Sign of the times
The National Archives and Records Administration announced yesterday that it has reached a non-exclusive agreement with Amazon.com and one of its subsidiaries to reproduce and sell to the public copies of thousands of historic films and videotapes in the Archives' holdings.
The arrangement allows Amazon and a California subsidiary, CustomFlix Labs, to make digitized copies of some of history's most famous, and infamous, footage and make them available in DVD form for purchase via the Internet.
Stacey Hurwitz, a spokeswoman for CustomFlix, said the first six DVDs became available on Amazon July 16 and are already selling. She said they were newsreels from the late 1950s and early 1960s.
They include scenes of the famous 1959 "Kitchen Debate" between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev in a model American kitchen on display in Moscow. Other footage shows a youthful Fidel Castro after the communist revolution in Cuba, along with reports about Hawaii becoming a state, and the Soviet space program.