Montford Point Marines

In 1941 the United States had begun to prepare for the possibility of war and consequently, millions of jobs were being created. However, racial discrimination kept African Americans and other minorities from obtaining these defense industry jobs. In response to pressure from A. Philip Randolph, who had been organizing a march on Washington, and other … Continue reading Montford Point Marines

Navajo Code Talkers

The United States Marine Corps possessed an extraordinary, unbreakable code during World War II: the Navajo language. Utilized in the Pacific theater, the Navajo code talkers enabled the Marine Corps to coordinate massive operations, such as the assault on Iwo Jima, without revealing any information to the enemy. Code talkers didn’t speak plain language in … Continue reading Navajo Code Talkers

The Nuremberg Trials, 75 Years Later

The International Military Tribunal, more commonly known at the Nuremberg trials, began this week 75 years ago in Nuremberg, Germany. The trials were a series of military tribunals held to convict major Nazi German leaders on charges of crimes against peace, war crimes, crimes against humanity, and conspiracy to commit each of these crimes. It … Continue reading The Nuremberg Trials, 75 Years Later

Spotlight: Battle of Okinawa

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, American troops landed on Okinawa and began their 82-day fight to secure the island. For the Allies, capturing Okinawa was a crucial part of their plan to invade mainland Japan. For the Japanese, holding on to Okinawa was crucial to their ability to defend the mainland. And trapped between … Continue reading Spotlight: Battle of Okinawa

Uncommon Valor: The Making of the Marine Corps Memorial

75 years ago, from February 19th to March 26th, 1945, the Battle of Iwo Jima raged in the Pacific Ocean. For 35 days, American and Japanese forces fought for control of the strategically important island. That battle produced one of the most iconic images of war, a photograph taken four days into the battle by … Continue reading Uncommon Valor: The Making of the Marine Corps Memorial

Hold Your Horses

In what seems to be turning into a recurring theme, I’m back again to tame some of our wildest records here in the Still Picture Branch…this time, famed warhorse, Sergeant Reckless! As the de facto animal expert here in Stills, I’ve developed quite the nose for sniffing out hidden gems depicting our furry friends.  Recently, … Continue reading Hold Your Horses

Female Fighter Pilots and the Combat Exclusion Policy

U.S. Air Force General McPeak, U.S. Air Force Chief of Staff, holds a Press Conference  In 1993, the United States Armed Forces lifted the Combat Exclusion Policy, a 45-year-old practice prohibiting women from serving in combat roles. The change only pertained to aviation positions and it wasn't until 2013 that the policy was lifted from … Continue reading Female Fighter Pilots and the Combat Exclusion Policy

Spotlight: Elephants in the Archive, Eek!

While National Elephant Appreciation Day may not be officially recognized as a Federal Holiday, its upcoming celebration (September 22nd) provided an excuse for an expedition through our holdings in the Still Picture Branch. The search for elephants, as it is for all animals here in Still Picture, starts with an established finding aid specifically catered … Continue reading Spotlight: Elephants in the Archive, Eek!

Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

For National Medal of Honor Day, observed on March 25 every year, the Motion Picture, Sound, and Video Branch of the National Archives wanted to honor Marine Cpl. William Thomas Perkins Jr., the only combat photographer to receive the honor after "gallantly giving his life for his country" as stated in his Medal of Honor … Continue reading Spotlight: The Last Footage Shot by Medal of Honor Recipient Marine Cpl. Perkins

Spotlight: Christmas During WWII

In honor of the holiday season, the Unwritten Record presents Navy, Army, Marine, and Air Force (AAF) photographs that highlight the various ways in which service members spent Christmas between the years 1941 and 1944. Record Group 80: General Records of the Department of the Navy Record Group 111: Records of the Office of the … Continue reading Spotlight: Christmas During WWII