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Here is another dispatch from T-Cubed, our  #1 volunteer. T-Cubed here,Arson was the crime wave of note throughout Michi...
01/05/2024

Here is another dispatch from T-Cubed, our #1 volunteer.

T-Cubed here,
Arson was the crime wave of note throughout Michigan circa 1932, (might have been that Depression thing). The article attached from the Detroit News describes the work of the arson squad in their fight against the torchers. Mr. Cohen's shop burnt to the ground but the insurance company had reason to doubt Cohen's claim that he did not set fire to his business. The pictures attached show the damage done to his clothing store. The arson squad did their investigation and found two candles, the tell-tale sign of arson. Morris Cohen’s shop was in Kalamazoo, Michigan on North Burdick Street.

From Law Case 3613 Morris Cohen vs. The Northern Assurance Company Grand Rapids, NAID 2812645

Our sewage tank is empty, our generators are set to light, for we shall fear no midnight crisis, that makes our surround...
01/02/2024

Our sewage tank is empty,
our generators are set to light,
for we shall fear no midnight crisis,
that makes our surroundings blight.
But until the word comes,
that armageddon is here,
we will receive hotel services,
from our trusty home pier.

This Y2K poetic observation, penned by a crewman of the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter KATMAI BAY (WTGB-101), is a bit more flowery than most of the entries in this series. They likely got away with it since it still related all of the relevant information required for logbook entries. The Coast Guard website tells us that “The Katmai Bay is a 140 foot Bay Class Icebreaking Tug homeported in Sault Sainte Marie, MI. Unit missions include icebreaking, Homeland Security patrols, Light House projects, Law Enforcement, and Public Affairs. The CGC KATMAI BAY serves throughout the entire Great lakes system.” This crewman appreciated the fireworks display put on by the City of Sault Ste. Marie.

From Record Group 26: Records of the U.S. Coast Guard - Vessel Logs of Coast Guard icebreaking tug Katmai Bay (WTGB-101) NAID 7385240

On December 30th, 1903, Chicago’s newly opened Iroquois Theatre was filled with over 1,700 people watching the popular m...
12/29/2023

On December 30th, 1903, Chicago’s newly opened Iroquois Theatre was filled with over 1,700 people watching the popular musical Mr. Bluebeard. This weekday matinee show was attended mainly by women and children. Advertised as a fire-proof theatre and supposedly outfitted with state of the art safety equipment, a faulty stage light sent sparks onto the curtain, which quickly caught fire. The fire spread so quickly that many theatre goers had no chance to escape, especially since many of the doors opened inwards and were locked. 602 people died that day, one of the worst disasters in American history.
This incident led to new fire regulations. In our holdings are two cases, Edith Banshaf vs. Iroquois Theater Company and Edna Sloan Hunter vs. Iroquois Theater Company and George A. Fuller Company which are fully digitized in our catalog. Both suits accused the theatre owners of negligence. The Iroquois had not yet installed any fire escapes, and the next building was too far away for anyone to reach, so many died while falling onto the alley below. For a city with a history of fires, this was a glaring omission.
Edith Banshaf was the widow of George Banshaf, a 30 year old that died in the theatre. George's father-in-law Robert Thompson and his brother-in-law Clarence Thompson were also killed in the fire.
Edna Hunter Sloan survived, but with extreme burns that required skin grafts. Testimony from her surgeon is included.

NAIDs 286251077 and 286251076
Civil Law cases 27127-27128 from U.S. Circuit Court for the Eastern (Chicago) Division of the Northern District of Illinois.

The photographs of the alley and the burned out seats are from the Chicago Tribune archives.

The case relating to the sinking of the Tashmoo is digitized in our catalog. https://catalog.archives.gov/id/313099389
12/27/2023

The case relating to the sinking of the Tashmoo is digitized in our catalog.

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/313099389

The steamer Tashmoo passing the waterfront of Detroit, Mich. with an excursion of Parke Davis employees on board, circa 1910 (Image Source: Library of Congress – Detroit Publishing Co. Collection). The name of the photograph is not included in the notes for the image.

