“Dr. Atomic,” The Oppenheimer Opera
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Neely Tucker
3M ago
This is a guest post by Kate Rivers, a specialist in the Music Division. It also appears in the January-February issue of the Library of Congress Magazine. The setting: the San Francisco Opera and the 2005 sneak preview of “Doctor Atomic,” a new opera by Pulitzer Prize-winning composer John Adams based on the compelling saga of physicist J. Robert Oppenheimer and the other scientists who engineered the world-altering test of the first atomic bomb. In the audience sat Marvin L. Cohen, president of the American Physical Society, amateur musician and real-life physicist from the University of Cal ..read more
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World War II’s Navajo Code Talkers, In Their Own Words
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Neely Tucker
5M ago
This is a guest post by Nathan Cross, an archivist in the American Folklife Center. It also appears in slightly different form in the November-December issue of the Library of Congress Magazine. Before radio communications could be encrypted through technological means, the U.S. military struggled to find fast and effective means to send secure messages. Perhaps the best method they found was to employ Native American troops as Code Talkers — radio operators who communicated to each other using their native languages. Native American languages were rarely written and almost entirely unknown to ..read more
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Oppenheimer: The Library’s Collection Chronicles His Life
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Neely Tucker
9M ago
{mediaObjectId:'00CAD9EDFB7373D8E063CAE7938C2F08',playerSize:'mediumWide'} Julius Robert Oppenheimer, leader of the Manhattan Project and father of the atomic bomb, is the subject of “Oppenheimer,” due out in theaters tomorrow. His morally complex, intellectually voracious life has been the subject of an astonishing amount of worldwide scientific, cultural, political and historic interest since 5:29 a.m., July 16, 1945, when the first atomic bomb was detonated in New Mexico, ushering in the nuclear era. The test site was named Trinity and the plutonium device was called Gadget. The scientific ..read more
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Library of the Unexpected: Cocaine, Hair and…Wedding Cake?
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Neely Tucker
1y ago
The contents of Lincoln’s pockets the night he was assassinated. Photo: Shawn Miller. Prints and Photographs Division. This article also appears in the current issue of the Library of Congress Magazine. When a Library collects more than 171 million objects over the course of a couple of centuries, odds are that some unusual items will filter into the mix. Along with traditional library fare such as books, maps, manuscripts, magazines, prints, photographs, movies and recordings, the Library has … other things. Like a piece of the World Trade Center and a piece of cake from  Gen. Tom Thum ..read more
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Pic of the Week: A&E Makes Donation to VHP
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Erin Allen
1y ago
Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden and Veterans History Project Director Karen Lloyd present a certificate of appreciation to A&E Networks President and General Manager Jana Bennett following the donation of Pearl Harbor veterans’ oral histories. Photo by Shawn Miller. Staff from A&E Networks’ HISTORY stopped by the Library this week to donate interviews from some of our nation’s oldest World War II veterans — specifically those who witnessed the attack on Pearl Harbor. On the eve of the attack’s anniversary, these stories offer meaningful testimony to the American entry into Wo ..read more
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Curator’s Picks: Signature Sounds
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Erin Allen
1y ago
(The following is from the July/August 2016 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. You can read the issue in its entirety here.) Matt Barton in the Library’s Motion Picture and Broadcasting and Recorded Sound Division discusses some of the nation’s most iconic radio broadcasts. DATE OF INFAMY SPEECH President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a Joint Session of Congress on Dec. 8, 1941—one day after Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. The president referred to Dec. 7 as “a date which will live in infamy.” Within an hour of the speech, Congress passed a formal declarat ..read more
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Rare Survivor of Pacific War
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Mark Hartsell
1y ago
Brothers John (from left), George and Glen Pearcy donated their uncle’s diary to VHP. Photo by Shawn Miller. Before he boarded the ship carrying prisoners of war across the ocean to a forced-labor camp, George Washington Pearcy divided his diary and gave the pieces to two comrades staying behind. If he didn’t survive the journey, Pearcy hoped, his story somehow would. Pearcy, a POW held by the Japanese during World War II, never made it home to his family. His diary eventually did and, more than 70 years later, found its way to the Veterans History Project (VHP) at the Library of Congress ..read more
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Books in Action: The Armed Services Editions
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Erin Allen
1y ago
(The following is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of the Library of Congress Magazine, LCM. John Y. Cole, director of the Center for the Book in the Library of Congress, wrote the story. You can read the issue in its entirety here.)  When books went to war, many American soldiers and sailors discovered the joy of reading. Between 1943 and 1947, nearly 123 million copies of flat, wide and easily pocketable paperbacks were distributed by Army and Navy Library Services—free of charge—to U.S. service members around the world. How did this happen? In 1942, U.S. Army libraria ..read more
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Page from the Past: A Sailor’s Map Journal
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Erin Allen
1y ago
(The following story, written by Center for the Book intern Maria Comé, is featured in the September/October 2015 issue of the LCM, which you can read in it’s entirety here.) Sept. 2, 1945, marked the end of World War II, following the surrender of the Japanese to the Allied forces. Seventy years later, researchers can access the eyewitness accounts and memorabilia of those who served in the war, which have been collected by the Veterans History Project (VHP) in the Library’s American Folklife Center. One of the more unusual acquisitions, pictured above, is a combination journal and ..read more
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Inspired By a Soldier’s Story
Library of Congress Blog » World War II
by Erin Allen
1y ago
The following was written by Matthew Camarda, one of 26 college students participating in the Knowledge Navigators program at the Library of Congress. The 10-week internship program is offered to students at the University of Virginia, Catholic University of America and the College of William & Mary. Camarda is currently a senior at the College of William and Mary, majoring in government with a minor in history. His job creating Initial Bibliographic Control records for the Library’s History and Military Section related to his own interests in American politics and history. Welton Taylor ..read more
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