Washington, DC Area Events

November 2014
Washington, DC, Area Events

Photo by Jeff Reed

You can now watch our programs live on YouTube. Unlike Ustream, YouTube does not have one landing page to view our events. Each event will have its own link, which is included at the end of the descriptions on this page.

You will be able to watch our archived programs on Ustream for a limited time while the landing page is still active. www.ustream.tv/usnationalarchives

Live captioning will be available online and in the William G. McGowan Theater. If you require an alternative or additional accommodation for an event (such as a downloadable transcript or a sign language interpreter), please send an email to public.program@nara.gov or call 202-357-5000 in advance.

Program Highlights

  • Congressional Drama: Midterm Election Analysis
    Former members of Congress discuss the recent election and its ramifications. (November 6)
  • “Making Their Mark” educational workshops
    View the exhibit and lean about basic pen first aid (November 5)
  • Programs for teachers and students
    Teachers are invited to the Educators’ Open House (November 13), and teens can explore documents through our interactive touch table (November 14).
  • Nixon Legacy Forum: The Opening of China
    Former National Security Council staff share their experiences behind the scenes to open diplomatic relations with China. (November 12)
  • Heir to an Execution
    Ivy Meeropol’s film about Ethel and Julius Rosenberg examines her famous grandparents’ story. (November 12)
  • McGowan Forum on Communications: White House Press Secretaries
    Former White House Press Secretaries discuss what they faced as the President’s spokesperson. (November 13)
  • Films
    Watch Rebel, the story of Civil War spy Loreta Velazquez (November 4) and Let There Be Light, John Huston’s film of traumatized soldiers(November 5).
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of Five Came Back, the story of five Hollywood directors in World War II (November 5); Burdens of a Great War: Health, Politics, and the Birth of the United States Veterans’ Hospital System (November 6); War Dogs (November 13); The Accidental Admiral (November 14); Secularism in Nineteenth-Century America (November 20); and Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations (November 20).
  • Know Your Records
    Learn how to work with sensitive records (November 4 & 6); get started with the Introduction to Genealogy workshop (November 5), and bring your tough questions to a genealogy specialist (November 15); find out how FOIA works (November 18 & 20).

Locations, Hours, and Contact Information

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted. Reservations for McGowan Theater programs are not required but are recommended. Use the new online event registration system from the National Archives Foundation to reserve your seats:
1. Register at www.archivesfoundation.org/events/
2. Print your email confirmation and bring it with you.
3. To reserve by phone, call 202-357-6814. Walk-ins without reservations will be admitted, depending on available seats.

For McGowan Theater programs, use the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program.

Current Exhibitions

Tuesday, November 4, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Identifying and Reviewing Sensitive Records

National Archives FOIA and privacy officer Joseph Scanlon and Special Access/FOIA staff manager Martha Murphy discuss Federal records covered by FOIA exemptions.

Thursday, November 6, at 11 a.m.
Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room C

Photo by Gerard Gaskin, graphic work by Hayley Parker.

Tuesday, November 4, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Rebel

This documentary tells the amazing story of Loreta Velazquez, Confederate soldier turned Union Spy–one of the Civil War’s most gripping forgotten narratives. (2014; 75 minutes) Following the screening, senior military archivist DeAnne Blanton will discuss the film with writer-director Maria Agui Carter.

Wednesday, November 5, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Introduction to Genealogy at the National Archives

Learn how to do basic genealogical research using Federal records at the National Archives. Lectures take place on the first Wednesday of each month.

 

Wednesday, November 5, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Five Came Back: A Story of Hollywood and the Second World War

Mark Harris tells how Hollywood changed World War II–and vice versa–through the stories of five lengendary American film directors: John Ford, William Wyler, John Huston, Frank Capra, and George Stevens. Among them they were on the scene of almost every major moment of America’s war and in every branch of service. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

 

 

 

Still photo from Let There Be Light

Wednesday, November 5, at 2 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Let There Be Light

Let There Be Light is the third in the World War II trilogy commissioned from Academy Award–winning director John Huston by the U.S. Army Signal Corps. The film follows the treatment of emotionally traumatized GIs from their admission at a psychiatric hospital to their reentry into civilian life. Today we present a high-definition version of the film, preserved and digitally restored by the National Archives Motion Picture Preservation Lab. (1946; 58 minutes)

Wednesday, November 5, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
“Making Their Mark” Adult Education Workshop Series: Meet the Pen Doctor

Enjoy a special after-hours viewing of the “Making Their Mark” exhibit and learn basic pen first aid in this hands-on workshop lead by the Pen Doctor from Fahrney’s Pens. This is the third in a series of four hands-on workshops in conjunction with the “Making Their Mark” exhibit.

