Say it with a GIF – a historic, animated one

Happy dogs at Yosemite Valley

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration has found a new way to throw open the doors to history: They’ve turned them into an ever-expanding parade of animated GIFs.

They’ve distilled fragments from grand historic events, public service films and banal scenes down to an iconic moment caught in a perpetual loop — and findable on

This latest release is just one part of the agency’s three-year social media plan aimed at fulfilling its ongoing mission to make its collections available as the “nation’s record keeper.”

The contents range from the weighty and the weird to the downright delightful.

A sampling of my favorites (in no particular order):

John Glenn in the Mercury space capsule Friendship 7 Woodsy the Owl cleaning up litter Elvis with President Nixon Batgirl rescuing Batman and Robin Smokey the Bear reminding us to think Apollo 8 mileage from Earth The Vermont Bookwagon on a mission Rod Serling, of the Twilight Zone, looming A couple embracing as they look upon the Capitol in Washington, D.C.


So if you feel the need to punctuate a thought with a GIF, make that GIF a historic one, courtesy of the National Archives.