The Case that “Gutted” Rosa Parks

Rosa Parks, one of the most consequential Americans of the 20th century, was born on Feb. 4, 1913, in Tuskegee, Alabama. Her activism was galvanized decades before the Montgomery bus boycott by the sexualized violence of whites against Blacks in her native Alabama. This activism is featured in this short documentary by the Library of Congress, which holds her papers.

Trailblazing American Women on Quarters

This is a guest post by Maria Peña, a public relations strategist in the Library’s Office of Communications. Maya Angelou broke ground as a multifaceted author, poet, actress, recording artist and civil rights activist, while Adelina “Nina” Otero-Warren left an indelible mark in New Mexico’s suffrage movement. This year, both are among five trailblazing women […]

Researching Nannie Helen Burroughs: Danielle Phillips-Cunningham

Danielle Phillips-Cunningham teaches multicultural women’s and gender studies at Texas Woman’s University and writes about race and women’s labor history. She is writing a book about Nannie Helen Burroughs — who founded the National Association of Wage Earners, a little-known but important Black women’s labor organization — in the Library’s collection of Burrough’s papers.

“Return of the Jedi,” Mark Hamill and the 2021 National Film Registry

The National Film Registry’s 2021 class is the most diverse in the program’s 33-year history, including blockbusters such as “Return of the Jedi,” “Selena” and “Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring,” but also the ’70s midnight-movie favorite “Pink Flamingos” and a 1926 film featuring Black pilots in the daring new world of aviation, “The Flying Ace.” The Library interviewed a dozen key players about their role in inducted films, including Mark Hamill, Edward James Olmos, John Waters, and documentary filmmakers Cheryl Dunye and Sylvia Morales.

Researcher Stories: Civil War Photographs, “Chlorophyll Prints” and Robert Schultz

For years, artist Robert Schultz has made creative reuse of historical Civil War-era images, developing photographs from the Library’s Liljenquist Family Collection of Civil War Portraits in the flesh of tree and plant leaves found on former battlefields. It turned out so well that the Library has acquired some of his art.

The “Day Dream” of Billy Strayhorn’s Music

Billy Strayhorn was an American jazz pianist, composer, arranger, and lyricist, most often working for the Duke Ellington Orchestra. He wrote “Take the ‘A’ Train,” “Lush Life,” “Chelsea Bridge,” “Day Dream” and dozens of other standards. His papers are collected at the Library of Congress.