Thursday, January 15, 2009

National Archives Celebrates its 75th Anniversary

Today's forecast for St. Peters: Sunny today, high 8 degrees, low -3, with wind chills of -22 degrees. (Commentary: The newscasters announced our local weather is the result of an Alberta Clipper. Well, I wish Alberta would please take her clipper and return to Canada. The only part of Alberta we want around these parts is Albert (without the a) Pujols of the St. Louis Cardinals.)

Last week a friend and former co-worker, who now works at the National Archives in St. Louis, forwarded an e-mail she received from Adrienne Thomas, the Acting Archivist of the United States. In the e-mail Thomas announces the National Archives 75th anniversary celebrations, events, programs and a newly launched website .
*As writers, especially those of us who cherish history or enjoy research, I thought this e-mail might be of interest. The quote from FDR about the importance of preserving historical documents is wonderful. Anyway, here's the text of the e-mail from the Activing Archivist of the United States:

"This is a very special year for the National Archives. Founded 75 years ago on June 19, 1934, the National Archives' preservation of the permanently valuable papers of the federal government has made it a cornerstone of our democracy. Billions of documents created by federal officials are available for inspection, thereby holding public officials accountable for their actions. To celebrate this milestone, we have planned a number of special activities and programs throughout the year. If you have ever used the archives.
*Please go to the newly-launched anniversary web site at to learn about all of these events in Washington, DC and our regional facilities and Presidential libraries. We encourage you to join in the festivities whether you live in Anchorage or Austin, in Washington, DC or in West Branch, Iowa. Don't miss the testimonials on our web site from researchers and visitors who describe their discoveries at the Archives. Some of these are very personal stories of recognizing photos of their ancestors that are part of our exhibitions; others are accounts of long complex research adventures to discover the golden needle in a haystack of documents. We encourage you to submit your own discovery story for this page. The web site also includes a photo gallery of the history of the National Archives, and downloadable wallpaper and screensavers. Lastly, you can purchase a commemorative poster or other items that will become a keepsake of this milestone anniversary.
*Sixty-eight years ago, at the dedication of his Presidential library, Franklin Roosevelt said, 'To bring together the records of the past and to house them in buildings where they will be preserved for the use of men and women in the future, a Nation must believe in three things. It must believe in the past. It must believe in the future. It must, above all, believe in the capacity of its own people so to learn from the past that they can gain in judgment in creating their own future.'
*The National Archives remains committed to President Roosevelt's credo. We will continue to preserve the records of the past, so that upcoming generations can make informed decisions about the future of our nation. I look forward to celebrating this year with you.
Sincerely, ADRIENNE C. THOMAS Acting Archivist of the United States."
**There you have it, straight from the National Archives of the United States. If you visit their website and have a story to share, you are encouraged to submit it. Who knows, maybe 75 years from now your great-grandchildren might read about how your use of the National Archives affected your life.

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