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Press Release
February 4, 2011

National Archives Celebrates Reagan Centennial in 2011

Washington DC…The National Archives commemorates the 100th birthday of Ronald Reagan (February 6), with year-long celebration. February highlights include a cake-cutting, special film program, and a temporary exhibit of Reagan’s diplomacy at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, located on Constitution Avenue, between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The programs and exhibition are free and open to the public.

CAKE-CUTTING CEREMONY:
Friday, February 18, at 1:00 p.m., Presidential Conference Rooms (Please use the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th St. NW)
The National Archives in D.C. will celebrate the birth of President Reagan with a special birthday cake-cutting ceremony. Visitors will enjoy cake, featured photographs from the National Archives holdings, and a jelly bean bar featuring an array of President Reagan’s favorite treat.

FILM:  From the Vaults: Ronald Reagan and the Government Film
Tuesday, February 22, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater (Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th St. NW)
The National Archives Experience presents a selection of films from the motion picture holdings of the National Archives, including films featuring Reagan while he was serving with the Army Air Force during WWII, and scenes from his presidency. (70 minutes).

EXHIBIT:  Ronald Reagan Centennial
The National Archives in partnership with the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum features a small, changing selection of rarely displayed original documents and three-dimensional objects in recognition of the Ronald Reagan Centennial. The special display is part of a year-long feature in the permanent “Public Vaults” exhibition at the National Archives Building. This exhibition at the National Archives is created in cooperation with the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission.

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • Three pages of President Reagan’s “Evil Empire” speech with his hand-written edits;
  • Fragments of the first U.S. missile destroyed after the signing of the INF Treaty;
  • Fragment of the last Soviet SS-20 missile destroyed on May 12, 1991;
  • Bronze cast of the Moscow Kremlin, given to Ronald Reagan by Mikhail Gorbachev following Reagan’s visit to the Soviet Union in 1988;
  • Letter from General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to Ronald Reagan on April 2, 1986, concerning the lack of progress in negotiations after the Geneva Summit in 1985;
  • President Reagan’s “talking points” cards that he prepared for his private meeting with Soviet Foreign Minister Eduard Shevardnadze on September 27, 1985.

Activities outside the DC area:

  • Grand re-opening of Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA: Beginning February 5, visitors will experience an all-new permanent exhibit with over 26,000 square feet of new space and interactive exhibits. Funded by the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation, the new space will give visitors an opportunity to role-play as they deliver a Presidential inaugural address, ride along with President Reagan on horseback, or “appear” with Ronald Reagan in a Hollywood movie.
  • Summer Teacher Institutes at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, CA: The Presidential Library system in partnership with the University of Texas at Austin is planning two teacher institutes that will be hosted at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in July 2011. Check back in early spring for registration information.

Virtual Activities:

  • “Walk with the Presidents” on Foursquare debut:  On February 2, the Presidential Libraries debuted a new mobile resource with the location-based social network Foursquare. The program, “Walk with the Presidents on Foursquare,” is mobile resource for accessing interesting information on Presidential history. To celebrate the Ronald Reagan Centennial the initial launch of “Walk with the Presidents on Foursquare” features tips about the life and times of President Reagan. These tips track locations across the country with concentrations in California, Washington, DC, and Illinois. Throughout 2011 additional tips will be rolled out for national and international locations. Tips can be sent to smart phones based on user locations or viewed on the Web. To follow the Presidential Libraries on Foursquare, visit [http://foursquare.com/ourpresidents].
  • Teacher and student outreach:  The National Archives in coordination with the Reagan Library and Museum is planning a number of online student and teacher initiatives that will debut throughout 2011. These featured programs include a new featured lesson plan on NARA’s DocsTeach web site (http://docsteach.org/), and a featured online exhibit on the Presidential Timeline web site (http://www.presidentialtimeline.org/).

Background

On June 2, 2009, President Obama signed a bill (H.R. 131) which created the Ronald Reagan Centennial Commission, an 11 person panel that is planning and carrying out activities to mark the 100th anniversary of the President's birth. Archivist David S. Ferriero is part of this special Commission.

The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum will mark this centennial with a number of special activities in 2011, including the opening of the Library’s completely renovated permanent exhibit on February 6, 2011.

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

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