Today is the 73rd anniversary of D-Day.
Here is the lost, but now found, D-Day documentary:
This post was written by Steve Greene. Steve is the Special Media Holdings Coordinator for the Presidential Libraries System. Previously, he was the audiovisual archivist for the Nixon Presidential Materials.
Despite being cataloged, described, and housed at the National Archives for decades, the films created by the U.S. Military during World War II still hold unexpected surprises.
In a recent search for combat moving image footage to complement the Eisenhower Library’s commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the D-day landings, I identified four reels of a documentary on the landings prepared by the “SHAEF [Supreme Headquarter Allied Expeditionary Forces] Public Relations Division.”
These reels were assigned separate, nonsequential identifying numbers in the Army Signal Corps Film catalog, suggesting that the Army did not recognize them to be parts of single production. Rather than offering the perspective of a single combat photographer, the reels shifted perspective from the sea, to the air, to the beaches, suggesting careful editing to provide an overview. The 33 minutes of film were described on a shot card as “a compilation of some of the action that took place from D Day to Day Plus 3, 6-9 June 1944.” The production, with no ambient sound, music or effects, includes a single monotone narrator and gives the impression of a military briefing set to film.
This film is probably the first film documentary of the events of the first four days of the D-day assault, created within days of the invasion.
More at the link.
Here’s the US Army Europe’s Military Band playing at the 70th anniversary festivities:
Here’s a 70th anniversary air drop over France:
The President doesn’t seem to have made any formal remarks, but he did issue a commemorative tweet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 6, 2017
Here’s President Reagan’s 40th anniversary remarks:
And President Obama at the 70th anniversary: