Friedman Christmas Cards: Finding the Message

Some of the William and Elizebeth Smith Friedman Christmas cards in the archives at the Marshall Foundation didn’t have solutions, so we enlisted the help of long-time Friedman fan, cryptanalyst Justin Troutman, and this is how he solved the 1934 card: Context. Context was one of the most valuable tools available to classical cryptanalysts—especially those […]

Family Donations: Discovering More Elizebeth Smith Friedman Photos

William and Elizebeth Smith Friedman were amongst the world’s foremost codebreakers in the 20th century, inventing the science of cryptography. In 1971, Elizebeth accompanied the moving of their library, photos, and private papers to the George C. Marshall Foundation, where their collections remain amongst the most popular in the Foundation archives. In November, Elizebeth Smith […]

Behind the Bank Vault Door is Archives!

Most photos of Gen. George C. Marshall show him rather serious, like this:   Even as a boy, his photos were unsmiling.   So to find a photo where Marshall is hamming it up for the camera is rather unusual.   These photos are from the George C. Marshall Foundation library archives, and as part […]

“I Don’t Believe It!!”

On November 5, 1943, about a dozen British and American military officers gathered around a large table for a meeting about the progress in and plans for the war. The men are cordial but serious as they discuss topics like the preliminary plans for the invasion of Europe. You’d think it was not a suitable […]

Roaring Boring Alice

The digitization of 63 Hollinger boxes of Army Signal Corps photos is an ongoing project at the Marshall Foundation Library. VMI cadets Garrett DeFazio and Noah McHugh, and missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints Elders Larsen, Finney, and Eaton have been moving this project along this summer, and sometimes discover some […]

A Glimpse Into the Past

In 1968, Ida May Esmond donated the Army papers belonging to her stepfather, Col. Edmund C. Waddill, to the George C. Marshall Foundation. Waddill graduated from VMI in 1903, and served with the 2nd Division in World War I.   He was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross for “exceptional bravery by advancing in the open […]

Love in letters

When John Hermansen was born in the early 1900s in Pennsylvania, he could have never known that he would travel and traverse continents in his lifetime.  No one of his generation foresaw what turned out to be the deadliest war in mankind’s history. But the Greatest Generation did what people have always done; they overcame. They […]

Marshall and the Church at Vaux

This week, the Marshall Foundation says goodbye to our amazing curator, Cathy DeSilvey. We thank her for her years of tireless advocacy for Marshall’s legacy, gift for exhibition planning, and passion for helping objects tell their stories. We have decided to rerun one of her best and most popular pieces as thanks for her years […]

“General, How About Getting a Nice Coat”

When it’s cold, you wear a coat. When you’re a soldier and it’s cold, you wear whatever coat is issued to you. While serving as Army Chief of Staff during World War II, we most often see Gen. George Marshall in his Army-issue coat, which is a trench coat with a button-in woolen liner for […]

Stars in space

The Atlantis space shuttle flight STS-27R lifted off Dec. 2, 1988 with a crew of five astronauts: Commander Robert “Hoot” Gibson; pilot Guy Gardner; mission specialists Robert Mullane, Jerry Ross, and William Shepherd. Atlantis carried a classified military satellite aloft, and also carried stars to space. Stars to space? Isn’t that a bit odd? Yes, […]

Friedmans’ Christmas Cards

This blog was originally published on December 19, 2014. William F. Friedman and his wife Elizebeth devoted their lives to developing and breaking codes for United States government agencies. The code work they were engaged in related to serious issues such as liquor smuggling and organized crime, national security, and war. One way the Friedmans […]

Marshall and W.A.C. Recruitment

On this day in 1944, a confidential memorandum from General George C. Marshall was distributed to all War Department General Staff and Special Staff divisions, overseas commanders, Army Ground Forces down to tactical units, as well as Army Air Forces, Army Service Forces, and Defense Commands down to posts, camps, and stations. The constantly increasing […]