Additional Historical Information

Launched on the last day of 1899, the sidewheel steamer Tashmoo was built in Wyandotte, Mich. by the Detroit Ship Building Co. for the White Star Steamship Co. of Detroit, Mich. The company was also known as the White Star Line.

The 320-foot vessel (LOA) was designed for the excursion passenger trade and entered service in 1900. Capable of a top speed of about 20 knots, the ship was shallow drafted since it normally sailed on the relatively protected waters of Lake St. Clair and the Detroit and St. Clair Rivers.

On June 4, 1901, the steamer took part in what became a famous race from Cleveland, Ohio to Erie, Pa. with the sidewheeler City of Erie. The purpose of the race was to determine which of the vessels was the fastest passenger ship on the Great Lakes.

The Tashmoo was able to maintain a lead until the ships reached deeper water near Ashtabula, Ohio. The City of Erie was then able to close the gap and pass the steamer. The ships then regularly exchanged the race lead until reaching Erie.

At that point, the City of Erie crossed the finish line one minute and thirty-five seconds ahead of its rival. On June 18, 1936, the Tashmoo struck a submerged rock and damaged its steel hull while leaving Sugar Island in the lower Detroit River.

Despite the damage, the steamer was able to safely reach Amherstburg, Ont. After disembarking its passengers, it sank in 18 feet of water. The vessel's keel was later broken during an unsuccessful attempt to raise the ship. It was then sold for scrap and dismantled.

In 1985, the National Maritime Hall of Famed added the Tashmoo to its list of “Great Ships” of American maritime history. The Hall of Fame is part of the American Merchant Marine Museum which is located at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point, N.Y.

Information Sources:
https://greatlakes.bgsu.edu/item/440055
https://greatlakeships.org/2894577/data?n=1
https://www.greatlakesvesselhistory.com/histories-by-name/t/tashmoo
https://timesmachine.nytimes.com/timesmachine/1901/06/05/issue.html
Historical Dictionary of the U.S. Maritime Industry by Kenneth J. Blume, Page 477.

Please enjoy this Christmas dinner photo relating to the Radium Girls case files. From Record Group 434, General Records...
12/25/2023

Please enjoy this Christmas dinner photo relating to the Radium Girls case files.

From Record Group 434, General Records of the Department of Energy
Health Effects of Exposure to Internally Deposited Radioactivity Projects Case Files

12/24/2023

Santa’s on the way! If you’re scrambling to put up a tree & decorate it with twinkling lights & glittering ornaments, you’re probably not alone. This artificial Christmas tree patent was filed December 15, 1937. Gift yourself the joy of utility patents!
🎁https://catalog.archives.gov/id/302050

We will see you on the 26th! Our offices are closed on Christmas Day.
12/22/2023

We will see you on the 26th! Our offices are closed on Christmas Day.

Today marks the first day of winter. Time to bust out the snow shoes and skis (except in the Midwest where temperature a...
12/21/2023

Today marks the first day of winter. Time to bust out the snow shoes and skis (except in the Midwest where temperature are flirting with 50 degrees).

From Record Group 95: Records of the Forest Service, Historic Photographs, ca. 1880–ca. 1970. NAID 2128531

Original title "Girl winter sports fans enjoying the Perkinstown Winter Sports Area."



https://catalog.archives.gov/id/2128531

This is some top shelf Abe content.
12/19/2023

This is some top shelf Abe content.

T-Cubed* has returned! I am not putting down the fine folks of Grand Rapids, but the interest level in their Law cases w...
12/19/2023

T-Cubed* has returned!
I am not putting down the fine folks of Grand Rapids, but the interest level in their Law cases was, (to say the least), low. But, there has been an up swing in fascinating cases. Take for instance case #3442 - Condon Bros. Seedsmen Rock River Valley Seed Farm vs. Minor Walter Bean Co, Michigan.
Not only was this lovely piece of stationary included in the folder but also packets of the real thing, BEANS! Yes, real beans ready to sprout in 1930. The issue was spoilage of said beans in the packaging sent to other companies. An agreement settled the issue. By-the-by included in the folder was a newspaper showing the seed advertisement but the head line of October 22, 1929, read as follows. BANKERS JOB: HOW TO CHECK COMPLETE ROUT ON STOCK MARKET. History tells us that did not exactly work out.

