Washington, DC Area Events

February 2016
Washington, DC, Area Events

© Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences

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.

Program Highlights

  • Family Activities
    Come to family activities all month in the Boeing Learning Center (February 1–29), and bring your preschoolers to a story time about Presidents (February 17).
  • Rosenwald
    Director Aviva Kempner presents her film Rosenwald: A Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities (February 4).
  • History of Finance in American Political Campaigns
    Former Members of Congress discuss campaign finance reform. (February 11)
  • Why Lincoln Still Matters
    On the 207th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, a panel of Lincoln scholars will discuss how Lincoln can still guide and inspire our nation in the face of 21st–century challenges (February 18).
  • Academy Award–nominated Documentaries and Short Subjects
    View free screenings of documentaries, short subjects (live action and animated) (February 24–28).
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome (February 9); The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United States (February 10); and Cheap Gasoline, Dear Petrol (February 18).
  • Know Your Records
    Get an introduction to our Innovation Hub (February 10); get help from an archivist (February 20); and learn about how the U.S. Congressional Serial Set can help your research (February 25).

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

February 1–29, Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Featured Activity in ReSource Room

Delve into the history of the Emancipation Proclamation and learn about U.S. Presidents through hands–on activities in the Boeing Learning Center throughout the month of February.

Thursday, February 4, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Rosenwald: A Remarkable Story of a Jewish Partnership with African American Communities

Rosenwald is the story of Julius Rosenwald, who never finished high school but rose to become the president of Sears. Influenced by the writings of Booker T. Washington, this Jewish philanthropist joined forces with African American communities during the Jim Crow South to build over 5,300 schools during the early part of the 20th century. Director Aviva Kempner will be joined by author and journalist A'Lelia Bundles to discuss the film. (2015; 100 minutes) Presented in collaboration with the National Archives' Afro-American History Society.

 

 

Tuesday, February 9, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater and US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Social Life of DNA: Race, Reparations, and Reconciliation After the Genome

Alondra Nelson takes us on a journey into how the double helix has wound its way into contemporary social issues around race. She explains how DNA-based techniques are being used in myriad ways, including the unfinished business of slavery: to foster reconciliation, to establish ties with African ancestral homelands, to rethink and sometimes alter citizenship, and to make legal claims for slavery reparations. Author and journalist A’Lelia Bundles will join Nelson. A book signing follows the program.

Wednesday, February 10, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater and US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Long Emancipation: The Demise of Slavery in the United States

Answers to questions about who ended slavery, how, and why remain fiercely contested more than a century and a half after the passage of the 13th Amendment. In The Long Emancipation, Ira Berlin offers a framework for understanding slavery’s demise in the United States. Freedom was not achieved in a moment, and emancipation was a shifting but persistent struggle that involved thousands of men and women. A book signing will follow the program.

Wednesday, February 10, at 2 p.m. EST
William G. McGowan Theater and US National Archives YouTube Channel
National Archives Innovation Hub, U.S. History, and You

Dina Herbert introduces the Innovation Hub. Learn about its exciting developments and how the public can help us innovate and also scan Federal documents to add to the National Archives Catalog. Video | Captioning | Presentation | Handout

Meredith McGehee

Thursday, February 11, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater and US National Archives YouTube Channel
The History of Finance in American Political Campaigns

Money has been an integral part of American politics since the beginning of our nation, but today’s full-time campaign staffs and Super PACs are far from what the Founding Fathers saw in their day. Congress has attempted to reform campaign finance, yet more dollars are making their way into our political process than ever before. A bipartisan group of former Members of Congress, along with other issue experts, will discuss the evolution of campaign finance and share their personal experiences running for public office and raising money. Moderated by author and historian Jeff Shesol, panelists include Congressman Tom Petri (R-WI-2006), Senator Bennet Johnson (D-LA, 1971–97), Senator Bill Brock (R-TN, 1973–77), Ambassador Tim Roemer (D-IN, 1991–2003) and issue expert Meredith McGehee. The panel also will discuss the First Amendment Right to free speech and how, in light of these issues, it has been recently interpreted.

Wednesday, February 17, 10–11 a.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Story Time for Pre–Schoolers and Adults

It’s story time at the National Archives! Join us for stories, activities, and crafts about Presidents. This program is designed especially for 3- to 5-year-olds and accompanying adults.

Harold Holzer with Lincoln sculpture by Frank Porcu, photo by Don Pollard

Thursday, February 18, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater and US National Archives YouTube Channel
Why Lincoln Still Matters

On the 207th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, a panel of Lincoln scholars will discuss how Lincoln can still guide and inspire our nation in the face of 21st–century challenges. Panelists include Harold Holzer (moderator), Martha Hodges, Craig Symonds, and Lucas Morel. Book signings will follow the program. Presented in partnership with the Lincoln Group of the District of Columbia.