Marshall and Oveta Culp Hobby

This blog was originally posted on May 15, 2015. Oveta Culp Hobby learned about service to community and government from her family. She watched her mother collect food and clothing for the poor and was often sent to deliver baskets of goods to neighbors. From her father she acquired a love of the law and […]

1900 VMI Football Team

Marshall and Football

The Virginia Military Institute football team plays its first home game of the season tomorrow. Many of today’s Keydet football fans may be surprised to learn that VMI’s most famous graduate has a connection to the football team, having played on it during his final two years at VMI. George C. Marshall, having fulfilled a […]

Marshall and The World Wars: Six Degrees of Marshall

The term “six degrees of separation” is the idea that everything in the world is six or fewer steps away from being connected to each other. The George C. Marshall Legacy Series exhibition Six Degrees of Marshall, opening January 19th, uses an infographic to connect Marshall to people and programs important to the course, conduct […]

Coca-Cola Goes to War

Ted Ryan, Director of Heritage Communications at Coca-Cola, has managed the historical collections of The Coca-Cola Company since June 1997. He oversees an extensive collection of physical and digital artifacts that showcase the rich history of The Coca-Cola Company. He serves as Project Manager for the program to restore, digitize, and catalog over 25,000 historical […]

American Artist Month – Augustus Vincent Tack

Augustus Vincent Tack (1870 – 1949) was born in Pittsburgh and moved to New York City at the age of 13. By 19 his artwork had attracted the eye of painter John LeFarge, who mentored him and introduced him to other artists, such as Claude Monet. Later, he became very close to Duncan Phillips, whose […]

Marshall & the Poster Collection

The archives was the fortunate recipient of a recent donation of fifteen original World War II posters. Prior to being donated to the archives, the posters were mounted in archival frames and displayed in the donor’s home. This collection sheds light on the little-known history of wartime posters and their tremendous influence on the home […]

Marshall Plan Art

In December 2015 the Marshall Foundation acquired thirty-nine acrylic paintings from James Work of Katy, Texas, who painted scenes from his time in Germany during and after World War II. Using photos taken in 1946 and from a return visit in 1986, he painted “before and after” scenes of Germany, illustrating the results of Marshall […]

National Photography Month

May is National Photography Month. It was officially recognized by Congress in 1987 as a month-long event, and the American Photography Association is one of the primary organizations continuing the tradition. Throughout the country, this month is marked by photography contests, festivals, exhibits, and other activities. This month we are highlighting a special photography collection […]

From Machine To Man

But underlying all…is the realization that the primary instrument of warfare is the fighting man. All of the weapons with which we arm him are merely tools to enable him to carry out his mission. So we progress from the machine to the man… It is true that the war is fought with physical weapons […]

General George C. Marshall, Chief of Staff, U.S. Army, addresses officers on his trip to Northern Ireland.

Marshall & Ireland

Ireland and Britain have had a very rocky past for the better part of their shared history. This did not change during World War II. Northern Ireland, as part of the United Kingdom, took up arms in its defense. While many of Ireland’s men crossed the border into Northern Ireland and volunteered to serve with […]

Marshall and Pearl Harbor Hearings

On January 28, 1942, the Roberts Commission, which had been appointed by President Roosevelt to investigate and report the facts relating to the Japanese attack at Pearl Harbor, presented its findings to Congress. Throughout its month-long investigation, the commission interviewed 127 witnesses including Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall who testified before the commission […]

For My Country, For Myself

George C. Marshall believed every American who wanted to serve should have the opportunity. The Marshall Museum’s exhibit “For My Country, For Myself”, takes a look at who some of those Americans were. Exhibit images and historical information have been provided with our Legacy Series partner, the United States Army Women’s Museum. During World War […]

