Press/Journalists
Press Release
April 17, 2001
Join the Signers at the National Archives

Washington, DC. . .Throughout the month of June, the National Archives will feature famous authors who will talk about the signers of the Declaration of Independence. This is a rare opportunity to hear from world-renown experts about the life and times of some of the most celebrated Americans. This series of author lectures is part of the National Archives celebration of the 225th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. The free lectures will take place at the National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Reservations are strongly recommended; call (202) 208-7345 for reservations and more information.

Tuesday, June 12: Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough will discuss his book, John Adams. Mr. McCullough recounts the adventurous life-journey of John Adams, the brilliant, fiercely independent, often irascible, always honest Yankee patriot who spared nothing in his zeal for the American Revolution. The story ranges from the Boston Massacre to Philadelphia in 1776 to the raw, half-finished Capital by the Potomac, where Adams was the first President to occupy the White House. 8 p.m. Rotunda.

Thursday, June 14: H. W. Brands will discuss his book, The First American: The Life and Times of Benjamin Franklin. A groundbreaking scientist, businessman, philosopher, best-selling author, inventor, diplomat, politician, and wit, Benjamin Franklin was perhaps the most beloved and celebrated American of his age. Drawing on previously unpublished letters to and from Franklin, as well as the recollections and anecdotes of Franklin's contemporaries, H. W. Brands has created a rich and compelling portrait of the eighteenth-century genius. Franklin was in every respect America's first Renaissance man, and arguably the pivotal figure in colonial and revolutionary America. Noon and 7 p.m. Room 105.

Monday, June 18: Historian John Ferling will discuss his book, Setting the World Ablaze: Washington, Adams, Jefferson and the American Revolution. Braiding three strands into one rich narrative, Dr. Ferling brings these American icons down from their pedestals to show them as men of flesh and blood. Setting the World Ablaze shows in dramatic detail how these conservative men--successful members of the colonial elite--were transformed into radical revolutionaries. Noon. Room 105.

Friday, June 22: Joseph Ellis will discuss his book, Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation. Ellis examines the lives of the founders of the American republic--John Adams, Aaron Burr, Benjamin Franklin, Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and George Washington. In his narrative, Ellis recounts the sometimes collaborative, sometimes archly antagonistic interactions between these men, and shows us the private characters behind the public personas. The checks and balances that permitted the infant American republic to endure were not primarily legal, constitutional, or institutional, but intensely personal, rooted in the dynamic interaction of leaders with quite different visions and values. 7 p.m. Room 105.

Thursday, June 28: As the nation prepares to celebrate the 225th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence, Andrew Burstein will discuss his book, America's Jubilee: How in 1826 a Generation Remembered Fifty Years of Independence. On July 4, 1826, the United States celebrated its fiftieth birthday with parades and speeches across the country. But what ultimately sanctified the national jubilee in the minds of the celebrants was an extraordinary coincidence: the nearly simultaneous deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the last pillars of the original republic, already venerated as legends in their own time. In this evocative portrait of the United States in its jubilee year, Burstein shows how 1826 marked an unforgettable time in the republic's history, when a generation embraced the legacy of its predecessors and sought to enlarge its role in America's story. Noon and 7 p.m. Room 105.

Monday, July 2: Allen Jayne will discuss his book, Jefferson's Declaration of Independence: Origins, Philosophy and Theology. Jayne's quest is to answer the riddle of whose ideas most influenced Jefferson when he drafted the famous Declaration of Independence. He composes a clear, concise account of the philosophical and religious views that inspired Thomas Jefferson to compose the Declaration of Independence. Noon and 7 p.m. 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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