Washington, DC Area Events

March 2015
Washington, DC, Area Events

1864 design patent for Simon Crow's Whiskey label from the new “Spirited Republic” exhibit. (National Archives, RG 241)

You can watch some of our programs live on YouTube. Each event will have its own link, which is included at the end of the descriptions on this page.

Live captioning will be available online and in the William G. McGowan Theater. If you require an alternative or additional accommodation for an event (such as a downloadable transcript or a sign language interpreter), please send an email to public.program@nara.gov or call 202-357-5000 in advance.

Program Highlights

  • “Spirited Republic”
    A number of programs are connected to our new exhibit, “Spirited Republic,” which explores alcohol in American history. The author of Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking shares tales from the White House (March 6); a panel discusses culinary and cocktail history (March 12); the film Public Enemy dramatizes the Prohibition-era underworld (March 14); and Page Harrington, executive director of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, leads a discussion on “Temperance and Woman Suffrage: Reform Movements and the Women Who Changed America” (March 31).
  • Activities in the Boeing Learning Center
    Celebrate Women’s History Month at our storytime for preschoolers (March 18) and celebrate the Cherry Blossoms with hands-on activities (March 28).
  • Freedman's Bank 150th Anniversary Celebration
    A panel discusses the historical significance of the Bank, and National Archives experts present related documents. (March 3)
  • Environmental Film Festival: The Stone River
    The Stone River traces the destiny of European stone workers who settled in Barre, VT, at the beginning of the 20th century. (March 24).
  • Remembering the Civil Rights Movement
    Paula Young Shelton discuss notable female activists of the civil rights movement. (March 24)
  • Annual Forum on Women in Leadership: Women in Civil Rights Leadership
    A distinguished panel of women discuss their experiences and the changes they have seen in opportunities, expectations, responsibilities, and obstacles. (March 26)
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of Martha Jefferson: An Intimate Life with Thomas Jefferson (March 4); The Great Divide: The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson That Defined a Nation (March 12); and Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C. (March 24)
  • Know Your Records
    Get started with the Introduction to Genealogy workshop (March 4); learn about Freedmen's Bureau records (March 12); and bring your tough questions to a genealogy specialist (March 21).
  • Researcher Talk
    A researcher talks about his book project, Free from Any Sinister Bias: A Statistical Narrative of the Electoral College (March 12)

Locations, Hours, and Contact Information

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted. Reservations for McGowan Theater programs are not required but are recommended. Use the new online event registration system from the National Archives Foundation to reserve your seats:
1. Register at www.archivesfoundation.org/events/
2. Print your email confirmation and bring it with you.
3. To reserve by phone, call 202-357-6814. Walk-ins without reservations will be admitted, depending on available seats.

For McGowan Theater programs, use the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program.

Current Exhibitions

Lost and Found

  • National Archives at Washington, DC: 202-357-5023
  • National Archives at College Park: 301-837-2900

Wednesday, March 3, 4 p.m.–7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Freedman's Bank 150th Anniversary Celebration

On March 3, 2015, Operation HOPE Forums and the Afro-American History Society of the National Archives (AAHS) will recognize the 150th anniversary of the Freedman's Bank. Established on March 3, 1865, by President Abraham Lincoln, the Bank was a landmark institution that had over $57 million in deposits and 70,000 depositors. The Bank's records remain the single largest repository of lineage-linked African-American genealogy, containing upwards of 480,000 names.

Members of AAHS will present Freedman's Bank records at the National Archives, and there will be a moderated discussion with Operation HOPE Founder John Hope Bryant, Ambassador Andrew Young, ESSENCE Magazine Editor-In-Chief Vanessa DeLuca, and other dignitaries on the historical significance of the Bank and how its unfinished journey still resonates today in issues of poverty, income inequality, and race relations. A reception will follow.

The event is free and open to the public, register online.

Wednesday, March 4, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives

Learn how to do basic genealogical research using Federal records at the National Archives.

