January 9, 1998
National Archives and Records Administration Announces February Schedule for Lectures and Booksignings
Washington, DC . . .In February, the National Archives and Records Administration presents several free lectures and booksignings to celebrate Black History Month.
The programs are free and open to the public and will take place at the downtown National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The public may verify times and dates by calling the National Archives public events line at 202-501-5000 (TDD users may call 202-501-5404).
Fritz Hirschfeld, editor of the John Hancock papers, will give a slide presentation discussing General Washington and black slave poetess Phillis Wheatley. His talk is based on one of the chapters in his book George Washington and Slavery: A Documentary Portrayal, published by the University of Missouri Press. Noon. Room 105.
Howard Jones will discuss his book Mutiny on the Amistad: The Saga of a Slave Revolt and Its Impact on American Abolition, Law, and Diplomacy. (Documents from the Supreme Court case file for The United States v. The Amistad are on display in the Rotunda in the "American Originals" exhibit.) Published by Oxford University Press. Noon. Theater.
"American Originals," a major exhibition in the National Archives Rotunda, presents a sampling of documentary treasures from the vast holdings of the National Archives. Curator Stacey Bredhoff will discuss the new selection of documents placed on display in December 1997. The audience may view the exhibit following the lecture. Noon. Room 105.
Larry Beinhart will discuss American Hero, his satirical novel on which the recent feature film Wag the Dog was based. Beinhart conducted extensive historical research to create a fictional account of the effects that "spin doctors" might have on a Presidential election. Film clips from December 7, Bombardier, and Wag the Dog will be shown. Published by Ballantine. Noon. Theater.
"Haiti: The Birth of a Nation." Marie-Therese Labossiere Thomas will present an overview of the Haitian Revolution, which led to Haitiís independence in 1804. She will discuss early Spanish and French colonization, slavery and the Maroon struggle for freedom, the emergence of Creole and Vodou in the plantation economy, and the French Revolution and related international developments. Noon. Room 105.
"The Robert Gould Shaw and 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry: An American Symphony in Bronze." Jim Percoco will discuss the public sculpture of the foremost American sculptor of the 19th century, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, focusing primarily on the Shaw Memorial located on Boston Common. Mr. Percoco will explore this landmark public monument as a reflection of African Americansí place in Civil War history and discuss how the memorial has inspired poetry, music, and motion pictures. Noon. Room 105.
Richard Norton Smith, Director of the Gerald R. Ford Museum, will speak on "The Surprising George Washington." His book Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation is published in paperback by Houghton Mifflin. Smith is also the biographer of Robert R. McCormick and Thomas E. Dewey. Noon. Room 105
David M. Rabban, professor at the University of Texas School of Law, will discuss "Changing Conceptions of Free Speech in American History." Rabbanís recent book, Free Speech in its Forgotten Years, examines free speech issues between the Civil War and World War I. Published by Cambridge University Press. Noon. Room 105.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or e-mail Public Affairs.