We have also included other images from the catalogs and exhibits from the case.

*T-Cubed is the alias of our volunteer who has created hundreds of posts on our page. These posts often feature unique exhibits with clever descriptions

From Law Case Files, 1912–1938, Grand Rapids, NAID 2812645

This weekend is the 120th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight. On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wri...
12/15/2023

This weekend is the 120th anniversary of the Wright Brothers' first flight. On December 17, 1903, Orville and Wilbur Wright made the first successful flight of a self-propelled, heavier-than-air aircraft near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. The biplane stayed aloft for 12 seconds and covered 120 feet on its inaugural flight.

As with any new popular invention, claims that others invented it first can be found in the records of the federal courts.

Such was the case of Charles H. Lamson vs. The Wright Co., Orville Wright and Wilbur Wright. Lamson, of Pasadena, California, claimed that the Wright Brothers were using an invention he had patented (Letters Patent No. 666,427) in the making and selling of their flying machines and requested an injunction to prevent the Wrights from "using and selling any aeronautical apparatus or flying machines containing or embracing the invention patented in and by said Letters Patent."

Lamson, known for his “man-carrying kites”, created a prototype that the Wright’s were aware of and tested, but they were apparently not impressed with its results.

From U.S. Circuit Court for the Western (Cincinnati) Division of the Southern District of Ohio. Equity Case 6611

Maurice Tillet (1903-1954) was a Russian-born French professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, The French An...
12/12/2023

Maurice Tillet (1903-1954) was a Russian-born French professional wrestler, better known by his ring name, The French Angel/The Angel. Born in the Ural region of Russia to a railroad engineer and teacher, his family left Russia during the 1917 Revolution and moved to their native France. Diagnosed with Acromegaly, a disorder that results in excess growth of certain parts of the human body, he grew into his distinctive look (which has been claimed to serve as the inspiration for the cartoon troll Shrek) and became a wrestler. He left Europe for Boston in 1940, and eventually naturalized in Chicago in 1947. During his highly successful career he inspired many imitators.

Requesting a Petition for Naturalization? Check that the first line lists “United States District Court” and then provide the petition number. For Maurice, it is Petition 324571

From the series Petitions for Naturalization, 1906–1991, Records of District Courts of the United States Chicago. NAID 593882

On December 8th, 1972,  United Flight 553 crashed while attempting to land near Midway Airport in Chicago. The flight ha...
12/08/2023

On December 8th, 1972, United Flight 553 crashed while attempting to land near Midway Airport in Chicago. The flight had left Washington, DC, and was bound for Omaha after a stop at Midway. According to WBEZ, “of the 61 people aboard the plane, only 18 survived. Among those who died were sitting U.S. Congressman George Collins, CBS news correspondent Michele Clark, and Dorothy Hunt — wife of E. Howard Hunt, who was being investigated for connections to the break-in at the Watergate Hotel.”
Michele Clark was a Chicagoan and the first Black woman network reporter for CBS Television. She had spent the previous months covering the Democratic primary of 1972.
Years before, in 1951, she and her family moved to an apartment in Cicero, Illinois. Her father was Harvey Evans Clark, Jr., a World War II veteran and graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, TN. Clark was a bus driver, and decided to move his family out of the city into the suburbs, and was offered an apartment by landlord Camille De Rose. De Rose was warned by the police chief to not rent to non-whites, but after a dispute with other tenants she decided to rent to Clark. Around 4,000 local townspeople burned the Clark's possessions on the lawn, and Harvey Clark was beaten by the local authorities and driven out of Cicero. Governor Adlai Stevenson called in the National Guard, who were also attacked by locals. The suit was brought by the Clark's, the real estate agent, and the furniture delivery persons. The Clark’s did not stay in Cicero.
The Civil case against the mayor, police chief, and other leaders of Cicero, has been fully digitized and is in our catalog.
“Harvey Evans Clark, Jr., Johnetta Clark, Charles Edwards, Maurice Scott Jr., Maurice Scott Sr., and Minerva J. Adams vs. Henry Sandusky, Jerry Justin, Leo Kesperski, Jerry Dolezal, John Kimbark, Joe Cerny, Stanley Para, Jerry Kolocek, and Frank Spale, Ervin Konovsky, and the Town of Cicero, a municipal corporation of the State of Illinois.” 51C951 NAID 289871090

https://catalog.archives.gov/id/289871090

On the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941, we share this post with images from the Pacific Fleet.
12/07/2023

On the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor attack of 1941, we share this post with images from the Pacific Fleet.

