Press/Journalists

Press Release
March 17, 2008

Spring Prologue Magazine Recalls Baseball Great Jackie Robinson’s Army Court Martial

Washington, DC…Baseball great Jackie Robinson is best remembered for being the first African American to play on one of the major league baseball teams, the old Brooklyn Dodgers. His breaking the color barrier was a major step forward in the civil rights movement.

But Robinson blazed another trail for the civil rights movement three years earlier, writes John Vernon in the Spring issue of Prologue: Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration. While serving in the Army at Fort Hood, Texas, in 1944, Lieutenant Robinson refused to comply with a white bus driver’s order to move to the "back of the bus."

"The trial of the young officer at Camp (now Fort) Hood received little notice at the time, but his action—refusing to go to the ‘back of the bus’—would become a symbol of the civil rights movement in the decades following the war," Vernon writes in "Jim Crow, Meet Lieutenant Robinson: A 1944 Court-Martial."

The Spring issue of Prologue also previews a new exhibit at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, on the political cartoons of Clifford Berryman. Prologue’s excerpt focuses on the 1912 presidential campaign and election, and the story is told in Berryman’s editorial cartoons from that watershed year.

In "No Little Historic Value," NARA staff archivist David Langbart reveals how Department of State officials posted throughout Russia during the revolutions in 1917–1918 sought to preserve and ship home their valuable records during and after the 1917 revolutions.

And in "Ready Access," Tara McLoughlin of the NARA staff describes the activities of NARA’s 17 Federal Records Centers around the country and the many records they keep on hand for Federal agencies.

For four decades, Prologue has shared with readers the rich resources and programs of the National Archives, its regional archives, and the Presidential libraries.

Each issue features historical articles—drawn from National Archives' holdings and written by noted historians, archivists, and experts—as well as articles explaining and describing many of the National Archives’ activities and programs as the nation’s recordkeeping agency. The Washington Post said, "Prologue . . . can be regarded quite literally as an invitation for further study. It is also consistently absorbing reading."

A one-year subscription to Prologue costs $20 and you can order in a number of ways:
  • Call 1-800-234-8861 or 202-357-5482

  • Print out the order form and mail it to Prologue, P.O. Box 100684, Atlanta, GA, 30384

  • Order online

  • Fax credit card orders to Prologue at 202-357-5918

NOTE: Effective April 1, 2008, a subscription to Prologue will cost $24 for one year; foreign orders will be $30. Single copies will sell for $6 each.

Single copies of Prologue are available at the Archives Shop or at the Cashier's Office in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, or at the Publications Sales Office at the National Archives at College Park. Single copies are also available in the shops at some Presidential libraries.

For more information about the National Archives and its programs and exhibits, go to www.archives.gov.

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For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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