that the inscription read: 

“Love Finds Its Way. From George to Jim.”

Immigration and Naturalization Service File 54134/212
National Archives & Records Administration

Read the last installment of the story of George and Jim next week on Discovering LGBTQ History. 

Gladys Bentley, 1930 Federal Census Entry, New York, NY
Records of the Bureau of the Census, National Archives & Records Administration

Gladys Bentley, born in Philadelphia in 1907, left home for New York at the age of 16. She became a highly successful blues singer and pianist, often performing in tuxedos. As a lesbian, she found relative tolerance in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance.

She is listed here on the 1930 census as living at 155 West 133rd Street in Manhattan. Bentley listed Actor as her profession.

Gladys Bentley, ca. 1930.
Source: Wikimedia Commons