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From the U.S. National Archives

It’s one of The Legal Genealogist‘s favorite parts of the day.

Checking out the daily dose of history online in one special place.

NARA Today's Document

On September 14th, it featured a report on the bombardment of Fort McHenry.1

On September 15th, it featured U.S. Marines using scaling ladders to storm ashore at Inchon in September 1950.2

On the 16th-18th, it featured the U.S. Constitution, signed on 17 September 1787.3

On September 19th, it featured boat exercises at the Naval Training Station in Hampton Roads, Virginia, in September 1918.4

Yesterday, it featured children picking cranberries in Massachusetts in September 1911.5

And today it’s featuring the MIG-15 fighter flown to freedom in South Korea by a North Korean pilot in September 1953.6

“It” — in each case — is a daily feature of the U.S. National Archives called Today’s Document from the National Archives7 — and it should be on everybody’s list of things to check out daily on the internet.

Part of the America’s Historical Documents element of the National Archives website, each image or document included is accompanied by a full caption, a link to the complete record in the National Archives Catalog, links to related items, classroom resources and research links.

For today’s document, for example, the classroom resources include a “Lesson Plan: The United States Enters the Korean Conflict” and “Lesson Plans on the Korean War from the Truman Library.” The research links include a Prologue Magazine article on “Revisiting Korea: Exposing Myths of the Forgotten War,” the Korean War Document Collection from the Truman Library, Korean War Materials Project from the Truman & Eisenhower Libraries, Historical Documents Online: Korean War Photos, Electronic Records Online: Records of Korean War Casualties and POWs, and more.

And if that’s not enough of a daily dose of history, add in the National Archives’ Today’s Document blog,8 which offers a whole different set of daily featured documents:

• Today, it’s a trademark filing for a “Magic Hair Curler.”9

• Yesterday, it was a drawing of the foundation of Fort Sumter.10

• A few days ago, it was the deposition of Ellen Fields for a widow’s pension based on her husband George’s service as a Buffalo soldier.11

That one’s on Facebook as well if you want to follow it there.

Starting a day looking at history — instead of the news headlines — is lowering my blood pressure a lot.

A daily dose of history.

From the U.S. National Archives.

Cite/link to this post: Judy G. Russell, “A daily dose of history,” The Legal Genealogist ( : posted 21 Sep 2020).


  1. Document for September 14th: Report of Lt. Col. George Armistead on the defense of Fort McHenry, September 24, 1814,” Today’s Document from the National Archives, U.S. National Archives, ( : accessed 21 Sep 2020).
  2. Ibid., “Document for September 15th: ‘…Leathernecks use scaling ladders to storm ashore at Inchon in amphibious invasion September 15, 1950…’”
  3. See e.g., ibid., Document for September 17th: Constitution of the United States.
  4. Ibid., “Document for September 19th: ‘Boat Exercises – Naval Training Station, Hampton Roads, Va. September 19, 1918’ (Detail of Panoramic Photo)”.
  5. Ibid., “Document for September 20th: ‘Young pickers on Swift’s Bog. All working. Falmouth, Mass., 09/20/1911.”’
  6. Ibid., “Document for September 21st: ‘…Russian-built MIG-15 fighter interceptor which was flown to a U.S. Air Force base at Kimpo near Seoul…’”
  7. Today’s Document from the National Archives, U.S. National Archives, ( : accessed 21 Sep 2020).
  8. Today’s Document, blog ( : accessed 21 Sep 2020).
  9. No. 22172 – Magic Hair Curlers – Augustus A. West, Case Files for Registered Product Labels, 1874 – 1940, Record Group 241: Records of the Patent and Trademark Office, 1836 – 1978; U.S. National Archives Catalog, ( : accessed 21 Sep 2020).
  10. Ibid., Drawing of the foundation of Fort Sumter, Fortifications Map File Plans of Military Forts, 1818 – 1941, Record Group 77: Records of the Office of the Chief of Engineers, 1789 – 1999.
  11. Ibid., Approved Pension File for Ellen Fields, Widow of Private George Fields (alias George Nesbin; alias George Nesby), Company D, 10th U.S. Cavalry Regiment; Company C, 67th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment; and Company H, 65th U.S. Colored Troops Infantry Regiment (WC-9898), Case Files of Indian Wars Pension Applications, 1892 – ca. 1926, Record Group 15: Records of the Department of Veterans Affairs, 1773 – 2007.
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