Releasing a Radiosonde, 1952

24 May 2015
Members of the Field Artillery Meteorological and Topographical Detachment, U.S. 8th Army prepares to release a radiosonde into the night. Dec 1952.

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Member of the Field Artillery Meteorological and Topographical Detachment, U.S. 8th Army prepares to release a radiosonde into the night in December 1952. A radiosonde consisted of a battery-powered instrument in a white box. It is attached to a helium-filled weather balloon and released into the air. The instrument measures temperature, humidity, and air pressure and radios the information to a ground receiver. At a certain altitude, the balloon pops and the radiosonde floats back to earth suspended by a red parachute.

Emergency Drinking Water in a Fallout Shelter, 1968

23 May 2015
Shelter supplies in Rober’s Dairy Company’s personnel fallout shelter

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Shelter supplies in Omaha, Nebraska’s Roberts Dairy Company’s personnel fallout shelter were stocked by the company. Bessie Van Deusen, an executive secretary, examines water containers for 36 employees. The shelter was ventilated and lighted by an emergency generator, May 17-20, 1968.

Herman Schaefer with a 5×7 Press Graflex Camera, 1911

22 May 2015
Herman A. "Germany" Schaefer (1876-1919), one of the most entertaining characters in baseball history, trying out the other side of the camera during the Washington Senators visit to play the New York Highlanders in April, 1911.

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Herman A. “Germany” Schaefer (1876-1919), one of the most entertaining characters in baseball history, trying out the other side of the camera during the Washington Senators visit to play the New York Highlanders in April, 1911. Germany Schaefer, a versatile infielder and quick baserunner, played most of his career with the Detroit Tigers and the Washington Senators.

The camera is a 5×7 Press Graflex with a modification to accommodate the large lens. The camera was produced by the Folmer & Schwing Division of Eastman Kodak Co. between 1907 and 1923.

Wreckage in St. Vith, Belgium,

21 May 2015
Photo Credit: National Archives

Photo Credit: National Archives

Here is a portion of the wreckage in St. Vith, Belgium, after units of the 7th Armored Division, took the town.

During the Battle of the Bulge, German and U.S. troops fought over the city as it stood on an important road junction. After intense fighting the U.S. Army retreated and German forces took control of the town. St. Vith was then bombed on December 25-26, 1944 by the U.S. Air Force and RAF Bomber Command – destroying much of the town. U.S. forces retook St. Vith on January 23, 1945.

In Their Words: John Muir

20 May 2015

“The world's big and I want to have a

Kutenai Woman by Canoe, 1910

18 May 2015

Kutenai woman holding a paddle and standing by a canoe at the edge of a lake, probably in Idaho or Montana.

The History of Armed Forces Day

16 May 2015
STANDING TALL - Official poster for Armed Forces Day highlights the "Defenders of Freedom".

STANDING TALL – Official poster for Armed Forces Day highlights the “Defenders of Freedom”, 1951. Photo Credit: Department of Defense

President Harry S. Truman addresses guests at the first Armed Forces Day dinner in Washington, D.C. His proclamation replaced separate celebrations by the Armed Services, 1950.

President Harry S. Truman addresses guests at the first Armed Forces Day dinner in Washington, D.C. His proclamation replaced separate celebrations by the Armed Services, 1950. Photo Credit: Department of Defense

On July 26, 1947, President Harry S. Truman signed the National Security Act of 1947 which consolidated the military branches under the Department of Defense’s control.  In late August 1949, Secretary of Defense Louis Johnson announced the creation of a new holiday – Armed Forces Day – that would take part every third Saturday in May.

The goal of Armed Forces Day was to have a day that would honor those who served and were serving in all branches of the military. Previously, the Army, Navy, and Air Force all had their own, individual, holidays. By combining all of them under one holiday, the Department of Defense wanted to unify the armed forces by celebrating in a joint holiday. The military branches were asked to drop their own days and support Armed Forces Day – all of them did except for the Marine Corps League and the U.S. Coast Guard (while they do support Armed Forces Day, they still kept own holidays).

President Truman also supported the creation and implementation of Armed Forces Day. In his February 27, 1950 President Proclamation, Truman stated: “Armed Forces Day, Saturday, May 20, 1950, marks the first combined demonstration by America’s defense team of its progress, under the National Security Act, towards the goal of readiness for any eventuality. It is the first parade of preparedness by the unified forces of our land, sea, and air defense.”

What did they do on the first Armed Forces Day? According to the Department of Defense:

The first Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions, and air shows. In Washington D.C., 10,000 troops of all branches of the military, cadets, and veterans marched past the President and his party. In Berlin, 1,000 U.S. troops paraded for the German citizens at Templehof Airfield. In New York City, an estimated 33,000 participants initiated Armed Forces Day “under an air cover of 250 military planes of all types.” In the harbors across the country were the famed mothballed “battlewagons” of World War II, the Missouri, the New Jersey, the North Carolina, and the Iowa, all open for public inspection. Precision flying teams dominated the skies as tracking radar were exhibited on the ground. All across the country, the American people joined together to honor the Armed Forces.