Evening in the Archives: The Things They Carried Home

Last night’s behind the scenes event “The Things They Carried Home” offered a rare glimpse at the many artifacts from collections that have never been displayed publicly. The theme focused on items that soldiers carried with them during war and then home. Six stations displayed items they used on the job, religious items, native artwork, […]

Marshall and Tribute

Tomorrow evening we will hold an “Evening in the Archives” to provide a behind-the-scenes look at many artifacts from our collection that have never been displayed publicly. Thus we begin a journey of creating temporary displays as part of the Marshall Legacy Series. If you join us, you will see may objects, some controversial such […]

American Artist Appreciation Month

Manuel Bromberg was born in 1917 in Centerville, Iowa. When he was two, he moved with his mother and older brother to Cleveland, Ohio. At age 10 he started taking morning art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art. At age 16, Bromberg was the winner of the George Bellows Award, a national art competition […]

Marshall and the Friedman Exhibition

As the Codebreaking sequence draws to a close, you will have one last opportunity to see the exhibition, “Partners in Code: William and Elizebeth Friedman,” that will be on display in the Marshall Museum through July 4. After that, it goes away. This is your last chance to see the German Enigma machine, the Beale […]

Marshall & Oveta Culp Hobby

Oveta Culp Hobby learned about service to community and government from her family. She watched her mother collect food and clothing for the poor and was often sent to deliver baskets of goods to neighbors. From her father she acquired a love of the law and the workings of government. As a child she would […]

Marshall and Richard Wing

May is Asian-Pacific American Heritage Month. During the month many institutions pay tribute to the generations of Asians and Pacific Islanders who have enriched America’s history. One such American was Richard C. Wing. Wing was a sergeant in the United States Army and became General George C. Marshall’s cook and orderly at Fort Myer, Virginia […]

Marshall Plan in Pictures

President Truman signed the Economic Assistance Act on April 3, 1948 to help the nations of Europe recover after the devastation of World War II. A quick Google search for “Marshall Plan” will result in the facts and figures relating to the legislation surrounding the European Recovery Program. Mentioned frequently are the Marshall Plan speech […]

Marshall and His Legacy

On the eve of completing the Marshall Papers, we have begun a significant, new initiative, the George C. Marshall Legacy Series, to interpret General Marshall’s legacy for an audience of broad interests. The Series is expected to last two years or longer. Programs and activities will focus on key themes, events or episodes from General […]

Friedmans’ Christmas Cards

William F. Friedman and his wife Elizebeth devoted their lives to developing and breaking codes for United States government agencies. The code work they were engaged in related to serious issues such as liquor smuggling and organized crime, national security, and war. One way the Friedmans found an outlet from the stress of their daily […]

Armistice and the Homer Simpson Collection

At 5 a.m. on the morning of November 11, 1918, the Armistice, which ceased hostilities during World War I as a prelude to peace negotiations, was signed. In the trenches on the often quoted ‘eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month’ was Private Homer E. Simpson, a soldier from Covington, Virginia, who […]

Friedman Collection at Folger Library

William F. Friedman, considered to be the greatest cryptologist of all time, is most well known for leading the team of cryptologists that broke the Japanese diplomatic code known as “PURPLE” prior to U.S. entry into World War II. In addition to the official code work that Freidman performed for the government, he devoted much […]

Marshall and Family History

In 2001, Senator Orrin Hatch (Utah) introduced a resolution to Congress that designated October as Family History Month. He stated “by searching for our roots, we come closer together as a human family.” The Foundation holds quite a few collections that relate to the Marshall family and its history. A few are highlighted below: Stuart B. Marshall […]

George Withers - Soldier and Girlfriend

Marshall, Paris & Art

Paris has acquired a reputation as the “City of Art.”  But as war was declared on September 3, 1939, the Louvre evacuated its collections, sandbagged the larger pieces it couldn’t move and closed for business. In 1940, the invading German forces reopened the museum, but visitors found a mostly empty building. With hope brought by the Allied […]