Wednesday, March 4, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Martha Jefferson: An Intimate Life with Thomas Jefferson

Martha Jefferson is the first and only biography of Thomas Jefferson’s wife, who died at the young age of 33 in 1782. Drawing on a wealth of new sources, law professor William G. Hyland, Jr., discusses this little-known figure who presided over the domestic life of the Monticello during her husband’s long absences and rise to power. A book signing will follow the program.

Friday, March 6, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Mint Juleps with Teddy Roosevelt: The Complete History of Presidential Drinking

As we launch our new exhibit, “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History,” author Mark Will-Weber will recount the role alcohol played in memorable moments of our country’s history while also offering us a look into the liquor cabinets and the beer refrigerators of the White House. A book signing follows the program.

Thursday, March 12, at noon
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Free from Any Sinister Bias: A Statistical Narrative of the Electoral College

Thomas Terry, Professor and Chair of the Department of Journalism and Communication at Utah State University, will discuss his book project and research to identify all who have participated as electors in the Electoral College.

Thursday, March 12, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Great Divide: The Conflict Between Washington and Jefferson That Defined a Nation

Thomas Fleming examines how the differing characters and leadership styles of Washington and Jefferson shaped two opposing views of the Presidency and the nation, influencing the next two centuries of America’s history. A book signing follows the program.

Thursday, March 12, at 2 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Freedmen’s Bureau Records for Family & Historical Research

Damani Davis, archivist, provides examples of various types of records from the “Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands” and explains their historical and genealogical value. Attend in person or watch live on YouTube. Presentation and Captioning.

Thursday, March 12, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
American Plate: A Culinary History in 100 Bites

Libby O’Connell, chief historian and a senior vice president for the History Channel and A&E networks, discusses American culinary history, including a colorful exploration of numerous drinks and cocktails. Joining O’Connell will be Corby Kummer, senior editor of The Atlantic, and Jim Hewes, chief mixologist and cocktail historian at the Willard Hotel. A book signing follows the program.

 

 

Courtesy Swank Motion Pictures

Saturday, March 14, at 2 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
The Public Enemy

Based on a never-published novel titled “Beer and Blood,” The Public Enemy (1931; 83 minutes) stars James Cagney (in a star-making performance) as Tom Powers, a young man who becomes involved in the criminal underworld in Prohibition-era America. The film also stars Jean Harlow, Edward Woods, and Joan Blondell, and is directed by William A. Wellman.

Wednesday, March 18, 10 a.m.-11 a.m.
Boeing Learning Center ReSource Room
Story Time for Preschoolers and Adults

Join us for a story time designed for three- to five-year-olds and accompanying adults. Children will practice their listening skills, participate in group activities, and create a craft. March’s theme is women in history.

Saturday, March 21, noon-4 p.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
“Help! I’m Stuck” Genealogy Consultation

Sign up for a 20-minute appointment with an archivist at the Microfilm Research Desk on Saturday.

Tuesday, March 24, noon
Washington Conference Room
Remembering the Civil Rights Movement

Paula Young Shelton, educator, author, and daughter of civil rights activist Andrew J. Young, will discuss the roles of notable female activists/organizers of the civil rights movement. She will address the 50th anniversary of the March on Selma and how it relates to current events.

Tuesday, March 24, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C.

The parks and gardens of Washington, DC, contain tremendous biodiversity. Mark A. Klingler, illustrator of Field Guide to the Natural World of Washington, D.C., takes us on an urban safari, describing the wild side of the nation's capital. A book signing follows the program. This program is presented in partnership with the 2015 National Cherry Blossom Festival.

 

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of the Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital

Tuesday, March 24, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
The Stone River

The Stone River (2013; 88 minutes) traces the destiny of European stone workers who settled in Barre, VT, at the beginning of the 20th century. There they labored in the granite quarries, and within a few years, most of them were afflicted with silicosis. For the film, present-day residents read the texts of Federal Writers Project interviews of Barre inhabitants. Presented in partnership with the 2015 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital and the National Gallery of Art.