Check out this 1986 illustration of the USS Arizona (HAER No. HI-13), which was sunk on this date in 1941 at Pearl Harbo...
12/07/2023

Check out this 1986 illustration of the USS Arizona (HAER No. HI-13), which was sunk on this date in 1941 at Pearl Harbor.

USS Arizona (HAER No. HI-13)
Submerged off Ford Island, Pearl Harbor
Honolulu, Hawaii (Honolulu County)

Other Title: Pearl Harbor National Memorial
Date of Construction: Began March 16, 1914.
Completed June 19, 1915.

Delineators: Larry V. Norby and Jerry L. Livingston, 1984 and 1986.

LEARN MORE
View the Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) documentation of the USS Arizona in the HABS/HAER/HALS Collection in The Library of Congress at http://www.loc.gov/pictures/item/hi0096/

SIGNIFICANCE
USS ARIZONA, a steel hulled , was destroyed during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941. Struck by a bomb and possibly torpedoes, this ship was sunk, along with others, at its mooring. ARIZONA received the greatest battle damage and 1,177 crew members were killed and hundreds remain entombed in the ship. This attack catapulted the United States into World War II and the ARIZONA remains today a war grave and memorial to those who fought in the war.

PROJECT INFPORMATION
Project Information: Documentation of USS ARIZONA was conducted by the Submerged Cultural Resources Unit (SCRU) of the National Park Service in 1984 and 1986. This HAER project incorporates the archeological drawings with new interpretive drawings on Mylar in the HAER format. Visit the National Park Service Submerged Resources Center website at https://www.nps.gov/orgs/1635/index.htm

It’s well known that Al Capone was the king of the underworld in Prohibition era Chicago, but he didn’t reach those heig...
12/06/2023

It’s well known that Al Capone was the king of the underworld in Prohibition era Chicago, but he didn’t reach those heights in a vacuum. The region and even the city was filled with rivals and enemies, most prominently the North Side Gang. Led by Dean O'Banion, and after his demise Earl J. "Hymie" Weiss, the North Side Gang lost much of its relevance after the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre of 1929, in which Capone’s gang infamously gunned down many members of the North Siders. (This notoriety in the end worked against Capone’s Outfit also, though.)
While at the height of the rivalry in the mid-1920’s, O’Banion and Weiss, along with a Dan McCarthy, were indicted for violating the Volstead Act, commonly known as the National Prohibition Act. Prohibition was repealed on December 5th, 1933. By this time, Capone was in jail and O’Banion and Weiss were dead.

The first image is a letter stating the details of the crime, the next 3 images are the Indictment, the 5th is the motion mentioning O’Banion’s death, and the rest are the verdicts for McCarthy and Weiss.



NAID 333333971

On this day in 1969, 21-year-old Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, was killed in a west-side a...
12/04/2023

On this day in 1969, 21-year-old Fred Hampton, Chairman of the Illinois Black Panther Party, was killed in a west-side apartment by Chicago Police officers detailed to the Special Prosecutions unit of the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office. Mark Clark, another Illinois Panther, was also killed. Hampton was a fast-rising star and set to replace other national Panther leaders, who had either been arrested or had been killed as a result of the FBI’s COINTELPRO (Counterintelligence Program) operations.
The families of Hampton and Clark filed a civil lawsuit against the local and federal governments. After twenty-years and an appeal and retrial, the suit ended with a million dollar-plus settlement for the families. The Civil Complaint lists all of the parties in the case and describes the events of that early morning raid.
This map (image 8) of the apartment, provided by FBI informant William O'Neal, was frequently used during the trial to determine the location and movement of the police and apartment occupants.
This case is slated to be fully digitized in the upcoming year.
Found in RG 21, U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division, Civil Case Files, Case 70C1384, National Archives at Chicago. NAID 7284498

