A cherry tree in full bloom this week on the grounds of the Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, looking toward the Adams Building. Photo by Shawn Miller.
The cherry blossoms in Washington, D.C., reached peak bloom this week, just in time for the National Cherry Blossom Festival. This year’s festival commemorates the 105th anniversary of the gift of some 3,000 cherry trees to Washington, D.C., from the city of Tokyo in 1912. The trees were given as a symbol of friendship between the United States and Japan. Only nine trees from the original gift remain, two of them located on the grounds of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress.
A webcast illuminating the history of Washington’s cherry trees, the significance of cherry blossoms in Japan, and their continuing resonance in American culture is available here.
One hundred years ago this Sunday—on April 2, 1917—Jeannette Rankin was sworn into the 65th Congress as the first woman elected to serve. She took her seat more than two years before Congress passed the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women nationwide the right to vote. That alone is remarkable, but Rankin also made history in another […]
This is a guest post by Henry Carter, digital conversion specialist in the Serial and Government Publications Division. In the first decades of the 20th century, aircraft were new, and flying was exciting. Newspapers, the most powerful media outlet of the time, reported broadly on this new technology and its celebrities as well as the […]
This year’s National Recording Registry is a sonic smörgåsbord– quite a lot to choose from, and all of it audibly appetizing. The 25 selections being preserved by the Library of Congress based on their cultural, historic or aesthetic value include two takes on “The Wizard of Oz,” in the form of Judy Garland’s version of […]
This is a guest post by Stephen Leggett, a program coordinator of the National Film Preservation Board for the Library of Congress. On the eve of the Great Depression, there were movies, but they were as devoid of brilliant hues as the economy was about to be. But even as those dark clouds moved in, […]
Hundreds of thousands of women marched on Washington, D.C., on inaugural weekend this year to voice their concerns about an array of issues. News outlets nationwide and overseas reported a massive turnout that exceeded all expectations. Crowd size aside, the march was not without precedent. More than a hundred years earlier, American women organized a […]
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden hosted a conversation with three dynamic leaders in the arts on March 22 in celebration of Women’s History Month at the Library of Congress. Hayden, who is the first woman to serve as Librarian of Congress, spoke with Marin Alsop, music director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra; Deborah Rutter, president of the […]
Designed to educate, amuse or advertise, pictorial maps were a clever and colorful component of print culture in the mid-20th century, often overlooked in studies of cartography. A new book published by the Library of Congress in association with the University of Chicago Press, “Picturing America: The Golden Age of Pictorial Maps,” by Stephen J. […]
Today, the Library of Congress announced an exciting upcoming series: “Library of Congress Bibliodiscotheque.” Multiple events from April 12 through May 6 will explore disco culture, music, dance and fashion represented in the national collections. Disco’s influence on popular music and dance since the 1970s will be in focus through film screenings, performances, interviews and a […]
Daniel Murray, a pioneer in the black history movement, worked at the Library of Congress for 52 years, from 1871 to 1922. He began as special assistant to Librarian of Congress Ainsworth Rand Spofford, later serving as a librarian and a bibliographer of works by African-Americans. In “The Original Black Elite: Daniel Murray and the […]