September 2014
Washington, DC, Area Events

Jacqueline Kennedy in Udaipur, India, March 17, 1962. (Photo by Cecil Stoughton, JFK Library) [JFKWHP-ST-C117-20-62]

You can now watch our programs live on YouTube. Unlike Ustream, YouTube does not have one landing page to view our events. Each event will have its own link, which is included at the end of the descriptions on this page.

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

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

  • Constitution Day
    Celebrate the 227th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution with family activities in the afternoon and a panel discussion in the evening about “The State of the Constitution: Is the Constitution Still Working for America?” (September 17)
    Our annual naturalization ceremony for new U.S. citizens will be at 10 a.m. in the Rotunda; the National Archives Museum will open to the public at 11:30 a.m.
  • “Making Their Mark”
    Learn about the history of pens in an adult workshop connected with our “Making Their Mark” exhibit (September 10), and hear Melissa Gilbert talk about My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours (September 13).
  • 8th Annual Charles Guggenheim Tribute Program
    Charles Guggenheim’s Academy Award–nominated film D-Day Remembered documents the invasion of Normandy. (September 23)
  • African Americans in WWII
    The film Breath of Freedom tells the story of the one-million-plus African Americans who fought in World War II. (September 25)
  • First Ladies’ Fashions
    Tim Gunn leads a discussion of how First Ladies have used fashion to build identity and inform Americans. (September 30)
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas, (September 8) The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism (September 10); James Madison: A Life Reconsidered (September 12); Lincoln’s Gamble: How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Course of the Civil War (September 15); America’s Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community (September 18); and Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America (September 29). The film Nicky’s Family tells the story of the rescue of Czech and Slovak children just before World War II (September 26).
  • Know Your Records
    Get started with the Introduction to Genealogy workshop (September 3); hear the stories behind the Atlas of the Battlefield of Antietam (September 9 & 11); learn about digitized documents on Fold3.com (September 16 & 18); bring your tough questions to a genealogy specialist (September 20); discover World War II naval records (September 23 & 25); explore Congress in the Vietnam and Watergate era (September 25); and learn about World War II enemy aliens programs (September 30 & October 2).

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

Wednesday, September 3, 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. Lectures take place on the first Wednesday of each month.

Monday, September 8, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas

Join us as Cass R. Sunstein, the nation’s most-cited legal scholar, discusses his latest book Conspiracy Theories and Other Dangerous Ideas, a compilation of his most famous, insightful, relevant, and inflammatory pieces. Sunstein cuts through the fog of left vs. right arguments and offers logical, evidence-based solutions to today’s most challenging questions. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Tuesday, September 9, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Atlas of the Battlefield of Antietam

In recognition of the anniversary of the Civil War battle at Antietam, Jamesina Thatcher examines hand-drawn maps by veterans in creation of the battlefield's Atlas.

Thursday, September 11, at 11 a.m.
Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room B

Wednesday, September 10, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
The Half Has Never Been Told: Slavery and the Making of American Capitalism

The expansion of slavery in the decades after American independence, says historian Edward Baptist, drove the evolution and modernization of the United States. In the span of a single lifetime, the South grew to become a continental cotton empire, and the United States grew into a modern, industrial, and capitalist economy trying to find ways to make slavery more profitable. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Wednesday, September 10, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Making Their Mark Adult Education Workshop Series: From Quill to Rollerball

Combine a special evening viewing of the “Making Their Mark” exhibit with a hands-on exploration of the history of pens with Geoff Parker, great-grandson of George S. Parker, founder of the Parker Pen Company. Discover how pens and writing have changed overtime. To register, email education@nara.gov with MTM Workshops as the subject.

“Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures” is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives.

Family and educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company—Newell Rubbermaid.

Friday, September 12, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
James Madison: A Life Reconsidered

Best-selling author Lynne Cheney offers a new biography of James Madison, a modest man who audaciously changed the world. Madison was the intellectual driving force behind the Constitution and crucial to its ratification. His visionary political philosophy and rationale for the union of states helped shape the country Americans live in today. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

 

 

 

Melissa Gilbert

Saturday, September 13, at 2 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
My Prairie Cookbook: Memories and Frontier Food from My Little House to Yours

In My Prairie Cookbook, Melissa Gilbert, star of Little House on the Prairie, offers fans comforting family recipes and childhood favorites. From prairie breakfasts and picnic lunches to treats inspired by Nellie’s restaurant, the 80 simple and delicious dishes—crispy fried chicken, pot roasts, corn bread, apple pie, and more—present Bonnet Heads (die-hard Little House fans) with the chance to eat like the Ingalls family. Also included are Gilbert’s personal recollections and memorabilia, including behind–the–scenes stories, anecdotes, and more than 75 treasured scrapbook images, accompany the recipes. Joining Ms. Gilbert, as the moderator for today’s program, is Arch Campbell, TV and film critic for ABC 7/WJLA and host of The Arch Campbell Show. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