Our   with National Archives at Denver is this mid-century graphic from our Argonne National Laboratory Office of Public...
12/01/2023

Our with National Archives at Denver is this mid-century graphic from our Argonne National Laboratory Office of Public Affairs records of the Atomic Energy Commission. You all cover Los Alamos, maybe you know what Pu is (we're archivists not scientists). Either way, enjoy the robots!

The 1877 Law case Me-Na-che vs. Lydia Eby and Lathrop M. Taylor, from the Circuit Court for the District of Indiana, inc...
11/30/2023

The 1877 Law case Me-Na-che vs. Lydia Eby and Lathrop M. Taylor, from the Circuit Court for the District of Indiana, includes numerous depositions of Indigenous people. This file consists of a case that involves a dispute over land in and near Elkhart County, Indiana. The heirs of James Burnett (Burnet) claimed that they were the rightful owners of the land. Burnett and his family were Potawatomi and by the time of the trial had all been forcefully removed to Kansas. One of the exhibits is a listing of the lineage of the Burnett family. There is no evidence that the land or any payment was made to them. This case has been digitized and will be in our catalog in the upcoming weeks.

NAID 314993884 Case 6220

We’ve posted images from the case Central Trust Co of New York VS Chicago and Oak Park Elevated Railway Company before, ...
11/28/2023

We’ve posted images from the case Central Trust Co of New York VS Chicago and Oak Park Elevated Railway Company before, (Chicago Law Case #30579 NAID 313099492), but with so many claimants in the case, there are many exhibits. The images here are from claim number 48 for John F. Devine, Administrator Of The Estate Of Harry I. Handle. Handle was traveling South on what is currently Lockwood Avenue (at the time it was named Willow) in a covered wagon and was nearing Lake St. under the Northwestern Railroad underpass when he either missed or disregarded the gates and was hit by the Oak Park Elevated train. In 1912 the Oak Park Elevated actually ran at street level, though currently it is elevated and part of the Chicago Transit Authority’s Green Line. The claim includes testimony of Chicago Police officer Robert S. Long, who was eating lunch at the Meyercord Stamping Company, located at 5323 Lake Street, Chicago. IL.

The first two images are looking North from the scene of the accident, and the last two images are looking South. The bridge and some of the buildings look the same today. (Images from Google street view).

From the series Law Case Files, 1912-1938. Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. Record Group 21 https://catalog.archives.gov/id/1695654

Here is another deep dive into Chicago history featuring some of our records by historian Robert Loerzel - this one conc...
11/27/2023

Here is another deep dive into Chicago history featuring some of our records by historian Robert Loerzel - this one concerns the early days of Prohibition

https://www.robertloerzel.com/2023/11/25/prohibitions-dawn-and-the-great-zion-beer-grab/?fbclid=IwAR1qeAQ5ytre_jm_TLGYaZfALOb0qVFaxzJKWHTo0cPGqwuGu6DcH76bPaE

Prohibition’s Dawn and the Great Zion Beer Grab Chapter 21 of The Coolest Spot in Chicago: A History of Green Mill Gardens and the Beginnings of Uptown On July 1, 1919, it became a crime to sell alcohol in the United State...

Hopefully these turkeys never made it to the dinner plate. In 1957, these Wild Turkeys were introduced to the Manistee N...
11/22/2023

Hopefully these turkeys never made it to the dinner plate. In 1957, these Wild Turkeys were introduced to the Manistee National Forest by the Michigan Department of Conservation.

We will be closed for the Thanksgiving holiday, and our research room will also be closed on Friday.

From Record Group 95: Records of the Forest Service, Historic Photographs, ca. 1880–ca. 1970. NAID 2132193

(The original images show conflicting years of 1957 and 1959).

Another victim of the Great Lakes during November.
11/17/2023

Another victim of the Great Lakes during November.