To register, email education@nara.gov with MTM Workshops as the subject. Educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company–Newell Rubbermaid.

Thursday, November 6, at noon
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
World War I and the Birth of the United States Veterans’ Hospital System

Jessica L. Adler, assistant professor of history and health policy and management at Florida International University, will discuss the origins of the veterans’ hospital system and her forthcoming book tentatively titled Burdens of a Great War: Health, Politics, and the Birth of the United States Veterans’ Hospital System.

Loren Duggan

Thursday, November 6, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Congressional Drama: Midterm Election Analysis

A bipartisan group of former Members of Congress will examine the November 4 midterm election results. The panel will discuss America’s current political climate, the issues that brought voters to the polls, the importance of voter participation in the primary process, election night surprises, and the election’s impact on President Obama’s final two years in office. Moderated by Loren Duggan, Bloomberg Government’s Director of Legislative Analysis, panelists include Barbara Kennelly (D-CT); Tom Davis (R-VA); Martin Frost (D-TX); Ann Marie Buerkle (R-NY), and Dennis Cardoza (D-CA). Presented in partnership with the U.S. Association of Former Members of Congress.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

 

(Nixon Library, National Archives Identifier 7268166)

Wednesday, November 12, at 10 a.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Nixon Legacy Forum: The Opening of China

President Nixon’s opening to China, including his historic 1972 visit, was the public result of sensitive diplomatic initiatives. Former members of the National Security Council staff discuss their behind-the-scenes efforts as well as the ramifications for the United States and its allies. Jonathan Howe, Winston Lord, Nicholas Platt, and Richard Solomon form the panel moderated by Fox News National Security Analyst K. T. McFarland.Presented in partnership with the Richard Nixon Foundation.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Courtesy of Ivy Meeropol

Wednesday, November 12 at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Heir to an Execution: A Granddaughter’s Story

The trial and execution of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg during the height of the Cold War shook America. In Heir to an Execution (2004; 99 minutes), the Rosenbergs’ granddaughter Ivy Meeropol searches for the “true” Rosenbergs and tries to answer the question that has haunted her family: What drove the Rosenbergs to sacrifice their lives and jeopardize the future of their children? Following the screening, Michael Meeropol will join his daughter to discuss the film and answer audience questions. Presented in conjunction with the exhibit “Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures.”

 

 

Thursday, November 13, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
War Dogs: Tales of Canine Heroism, History, and Love

Loyal and courageous, dogs are truly man’s best friend on the battlefield. The history of dogs in the U.S. military is long and rich, from the mascots of the Civil War to the dogs leading patrols and hunting for IEDs on today’s battlefields. In War Dogs, Rebecca Frankel offers a riveting history of the world of military working dogs and a look at the science of dogs’ special abilities. A book signing will follow the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Thursday, November 13, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Educators’ Open House

Are you a teacher? Have you been wondering what resources the National Archives has that you can use in your classroom? Are you planning a field trip for your class to the Archives? If the answer to any of these questions is yes, then this is the event for you. Enjoy a special after-hours viewing of the exhibits at the National Archives. Learn about resources and workshops for National History Day, options for video conferencing programs into your classroom, DocsTeach online resources and lesson plans, a new app and eBook on the Bill of Rights, the Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab, and much more! Questions? Please email education@nara.gov with Educators’ Open House as the subject.

