September 2015
Washington, DC, Area Events

Pola Negri (National Archives, 306-NT-11882)

red information icon The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, will open at 11:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 17, due to a special event.

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.

“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.

Program Highlights

  • Constitution Day
    On September 17, the 228th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution, we present a variety of programs: family activities in the Boeing Learning Center; a talk by Senator Mike Lee about Our Lost Constitution; and the annual State of the Constitution lecture. Return on September 23 for story time for pre-schoolers. And on September 30, learn about The Constitution: An Introduction.
  • 9th Annual Charles Guggenheim Tribute
    Guggenheim’s 1967 film Monument to the Dream documents the building of the St Louis Arch. (September 15)
  • 1920s Fashion
    Tim Gunn returns to host a discussion of 1920s fashion, followed by a twenties fashion show and dance performance (September 30).
  • Film programs
    Nine from Little Rock and Wealth of a Nation (September 10); On the Bowery (September 10); Thunder Road (September 19)
  • Educators’ Open House
    Teachers can come to an evening viewing of our exhibits and learn about education resources (September 24).
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of The Year of Fear: Machine Gunn Kelly and the Manhunt That Changed the Nation (September 9); Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform (September 10); Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab (September 14); and The President and the Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon (September 23).
  • Know Your Records
    Get started with the Introduction to Genealogy workshop (September 2) and get help from an archivist (September 19).

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

 

2015 Virtual Genealogy Fair

Save the Date!

October 21 & 22
National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair
Participate in our biggest genealogy event of the year! Learn and ask questions about Federal records as resources for family history research.

 

Wednesday, September 2, 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, September 9, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Year of Fear: Machine Gun Kelly and the Manhunt that Changed the Nation

It’s 1933 and George “Machine Gun” Kelly, one of the most celebrated gangsters of the era, set his sights on the easy-money racket of kidnapping. His target: rich oilman Charles Urschel. Joe Urschel, executive director of the National Law Enforcement Museum, discusses The Year of Fear, which is a thrilling, true story of gangsters and lawmen. A book signing will follow the program.

Thursday, September 10, at noon
G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Buying the Vote

Robert E. Mutch will discuss the history of campaign finance from the first Federal legislation in 1907 to the Citizens United decision in his book, Buying the Vote: A History of Campaign Finance Reform.

Nine From Little Rock

Thursday, September 10, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
From the Vaults: Nine From Little Rock & Wealth of a Nation

We present two films from the motion picture holdings of the National Archives produced in the 1960s by the United States Information Agency. Nine From Little Rock (1964; 20 minutes) is director Charles Guggenheim’s Oscar-winning short documentary on the integration of Little Rock High School in Arkansas. Written and directed by William Greaves, Wealth of a Nation (1967; 21 minutes) explores freedom of speech in the United States.

Courtesy of Milestone Films

Thursday, September 10, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
On the Bowery

On the Bowery (65 minutes) chronicles three days in the drinking life of Ray Salyer, a part-time railroad worker adrift on New York’s skid row. When the film opened in 1956, it exploded onto the screen, burning away years of Hollywood artifice, jump-starting the postwar American independent film scene, and earning an Oscar nomination. Restored by the Cineteca di Bologna, On the Bowery is simultaneously an incredible document of a bygone era and a vivid and devastating portrait of addiction that resonates today just as it did when it was made. The screening will be introduced by Film Preservationist Dennis Doros.

Monday, September 14, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Jacksonland: President Andrew Jackson, Cherokee Chief John Ross, and a Great American Land Grab

Journalist Steve Inskeep’s Jacksonland is the story of two men—President Andrew Jackson and Cherokee chief John Ross—who led their respective nations at a crossroads of American history and constitutional crisis. As Jackson set in motion the seizure of tens of millions of acres in the Deep South, Ross tried to oppose Jackson with the U.S. legal system. A book signing will follow the program.

 

 

 

 

Courtesy of Guggenheim Productions, Inc.

Tuesday, September 15, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
9th Annual Charles Guggenheim Tribute Program: Monument to the Dream

Tonight's Guggenheim Documentary Center Tribute Program features Monument to the Dream, Charles Guggenheim’s third Academy Award®-nominated film. Recently restored by the National Park Service and Guggenheim Productions, Inc., the film chronicles the construction of the St. Louis Gateway Arch from conception to its completion on October 28, 1965. Celebrating its 50th anniversary, the Arch is the tallest national monument in the Western Hemisphere and one of the 20th century’s greatest civil engineering achievements. Following the 28-minute film, Mary Delach Leonard, veteran reporter for St. Louis Public Radio, will moderated a discussion with Tracy Campbell, author of The Gateway Arch: A Biography, and Maggie Hales, Executive Director of the St. Louis CityArchRiver 2015 Foundation. The panel will discuss the complete story of the Arch: from early design concepts, the approved, iconic design by master Finnish-American architect Eero Saarinen, the epic construction, the National Park Service site creation, and the current plans to redevelop the cityscape along the banks of the Mississippi River. The Hon. James W. Symington, former U.S. Congressman from Missouri, will make opening remarks.
This event is supported by the National Archives Foundation with funding from an anonymous donor, the William G. McGowan Fund, and donors to the Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film at the National Archives.