Thursday February 18, at noon
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
National Sales Taxes in the United States and Great Britain, 1940–1973

Carl–Henry Geschwind will discuss his comparative study of sales taxes, which is part of a book project, Cheap Gasoline, Dear Petrol.

Saturday, February 20, noon–4 p.m.
Microfilm Research Room, 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.

Wednesday–Sunday, February 24–28
William G. McGowan Theater
12th Annual Showcase of Academy Award–Nominated Documentaries and Short Subjects

The National Archives hosts the 12th annual free screenings of the Academy Award® nominees in four categories: Documentary Feature, Documentary Short Subject, Live Action Short Film, and Animated Short Film.

The screenings are presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in partnership with the National Archives.

Register online or call 202-357-6814. Theater doors will open 45 minutes before the start time. Walk–ins without reservations will be admitted 15 minutes before the start time, depending on available seats. Please note that some films may not be appropriate for general audiences.

Screening schedule (subject to availability)

Documentary Feature Nominees

Wednesday, February 24, 7 p.m.
Amy
Asif Kapadia and James Gay-Rees
(128 minutes; rated R)

Thursday, February 25, 7 p.m.
Cartel Landr
Matthew Heineman and Tom Yellin
(100 minutes; rated R)

Friday, February 26, 7 p.m.
The Look of Silence
Joshua Oppenheimer and Signe Byrge Sørensen
(103 minutes; rated PG-13)

Saturday, February 27, 7 p.m.
What Happened, Miss Simone?
Liz Garbus, Amy Hobby and Justin Wilkes
(101 minutes; unrated)

Sunday, February 28, 4 p.m.
Winter on Fire: Ukraine's Fight for Freedom
Evgeny Afineevsky and Den Tolmor
(102 minutes; unrated)

Live Action Short Film Nominees

Saturday, February 27, noon
Ave Maria
Basil Khalil and Eric Dupont
(15 minutes; unrated)

Day One
Henry Hughes
(25 minutes; unrated)

Everything Will Be Okay (Alles Wird Gut)
Patrick Vollrath
(30 minutes; unrated)

Shok
Jamie Donoughue
(21 minutes; unrated)

Stutterer
Benjamin Cleary and Serena Armitage
(12 minutes; unrated)

Total Running time: 103 minutes.

Animated Short Film Nominees

Saturday, February 27, 3:30 p.m.
Prologue
Richard Williams and Imogen Sutton
(6 minutes; unrated)

Sanjay's Super Team
Sanjay Patel and Nicole Grindle
(7 minutes; unrated)

We Can't Live Without Cosmos
Konstantin Bronzit
(16 minutes; unrated)

World of Tomorrow
Don Hertzfeldt
(17 minutes; unrated)

Bear Story
Gabriel Osorio and Pato Escala
(11 minutes; unrated)

Total Running Time: 57 minutes.

Documentary Short Subject Nominees

Sunday, February 28, 11 a.m.
Body Team 12
David Darg and Bryn Mooser
(13 minutes; unrated)

Chau, Beyond the Lines
Courtney Marsh and Jerry Franck
(34 minutes; unrated)

Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah
Adam Benzine
(40 minutes; unrated)

A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
(40 minutes; unrated)

Last Day of Freedom
Dee Hibbert-Jones and Nomi Talisman
(32 minutes; unrated)

Total Running Time: 159 minutes

Thursday, February 25, at 2 p.m. EST
William G. McGowan Theater and US National Archives YouTube Channel
Genealogy Research Using the U.S. Congressional Serial Set

Chief Librarian Jeffery Hartley will discuss the history and contents of the U.S. Congressional Serial Set for family history research. The presentation will include African American genealogy and a demonstration of the digital version of the serial set. Presentation materials are available online.

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

Exhibitions

Final days to see Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History Who was the “lady hooch hunter?” What is a “drunkometer?” And why did some Americans campaign against the “spirit ration?” Find these answers and more in this fascinating collection of alcohol-related posters, films, patent drawings, petitions, photographs, and artifacts. Visit “Spirited Republic” and learn about American debates about alcohol and its place in society. Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, Through January 10, 2016

Spirited Republic is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of HISTORY®, the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family, The Tasting Panel Magazine, and Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America. Additional exhibition funding provided by the Beer Institute, the Distilled Spirits Council of the U.S., the National Alcohol Beverage Control Association, and the National Beer Wholesalers Association.

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 2010 “Don't Ask Don't Tell” Repeal Act is on display in the Landmark Document case. 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


Featured Documents on Display in Washington, DC

Featured Document Display: 75th Anniversary of the Tuskegee Airmen
On January 16, 1941, the War Department announced it was creating an all-black fighter squadron that would train at a new airfield in Tuskegee, Alabama. See documents relating to their World War II military service and their struggle against discrimination. East Rotunda Gallery, January 7–March 2, 2016

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


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 February 15 for Washington's Birthday.

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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