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Hitler's Luftwaffe leader boasts in a letter about the fine art collection he has amassed from Nazi victims. A Swiss bank lists $29 million in bank accounts owned by Jews who may have perished in the Holocaust. An intelligence document confirms the Nazis' practice of assigning harder labor to concentration-camp prisoners with "a conspicuous amount of dental gold." Such revelations contained in wartime documents at the National Archives repository in College Park, Md.
August 8, 2010 | By Faye Fiore, Los Angeles Times
When Paul Brachfeld took over as inspector general of the National Archives, guardian of the country's most beloved treasures, he discovered the American people were being stolen blind. The Wright Brothers 1903 Flying Machine patent application? Gone. A copy of the Dec. 8, 1941 "Day of Infamy" speech autographed by Franklin D. Roosevelt and tied with a purple ribbon? Gone. Target maps of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, war telegrams written by Abraham Lincoln and a scabbard and belt given to Harry S. Truman?
October 9, 2009 | Michael E. Ruane
Robert Thomas, 83, breezed into the National Archives with a smile, a white hankie peeking out of his suit coat pocket and an old briefcase containing the two rare books he filched in Germany 64 years ago. He was a World War II GI then, fresh from the horrors of combat. He had blundered into one of the notorious salt mines where the Germans stashed their national treasures. And this one contained books. Millions and millions of books from institutions across Germany. Thomas poked around, saw two that looked old and took them.
November 12, 2004 | Johanna Neuman, Times Staff Writer
There are home movies of Ronald Reagan as a lifeguard at age 16 and Bill Clinton as a child, and immigration papers from Greta Garbo, Alfred Hitchcock and Secretary of State Colin Powell's father, Luther. There's a letter from Walt Disney to President Nixon, on why kids should be Republicans, and the telegram that President Lincoln sent to General Grant urging him not to let rumors of settlement talks between the North and the South "change, hinder or delay your military movements."
April 3, 2012 | By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
Americans responded in overwhelming numbers Monday to the online release of detailed information from the 1940 census — the first time such a trove of historic census records has been available on the Internet. Minutes after its launch, the 1940 census portal on the National Archives and Record Administration website was all but impenetrable. Officials apologized and promised the website would be accessible as soon as possible. "In the first three hours, we had 22.5 million hits," said Susan Cooper, spokeswoman for the National Archives.
July 1, 2012 | By Rebecca Trounson, Los Angeles Times
With the help of a national volunteer project involving more than 100,000 people, 1940 census records for California and more than two dozen other states have now been indexed by name and can be searched online for free. Individual records from the 1940 census were released April 2, the first time such a cache of historic census documents has been made available on the Internet. The release was an online hit, so much so that the National Archives and Records Administration website was overwhelmed on the first day as millions of family history buffs and others tried to view the records.
January 9, 2009 | Times Wire Reports
Congress asked a federal judge to force the Bush White House to keep documents on the controversial firings of nine federal prosecutors instead of turning them over to the National Archives. Congressional Democrats have been trying to get the documents for months, and they want to make sure they don't disappear into the National Archives. They asked U.S. District Judge John Bates to order the administration to leave the documents in the custody of President-elect Barack Obama's aides in case the information is needed.
April 27, 2006 | From Times Wire Reports
The government improperly sealed hundreds of previously public CIA, Pentagon and other records by reclassifying them as secret on questionable grounds, an internal review by the National Archives determined. The audit, of thousands of records withdrawn from public view since 1995, contends that one of every three was resealed without justification. The investigation covered historical records held by the National Archives.
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