Monday, September 15, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Lincoln’s Gamble: How the Emancipation Proclamation Changed the Course of the Civil War

Todd Brewster offers an authoritative account of the most critical six months in Abraham Lincoln’s Presidency, when he issued the Emancipation Proclamation and changed the course of the Civil War. This was a time when the 16th president fought bitterly with his generals, disappointed his cabinet, and sank into painful bouts of depression, all the while maintaining an unshakable determination to save the country. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Tuesday, September 16, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Getting to Know Fold3

Fold3 is the web’s premier collection of original military records. The presentation will be an introduction and overview of the Fold3 website, with examples and tips for basic searching, viewing and using other features of the site.

Thursday, September 18, at 11 a.m.
Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room D

Wednesday, September 17, 1-4 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Constitution Day Family Activities

Celebrate the 227th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution by writing with quill pens, dressing up, craft activities, and more!
This program is supported in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generosity of John Hancock.

Robert Hurt

Wednesday, September 17, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
The State of the Constitution:  Is the Constitution Still Working for America?
6th Annual Constitution Day Partnership Program with the Center for the Constitution/James Madison’s Montpelier

Celebrate the 227th anniversary of the U.S. Constitution and join us for a panel discussion moderated by C. Douglas Smith, Vice President for the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution. Panelists include Akhil Reed Amar, Sterling Professor of Law and Political Science at Yale College and Yale Law School; Robert Hurt, U.S. Representative from Virginia; and Benjamin Wittes, Senior Fellow in Governance Studies, Brookings Institution. Panelists will explore recent court cases and calls to amend the U.S. Constitution
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

Thursday, September 18, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
America’s Forgotten Constitutions: Defiant Visions of Power and Community

The U.S. Constitution opens by proclaiming the sovereignty of all citizens: “We the People.” Robert Tsai will discuss the history of alternative constitutions and those who refused to accept the Constitution’s definition of who “the people” are and how their authority should be exercised. A book signing will follow the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Saturday, September 20, at noon–4 p.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
“Help! I'm Stuck” Genealogy Consultation

Not sure where to begin? Has a genealogical problem stumped you? An archivist is available from noon to 4 p.m. to answer your questions. Sign up for a 20-minute appointment at the Microfilm Research desk on Saturday.

Tuesday, September 23, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Using World War II Records to Conduct Naval History Research

Jacob Haywood of the National Archives will discuss how to use World War II naval records in the National Archives at College Park for genealogical research.

Thursday, September 25, at 11 a.m.
Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room B

D-Day Invasion of Normandy during World War II, Courtesy of Guggenheim Productions, Inc.

Tuesday, September 23, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
8th Annual Charles Guggenheim Tribute Program

D-Day Remembered (1994; 52 mins.), Charles Guggenheim’s Academy–Award-nominated documentary of the invasion of Normandy in World War II, uses rare archival films and pictures from British, American, and German archives. Narrated by David McCullough, the film also incorporates the voices of over 50 participants. The screening will be introduced by Craig L. Symonds, author of Neptune: The Allied Invasion of Europe and the D-Day Landings. A book signing will follow the program.

 

 

Thursday September 25, at noon
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Congress in the Vietnam and Watergate Era
New date; rescheduled from September 11.

Katherine Scott, Assistant Historian in the Senate Historical Office, discusses her book, Reining in the State: Civil Society and Congress in the Vietnam and Watergate Era.

Breath of Freedom, the story of the one-million-plus African Americans who fought in World War II.

Thursday, September 25, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Breath of Freedom

Breath of Freedom is the story of the one-million-plus African Americans who fought in World War II. Their fight would continue back home on American soil. (2014; 46 minutes) Following the screening, a discussion including Dr. Frank Smith, Jr., director of the African American Civil War Memorial & Museum, and Maria Höhn, author of A Breath of Freedom: The Civil Rights Struggle, African American GIs, and Germany, will be presented. Presented in partnership with the Smithsonian Channel and the Congressional Black Caucus.

 

 

Nicky's Family, Courtesy of Menemsha Films

Friday, September 26, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Nicky’s Family

Nicky's Family tells the nearly forgotten story of Nicholas Winton, an Englishman who organized the rescue of 669 Czech and Slovak children just before the outbreak of World War II. (2013; 93 minutes) The screening will be introduced by NARA archivist David Langbart, who recently discovered a letter from Winton to President Franklin Roosevelt.