Thursday, March 26, at 7:30 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Eighth Annual Forum on Women in Leadership
Then and Now: Women in Civil Rights Leadership

From the early days of the Civil Rights movement, African American women have worked and served in numerous and influential leadership roles. What are their experiences and what changes have taken place in their opportunities, expectations, responsibilities, and obstacles? A panel discusses their personal journeys and the advice they would offer to young women in the struggle for equality. Moderated by Melissa V. Harris-Perry, host on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry, and author of Sister Citizen: Shame, Stereotypes, and Black Women in America, panelists include Joyce Ladner, sociologist and civil rights activist; Avis Jones De-Weever, Exceptional Leadership Strategist and immediate past executive director of NCNW; Janai Nelson, associate director-counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and Charlene A. Carruthers, national director, Black Youth Project 100.
Presented in partnership with the National Museum of African American History and Culture. This program is generously supported by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc.

Saturday, March 28, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Friendship Between Nations Family Day: National Cherry Blossom Festival Event

Enjoy hands-on activities and celebrate the Cherry Blossoms! Learn more about this gift from Japan to the United States and about other fun ways nations express their friendship, cooperation, and goodwill toward each other. This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation, through the support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation.

Courtesy of the Sewell-Belmont House

Tuesday, March 31, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Temperance and Woman Suffrage: Reform Movements and the Women Who Changed America

The temperance and woman suffrage movements of the late 19th and early 20th centuries created opportunities for women to organize for social, economic, and political change. Support for the temperance movement through the largest women’s organization, the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union, opened the door for women to work not only for temperance, but for issues including improved working conditions for wage-earning women, improved public education, and political equality. Page Harrington, executive director of the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, leads a discussion on how these reform movements provide a fascinating study of the individuals who participated in both movements, the organizations they created, and women as the driving force behind significant change in the United States. Lori Osborne, archivist and president of the Frances Willard Historical Association; Dr. Rosalyn Terborg-Penn, University Professor Emerita, Morgan State University; and Kristina Myers, program director at the Alice Paul Institute, will also participate. Presented in partnership with the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum in celebration of Women’s History Month.

Boeing Learning Center

An exciting space designed to provide parents and educators of all levels with methods and materials for teaching with primary source documents. Open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Learn more about Education programs at the National Archives.

The ReSource Room is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Exhibitions

Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American Historyopens March 6! Who was the “lady hootch hunter?” What is a “drunkometer?” And why did some Americans campaign against the “spirit ration?” Find these answers and more in this fascinating collection of alcohol-related posters, films, patent drawings, petitions, photographs, and artifacts. Visit “Spirited Republic” and learn about American debates about alcohol and its place in society.
Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, March 6–January 10, 2016

Spirited Republic is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of HISTORY®, the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family, The Tasting Panel Magazine, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Additional exhibition funding provided by the Beer Institute, the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

Records of Rights
“Records of Rights” explores how Americans have worked to realize their nation’s ideals of freedom. The exhibit features the 1297 Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein. The 1882 American Accession to the 1864 Geneva Convention, which attempted to establish rules for warfare and created the famous emblem of the International Red Cross, will be on display in the Landmark Document case through March 15, 2015. Beginning March 16, see the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act. David M. Rubenstein Gallery

1297 Magna Carta
The 1297 Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein, is featured in the “Records of Rights” exhibit. David M. Rubenstein Gallery

Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights

The Charters of Freedom: Our Nation’s Founding Documents” takes a fresh look at the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Using historical documents from the holdings of the National Archives, we answer two key questions about the Charters: "How did they happen?" and "Why are they important?" Rotunda

The Public Vaults” invites visitors into virtual stack areas to discover historic documents, films, maps, and photographs from the National Archives. A rare print on parchment of the Declaration of Independence–made from the original copperplate engraved by William J. Stone in 1823—is on display for a limited time. Courtesy of David M. Rubenstein


