Washington, DC Area Events

September 2016
Washington, DC, Area Events

You can watch some of our programs live on YouTube. Look for the US National Archives YouTube Channel logo in a program description and click it to watch live or catch up later.

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.

 

  • The People and the Police
    After a screening of CG 8225: The People and the Police, a film made after the 1968 riots in Washington, a panel will discuss police-community relations. (September 8)

  • Constitution Day
    The 10th Annual State of the Constitution program focuses on the future of policy making (September 15). Enjoy family activities on the 229th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution (September 17).

  • Story Time
    This month’s story time for preschoolers looks at the Constitution. (September 21)

  • Educators’ Open House
    Teachers can learn about resources offered by the National Archives in this special after-hours program. (September 22)

  • The 14th Amendment, the National Park Service, and America’s Second Founding
    A panel discusses the 14th Amendment, its connection to America’s “Second Founding,” and the interpretation of these topics at National Park Service sites. (September 29)

  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of Bobby Kennedy: the Making of a Liberal Icon (September 13), The Cold War: Law, Lawyers, Spies, and Crises (September 14); and The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise (September 21).

  • Know Your Records
    Learn what’s new online at FamilySearch (September 14) and get help from an archivist (September 17).

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

Lost and Found

  • National Archives at Washington, DC: 202-357-5023
  • National Archives at College Park: 301-837-2900

 

Tom Sherwood

Thursday, September 8, at 7 p.m.
The People and the Police
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel

After the 1968 riots in Washington, DC, the Office of Economic Opportunity produced a series of films about the Pilot District Project, created to foster the development of community programs and improve the shattered relationship between the city’s citizens and its police force. Tonight we show one of those films, CG 8225: The People and the Police, recently restored by the National Archives. Following the screening, NBC4 reporter Tom Sherwood will moderate a discussion on the legacy of the project and the current state of police-community relations. Scheduled panelists include Metropolitan Police Department Interim Chief of Police Peter Newsham, and longtime Washington, DC, community activist Susan Meehan.

 

Tuesday, September 13, at noon
Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel

New York Times bestselling author Larry Tye discusses his recent biography of Robert F. Kennedy, the former Attorney General, U.S. Senator, and Presidential candidate. Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon explores RFK’s extraordinary transformation from cold warrior to fiery leftist. A book singing follows the program.

 

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, September 14, at noon
The Cold War: Law, Lawyers, Spies, and Crises
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel

During the four decades of the Cold War, there were periods of intense crisis, when, almost by accident, the world was spared nuclear war. Arthur T. Downey’s The Cold War: Law, Lawyers, Spies, and Crises is a thorough look at the people and doctrines that helped avoid global catastrophe. From the Cuban Missile Crisis to East German uprisings, McCarthyism to loyalty oaths, The Cold War is the singular story of an uncommon time in world history. A book signing follows the program.

Wednesday, September 14, at 2 p.m.
What’s New at FamilySearch
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel

FamilySearch provides free online access to over 2,079 record collections with 1.2 billion images, 5.36 billion searchable names, research assistance, genealogical education, community forums, and an ever-expanding knowledge base (Wiki). This session will explore the many resources available online and at your local Family History Center. Video | Presentation Slides

Senator Rand Paul

Thursday, September 15, at 7 p.m.
Constitution Day: The 10th Annual State of the Constitution—The Future of Policy Making
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel

Celebrate Constitution Day with the 10th annual State of the Constitution program, which will focus on the future of policy making under our current constitutional system, against the backdrop of national elections. Presented in partnership with the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison’s Montpelier. Speakers will include Senator Rand Paul and others.

Saturday, September 17, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Constitution Day Family Activities
Boeing Learning Center

Celebrate in the home of this important document by participating in exciting, hands-on activities. Make listening to the Constitution one of the ways you celebrate this year: 10-year-old Nathan Bond will recite the entire U.S. Constitution at 1 p.m. This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of John Hancock Financial.

