Archive for October, 2008

More Cold War Espionage Transcripts Released

Friday, October 24th, 2008

On October 24, 2008, in response to a petition filed by the National Security Archive and several historical associations, the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) released the previously secret grand jury transcripts of eight witnesses related to Cold War espionage prosecutions. The nearly 300 pages of transcripts from the Brothman/Moskowitz grand jury reveal important new details about the testimony of Elizabeth Bentley, the so-called “Red Spy Queen,” and Harry Gold, who led authorities to David Greenglass and the Rosenbergs. In addition, NARA released the testimonies of Vivian Glassman, Edith Levitov, and Frank Wilentz from the Rosenberg grand jury. Read the full article »

PIDB to Discuss Declassification of “Historically Significant” Information

Friday, October 24th, 2008

The Public Interest Declassification Board (PIDB) has announced it will meet on October 31, 2008, to discuss the lack of a satisfactory means to identify and prioritize the declassification review of “historically significant” information. The PIDB had identified a need to address this issue in the Board’s report to the President, titled Improving Declassification. Read the full article »

NEH Extending Application Deadline for “Picturing America” Program

Friday, October 24th, 2008

The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced that it was extending the deadline for a second round of applications for its Picturing America program. The deadline is being extended to November 14, 2008, from the original deadline of October 31st. Picturing America is a free educational resource that helps teach American history and culture by bringing some of our nation’s greatest works of art directly to classrooms and libraries. Read the full article »

Gilder Lehrman Institute Announces 2009 Summer Seminars for Teachers

Friday, October 24th, 2008

The Gilder Lehrman Institute has announced it is accepting applications for its 2009 Summer Seminars for Teachers. The seminars are designed to strengthen participants’ commitment to high quality history teaching. Public, parochial, independent schoolteachers, and National Park Service rangers are eligible. Forty seminars will be offered in the 2009 program. The application deadline is February 15, 2009. Read the full article »

Upcoming US FOIA Training for Academic Researchers

Friday, October 24th, 2008

On December 5, 2008, George Washington University and the National Security Archive will join forces for a daylong workshop on “Effective FOIA Requesting for Researchers.” This session will offer a unique opportunity for graduate students currently enrolled in PhD programs to learn the fundamentals of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and how to use it. Read the full article »

Park Service Opens Tuskegee Airmen Historical Site

Friday, October 24th, 2008

On October 10, the National Park Service opened the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Moton Field in Tuskegee, Alabama, to commemorate and interpret the heroic actions of the Tuskegee Airmen during World War II. Read the full article »

NCH Washington Update Publication Schedule

Wednesday, October 15th, 2008

With Congress in recess, the National Coalition for History Washington update will be published every other week until after the election unless there is breaking news.

Congress Passes Overhaul of NARA and NHPRC Programs

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

This week, Congress passed, and sent to the President for his signature, legislation (S. 3477) to make changes in major program areas at the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) and the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). Read the full article »

GAO Questions NARA’s Readiness to Accept Bush Records in January 2009

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

In a report to Congress issued this week, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) questioned the readiness of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) to begin accepting the Bush administration’s records on January 20, 2009. GAO expressed concerns that NARA has yet to develop a plan to mitigate the risk of not having a fully functional system in place on Inauguration Day. Read the full article »

History Coalition Fights to Stop Wal-Mart Adjacent to Civil War Battlefield

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

As we recently reported, Wal-Mart, Stores, Inc., is planning to build a 145,000-square-foot “Wal-Mart Supercenter” in Orange County, Virginia, a quarter-mile from the Wilderness Battlefield National Park. This week, the National Coalition for History joined a Wilderness Battlefield Coalition that has been formed to fight the development. Read the full article »

Congress Punts on Fiscal Year 2009 Budget

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Before leaving for their election campaigns, Congress passed a continuing budget resolution for fiscal year 2009 to keep federal agencies and programs running until March 6, 2009. FY 2009 began on October 1, 2008. Aside from defense, homeland security and veterans programs, all other federal agencies will continue to be funded at the current FY ’08 level. In reality, this amounts to a budget cut for federal agencies since they will not receive additional funding to cover increased overhead and salary costs. Read the full article »

House Passes Revolutionary War & War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Bill

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

On September 23, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 160, the “Revolutionary War and War of 1812 Battlefield Protection Act,” legislation to establish a federal grant program specifically for preserving and protecting battle sites associated with the American Revolution and the War of 1812. Read the full article »

Bill To Facilitate Donation of FDR Papers Passes the House

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

On September 27, the House of Representatives approved a bill (H.R. 6669) to facilitate the donation of the papers of Grace Tully, personal secretary to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, to the National Archives. Read the full article »

NARA Releases Additional Rosenberg Grand Jury Testimony

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

The National Archives has made available more secret Grand Jury testimony from the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg. This additional file, the testimony of Harry Gold, consists of 56 pages of transcripts from the grand jury proceedings from August 2, 1950. Read the full article »

New Chair Named of Smithsonian’s Board of Regents

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

Patricia Q. Stonesifer has been elected chairwoman of Smithsonian Institution’s Board of Regents, effective in January. Stonesifer was chief executive officer of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she continues to be a senior advisor. She has been a member of the Smithsonian’s board since 2001. Stonesifer replaces Roger Sant, who has served as chairman of the board’s executive committee since January. Read the full article »

Federal Agencies Establishing Guidelines to Digitize Historical Materials

Friday, October 3rd, 2008

This week, the Library of Congress announced that a dozen federal agencies are launching an initiative to establish a common set of guidelines for digitizing historical materials. Basing its efforts on a combination of collaborative research and combined experience, the Federal Agencies Digitization Guidelines Initiative will address a variety of issues related to the complex activities involved in the digitization of cultural heritage items. Read the full article »