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Press Release
December 23, 2010

National Archives Presents Free Civil War-Themed Public Programs in January

Washington, DC…The National Archives presents a special series of programs in January including book talks, a presentation on political cartoons of the Civil War, and a screening of three parts of Ken Burns’ The Civil War, inspired by Part II, Consequences, of the Discovering the Civil War exhibition. The programs are free and open to the public. Three of the programs will be held in the National Archives Building on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. For programs in the Jefferson Room of the National Archives Building, please use the Special Events entrance on the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street. The program on political cartoons of the Civil War will be held at the Newseum.

Discovering the Civil War Part II, Consequences, is featured in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and runs through April 17, 2011. The exhibit peels back 150 years of accumulated analysis, interpretation, and opinion to reveal a Civil War that is little-known and even more rarely displayed. The exhibition offers visitors the chance to join researchers in unlocking secrets, solving mysteries, and uncovering unexpected events in the Civil War records of the National Archives. Museum winter hours (through March 14) are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. The exhibition is presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and the Foundation for the National Archives.

Political Cartoons of the Civil War and Their Role in Shaping History, Thursday, January 6, at 7 p.m.
Newseum’s Walter and Leonore Annenberg Theater, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
How do political cartoons from the Civil War era reveal what Americans thought about the war and how they participated in the politics of the day? An illustrated discussion featuring both Union and Confederate political cartoons will be moderated by Harold Holzer, co-author of The Lincoln Image: Abraham Lincoln and Popular Print. Panelists include Joshua Brown, author of Beyond the Lines: Pictorial Reporting, Everyday Life, and the Crisis of Gilded Age America, John Adler, who compiled for the online resource HarpWeek, Illustrated Civil War Newspapers and Magazines, and Richard West, collector of out of print periodicals and owner of Periodyssey.This program is presented in partnership with the Newseum.

Ken Burns’ The Civil WarThursdays, January 6, 12, and 19 at noon
National Archives Building - Jefferson Room
We continue the landmark nine-part television series by filmmaker Ken Burns.
January 6—“Simply Murder”(1990; 62 minutes)
January 12—“The Universe of Battle”(1990; 95 minutes)
January 19—“The Valley of the Shadow of Death”(1990; 69 minutes)

Civil Rights History: On American Soil, Thursday, January 20, at noon
National Archives Building Jefferson Room
Jack Hamann will discuss On American Soil: How Justice Became a Casualty of WWII, anaccount of one of the most controversial events in American civil rights and military justice history. In the U.S. Army’s largest and longest court-martial of World War II, 43 African American soldiers were accused of rioting and charged with the murder of an Italian prisoner of war. After dozens of interviews and years of research, Hamann uncovered documents in the National Archives that shed new light on the case and led to justice for the African American soldiers. 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.

Libby Prison Breakout: The Daring Escape from the Notorious Civil War Prison
Wednesday, January 26, at noon

National Archives Building, Room 105 (Please use the Pennsylvania Ave. entrance)
Joseph Wheelan recounts the largely unknown story of the escape of 109 Union officers from Richmond’s Libby Prison through a 55-foot tunnel and their flight through enemy territory. 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.

Please note: The National Archives William G. McGowan Theater in Washington, DC, is temporarily closed to the public for needed improvements to the lighting, projection, and recording systems. The Theater will reopen in late February 2011, in time to host the Seventh Annual Showcase of Academy Award®-nominated Documentaries and Short Subjects (Feb. 23 -27), presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in partnership with The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film and the Foundation for the National Archives.

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

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