Washington, DC Area Events

June 2016
Washington, DC, Area Events

First Lady Betty Ford sports a button expressing support for the Equal Rights Amendment, February 1975. (Ford Library)

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

  • Education Activities
    Learn about the Magna Carta all month in the ReSource Room (June 1–30) and take on the roles of researchers and archivists in the Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab for families (June 28 & 29).

  • Escape Room! Adult Workshop
    Tackle puzzles and ciphers to solve a mystery during this “escape room” for adults (June 8).

  • Memorials for the Future
    A panel of experts discusses memorials and the relationship of commemoration to memory, identity, and placemaking in the nation’s capital (June 8).

  • Film
    Jeremiah tells the story of U.S. Navy Commander Jeremiah Denton during and after the Vietnam War (June 10).

  • The Equal Rights Amendment
    A panel will explore the proposed amendment and its implications in today’s world. (June 16).

  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of Herbert Hoover in the White House (June 7); First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama (June 15); and The Wickedest City in America: Sex, Race, and Organized Crime in the Jim Crow South (June 23).

  • Know Your Records
    Learn about the “Amending America” exhibit (June 2) and get help from an archivist (June 18).

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

June 1–30 (Monday–Saturday 10 a.m.–4 p.m.)
Boeing Learning Center
Magna Carta Featured Activities in the ReSource Room

Celebrate one of the documents that set the foundation for our Bill of Rights and led to years of conversations about rights. Explore Magna Carta through hands-on activities in the Boeing Learning Center throughout the month.

Thursday, June 2, at 2 p.m. ET
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
U.S. Constitutional Amendments

Co-curator Christine Blackerby will discuss the records in our new exhibit, “Amending America,” which celebrates the 225th anniversary of the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Video | Presentation Slides | Handout | Transcript

Tuesday, June 7, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Herbert Hoover in the White House: The Ordeal of the Presidency

Herbert Hoover, the 31st President of the United States, served one term, from 1929 to 1933. Often considered placid, passive, unsympathetic, and even paralyzed by national events, Hoover faced an uphill battle in the face of the Great Depression. Many historians dismiss him as merely ineffective. But in Herbert Hoover in the White House, Charles Rappleye draws on rare and intimate sources—memoirs and diaries and thousands of documents kept by members of his cabinet and close advisers—to reveal a very different figure than the one often portrayed. A book signing follows the program.

Wednesday, June 8, 5:30–7:30 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Escape Room! Adult Workshop

Tackle puzzles and ciphers about the National Park Service to solve a mystery during this “escape room” for adults. To register, or for more information, send an email to education@nara.gov with Adult Workshops in the subject line.

The Vietnam Memorial and the Washington Monument. (National Archives ID 7718561)

Wednesday, June 8, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Memorials for the Future

Washington, DC, offers a rich commemorative landscape filled with monuments that evoke a sense of national heritage and identity. But how might we develop and experience the next century’s memorials, telling more of America’s stories? Tonight, an expert panel moderated by Jason Schupbach, director of design programs at the National Endowment for the Arts, discusses these topics and the relationship of commemoration to memory, identity, and place-making in the nation’s capital. Panelists include Edward T. Linenthal, history professor at the University of Indiana; Brent Leggs, a preservation division senior field officer with the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and artist Janet Echelman. Before the discussion, David van der Leer, executive director of Van Alen Institute, will announce the three finalist teams for the Memorials for the Future ideas competition. Presented in partnership with the National Capital Planning Commission, the National Park Service, and the Van Alen Institute.

 

Friday, June 10, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Jeremiah

On July 18, 1965, U.S. Navy Commander Jeremiah Denton took off from the aircraft carrier USS Independence to lead a 28-plane mission over the city of Thanh Hoa in North Vietnam. Denton’s plane was hit by antiaircraft fire, and for the next eight years, he was a prisoner of war in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. In the new documentary film Jeremiah (2016; 60 minutes), family, friends, and fellow POWs help tell the story of this American hero who led the way for prisoners in Hanoi and returned from Vietnam to become a U.S. Senator from Alabama. Following the screening, filmmakers Mark Fastoso and Luis Blandon, along with James S. Denton, son of Jeremiah Denton and editor of World Affairs, will discuss the film and answer audience questions.

Wednesday, June 15, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
First Dads: Parenting and Politics from George Washington to Barack Obama

Every President has had some experience as a parent. Of the 43 men who have served in the nation’s highest office, 38 have fathered biological children, and the other five adopted children. Each President’s parenting style reveals much about his beliefs as well as his psychological makeup. Based on research in archives around the country, Joshua Kendall shows Presidential character in action, and describes which type of parent might be best suited to leading the American people and, finally, how the fathering experiences of our Presidents have forever changed the course of American history. A book signing follows the program.

 

 

Rosalynn Carter signs a resolution supporting the Equal Rights Amendment, October 20, 1978. (Carter Library)

Thursday, June 16, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Equal Rights Amendment: Yesterday and Today

Written in 1921 by suffragist Alice Paul, the Equal Rights Amendment was introduced into every session of Congress between 1923 and 1972, when it was passed and sent to the states but failed to achieve the necessary three-fourths ratification. Proponents are strongly in favor of the ERA, but some still argue against it. What are the pros and cons of the ERA, and could it become ratified? Page Harrington, Executive Director, National Woman's Party at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument, moderates a panel discussion with E. Faye Williams, President/CEO, National Congress of Black Women, Inc.; Robyn Muncy, Professor of History, University of Maryland; Kyle Ciani, Chair of the History Department, Illinois State University; and Kris Myers, Director of Programs, Alice Paul Institute. Presented in partnership with the National Woman's Party at the Belmont-Paul Women's Equality National Monument.

Saturday, June 18, noon–4 p.m.
Microfilm Room, 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 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.

Thursday, June 23, at noon
Room 25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Dear Senator: Estes Kefauver and the Anti-Crime Crusade in the South

Tammy Ingram, associate professor of history at the College of Charleston, discusses her research and book project, The Wickedest City in America: Sex, Race, and Organized Crime in the Jim Crow South.

Tuesday, June 28, at 10 a.m.–noon
Wednesday, June 29, at 10 a.m.–noon
Boeing Learning Center
Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab Family Program

Take on the role of researchers and archivists for a day! During a two-hour simulation, help the President and Bob, his communications director, prepare for a very special press conference. Families will work together to locate and analyze facsimile documents and find the connection each has to the Constitution. This activity is a great way for everyone to explore history, learn more about the National Archives, and gain a greater understanding of the role the Constitution plays in our daily lives. Reservations are required and must be made at least 24 hours in advance. Reserve your spot online.
This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of John Hancock Financial.

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 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


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: Harvey Milk’s Letter to President Carter
In 1978, San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk wrote to President Carter asking for his support in defeating a ballot proposition that would have banned gay men and lesbians from working in California school districts. Milk’s letter and a portion of a speech he gave will be on display. East Rotunda Gallery, April 28–June 29

Featured Document Display: 100th Anniversary of the National Park Service
We will display the 1916 Organic Act signed by President Woodrow Wilson. This legislation created the National Park Service, bringing the management and preservation of national parks under the administration of a single agency. East Rotunda Gallery, June 30–August 31


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:

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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