 

 

Monday, September 29, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Landslide: LBJ and Ronald Reagan at the Dawn of a New America

In Landslide, author Jonathan Darman tells the story of two giants of American politics, Lyndon Johnson and Ronald Reagan. From 1963 to 1966, these two men—the same age, and driven by the same heroic ambitions—changed American politics forever. From Johnson’s election in 1964, the greatest popular–vote landslide in American history, to the pivotal 1966 midterms, when Reagan burst forth onto the national stage, Landslide brings alive a country transformed—by riots, protests, the rise of television, the shattering of consensus—and the two towering personalities whose choices would reverberate through the country for decades to come. A book signing will follow the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Tuesday, September 30, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
World War II Enemy Aliens Program

Lynn Goodsell, archivist at the National Archives, discusses WWII enemy alien control programs and related records focusing on programs affecting individuals of German, Italian, and Japanese ancestry living in the United States and Latin America.

Thursday, October 2, at 11 a.m.
Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room C

Style and Influence: First Ladies’ Fashions

Tuesday, September 30, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Style and Influence: First Ladies’ Fashions

From the first days on a campaign trail to the final days living in the White House, the First Ladies of the United States have attracted attention in numerous ways. Both historic and modern First Ladies have harnessed the power of fashion to build identity and inform Americans. In conjunction with our exhibition “Making Their Mark,” we present a distinguished panel to discuss and examine the fashions of America’s First Ladies through conversation and photos. Moderated by Tim Gunn, star of Project Runway, panelists include Valerie Steele, Director and Chief Curator, the Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology; Lisa Kathleen Graddy, Deputy Chair and Chief Curator of Political History and the First Ladies Collection, Smithsonian National Museum of American History; and Tracy Reese, a fashion designer who has designed for First Lady Michelle Obama. Presented in partnership with the White House Historical Association.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

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

Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures
“Making Their Mark: Stories through Signatures” displays both famous and little-known signatures found in the holdings of the National Archives. Discover the invention Michael Jackson patented; see “signature” items worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and First Lady Michelle Obama; and discover what prompted Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Cash, and Jackie Robinson to write to the government. “Making Their Mark” explores the stores behind the signatures that made their mark on the American narrative. Through January 5, 2015, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery.

"Records of Rights" explores how Americans have worked to realize their nationís ideals of freedom. The exhibit features the 1297 Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein. The 1964 Civil Rights Act is the "Landmark Document" on display through September 16. Beginning September 17, you may view one of the first acts of Congress, the Judiciary Act of 1789 signed by George Washington, which established the Federal court system. David M. Rubenstein Gallery

1297 Magna Carta
Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein, is now 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

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.

This year’s featured adventurer in “Polar Exploration” is explorer Robert E. Peary, who made two unsuccessful attempts before finally claiming to reach the Pole in 1909.


Featured Documents on Display in Washington, DC

Featured Document Display: Senate Revisions to the Proposed Bill of Rights
This year marks the 225th†anniversary of the First Congress. During the summer of 1789 the First Congress vociferously debated proposed amendments to the Constitution. On August 24 the House passed 17 amendments and sent them to the Senate. This seminal document, with the Senateís handwritten changes, is an early draft of what became the Billof Rights. East Rotunda Gallery through September 10

Featured Document Display: Bicentennial Commemoration of the Burning of Washington and Battle of Baltimore
We will exhibit a charred remnant of the White House and a letter written after the bombardment of Fort McHenry—the War of 1812 battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” East Rotunda Gallery, September 11–November 3


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!

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

Discovering the Civil War ExhibitDiscovering the Civil War
Unlock secrets, solve mysteries, and uncover unexpected events in this most extensive display ever assembled from the incomparable Civil War holdings of the National Archives.
Online exhibit

child with coal dust on face Eyewitness:  American Originals from the National Archives
Drawing on rarely displayed documents, audio recordings, and film footage culled from the extensive holdings of the National Archives and its Presidential libraries, "Eyewitness" features first-person accounts of watershed moments in history. Online exhibit


Locations, Hours, and Contact Information

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

For details, see the Visitor's Map or visit the National Archives Experience.

Exhibit Hours:

  • 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Last admission is at 5 p.m.
  • Open every day except Thanksgiving and December 25.
  • Plese Note: The National Archives Museum will open to the public at 11:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 17.

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 details, see the Visitor's Map or visit the National Archives Experience.

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. As of March 15, 2013, the last reservation slot is 4:30 p.m. If you have a reservation for later than 4:30 p.m., you will have to reschedule the visit.


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.


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