December 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

  • Deck the Halls: Holidays at the White House
    Tim Gunn of Project Runway leads a panel discussion on White House holiday decorations through history (December 11)
  • “Making Their Mark” educational workshops
    View the exhibit and learn the basics of calligraphy (December 3); come make your mark during our “Making Their Mark” Family Day (December 30).
  • Nixon Legacy Forum: Vietnam and the Paris Peace Accords
    A panel of former members of the National Security staff will examine the chronology, key players, and impact of the Paris Peace Accords. (December 5)
  • Films
    Watch newsreel footage and film from German and American archives in commemoration of the 70th at anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge (December 16).
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of A Christmas Far from Home: An Epic Tale of Courage and Survival during the Korean War (December 4); Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 (December 4).
  • Know Your Records
    Introduction to Genealogy workshop (December 3), and bring your tough questions to a genealogy specialist (December 13).

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

Wednesday, December 3, 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, December 3, 5:30-7:30 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Making Their Mark Adult Education Workshop Series: Calligraphy Basics

Participants will enjoy a private viewing of the “Making Their Mark” exhibit before learning the basics of calligraphy. Workshop attendees will get to compare their new skills to examples from the holdings of the National Archives. 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, December 4, noon
William G. McGowan Theater
A Christmas Far from Home: An Epic Tale of Courage and Survival during the Korean War

Just before Thanksgiving in 1950, General MacArthur announced an “end-the-war-by-Christmas” offensive. But tens of thousands of American troops were trapped by the Chinese along the Yalu River border. Historian Stanley Weintraub tells the story of the Christmas escape of American troops surrounded by the enemy in Korea’s harsh terrain. A book signing will follow the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Thursday, December 4, noon
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Researcher Talk:  Making the Modern American Fiscal State

Ajay Mehrotra, associate dean and professor of law at the Indiana University Maurer School of Law, discusses his book Making the Modern American Fiscal State: Law, Politics, and the Rise of Progressive Taxation, 1877-1929 and the dramatic transformation of the American system of public finance.

Friday, December 5, at 10 a.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Nixon Legacy Forum: Vietnam and the Paris Peace Accords

On January 23, 1973, President Nixon announced that Secretary of State Henry Kissinger and Le Duc Tho, the chief North Vietnamese negotiator, had initialed a peace agreement in Paris. A panel of former members of the National Security staff will examine the chronology, key players, and impact of the Paris Peace Accords. The panel will include Winston Lord, John Negroponte, and Dick Smyser. Fox News national security analyst KT McFarland will moderate. Presented in partnership with the Richard Nixon Foundation.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Tim Gunn photo by: Scott McDermott

Thursday, December 11, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Deck the Halls: Holidays at the White House

In partnership with the White House Historical Association, join us as Tim Gunn of Project Runway leads a panel discussion on White House holiday decorations through history. Over the years, first families and White House staff have adorned the White House for the holiday season with decorations that evoke the holiday spirit and reflect the times. Panelists—including Lynda Johnson Robb, daughter of President Johnson; Genevieve Gorder, host of HGTV’s White House Christmas; former White House Chief Usher Gary Walters; and Coleen Christian Burke, author of Christmas with the First Ladies—will present a visual feast of the themes, designs, and processes that go into decking the halls, rooms, and exterior of the White House. The official 2014 White House Christmas Ornament, featuring President Warren G. Harding, will be available for purchase. A book signing will follow the program. Presented in conjunction with our "Making Their Mark Through Signatures" exhibit, which is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with the generous support of Lead Sponsor AT&T. Major additional support provided by the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family and members of the Board of the Foundation for the National Archives.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Saturday, December 13, 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, December 16, noon
William G. McGowan Theater
The Battle of the Bulge

Nearly 80,000 American soldiers were wounded, captured, or killed at the Battle of the Bulge, Hitler's last-ditch counterattack against Allied forces at the end of the Second World War. In commemoration of the 70th anniversary, we are screening a compelling chronicle of this bloody battle that includes newsreel footage and film from German and American archives. (2004; 90 mins.)

Tuesday, December 30, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Making Their Mark Family Day

Come make your mark during our “Making Their Mark” Family Day! Explore the new “Making Their Mark” exhibit, then try your hand at make-and-take projects, hands-on activities, games, and more. All of these exciting family day activities take place in the Boeing Learning Center. Educational programming related to “Making Their Mark” is sponsored in part by Fahrney’s Pens, Cross, and Parker Pen Company–Newell Rubbermaid.

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. Beginning December 17, the 1882 American Accession to the 1864 Geneva Convention will be on display. This document attempted to establish rules for warfare and created the famous emblem of the International Red Cross. 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: Surrender? Nuts to You!
In celebration of Veterans Day and in commemoration of the 70th anniversary of the Battle of the Bulge, Gen. Anthony McAuliffe's Christmas message is on display. The December 24, 1944, message to his men besieged in Bastogne, Belgium, recounts McAuliffe's famous reply of "Nuts!" to a German demand to surrender. East Rotunda Gallery through 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 close at 2 p.m. at December 24 and remain closed on December 25 for Christmas Day. The museum will be closed on December 25.

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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