June 16, 2014 |
INSIDE A GRAND old building in Center City, history buffs and scholars can examine centuries-old documents signed by George Washington and Abraham Lincoln. Re-enactors of long-ago wars can research details of past eras. Citizens can trace ancestors and their activities back generations. But soon, anyone aiming to do such things will have to trek nearly 20 miles north to a secluded business park at the city's edge. U.S. Archivist David S. Ferriero announced in March that the National Archives at Philadelphia's facility in the Robert N.C. Nix, Sr. Federal Building, on Chestnut Street near 9th, would be among three nationally to close to cut costs.
February 17, 2014 |
When Ronald Reagan finished his second term, he rode off to his California ranch on a wave of popularity that helped his vice president get elected to succeed him. Our last image of Richard M. Nixon was quite different. Forced to resign over the Watergate affair, he left office in disgrace. As he boarded the helicopter on the White House lawn, he gave Americans a parting gesture, his arms raised with his fingers spelling out "V" for victory as he, too, headed off to California. Soon after leaving office, Ronald Reagan was afflicted with Alzheimer's disease and spent most of his remaining life in seclusion.
August 27, 2013 |
He was awakened at 2:30 that morning by a clanging gong and the shouts and screams of people just outside his cabin. A fire was quickly spreading across the Morro Castle as the big luxury liner rocked and rolled through a nor'easter off the New Jersey coast. Jerry Edgerton, a 19-year-old relief radio operator, and others tried to fight the fire, then realized they'd have to abandon ship. The blaze had heated the metal decks, and heavy coats of paint eventually ignited. "The deck was getting so hot that I would stand on one foot as long as I could and then stand on the other foot, and lift my foot to try to cool it off," said Edgerton, who decided his "best bet would be to leave the ship.
August 23, 2013 |
During a career of sifting through dusty deed files, wills, marriage records, and other yellowing scraps of American history at the National Archives, one day stands out for Robert Plowman. "Do you know what happened on Feb. 8, 1976?" asked Plowman, 74, of Havertown, currently in charge of the Delaware County Archives. "It was the last episode of Roots. There it started. " When the television miniseries triggered an explosion of interest in genealogy research, Delaware County officials realized that in nearly forgotten file cabinets was a treasure trove of historical records dating to 1789.
May 4, 2012
Accused soldier's lawyer objects SEATTLE - The lead civilian lawyer for a U.S. soldier accused of massacring 17 Afghan villagers in March doesn't want to undergo a background check. Seattle attorney John Henry Browne wrote in e-mails to the Associated Press on Thursday that the Army has requested that he and all civilian members of Staff Sgt. Robert Bales' defense team undergo the check to obtain security clearances for reviewing any classified evidence. That's standard when classified evidence may be at issue in a case, said Lt. Col Gary Dangerfield, a spokesman at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, where Bales is based.
April 2, 2012 |
NEW YORK - When the 1940 census records are released Monday, Verla Morris can consider herself a part of living history. Morris, who is in her 100th year, will get to experience the novelty of seeing her own name and details about her life in the records being released by the U.S. National Archives online after 72 years of confidentiality expires. "I'd be happy to see it there," she said. "I don't think anything could surprise me, really. " Morris is one of more than 21 million people alive in the U.S. and Puerto Rico who were counted in the 16th federal decennial census, which documents the tumultuous decade of the 1930s transformed by the Great Depression and black migration from the rural South.
March 13, 2012 |
YORBA LINDA, CALIF. - When Richard Nixon first met his future bride, he was so smitten he pined for her night and day, he schemed of romantic getaways and he put it all down in writing. Decades before he became known to some as "Tricky Dick," Nixon was the one penning nicknames (sweet ones) to his future bride in gushy love notes that reveal a surprisingly soft and starry-eyed side of the man taken down by the Watergate scandal. Nixon shared the stage with Patricia Ryan in a community-theater production, and six of the dozens of letters they exchanged during their two-year courtship will be unveiled Friday at the Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum in an exhibit celebrating the 100th birthday of the woman Nixon playfully called his "Irish gypsy.
February 9, 2012 |
PASSED DOWN by descendants of the nation's first first lady, a 5-by-9-inch swatch of silk brocade from one of Martha Washington's dresses ended up with family friend Alden Freeman. In 1932, he gave it as a gift to Nan Britton, a woman involved in the first publicized presidential sex scandal. And now you can claim the fabric as your own. Yesterday, it was offered for sale for $40,000 by the Philly-based Raab Collection, which has it in a vault. It may be the only Martha Washington dress snippet ever put on the market.
July 26, 2011 |
BALTIMORE - The FBI is unraveling a yearlong plot by two New York City men to sell valuable historical documents they stole from archives around the country, a Baltimore prosecutor said Tuesday at bail hearings related to the alleged theft of $6 million in documents. Bail was set at $500,000 for presidential historian Barry Landau, 63, and $750,000 for his 24-year-old assistant Jason Savedoff. Both had been held without bail since their arrest on charges of theft over $100,000 earlier this month.