Two Black seamstresses have left their mark on White House fashion history, as Elizabeth Keckley and Ann Lowe designed dresses for two of the nation’s most famous first ladies, Mary Todd Lincoln and Jacqueline Kennedy, respectively. Both designers developed their craft despite the brutal influences of slavery and Jim Crow segregation. This piece tells their stories.
Here's a handy guide to holiday stories that readers frequently turn to at the Library. Favorites include the tale of who invented Christmas tree lights, how Truman Capote wrote "A Christmas Memory" (the Library has his handwritten first draft) and how a Central American flowering plant became the favorite Christmas flower around the world.
Mariah Carey surprised a festive crowd during the Library’s Santa Claus edition of “Live! At the Library“ last night, making an entrance as her signature hit, “All I Want For Christmas Is You” played in the Great Hall. Decked out in a stage-worthy sparkling dress and pink high heels, she picked up the song's framed certificate of induction from the National Recording Registry from Librarian Carla Hayden and - like most everyone else at the party - posed for a couple of pictures by the Christmas tree.
A sizzle reel introduces the 25 influential films from the past 102 years have been selected for the 2023 Library of Congress National Film Registry, Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden announced today, inluding blockbusters such as "Fame," "Home Alone" and "Apollo 13," the popular romance "Love & Basketball," and influential feature films and documentaries such as "12 Years a Slave," "Matewan," "Alambrista!" and "Maya Lin: A Strong, Clear Vision."
Carl Sagan's dreams of space flight took root as a child as some of his enthusiastic artwork shows, particularly a drawing he called “The Evolution of Interstellar Flight.” It's in the Library's Seth MacFarlane Collection of the Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan Archive, composed of more than 595,000 items from throughout the astrophysicist's life.
As the clock struck 12:01 a.m. on Dec. 5, 1933, a truck full of beer departed Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis. KMOX CBS Radio excitedly broadcast the event to the nation -- Prohibition had ended. Beer was on en route to the White House. This slice of history is just one example of thousands of broadcasts that the Library's Radio Preservation Task Force have brought to light in archives across the country since its launch in December 2014.
"Maestro," the high-profile film biography of legendary composer Leonard Bernstein, hits theaters this week, starring Bradley Cooper. The Library holds a vast trove of Bernstein's papers, some 400,000 items that document every stage of his life and career. In a brief video, Mark Horowitz, a senior music specialist at the Library and the archivist for the Bernstein Collection, gives a tour of the material and its cultural significance.
Christopher Oakley, a prominent film animator turned university historian, used his knowledge of computer modeling -- and his research at the LIbrary of Congress -- to help solve a small but important mystery: Where exactly did Lincoln stand while delivering his famed Gettysburg Address?