 

Michel Martin

Thursday, November 13, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Tenth Annual McGowan Forum on Communications: White House Press Secretaries

For over 85 years, since Hoover’s administration, official White House press secretaries have been communicating the American Presidency. Tonight former White House press secretaries share behind-the-scenes stories, discuss changes over the years, and tell us what it is like to be in the spotlight as the President’s spokesperson. Moderated by NPR’s Michel Martin, panelists include Ron Nessen (Ford), Marlin Fitzwater (Reagan, Bush), Mike McCurry (Clinton), and Robert Gibbs (Obama). This program is generously supported by the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund, Inc.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

 

Friday, November 14, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
The Accidental Admiral: A Sailor Takes Command at NATO

As the first admiral to take command as NATO commander in Europe, Adm. James G. Stavridis was responsible for 120,000 coalition troops serving in 51 nations on three continents and at sea. The Accidental Admiral looks at the challenges of directing NATO operations, cyberthreats, and piracy. Stavridis shares his insights into the personalities of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretaries of Defense Robert Gates, Leon Panetta. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

Friday, November 14, 4 p.m.–4:45 p.m.
David M. Rubenstein Gallery
Facilitated Interactive Table for Teens

Teens are invited to engage with records in the National Archives using the interactive touch table in the Records of Rights exhibition. Collaborate to discover and ask questions about how rights have changed for people in the United States. Space is limited; please register in advance by sending an email to education@nara.gov (use “Table for Teens” as the subject).

Saturday, November 15, noon–4 p.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
“Help! I'm Stuck” Genealogy Consultation

Not sure where to begin? Has a genealogical problem stumped you? Claire Kluskens, archivist, is available from noon to 4 p.m. to answer your questions. Sign up for a 20-minute appointment at the Microfilm Research desk on Saturday.

Tuesday, November 18, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
FOIA at the National Archives

National Archives Special Access/FOIA staff manager Martha Murphy and FOIA and privacy officer Joseph Scanlon discuss how we respond to Freedom of Information Act requests.

Thursday, November 20, at 11 a.m.
Repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room C

Thursday, November 20, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Nation to Nation: Treaties Between the United States and American Indian Nations

Kevin Gover, Director of the National Museum of the American Indian, and Suzan Shown Harjo, guest curator of the “Nation to Nation” exhibit, explore the promises, diplomacy, and betrayals involved in treaties and treaty making between the United States government and Native Nations. One side sought to own the riches of North America and the other struggled to hold on to traditional homelands and ways of life. The book reveals how the ideas of honor, fair dealings, good faith, rule of law, and peaceful relations between nations have been tested and challenged in historical and modern times. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Thursday, November 20, at noon
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Petitions and the History of American Secularism

Timothy Verhoeven, fellow at the School of Philosophical, Historical, and International Studies at the University of Monash (Australia), will discuss his book project, “Secularism in Nineteenth-Century America.”

Boeing Learning Center

An exciting space designed to provide parents and educators of all levels with methods and materials for teaching with primary source documents. Open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Learn more about Education programs at the National Archives.

The ReSource Room is open Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Exhibitions

Making Their Mark: Stories Through Signatures
Featuring original signatures from John Hancock to Magic Johnson, this new exhibit displays signatures from our nationwide holdings. From developing a signature style to signing groundbreaking policy into law, they illustrate the many ways people have “made their mark” on history. Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery

Records of Rights
Records of Rights” explores how Americans have worked to realize their nation’s ideals of freedom. The exhibit features the 1297 Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein. The 1789 Judiciary Act which established the federal court system will be on display in the Landmark Document case through December 16. David M. Rubenstein Gallery

1297 Magna Carta
The 1297 Magna Carta, on permanent loan from David M. Rubenstein, is featured in the “Records of Rights” exhibit. David M. Rubenstein Gallery

Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom

  • Declaration of Independence
  • Constitution
  • Bill of Rights

The Charters of Freedom: Our Nation’s Founding Documents” takes a fresh look at the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. Using historical documents from the holdings of the National Archives, we answer two key questions about the Charters: "How did they happen?" and "Why are they important?" Rotunda

The Public Vaults” invites visitors into virtual stack areas to discover historic documents, films, maps, and photographs from the National Archives. A rare print on parchment of the Declaration of Independence–made from the original copperplate engraved by William J. Stone in 1823–is on display for a limited time. Courtesy of David M. Rubenstein

A rare print on parchment of the Declaration of Independence—made from the original copperplate engraved by William J. Stone in 1823—is on display for a limited time. Courtesy of David M. Rubenstein.

This year’s featured adventurer in “Polar Exploration” is explorer Robert E. Peary, who made two unsuccessful attempts before finally claiming to reach the Pole in 1909.


