Press/Journalists

Press Release
January 28, 2010

National Archives Celebrates African-American History Month in February

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Washington, DC…The National Archives will celebrate African-American History Month in February with special films, public programs, book talks, and lectures, including a special event on the legacy of John Hope Franklin. These events are free and open to the public and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and at the National Archives at College Park, Maryland.

Visitors to the William G. McGowan Theater should enter at the Special Events Entrance at Constitution Avenue and 7th Street, NW. Visitors to all programs in the National Archives Building Research Center (Room G-24) should use the Pennsylvania Avenue entrance, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The National Archives at College Park, MD, is located at 8601 Adelphi Road. Both locations are fully accessible. See directions to both locations.

Wednesday, February 17, 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater
A Salute to the Tuskegee Airmen

In partnership with Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the National Archives Experience presents a panel discussion and film screening celebrating the achievements of America’s first African American military airmen. Moderated by Dr. Rex M. Ellis, associate director of curatorial affairs, Smithsonian Museum of African American History and Culture, the discussion will include Lt. Gen. (ret.) Russell C. Davis, current president of Tuskegee Airmen, Inc., and several surviving members of the Tuskegee Airmen. The program will also include a screening of Wings for This Man, an 11-minute film produced in 1944 by the Army Air Forces and narrated by Ronald Reagan.

Thursday, February 18, 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater
From Slavery to Freedom and the Legacy of John Hope Franklin

The National Archives hosts a program on the legacy of John Hope Franklin and the ninth edition of the award-winning work From Slavery to Freedom, by John Hope Franklin and Evelyn Higginbotham. The program will include a panel discussion exploring Franklin’s lasting legacy. Joining the discussion will be Evelyn Brooks Higginbotham, co-author of From Slavery to Freedom; Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero; and John Franklin, son of John Hope Franklin. A book signing will follow the program. The book is available at a discount from the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) before and during the event.

Wednesday, February 24, noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy: From American Slave to Arctic Hero

In the late 1880s, many lives in maritime Alaska rested in the hands of Michael A. Healy. During his years in the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service, Healy arrested lawbreakers, helped to deter smuggling, rescued sailors in distress, helped to improve the lives of indigenous populations, prevented the wholesale slaughter of marine wildlife, and explored unknown waters and lands. Today Dennis Noble and Truman Strobridge discuss their book, Captain “Hell Roaring” Mike Healy. A book signing will follow the program. The book is available at a discount from the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) before and during the event.

Related National Archives “Know your Records” Programs

Tuesday, February 9, 11 a.m., Room G-24, Research Center
African American Genealogy in Ancestry.com

Sabrina Petersen of Ancestry.com discusses African American genealogy resources in National Archives records available through Ancestry.com. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, Thursday, February 11, 11 a.m.)

Tuesday, February 16, 11 a.m., Room G-24, Research Center
“Face to Face with History”: African American Civil War Surgeons

Jill L. Newmark, exhibition specialist and registrar in the History of Medicine Division at the National Library of Medicine, discusses her article “Face to Face with History” in the Fall 2009 issue of Prologue magazine. She shares her discovery of William P. Powell, Jr.’s story as an African American surgeon during the Civil War and how National Archives records provide a glimpse into a rarely studied part of history. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, Thursday, February 18, 11 a.m.)

Wednesday, February 17, 11 a.m., Room G-24, Research Center
Beyond the Basics: African American Genealogy

Archives staff teach “beyond the basic” archival research skills on the third Wednesday and third Saturday of the month. Wednesday’s topic will be African American genealogy.

Related National Archives Exhibits

Fighting for Democracy
This temporary exhibit explores questions of citizenship and identity in America during World War II. What do we mean by “We the People?” This question is explored through the experiences of women and men who sought equal treatment during World War II. The exhibit tackles questions about freedom, history, and democracy in a diverse America. One section follows the story of Roger C. “Bill” Terry, a Tuskegee Airman. Fighting for Democracy opens to the public on Friday, January 29, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and runs through Sunday, February 28, 2010.

Public Vaults Permanent Exhibition

The Public Vaults exhibition gives visitors the sensation of going behind-the-scenes to explore among the billions of unique documents, photographs, maps, films, recordings, and objects in the holdings of the National Archives. This permanent exhibition includes a section on records from the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands—popularly known as the Freedmen’s Bureau. The exhibition also includes a section on Civil Rights titled “Courting Freedom” that explores the evolution of American civil liberties with highlights from the evidence and judgments in important court cases, including documentation from the police report on the arrest of Rosa Parks.

To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program, please e-mail public.program@nara.gov or call (202) 357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event. To verify the date and times of the programs, see the Calendar of Events online.

For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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