Press Release
October 7, 2003

National Archives Hosts Town Hall Meeting Featuring Milestone Documents in U.S. History

Washington, DC . . .At noon on Wednesday, October 15, and repeated at 7 p.m. on Thursday, October 16, the National Archives and Records Administration joins with National History Day to host a town hall meeting discussing Our Documents (Oxford University Press, 2003), a collection of 100 milestone documents that have influenced the course of U.S. history from its founding to 1965. The audience will be encouraged to participate in the discussions and to vote for the ten documents that they believed are the most influential in American history.

The programs are free and open to the public and will take place in Room 105 at the National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Due to limited seating in Room 105 of the National Archives Building, reservations are recommended, call the National Archives public programs line at (202) 501-5000. TDD users may call (202) 501-5404.

WHO: Lee Ann Potter, Director of Education and Volunteer Programs at the National Archives (Sept. 15), Daniel Rulli, National Archives Education Specialist (Sept. 16), Dr. Cathy Gorn, Executive Director, National History Day (Sept. 15 and 16), and Jay Tolson, correspondent for U.S. News & World Report (Sept. 15).

WHAT: Town Hall Meeting and Booksigning
Our Documents
National History Day and the National Archives host a town hall meeting to discuss Our Documents, a collection of 100 milestone documents that have influenced the course of U.S. history from its founding to 1965. Discuss these documents and their importance to American history, and learn more about the Our Documents initiative. Sponsored by the National Archives and Records Administration, National History Day, and the USA Freedom Corps, the initiative includes a web site:, a teachers guide, and U.S. News & World Report online poll at: of the top 10 documents.

WHEN: Wednesday, September 15, noon
and Thursday, September 16, 7 p.m.

BACKGROUND: On September 17, 2003, at a special ceremony with President George W. Bush, the Archivist of the United States, John W. Carlin, officially launched The People's Vote: 100 Documents That Shaped America, a national challenge to engage Americans in a lively and thoughtful debate about which documents in American history are the most influential-which changed the course of history, shaped the United States, and defined us as a people. The People's Vote invites Americans of all ages and educational backgrounds to vote for 10 documents from the list of 100 milestone documents chosen by historians and the National Archives, or to write in their favorites. By logging onto Americans can see the original 100 milestone documents, ranging from the U.S. Constitution to the cancelled check for the purchase of Alaska; and learn more about each of the 100 documents identified by experts at the National Archives.

The People's Vote is part of a larger project created by the National Archives and National History Day in collaboration with USA Freedom Corps titled Our Documents: A National Initiative on American History, Civics and Service. The purpose of this initiative is to provide programs like The People's Vote to engage Americans in a better understanding of the documents that shaped our country. For more information go to:

For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 301-837-1700.


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