National Archives "Today's Document"

One of the Hottest Bands in Europe

Wed, 2017-12-13 23:43

"Somewhere in England one of the hottest bands in the European Theater of Operations belongs to a Special United States Naval Construction Battalion..." 12/14/1944 (detail)
"‘Somewhere in England one of the hottest bands in the European Theater of Operations belongs to a Special United States Naval Construction Battalion...’ The band leader and trumpeter is Coxswain Thomas J. Lindsey (left), and the drummer is S1c. Edward A. Grant, 12/14/1944."

More Photos of African Americans During World War II...

Transfer of the Charters of Freedom

Tue, 2017-12-12 23:00

Photograph of President Truman and other dignitaries at the dedication of the new shrine at the National Archives for the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. (detail)
On December 13, 1952, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were transferred to the National Archives. Joining the Bill of Rights, which had been in the Archives’ care since 1938, they became collectively known as the Charters of Freedom, the most precious documents in our heritage. Two days later, at 10:15 a.m., on Monday, December 15, 1952 (Bill of Rights Day), the formal enshrining ceremony was held, presided over by Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson, and with President Harry Truman and other dignitaries in attendance.

Read more in Prologue: Travels of the Charters of Freedom...

USS <em>Panay</em> &mdash; Sunk on December 12, 1937

Mon, 2017-12-11 23:05

Panay (River Gunboat PG45). Port bow, underway, 08/30/1928 (detail)" />
Four years before Pearl Harbor, the United States and Japan were involved in an incident that could have led to war between the two nations. On December 12, 1937, the American navy gunboat Panay was bombed and sunk by Japanese aircraft. A flat-bottomed craft built in Shanghai specifically for river duty, USS Panay served as part of the U.S. Navy’s Yangtze Patrol in the Asiatic Fleet, which was responsible for patrolling the Yangtze River to protect American lives and property.
More about the Panay Incident at Prologue...

Joint Resolution Declaring War on Germany

Mon, 2017-12-11 00:01

Joint Resolution of December 12, 1941, Public Law 77-331, 55 STAT 796, which declared war on Germany.  12/11/1941 (detail)
Following the Declaration of War on Japan on December 8, 1941, the other Axis nations of Germany and Italy declared war on the United States. Congress responded, formally declaring a state of war with Germany in this Joint Resolution on December 11, 1941.
More about the outbreak of war at Our Documents...

From Prologue: "FDR’s ‘Day of Infamy’ Speech: Crafting a Call to Arms"

Regulations Relating to &quot;Yeti&quot; Expeditions

Sat, 2017-12-09 23:05

"Regulations Governing Mountain Climbing Expeditions in Nepal - Relating to Yeti" (detail)
From the Records of the Agency for International Development, this copy of a Foreign Service Despatch from the American Embassy in Kathmandu, Nepal, summarizes the Nepalese Government’s regulations concerning any proposed mountain climbing expeditions in search of "YETI."
More Diplomatic and State Department Records...

12th Amendment

Sat, 2017-12-09 00:31

12th Amendment (detail)
Passed by Congress December 9, 1803, and ratified June 15, 1804, the 12th Amendment provided for separate Electoral College votes for President and Vice President, correcting weaknesses in the earlier electoral system which were responsible for the controversial Presidential Election of 1800.

Read more at the Center for Legislative Archives...

FDR's &quot;Day of Infamy&quot; Speech

Thu, 2017-12-07 23:10

 Joint Address to Congress Leading to a Declaration of War Against Japan (detail)
On December 8, 1941, the day after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt delivered this "Day of Infamy Speech." Immediately afterward, Congress declared war, and the United States entered World War II.
Read more at Our Documents...

From Prologue: "FDR’s ‘Day of Infamy’ Speech: Crafting a Call to Arms"