National Archives "Today's Document"

Lee's Demand for John Brown's Surrender

Tue, 2017-10-17 23:56

Robert E. Lee’s demand for the surrender of John Brown and his party, October 18, 1859 (detail)
On October 16, 1859, abolitionist John Brown and his "army" of some 20 men seized the federal arsenal at Harpers Ferry, Virginia (now West Virginia) in preparation for his war for slave liberation. By the morning of October 18, when Brown refused to accept the terms of this note, marines under the command of Bvt. Col. Robert E. Lee, stormed the building and captured Brown and the survivors of his party. The operation that Brown envisioned as the first blow in a war against slavery was over in 36 hours.

More on John Brown’s raid on Harpers Ferry ...

<em>United States of America</em> v. <em>Alphonse Capone</em>

Mon, 2017-10-16 23:10

United States of America v. Alphonse Capone, October 17, 1931 (detail)" />
In June 1930, after an exhaustive investigation by the federal government, notorious Chicago gangster Al Capone was indicted for income tax evasion. During a highly publicized trial, the prosecution documented Capone’s lavish spending and proof that Capone was aware of his obligation to pay federal income tax but failed to do so. After nearly 9 hours of deliberation, the jurors found Capone guilty of three felonies and two misdemeanors. Capone was sentenced to serve 11 years in prison and to pay $80,000 in fines and court costs.
Read more in American Originals...

Aerial Photograph of Missiles in Cuba

Sun, 2017-10-15 23:00

MRBM Field Launch Site San Cristobal No. 1 14 October 1962 (detail)
At 8:45 AM on October 16, 1962, National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy alerted President Kennedy that a major international crisis was at hand. Two days earlier a United States military surveillance aircraft had taken hundreds of aerial photographs of Cuba. CIA analysts, working around the clock, had deciphered in the pictures conclusive evidence that a Soviet missile base was under construction near San Cristobal, Cuba, just 90 miles from the coast of Florida. The most dangerous encounter in the Cold War rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union had begun.
After many long and difficult meetings, Kennedy decided to place a naval blockade, or a ring of ships, around Cuba to prevent the Soviets from bringing in more military supplies, while demanding the removal of the missiles and the destruction of the sites. The two superpowers were now joined in the first direct nuclear confrontation in history and for thirteen days, the world waited, hoping for a peaceful resolution to the crisis. -->

The World On the Brink: John F. Kennedy and the Cuban Missile Crisis

Leaving the Granada Relocation Center

Sat, 2017-10-14 23:45

"Granada Relocation Center, Amache, Colorado. Shown here is a young miss, dressed in her Sunday best ..., 10/06/1945," (detail)
October 15, 1945 marked the closing date of the Granada Project, the first of the War Relocation Authority centers to be closed. Under the authority of Executive Order 9066, issued by President Franklin D. Roosevelt on February 19, 1942, approximately 110,000 Japanese-Americans were interned in 10 relocation centers for the duration of World War II.

More photos from the War Relocation Authority in ARC...

Notes from the First Supersonic Flight

Sat, 2017-10-14 00:30

Pilot’s Notes from the Ninth Powered Flight of the XS-1, 10/14/1947 (detail)
On October 14, 1947, Captain Charles Yeager became the first man to break the sound barrier during powered level flight while flying the experimental Bell XS-1 aircraft. Shown here are his notes from the ninth powered flight in the XS-1 at Muroc (later renamed Edwards) Airfield in California.
More Photos and Records on the X-1 in ARC...

War Diary of USS <em>Franklin</em>

Thu, 2017-10-12 23:18

Franklin (CV-13), October 13, 1944." (detail)" />
This page from the War Diary of USS Franklin details the actions of October 13, 1944, including scrambling fighters for sorties against enemy targets and defending against an attack by Japanese "Betty" torpedo bombers.

More from the Action Report of USS Franklin in ARC...

J.P. Holland's Submarine Torpedo Boat

Wed, 2017-10-11 23:05

Submarine Torpedo Boat, By John P. Holland, February 18, 1875 (detail)
In 1875 Irish American John P. Holland sent the U.S. Navy this design for an experimental 15 1/2-foot long torpedo boat. Designed to operate underwater, the submarine required 1/10 horse power and could be managed by one man. Although this design was rejected, Holland continued to improve his invention and on October 12, 1900, the U.S. Navy commissioned the first true submarine, the 64-foot USS Holland.
Read more at Designs for Democracy...