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How a Bill Became a Law…in 1950

Ah, September. The first hints of cooler fall weather, football season starts, and baseball pennant races heat up…even as we ruefully acknowledge that Washington Nationals fever isn’t quite where it was last year. For those of us who toil in the federal vineyards, September also marks the end of the fiscal year.

I recently attended a mandatory three day training session on the Principles of Federal Appropriation Law. The government’s budgeting process might not be especially transparent, but the class did help me understand the logic behind fiscal regulations and how we can more effectively plan our own budgets here at the NAVCC. It was interesting to trace how a budget proposal becomes an appropriation.

In a similar vein, pretty much anyone who ever took a civics class is familiar with the concept of how a bill becomes a law, and we have several films in our collection about that process (none quite as memorable as the Schoolhouse Rock! version, but that’s the gold standard). But here’s a pretty good one from 1950 that follows the passage of agricultural legislation. It features such notables as Vice President Alben Barkley, legendary House Speaker Sam Rayburn, and Senator Robert Taft. It’s rather quaint in its portrayal of a political environment in which Democrats and Republicans congenially hammer out their differences in order to–as the narrator puts it–“ensure that the legislatively process runs smoothly.”

A Day in Congress (Instructional Films, 1950)

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (October 1-3, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Thursday, October 1 (7:30 p.m.) Reservoir Dogs (Miramax, 1992, R-rated*) With his directorial debut of Reservoir Dogs, Quentin Tarantino went from being an unproduced screenwriter and part-time actor to one of the most influential filmmakers of the 1990s. In […]

The Cabinet of Curiosities: Early Universal Logos

The following is a guest post by Nitrate Vault Manager George Willeman. Because a significant amount of our nitrate film collection was donated to or deposited with us by Hollywood studios–Columbia, Warner Bros., Paramount, and Disney all being good examples–we’ve developed a particular expertise when it comes to identifying variations in corporate logos. One of […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (September 24-26, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Thursday, September 24 (7:30 p.m.) The Changeling (Associated Film, 1980, R rated *) After his wife and daughter are killed in a car accident, classical composer John Russell (George C. Scott) moves to Seattle to teach at his alma […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (September 17-19, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. September guest programmer Rachel Parker offers more entertaining selections. Thursday, September 17 (7:30 p.m.) What Dreams May Come (Polygram, 1998) Robin Williams stars as physician Chris Nielsen who, after dying in car accident and going to heaven, discovers that […]

As a Matter of Fact, We ARE Ready for Some Football

Spring practice has come and gone, minicamps, two-a-days and OTAs are done, and–mercifully–we’re finished with preseason games for the pros. College football started last weekend and the NFL starts in a few days; let the anxiety and heartburn begin! The oldest football film in the Library’s collection is the 14 November 1903 match between Princeton […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (September 9-12, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Jenny Paxson, an Administrative Assistant at the Packard Campus. Please note that the program originally scheduled for September 9 (Verdi and the Silent Film) has been postponed. More treats from September guest programmer Rachel Parker. Wednesday, September 9 (7:30 p.m.) Monte Carlo — silent version (Paramount, 1930) Ernest […]

Now Playing at the Packard Campus Theater (September 3, 2015)

The following is a guest post by Rachel Parker, a Processing Technician in the Moving Image Section, and our theater programmer in September. I am a native of Nashville, Tennessee, and graduated from Chapman University in Orange, California. I arrived at the Packard Campus in 2009 after an internship at the Academy Film Archive, and […]