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Press Release
March 1, 2005

Teaching With Documents: Educational Treasures At The National Archives

Washington, DC. . . On Friday, March 18, the National Archives will unveil "Teaching with Documents," an exhibition that showcases original Federal records and demonstrates how educators can use such primary sources as learning tools. The exhibition serves as a window to the National Archives' education opportunities for the thousands of teachers and their students who visit the National Archives, as well as a harbinger of the new Learning Center scheduled to open in fall 2005. A small theater space will feature a loop of short film segments about educational programs at the National Archives Presidential libraries.

The exhibition will be on display in the Lawrence O'Brien Gallery through Sunday, May 1, 2005, and is free and open to the public. The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall/Winter hours are 10 am - 5:30 pm daily. Spring hours (beginning April 1) are 10 am to 7 pm daily.

Highlights of the exhibition include:

  • President Thomas Jefferson's message to Congress concerning the Louisiana Purchase, January 16, 1804.

  • The cancelled US Treasury check payable to the Russian Foreign Minister to the United States in the amount of $7.2 million, for the purchase of Alaska on August 1, 1868.

  • Thomas Edison's patent drawing and original handwritten specifications for an improvement in electric lamps. (He received the patent on January 27, 1880).

  • Letters of complaint from concerned citizens to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) following the October 30, 1938 CBS broadcasting of The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells.

  • Letter from Secretary of War Henry Stimson to President Harry S. Truman, April 24, 1945, requesting an urgent meeting to discuss the Manhattan Project, the all-out effort by the federal government to build an atomic bomb during World War II.

  • Photographs filed as evidence in Dorothy E. Davis, et al. versus County School Board of Prince Edward County, Virginia, Civil Action No. 1333 (1951) - one of the five separate cases consolidated into Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka. These photos illustrate the inequality of two of the county's public high schools: the all-black Robert Russa Moton High School and the all-white Farmville High School.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at 202-501-5526.

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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