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Press Release
August 5, 2011

The National Archives Presents Noontime Programs in September

Washington, DC…The National Archives will present special noontime programs in September, on topics ranging from the 10th anniversary of 9/11 to Constitution Day. These events are free and open to the public and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, which is located on the National Mall and is fully accessible. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at Seventh Street, NW.

Lecture: Conscience: Two Soldiers, Two Pacifists, One Family—A Test of Will and Faith in World War I
Tuesday, September 6, William G. McGowan Theater

Louisa Thomas discusses the history of the Thomas family at the turn of the 20th century. Set during World War I, Conscience tells the story of four brothers and the difficult decisions they faced. With unique access to family correspondence, Thomas brings to light a remarkable moment in American history. Joining the author will be historian Michael Beschloss. A book signing will follow the program.

Lecture: Way of Duty, Honor, Country: The Memoir of Charles Pelot Summerall
Wednesday, September 7, Jefferson Room

West Point graduate Charles Pelot Summerall launched a distinguished Army career just before the last major battles with the Plains Indians. After serving as chief of staff of the U.S. Army, he became president of the Citadel in 1930. Archivist Timothy K. Nenninger recounts Summerall’s life, the major military conflicts, and other critical moments in the history of the U.S. military. A book signing will follow the program.

Panel Discussion: 10th Anniversary of 9/11
Friday, September 9, William G. McGowan Theater

Gordon Peterson, senior correspondent and anchor of ABC 7/WJLA TV news, moderates a program reflecting upon the extraordinary stories of unity, selflessness, and resilience as well as the efforts and reactions by the first responders to the tragic events of 9/11. Panelists include Lynn Spencer, author of Touching History: The Untold Story of Drama That Unfolded in the Skies Over America on 9/11, Rick Newman, co-author of Firefight: Inside the Battle to Save the Pentagon on 9/11, and Jim Dwyer, co-author of 102 Minutes: The Untold Story of the Fight to Survive Inside the Twin Towers. Book signings will follow the program.

Film Screening: The Harvey Girls (1946)
Saturday, September 10, William G. McGowan Theater

Judy Garland stars in this in this lavish MGM musical as a mail-order bride who decides to become a “Harvey Girl” and work in one of Fred Harvey’s famous railroad station restaurants. The many musical numbers featured in the film include the Oscar-winning “Atchison, Topeka, and Santa Fe.” Directed by George Sidney. (101 minutes)

Lecture: Appetite for America: How Visionary Businessman Fred Harvey Built a Railroad Hospitality Empire that Civilized the Wild West
Wednesday, September 14, William G. McGowan Theater

For many years, the name Fred Harvey stood for American hospitality. As railroads grew and expanded westward, Harvey established the first chain restaurants, called Harvey Houses, in partnership with the Santa Fe Railroad. Stephen Fried recounts the history of a man who influenced American culture as well as the “winning” of the West in a new, mouth-watering way. A book signing will follow the program.

Lecture: James Madison/Constitution Day Ice Cream Social
Friday, September 16, William G. McGowan Theater and Jefferson Room

The National Archives celebrates Constitution Day with a special program at noon on James Madison, the “Father of the Constitution,” and a birthday ice cream social. Historian Richard Brookhiser discusses the life of this important Founding Father who helped to shape our country and who nourished Americans’ fledgling liberty. A book signing will follow the program. Then from 1 to 2 P.M in the Jefferson Conference Room, the first 224 guests will join First Lady Dolley Madison for an ice cream social as she describes White House entertainment in the early 19th century.

Film Screening: Hamburger America (2005)
Wednesday, September 21, William G. McGowan Theater

George Motz, America’s foremost hamburger expert, will introduce his 2005 documentary Hamburger America, which tells the story of eight deliciously unique hamburger locations across the country and the people behind the burgers. Each featured restaurant has been around for more than 40 years, uses only fresh meat, and in many cases can boast the fact that ownership has stayed within the same family. (54 minutes.) After the screening, Motz will sign copies of the companion book to Hamburger America.

Film Screening: Once in Afghanistan (2008)
Thursday, September 22, William G. McGowan Theater

In 1969 the World Health Organization made the eradication of smallpox its top priority. Young women trained by the Peace Corps joined teams of Afghan male vaccinators to meet the challenge. In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Peace Corps, the Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary film presents this 2008 film that tells this little known yet fascinating story. Produced and directed by Jill Vickers and Jody Bergedick, who will introduce and discuss the film. (70 minutes)

Film Screening: Tortilla Soup (2001)
Saturday, September 24, William G. McGowan Theater

In celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, the National Archives presents this comedy about a retired Mexican-American chef (Hector Elizondo) and his three daughters. Directed by Maria Ripoll. (102 minutes)

To verify dates and times of the programs, call 202-357-5000 or view the Calendar of Events online. 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.

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

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