#DDAY70 D-Day:

“…and men kept pouring in…”

The Normandy Invasion beings as thousands of Allied troops unload from landing craft onto Omaha, Utah, Gold, Juno and Sword beaches on the morning of June 6, 1944.

Excerpted from: “D-Day to D plus 3.”  From the series: Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, compiled 1947 - 1964. Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985


Babe Ruth’s Major League Baseball Debut, 100 Years Ago

George Herman “Babe” Ruth made his major league debut with the Boston Red Sox one hundred years ago on July 11, 1914.  Originally signed as a pitcher, Ruth quickly established a reputation for hitting, breaking the single season home run record by 1919.  Ruth played with the Red Sox for 5 years until his contract was sold to the New York Yankees in 1919 (and triggering the now-reversed “Curse of the Bambino” and denying Boston another World Series title for 86 years).

Ruth is seen in this unidentified newsreel excerpt, circa 1919. Based on the clues in the title frame, our best guess is this was the September 8, 1919 Red Sox-Yankees game at the New York Polo Grounds, when Ruth hit his 26th home run of the season.  

(This footage is part of a documentary film collection donated to the National Archives by CBS in 1967)


#DDAY70 D-Day -3:

“Some of the eleven thousand planes that opened the path through the so-called impregnable Atlantic wall. Between Le Havre and Cherbourg in Normandy the Allied lightning strikes. Communications necessary to the German defenses are blasted.”

From: Universal News Volume 17, Release 302, June 12, 1944

THE FAIR Are you ready? It’s here!!
The long-awaited New York World’s Fair, which took four years to create, opens its doors to the first of 70,000,000 expected visitors. Dominated by the Fair’s symbol THE UNISPHERE (which means Peace through understanding) the billion-dollar-baby of Robert Moses covers 646 acres…”

From: Universal Newsreel Volume 37, Issue 33, 04/23/1964

The 1964 New York World’s Fair opened fifty years ago this week, on April 22nd, with the theme of “Man’s Achievements in an Expanding Universe.” If this extended Universal News story leaves you with the impression that the fair was not a runaway success, that’s because it wasn’t. The fair was not sanctioned by the Bureau of International Expositions, and it was sandwiched between the official 1962 Seattle World’s Fair and Expo 67 in Montreal, making it a less compelling draw. The opening day’s unfortunately dreary weather was emblematic of the entire two-season event; total attendance for the fair came in at fifty-one million, yet that fell short of the expected seventy million visitors. You might recognize the Unisphere sculpture and “flying saucer” towers in the still below from the 1997 film Men in Black, where they feature prominently.

via Media Matters » This Week in Universal News: The New York World’s Fair Opens, 1964


NEW YORK, NY - Sky-line for the masque ball! - Beaux Arts fete features novel architectural costumes.

Excerpted from: This Week in Universal News: Beaux-Arts Ball, 1931, Universal News Volume 3, Release 7 #1-10, January 19, 1931

On January 23, 1931, architects dressed up as the buildings they designed for the Beaux-Arts Ball in New York.  In this week’s featured story, they are pictured  from left to right, A. Stewart Walker as the Fuller Building, Leonard Schultze as the Waldorf-Astoria, Ely Jacques Kahn as the Squibb Building, William Van Alen as the Chrysler Building, Ralph Walker as the Wall Street Building and Joseph Freedlander as the Museum of the City of New York.

Watch the entire newsreel, featuring a polar submarine, a train wreck, Charles Lindbergh receiving a medal from a French ambassador, dancing dogs, and “dangerous” figure skating, among other stories here.

Universal Newsreels were shown in movie theaters twice a week, from 1929 until 1967, and covered a wide range of American life and history during that time period. In 1974, Universal deeded its collection to the United States through the National Archives and is one of our most used motion picture collections. Learn more about the Universal Newsreel Collection in this post and in this Prologue article. Watch other Universal Newsreels in our research room, in OPA, and on this playlist.

via Media Matters » This Week in Universal News: Beaux-Arts Ball, 1931

#DDAY70 D-Day:

“Offshore the combined fleets swung into battle stations and marched up and down the coast softening the surviving German installations with a murderous barrage…”

Excerpted from: “D-Day to D plus 3.”  From the series: Moving Images Relating to Military Activities, compiled 1947 - 1964. Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the Chief Signal Officer, 1860 - 1985

Thomas A. Edison’s Patent for An Improvement in Electric Lamps, 1/27/1880

From the Records of the Patent and Trademark Office

On January 27, 1880, The Patent Office granted Thomas Edison’s patent for “an Improvement in Electric Lamps” His patent was an improvement on electric lamps, not the invention of them, but because of Edison’s design changes and the materials he used—such as a carbon filament—his patent allowed for an electric lamp that was reliable, safe, and practical.

via DocsTeach

Why are these dogs are excited?  Tomorrow is the 150th Anniversary of the Yosemite Grant Act!

Stay tuned for more #Yosemite150 posts!

Excerpted from the educational film “Yosemite Valley" from the Ford Historical Film Collection and recently digitally remastered from finegrain intermediates by our colleagues in the Motion Picture Preservation Lab.  Watch the complete film on the National Archives Youtube Channel:

Be sure to check Yosemite National Park’s Pet Regulations before bringing your dogs to the park!

This Week in Universal News: A Hovercraft Crosses the English Channel, 1959:

HOVERCRAFT SKIMS CHANNEL: Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the first flight across the English Channel, Britain’s saucer-shaped “Hovercraft” skims from Calais to Dover, only inches above the surface.

Clip from Universal News, Volume 32, Release 61, Stories #1-4A, July 30, 1959

Via The Unwritten Record » This Week in Universal News: A Hovercraft Crosses the English Channel, 1959


Astronaut John H. Glenn, Jr. became the first American to orbit the Earth on February 20, 1962. With the world watching the historic and live-televised event, Glenn orbited the Earth three times in his space capsule, Friendship 7. Four hours and 55 minutes after ignition, John Glenn and Friendship 7 returned to Earth and splashed down in the Atlantic Ocean.

The John Glenn Story, 1963

From the series: Headquarters’ Films Relating to Aeronautics, 1962 - 1981,Records of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

It’s National Library Week!

Remember being this excited to check out a book? (Maybe you still are.)

From “The Day the Books Went Blank”, a 1961 educational film intended to show the importance of maintaining quality libraries, from The Library Extension Agencies of the six New England States.

The theme of this year’s National Library Week is “Lives Change.”  How has a library, or librarian, changed your life?


GIFs from .Gov Records

todaysdocument followers will know there’s nothing we enjoy more than breathing new life into historic government records by sharing them in animated GIF form.

Last week we were privileged to be on a panel of other SocialGov GIF practitioners for DigitalGov’s “Essentials of Animated Gifs for Public Servicesincluding fellow .Gov Tumblarians peacecorpsicontherecord, usagov/ gobiernousa, and 18fblog.

See the complete webinar below for our tips on finding free, public domain GIF sources from the National Archives catalog, plus other great advice from our colleagues on engagement, storytelling, accessibility, and open source GIF-creation tools:

via Sharing the Essentials of Animated Gifs for Public Services