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Press Release
April 10, 2007

National Archives Special Document Displays in May Celebrate Queen Elizabeth’s Visit and Shakespeare Festival

Washington, DC…May 1-31, the National Archives celebrates the visit of England’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to the United States and the city-wide Shakespeare festival with two special document displays. The exhibit will be in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Building located on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. Exhibit Hours are 10 a.m.–7 p.m. daily. Admission is free.

In honor of the visit of England’s Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip to the United States, the National Archives will display Rose Kennedy’s 1938 diary account of her encounter with then-Princess Elizabeth at Windsor Castle. The account is from the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.

On the weekend of April 9-11, 1938, Mrs. Kennedy and her husband, Joseph Kennedy who was serving as U.S. Ambassador to Great Britain, were weekend guests of the King and Queen at Windsor Castle. Mrs. Kennedy’s detailed diary account of an enchanted weekend includes a brief encounter with the charming young Princess Elizabeth—just shy of her 12th birthday—who would grow up to be Queen.

As part of a citywide festival celebrating the work of William Shakespeare, the National Archives will display set designs from a Los Angeles production of Macbeth. These designs are from the records of the Federal Theater Project.

In April 1935, Congress approved funds for work relief and President Roosevelt created the Work Projects Administration (WPA). He appointed Harry Hopkins as director, and wanted the WPA to consist of “small useful projects designed to assure a maximum of employment in all localities.” Harry Hopkins felt that one of the “small, useful projects” should be specifically for actors, artists, musicians, and writers and he created the Federal Theatre Project (FTP).

One FTP production that was hugely successful was the African American production of Macbeth which opened on July 14, 1937 in Los Angeles and was directed by Max Pollock. The L.A. production was an adaptation based on the Harlem Macbeth directed by Orson Welles.

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For information on National Archives Public Programs, call 202-357-5000, or view our Calendar of Events online.

For Press information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at (202) 357-5300.

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