Press/Journalists
Press Release
March 30, 1999
May Programs at the National Archives

Washington, DC . . . In May, the National Archives and Records Administration presents lectures and booksignings relating to the Civil War, World War II, and the exhibitions Picturing the Century: One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives and American Originals: Part IV.

The programs are free and open to the public and will take place at the 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.

Tuesday, May 4—Congressional History/Biography
Rodney Ross, reference archivist for the Center for Legislative Archives within the National Archives, will discuss "The Chair Recognizes the Gentleman from Illinois: The Career of House Speaker Joseph Gurney ‘Uncle Joe' Cannon as Seen through Newspaper Political Cartoons of Clifford Berryman." Cannon served during the Grant through Harding administrations. The Center for Legislative Archives houses a collection of cartoon drawings by Clifford Berryman. Noon. Room 105.

Wednesday, May 5—Picturing the Century
"AMERICANOS: Latino Life in the United States," premiering at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History on April 7, presents 120 photographs by 30 of the nation's top photojournalists that present a fascinating self-portrait of Latino America. Join Dr. Lea Ybarra, one of the creators of "AMERICANOS," in a discussion of how issues of culture and identity are reflected through the medium of photography. The exhibit, a project of Olmos Productions, Inc., has been organized by the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service and the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives. The audience will be able to view the Circular Gallery exhibit, "Picturing the Century," following the lecture. Noon. Room 105.

Thursday, May 6—Biography/Federal History
June Hopkins, assistant professor of history at Armstrong Atlantic State University, will discuss her book, Harry Hopkins: Sudden Hero, Brash Reformer. From 1912 to 1940, social worker Hopkins committed himself to the ideal of government responsibility for impoverished Americans. This look at Hopkins's life and social work career, written by his granddaughter, broadens our understanding of the events that led to the Social Security Act of 1935. Noon. Room 105.

Tuesday, May 11—Civil War/Chinese American History
The subject of "foreigners" in the Civil War has long fascinated historians, but little has been mentioned about Chinese fighting men. Thomas P. Lowry and Edward S. Milligan will discuss "Chinese in the Civil War: Chinese Volunteers Who Served in Both Union and Confederate Armies, and in the Union Navy." Using records housed in the National Archives, Mr. Lowry and Colonel Milligan will discuss the lives and military careers of these veterans. Noon. Room 105.

Tuesday, May 18—DC History/Photography
Peter Penczer, author and photographer, will discuss Washington, DC, Past and Present. Selecting 127 historic photographs of metropolitan Washington, Mr. Penczer has rephotographed each site from exactly the same vantage point. Accompanying the photographs are lucid, thoroughly researched captions describing the forces that have transformed the Washington, DC, metropolitan area. Noon. Room 105.

Wednesday, May 19—Abraham Lincoln series
Lincoln: The Road to War
"Our sixteenth president is remembered as one of our nation's strongest leaders, but was he?" asks Frank van der Linden, author of the controversial book Lincoln: The Road to War. Van der Linden argues that while Lincoln has often been painted in an uncritical, almost saintly light, he was also prone to human frailties and error. The former White House correspondent and syndicated columnist explores Lincoln's rise to power and handling of the fateful 1860–61 secession crisis. Co-sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Mid-Atlantic. Noon. Room 105.

Thursday, May 20—Oral History/World War II
During the Third Reich, Hitler was a welcome guest at the home of composer Richard Wagner's descendants in Bayreuth, Germany. Great-grandson Gottfried Wagner will discuss his memoir, Twilight of the Wagners: The Unveiling of a Family's Legacy. He has become an outspoken critic of Wagner's work and a champion of greater understanding among Holocaust survivors and Germans. Noon. Room 105.

Friday, May 21—U.S. Colored Troops/Day of Recognition
The NARA Afro American History Society and Civil War Conservation Corps will sponsor the African American Civil War Memorial Foundation's Day of Recognition for the establishment of the Bureau of United States Colored Troops, May 22, 1863. Asa Gordon, of the Douglass Institute of Government, will inaugurate the annual celebration with a lecture on African Americans in the USCT, 9–11 A.M. Theater.

Saturday, May 22—Civil War/DC History
(Walking Tour and Booksigning)
Kathryn Allamong Jacob, author of Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, DC, will discuss the fascinating stories behind some of our local monuments and her extensive use of archival records in documenting their history. This tour begins at the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance of the National Archives at 10 A.M. and will last 2 hours. Interested parties are encouraged to wear comfortable walking shoes. Call 202-208-7345 for details and reservations.

Monday, May 24—Civil War/Prisoners of War
To Die in Chicago: Confederate Prisoners at Camp Douglas, 1862–65, is the first book to explore what became the largest Confederate burial ground outside the South. Using hospital records housed in the National Archives, George Levy, professor of legal studies at Roosevelt University, traces the history of this camp from a Union recruiting and training depot to prison. Noon. Room 105.

Tuesday, May 25—Military Aviation
Airplanes have been used in combat since before World War I, and the men and women who flew them experienced situations ranging from routine to harrowing. Walter J. Boyne and Phillip Handleman's new book, Brassey's Air Combat Reader, is a comprehensive history of military aviation from the First World War up to the Persian Gulf War. Walter Boyne, a retired Air Force pilot, is the former director of the Smithsonian Institution's National Air and Space Museum. Philip Handleman is an aviation photographer, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker, and author. Noon. Room 105.

Wednesday, May 26—American Originals
The Land Grant Act: Its History and Significance to U.S. Higher Education. Dr. Thomas A. Fretz, dean and director of the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Maryland, one of the first land grant colleges, will discuss how the Morrill Act of 1862 eventually transformed this nation from an agrarian to an information/high-tech society. Few legislative actions have had the lasting impact as the Morrill Act and its amendment of 1890, which established federal funding for 13 historically black land grant colleges. The audience may view the Morrill Land Grant Bill immediately following today's lecture. It is included in the "American Originals" exhibit in the Rotunda. Noon. Room 105.

Thursday, May 27—Espionage/World War II
In 1995 the U.S. government officially revealed the existence of the super-secret Venona Project. John Earl Haynes and Harvey Klehr's book, Venona: Decoding Soviet Espionage in America discusses this effort by cryptanalysts, linguists, and mathematicians to decode more than 25,000 intercepted Soviet intelligence telegrams in the late 1940s. Mr. Haynes is with the Manuscript Division of the Library of Congress, and Mr. Klehr is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor of Politics and History at Emory University. Noon. Room 105.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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