Thursday, September 17, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Our Lost Constitution: The Willful Subversion of America’s Founding Document

Senator Mike Lee tells the dramatic, little-known stories behind six of the Constitution’s most indispensible provisions and explains why some of today’s issues are the direct result of how the courts, Congress, and the executive branch have minimized or ignored them. A book signing will follow the program.

September 17, 1 p.m.–4 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Constitution Day Family Activities

On this day 228 years ago the founders of our nation signed the U.S. Constitution. Celebrate with us in the home of this important document by participating in exciting, hands-on activities.
Made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of John Hancock Financial.

Tulsi Gabbard

Thursday, September 17, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Young Madisons: Why a New Generation Is Standing Up for the Constitution

Join us on Constitution Day for a program featuring Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI),Congressman Will Hurd (R-TX), FOX political commentator Mary Katharine Ham, and Millennial Action Project President and Co-founder Steven Olikara. A rising generation of civic leaders, shaped by the digital revolution, is reaffirming its commitment to the rights-based principles of the U.S. Constitution. The ninth annual State of the Constitution Lecture at the National Archives, presented in partnership with the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier, focuses on the voices of young leaders in the spheres of policy, governance, and citizen engagement who are shaping America's future as a constitutional democracy.

Saturday, September 19, 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 Prechtel-Kluskens 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. The genealogy consultations take place on one Saturday a month.

Courtesy of Swank Motion Pictures

Saturday, September 19, at 2 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Thunder Road

In this film that has become a cult classic, Robert Mitchum stars as a rural moonshine bootlegger who takes on both the U.S. Government and organized crime. Directed by Arthur Ripley. (1958; 92 minutes).

Wednesday, September 23, 10-11 a.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Story Time in the ReSource Room for Pre-Schoolers and Adults

Join us for story time designed for three- to five-year-olds and accompanying adults. Children will practice their listening skills, participate in group activities, and create a craft. The theme for September is the Constitution.

 

 

Wednesday, September 23, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The President and the Apprentice: Eisenhower and Nixon, 1952-1961

In his latest book, Presidential historian Irwin F. Gellman reveals the strong partnership between Eisenhower and Nixon and discusses how Ike’s administration worked and what they were able to accomplish. A book signing will follow the program.

Thursday, September 24, 5:30-7:30 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, the Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab, and much more!
Questions? Email education@nara.gov with Educators’ Open House as the subject.

 

Wednesday, September 30, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Constitution: An Introduction

Practically every aspect of American life is shaped by the Constitution. This vital document, along with its history of political and judicial interpretation, governs our individual lives and the life of our nation. Yet most of us know surprisingly little about the Constitution itself. In his book The Constitution, professor Michael S. Paulsen, one of the nation’s leading scholars of constitutional interpretation, has written a lively introduction to the supreme law of the United States, covering the Constitution’s history and meaning in clear, accessible terms, and provides us with the tools to think critically and independently about constitutional issues. A book signing will follow the program.

 

 

Tim Gunn (Credit: Scott McZDermott)

Wednesday, September 30, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
1920s Style: Prohibition-Era Fashion

Glamour, sparkle, dropped waistlines, cloche hats, flappers, boaters—alcohol was prohibited—but in 1920s America, the evolution of fashion advanced forward in daring strides. From the everyday to the flamboyant, Roaring 20s fashion broke the rules. Join us tonight as we present an illustrated discussion and fashion show exploring this exciting period in American fashion history. Moderated by Tim Gunn, star of Project Runway, panelists include John Dunn, fashion director for HBO’s Boardwalk Empire, and Valerie Steele, director and chief curator, Museum at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Following the discussion, in partnership with the Art Deco Society of Washington, we will present a fashion show with models wearing 1920s-style fashions. The evening will conclude with a dance performance by Fidgety Feet. Audience members are invited to dress in period-style costume if they wish, but it is not required.
This program is full but you may sign up for the wait list on the National Archives Foundation website.

Presented in conjunction with the exhibition “Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History.”

Boeing Learning Center

The ReSource room is a hands-on space open to all, Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Document-based programs are available for groups in the Learning Lab. Reservations are required; contact learninglab@nara.gov or visit www.archives.gov/education/student-visits/dc.html.

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

Exhibitions

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 1965 Voting Rights Act is on view through September 16. The Immigration Act goes on display September 17. 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: Instrument of Surrender Marks the End of World War II
Seventy years ago this September, Japanese representatives signed the official Instrument of Surrender, thus formally ending the Second War World. Both pages of the original will be on view from August 27 through September 3. From September 4 through October 28, the original first page will be on display with a facsimile version of the signature page. East Rotunda Gallery, August 27–October 28


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 September 7 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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