The American Treasures of the Library of Congress collection contains a copy of the first printed edition of our national anthem — one of only ten copies known to exist.
BTW, before 1931, My Country, ‘Tis of Thee, whose melody is identical to the British national anthem, served as our de facto national anthem.
The American Treasures of the Library of Congress online exhibition contains the rarest, most interesting, or significant items relating to America's past. This includes items, such as the Original Rough Draught of the Declaration of Independence and Lincoln’s First Draft of the Gettysburg Address.
Other exhibits in the American Treasures collection are more obscure, such as the Huexotzinco Codex. The Huexotzinco Codex is an eight-sheet document on amatl, a pre-European paper made in Mesoamerica. It is part of the testimony in a legal case against representatives of the colonial government in Mexico, ten years after the Spanish conquest in 1521.
The Prints and Photographs Division of the Library of Congress contains a huge archive of photos — one of the crown jewels of the American Treasures collection. The 1930s-40s in Color exhibition is a dramatic set of color photos from the Great Depression and World War II that capture an era generally seen only in black-and-white. It’s astonishing to see how much more powerful these images are in color.
The following photo shows a family at the Vermont State Fair in Rutland (1941). Notice the girls’ homemade dresses are made from the same bolt of cloth — very common and very practical in those days.
The next photo shows two men on a mule-drawn wagon fertilizing an oat field in Georgia (1940). Despite the widespread introduction of farm machines throughout the country, mules and horses were still commonly used for farm labor.
And finally, the last photo shows a woman operating a hand drill on a Vengeance dive bomber in a Vultee-Nashville aircraft factory (1943). With so many men in uniform during World War II, large numbers of women worked in factories.