Featured Documents on Display in Washington, DC

Featured Document Display: Louis Zamperini’s Incredible World War II Story
Olympian Louis “Louie” Zamperini’s wartime service records are on display. The Army Air Force bombardier survived when his B-24 airplane crashed in the Pacific Ocean, only to face months adrift at sea and years as a Japanese POW. Against all odds, Zamperini survived and was liberated at the end of the war. East Rotunda Gallery, Through March 4

Featured Document Display: A First Responder’s Report on the Assassination of President Lincoln
Twenty-three-year-old Charles A. Leale was the first physician to arrive at the wounded President’s side. His eyewitness report takes us to the scene of a crime that irreversibly altered the future of the United States. East Rotunda Gallery, March 5-April 29


Special Exhibition in College Park, Maryland

Auditorium Lobby at the National Archives Research Center:

"The Long View" features digitally produced facsimiles of historic panoramic photographs from the Still Picture holdings.

Motorcycle Corps, Army Motor Service - Under Command of J. S. Berryman. US Capitol. Wash., DC. Jan. 26, 1919, By R. S. Clements. Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (165-PP-60-47)

The exhibit not only showcases the wide variety of panoramic techniques, but also includes National Archives records such as cartographic maps and patent drawings that relate to the photographs. Thirty-four panoramas and other records are on display and span the period from 1864 to 1997.
See more panoramas online


Online Exhibits

Dozens of exhibits can be experienced online. Visit Now!

Records of Rights
Explore records of the National Archives documenting the ongoing struggle of Americans to define, attain, and protect their rights.

Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage
Startling evidence of the once vibrant Jewish life in Iraq came to light in May 2003—over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents were discovered in the flooded basement of the Iraqi intelligence headquarters by a U.S. Army team.

To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis
An exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What's Cooking Uncle Sam? logo “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”
Unearth the stories and personalities behind the increasingly complex programs and legislation that affect what we eat. Learn about the Government’s extraordinary efforts, successes, and failures to change our eating habits. Find out why the Government wanted us to “Eat the Carp,” “Share the Meat,” and “Know Our Onions.” There are over 100 original records in the exhibit—including folk songs, war posters, educational films, and even seed packets. From Revolutionary War rations to Cold War cultural exchanges, discover the multiple ways that food has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans and their Government.
Online exhibit

You will be able to watch our archived programs on Ustream for a limited time while the landing page is still active. www.ustream.tv/usnationalarchives


Locations, Hours, and Contact Information

The National Archives Museum
Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC

For details, see the Visitor's Guide or visit the National Archives Museum.

Exhibit Hours:

  • 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Last admission is at 5 p.m.
  • Open every day except Thanksgiving and December 25.

Admission free.

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted. Reservations for McGowan Theater programs are not required but are recommended. Use the new online event registration system from the National Archives Foundation to reserve your seats:
1. Register at www.archivesfoundation.org/events/
2. Print your email confirmation and bring it with you.
3.To reserve by phone, call 202-357-6814. Walk-ins without reservations will be admitted, depending on available seats.

For McGowan Theater programs, use the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program.

For reservations or to be placed on the mailing list, call 202-357-5000, or toll free at 1-877-874-7616, or e-mail public.program@nara.gov.

Museum Visit Reservations: To make reservations to visit the museum, especially during the height of the tourist season and holiday periods use online reservations.


The National Archives Research Center
700 Penn. Ave., NW, Washington, DC and 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD.

Research Hours for both locations:

Check the Washington, DC and College Park, MD location information for records pull times and other important details.

Call 202-357-5450 for a docent-led guided tour.

wheelchair icon TDD: 301-837-0482. The National Archives is fully accessible. To request an accommodation (such as a sign language interpreter) for a public program, please call 202-357-5000, or toll free at 1-877-874-7616, or email public.program@nara.gov at least two weeks prior to the event.


Top of Page

PDF files require the free Adobe Reader.
More information on Adobe Acrobat PDF files is available on our Accessibility page.

Washington, DC Area Events >

The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
1-86-NARA-NARA or 1-866-272-6272

.