Wednesday, September 21, 10 a.m.–11 a.m.
Story Time in the ReSource Room for Pre-Schoolers and Adults
Boeing Learning Center

Join us for story time designed for 3- to 5-year-olds and accompanying adults. Children will practice their listening skills, participate in group activities, and create a craft. This month’s theme is the Constitution.

Saturday, September 17, 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? Archivist Claire Kluskens is available from noon to 4 p.m. to answer your questions. Sign up for first-come, first-served 20-minute appointments at the Microfilm Research desk on Saturday. The genealogy consultations take place on one Saturday a month in the Microfilm Research Room.

Wednesday, September 21, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Taming of Free Speech: America’s Civil Liberties Compromise

In the early decades of the 20th century, business leaders condemned civil liberties as masks for subversive activity, while labor sympathizers denounced the courts as shills for industrial interests. But by the Second World War, prominent figures in both camps celebrated the judiciary for protecting freedom of speech. Laura Weinrib illustrates how a surprising coalition of lawyers and activists made judicial enforcement of the Bill of Rights a defining feature of American democracy. A book signing follows the program.

Thursday, September 22, 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 for classroom use? Are you planning a field trip 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 our exhibits. Learn about resources and workshops for National History Day, options for video conferencing, DocsTeach online resources and lesson plans, the Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab, exhibits, and much more! Registration is appreciated. Please send questions to education@nara.gov.

 

Rep. James Clyburn

Thursday, September 29, at 7:30 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The 14th Amendment, the National Park Service, and America’s Second Founding

To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 14th Amendment, we look at how that amendment defines U.S. citizenship, its connection to America’s “Second Founding” (the passage of the Reconstruction amendments), and the interpretation of these topics at National Park Service sites. Rep. James Clyburn (SC) is the keynote speaker. Elizabeth Wydra will moderate a discussion with Michael Allen, Southeast Region Community Planning Specialist, National Park Service; Dr. Turkiya Lowe, Southeast Region Chief Historian, National Park Service; and Northwestern University Professor Kate Masur. Presented in partnership with the Constitutional Accountability Center and the National Park Service.

 

SAVE THE DATE!

October 26 & 27
ONLINE AT www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair
National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair
Participate in our biggest genealogy event of the year! Interact with the presenters and other family historians during the live event on YouTube. Advanced registration is not required. Learn more about the fair and get free access to session videos and handouts online.

 

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

Exhibitions

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. A court record from the Miranda v. Arizona decision is on view in the Landmark Documents case. It is the 50th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1966 decision, which transformed police procedures and the rights of the accused. Beginning June 15, the Freedom of Information Act will go on display to celebrate the 50th anniversary of its signing into law in 1966. 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

  • 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


Special Exhibition in Washington, DC

Amending America
Only 27 times—out of more than 11,000 proposals—have Americans reached consensus to amend the Constitution. A new exhibit, “Amending America,” reveals the stories behind why some proposed amendments successfully became part of the Constitution, while others failed to gain enough support. Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, March 11, 2016–September 4, 2017

The “Amending America” exhibit and related programs are presented in part by AT&T, HISTORY®, the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family, Seedlings Foundation, and the National Archives Foundation.

Featured Documents on Display in Washington, DC

Featured Document Display: Celebrating the opening of the National Museum of African American History and Culture
The Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture (NMAAHC) was established by an act of Congress on December 16, 2003. However, efforts to create a national museum dedicated to African American history and culture date to the early 20th century. In celebration of the opening of the NMAACH, a 1927 pamphlet showing an early design for an African American memorial museum, and the act that was ultimately passed in 2003 will be on display. East Rotunda Gallery, September 1 through November 9


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

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


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 email 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.

myArchives Store: Offers publications and gift items in support of National Archives exhibitions, education, and public programs. A 15% discount is offered on program-related books. Telephone 202-357-5271.


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. Please note that all National Archives research rooms will be closed on Monday, September 5 for Labor 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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