11/15/2023
11/11/2023

In recognition of Veterans Day, we at the National Archives thank our country's veterans for their bravery, dedication, and sacrifice in service to our country. We also thank the hundreds of veterans among our colleagues and those who help veterans daily by fulfilling their requests for service records.

The National Archives holds numerous records related to veterans in our online Catalog. Learn more on our National Archives News special topics page:
https://www.archives.gov/news/topics/veterans-day

Image: Photograph of flag raising on Iwo Jima, 1945.
https://catalog.archives.gov/id/520748

48 years ago today, the Fitzgerald went to the bottom of Lake Superior
11/10/2023

48 years ago today, the Fitzgerald went to the bottom of Lake Superior

November has never been a good time for ships on the Great Lakes, but 1913 was exceptional. The Great Lakes Storm of 191...
11/09/2023

November has never been a good time for ships on the Great Lakes, but 1913 was exceptional. The Great Lakes Storm of 1913 is often referred to as the White Hurricane. Between November 7 and 11th, 19 ships and 250 lives were lost.
One of those ships sunk in the storm was the L.C. Waldo. The ship ran aground in Lake Superior near Gull Rock and Manitou Island on November 8th. The Waldo was 32 miles from the nearest Life Saving Station at Eagle Harbor. The weather made reaching the L.C. Waldo too dangerous, and to make matters worse, one of the station’s boats was undergoing repairs and was inoperable. Rescuers, which included crew from both the Eagle Harbor and the Portage Life Saving Stations, were unable to reach the L.C. Waldo for over three days. Amazingly, all 24 people onboard survived and were rescued on November 11th.

Secretary of the Treasury William McAdoo was so impressed with the rescue that he wrote a letter of congratulations to the rescuers stationed at Eagle Harbor, which the staff attached to the inside cover of the logbook for that year. The Life Saving Service operated under the Treasury Department at that time.

Our holdings include reports of the rescue in Record Group 26, Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, Cleveland District, Lifesaving Station Log Books, Eagle Harbor Station and Portage Station, (NAID 624357). We also hold the Wreck Report, filed by the Portage Station, in Record Group 26, Records of the U.S. Coast Guard, Wreck Reports of Stations (NAID 40978286).

Daylight savings or not, it’s just another Monday. Back to work! Here is a different sort of workplace near Chicago in L...
11/06/2023

Daylight savings or not, it’s just another Monday. Back to work! Here is a different sort of workplace near Chicago in Lemont, Illinois. Original description below.
“Silhouetted against the southwestern sky, the man and his reactor. Joseph M. Harrer, project manager of the Experimental Boiling Water Reactor, and the steep containment shell which houses the reactor. The shell is 80 feet in diameter and rises 63 feet above ground. An additional 56 feet is below ground. Harrer lives at 265 Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst IL.” Photo by Archie Lieberman from Black Star.

EBWR as it was commonly known began construction in 1955. Argonne itself designed the reactor, for which Babcock & Wilcox constructed the reactor vessel. Sargent and Lundy acted as architect - engineer for the project, with construction oversight by the Atomic Energy Commission; the Sumner Sollitt Company acted as the construction General Contractor. Graver Tank and Mfg. Co. constructed the containment enclosure for the plant, which measured 80 feet wide and had a full height of 119 feet although a considerable portion of that height was invisible as it was below grade. (From the Nuclear Newswire - Will Davis)

“Photographs Relating to Scientific Work, Professional Meetings, Publicity, and Other Activities, 1942–1972”
Atomic Energy Commission. Argonne National Laboratory. Office of Public Affairs. RG326 NAID 594769

11/02/2023

In November, we celebrate Native American Heritage Month, honoring Native Americans' accomplishments and contributions. Numerous records documenting the lives of Native Americans, dating from as early as 1774, are preserved in the National Archives. The records include those from Indian schools, census rolls, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, and every treaty the United States Government made with Native Americans.

To learn more, visit our Native American History special topics page: http://ow.ly/ltlR50LooC4.

Image: Treaty between the United States and the Creek Indians signed at Indian Springs, 1803.
https://catalog.archives.gov/id/121122216

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