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Who’s that Lady?

It might have been her eyes. Perhaps it was that hint of a knowing smile. Or maybe it was the culmination of it all—torso leaning in, chin on fist, legs crossed, nails polished and hat tilted. Whatever it was, it grabbed my attention when I first saw the sepia-toned image several years ago. Its subject […]

VHP’s Newest Online Exhibit: “Equality of Treatment and Opportunity”

In 1942, Stewart Fulbright was a man on a mission: he desperately wanted to become a pilot in the Army Air Corps. Just shy of the weight requirement of 125 pounds, he gulped down half a dozen bananas on his way to his physical exam, only to find out that a lengthy written exam was […]

Blazing Trails and Taking Names: Women in the Military

The following is the second post in a six-part series highlighting women veterans’ collections from the Veterans History Project (VHP) archive in recognition of Women’s History Month. (Note: Due to the closure of all DC-area Federal Government buildings on March 2, 2018, the Women’s History Month book talk  featuring Liza Mundy  has been canceled. Stay […]

African American Liberators In The Netherlands

The following is a guest blog post by Sebastiaan Vonk and Mieke Kirkels, historians in the Netherlands working to research, document, and commemorate the history of African American soldiers stationed in the Netherlands during World War II. Much like the Veterans History Project, their work ensures that the stories of veterans—particularly those whose voices have […]

Collection Spotlight: William H. Dillard Wins Olympic Gold

London, summer, 1948. All eyes were on the first Olympic Games held since 1936. After years of war, representatives from around the world met in venues like the track field stadium, the swimming pool and the boxing ring, instead of on the battlefield. At Wembley Stadium, six runners crouched on the track for the finals […]

Frederick Douglass: “I Am A Man”

This blog post is the second of two about the abolitionist Frederick Douglass (celebrating his 200th birthday) and part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. The first post, “Frederick Douglass: Free Folklorist,” is available at this link. The 1850s brought new […]

Kumbaya: History of an Old Song

In honor of African American History Month, we thought we’d present a classic article from Folklife Center News. This one concerns the early history of the African American spiritual “Kumbaya,” also known by other titles such as “Kum Ba Yah,” “Come By Yuh,” and “Come By Here.”  In the years since this article was first published, […]

Frederick Douglass: Free Folklorist

This blog post about the abolitionist Frederick Douglass is part of a series called “Hidden Folklorists,” which examines the folklore work of surprising people, including people better known for other pursuits. This is part one of a two-part article, part two, “Frederick Douglass: ‘I Am a Man,’” can be found at the link. I have often […]

Stories Above and Beyond: The Medal of Honor

This is the second blog post in a series relating to the Medal of Honor. Today, in advance of Veterans Day, the Veterans History Project (VHP) debuts a new online portal built to share the stories of Medal of Honor recipients in our collection. Through this feature, entitled “Stories Above and Beyond,” we offer access […]