Featured Documents on Display in Washington, DC

Featured Document Display: Bicentennial Commemoration of the Burning of Washington and Battle of Baltimore
We will exhibit a charred remnant of the White House and a letter written after the bombardment of Fort McHenry—the War of 1812 battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” East Rotunda Gallery, September 11–November 3

Featured Document Display: Surrender? Nuts to you! Gen. Anthony McAuliffe's 1944 Christmas Message to his Troops
In celebration of Veterans Day and in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, the National Archives will present a document display of Gen. Anthony McAuliffe's Christmas message to his men besieged in Bastogne, Belgium, The December 24, 1944, message recounts McAuliffe's famous reply of “Nuts!” to a German demand for surrender. East Rotunda Gallery, November 4–January 5.


Special Exhibition in College Park, Maryland

Auditorium Lobby at the National Archives Research Center:

"The Long View" features digitally produced facsimiles of historic panoramic photographs from the Still Picture holdings.

Motorcycle Corps, Army Motor Service - Under Command of J. S. Berryman. US Capitol. Wash., DC. Jan. 26, 1919, By R. S. Clements. Records of the War Department General and Special Staffs (165-PP-60-47)

The exhibit not only showcases the wide variety of panoramic techniques, but also includes National Archives records such as cartographic maps and patent drawings that relate to the photographs. Thirty-four panoramas and other records are on display and span the period from 1864 to 1997.
See more panoramas online


Online Exhibits

Dozens of exhibits can be experienced online. Visit Now!

Records of Rights
Explore records of the National Archives documenting the ongoing struggle of Americans to define, attain, and protect their rights.

Discovery and Recovery: Preserving Iraqi Jewish Heritage
Startling evidence of the once vibrant Jewish life in Iraq came to light in May 2003—over 2,700 books and tens of thousands of documents were discovered in the flooded basement of the Iraqi intelligence headquarters by a U.S. Army team.

To the Brink: JFK and the Cuban Missile Crisis
An exhibit marking the 50th anniversary of the Cuban Missile Crisis.

What's Cooking Uncle Sam? logo “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”
Unearth the stories and personalities behind the increasingly complex programs and legislation that affect what we eat. Learn about the Government’s extraordinary efforts, successes, and failures to change our eating habits. Find out why the Government wanted us to “Eat the Carp,” “Share the Meat,” and “Know Our Onions.” There are over 100 original records in the exhibit—including folk songs, war posters, educational films, and even seed packets. From Revolutionary War rations to Cold War cultural exchanges, discover the multiple ways that food has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans and their Government.
Online exhibit


Locations, Hours, and Contact Information

The National Archives Museum
Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC

For details, see the Visitor's Guide or visit the National Archives Museum.

Exhibit Hours:

  • 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m.
  • Last admission is at 5 p.m.
  • Open every day except Thanksgiving and December 25.

Admission free.

All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted. Reservations for McGowan Theater programs are not required but are recommended. Use the new online event registration system from the National Archives Foundation to reserve your seats:
1. Register at www.archivesfoundation.org/events/
2. Print your email confirmation and bring it with you.
3.To reserve by phone, call 202-357-6814. Walk-ins without reservations will be admitted, depending on available seats.

For McGowan Theater programs, use the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue. The doors to the building will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program.

For reservations or to be placed on the mailing list, call 202-357-5000, or toll free at 1-877-874-7616, or e-mail public.program@nara.gov.

Museum Visit Reservations: To make reservations to visit the museum, especially during the height of the tourist season and holiday periods use online reservations.


The National Archives Research Center
700 Penn. Ave., NW, Washington, DC and 8601 Adelphi Road, College Park, MD.

Research Hours for both locations:

  • Monday - Saturday, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.
  • Closed on Federal holidays. Research rooms will be closed on November 11 for Veterans Day. The museum and research rooms will be closed on November 27 for Thanksgiving Day.

Check the Washington, DC and College Park, MD location information for records pull times and other important details.

Call 202-357-5450 for a docent-led guided tour.

wheelchair icon TDD: 301-837-0482. The National Archives is fully accessible. To request an accommodation (such as a sign language interpreter) for a public program, please call 202-357-5000, or toll free at 1-877-874-7616, or email public.program@nara.gov at least two weeks prior to the event.


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