Peering at Controls - Future pilots check out the controls of a jet during an open house at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, 1956.

Peering at Controls – Future pilots check out the controls of a jet during an open house at Kadena Air Base, Okinawa, Japan, 1956. Photo Credit: Department of Defense

Setting Fuses on a “Daisy Chain”, 1951

15 May 2015
Members of the 16th Reconnaissance Company, 1st Cavalry Division sets the fuses on a "Daisy Chain" of light anti-tank mines, northwest of Youchon. 10 Nov 1951.

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

A member of the 16th Reconnaissance Company, 1st Cavalry Division sets the fuses on a “Daisy Chain” of light anti-tank mines northwest of Youchon on November 10, 1951.

Picnic at the Midsummer Day Festival, 1911

14 May 2015
Photograph shows girls from the Washington Irving High Schools, New York City, having a picnic at the Midsummer Day Festival which was held at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx on June 23, 1911.

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Photograph shows girls from the Washington Irving High Schools, New York City, having a picnic at the Midsummer Day Festival which was held at Pelham Bay Park in the Bronx on June 23, 1911.

In Their Words: Twyla Tharp

13 May 2015

Twlya Tharp

Odd Contests: Miss Queen of Hearts

12 May 2015
Queen of Hearts winner being and runners-up

Queen of Hearts winner and runners-up at Sunken Gardens in Saint Petersburg, Florida. L-R: Mickey Feinberg, “Queen of Hearts” Peggy Elder, and June Morgan. Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida

On February 12, 1949, The Queen of Hearts beauty contest took place at Sunken Gardens in Saint Petersburg, Florida. While there is not a lot of information about this particular beauty contest, there is actually a Queen of Hearts Ball that still takes place in Saint Petersburg. However the ball, which benefits charities, started in 1959 – ten years after this particular pageant. Who knows, perhaps the creator of the late-40s contest was a fan of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland?!

Queen of Hearts beauty contest finalists at Sunken Gardens

Queen of Hearts beauty contest finalists at Sunken Gardens. L-R: Mickey Feinberg, Becky Gavaccas, Peggy Daurghtry, Peggy Elder “Queen of Hearts”, Connie Madison, Dita Giraud, June Morgan. Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida

Queen of Hearts winner being crowned at Sunken Gardens

Queen of Hearts winner being crowned at Sunken Gardens. L-R: Princesses Mickey Feinberg, June Morgan, “Queen of Hearts” Peggy Elder being crowned by Miss Florida of 1947 – Mrs. Eula Ann McGehee Bren. Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida

Queen of Hearts beauty contest finalists at Sunken Gardens

Queen of Hearts beauty contest finalists at Sunken Gardens. L-R: Connie Madison, Dita Giraud, (Page), Mickey Feinberg, Peggy Elder “Queen of Hearts”, June Morgan, (Page), Peggy Daurghtry, Becky Gavaccas. Photo Credit: State Archives of Florida

Blind Stenographer using Dictaphone, 1911

11 May 2015
Blind stenographer

Photo Credit: Library of Congress

Blind stenographer using Dictaphone on April 27, 1911. This could have taken place at the New York Association for the Blind. On the day before this photo was taken, April 26, 1911, President Taft was at the Metropolitan Opera House where he opened the Blind Workers’ Exhibition. The New York Times wrote, “While he [Taft] spoke, a blind stenographer ‘took notes’ on a specially prepared machine….” The exhibition was arranged by Miss Winifred Holt, Secretary of the New York Association for the Blind.

“Taft Opens Exhibit of Blind Workers,” The New York Times, April 27, 1911.

Mother & Son in Garden, 1905

10 May 2015

Happy Mother’s Day!

Hermine (Käsebier) Turner and her son in a garden in Oceanside, N.Y., 1905. The photograph was taken by Hermine’s sister Gertrude, an influential early 20th century photographer known for her work on motherhood and portraits of Native Americans.

Cigarettes after First Aid, 1952

9 May 2015

Wounded infantrymen of Co L, 31st Inf. Regt., 7th U.S. Inf. Div., light up cigarettes on October 14, 1952. They received first aid after sustaining injuries at a battle for Hill 598, near Kumhwa, Korea.

“Nazi’s Quit!”, 1945

8 May 2015
Four MPs take a break along a German road to read in the "Stars and Stripes" newspaper about the Nazi surrender.

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Four MPs take a break along a German road to read in the “Stars and Stripes” newspaper about the Nazi surrender, May 1945

Next Page »