July-August 2015
Washington, DC, Area Events

A costumed interpreter participates in the dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence. Photo by Chuck Fazio for the National Archives.

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

  • July 4th at the National Archives!
    Celebrate with us on the Constitution Avenue steps between 7th and 9th Streets as historical reenactors give a dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence (10 a.m.–11 a.m.), followed by family activities inside the National Archives building (11 a.m.–4 p.m.)
  • Melvin Laird and the Foundation of the Post-Vietnam Military
    A panel discusses the former Secretary of Defense (July 14)
  • Writers and Scholars Roundtable on Civil Rights
    Pulitzer Prize–winning authors discuss civil rights. (July 16).
  • Army Reference Roundtable
    National Archives reference staff highlight research topics in Old Army records. (July 29)
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of Our Crime Was Being Jewish: Hundreds of Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories (July 9); Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe. (July 15); The Creole Affair: The Slave Rebellion That Led The US and Great Britain to the Brink of War (July 22); and Enabling Acts: the Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights (July 29).
  • Know Your Records
    Get started with the Introduction to Genealogy lecture (July 1 and August 5) and learn about the new online catalog (July 1).
  • Educational Programs
    Solve an archival challenge together as a family in the Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab (July 1, 7, and 9), send the kids to Genealogy Camp (July 20–24), explore immigration issues in a professional development workshop for teachers (August 6), and experience the excitement of interpreting historical in a workshop for adults (August 26).
  • Films
    See free screenings of The Lost Weekend (July 18) and Harvey (August 15)

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

Wednesday, July 1, and Tuesday, July 7, 10 a.m.–noon
Thursday, July 9, at 10 a.m.–noon and 2–4 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Constitution-in-Action Learning Lab Family Program

Families take on the role of researchers and archivists for a day! Your family will work together to locate and analyze facsimile documents, and find the connection each has to the Constitution. Reservations are required; go to www.archivesfoundation.org/events/.

This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and John Hancock Financial.

Wednesday, July 1, 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, July 1, at 2 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
How to Use the New National Archives Catalog

Jason Clingerman, archives specialist, demonstrates and answers questions about the new National Archives Catalog [http://catalog.archives.gov/]. Video | Captioning | Presentation slides | Handout.

The Fife and Drum Corps perform at the National Archives July 4 celebration.

July 4th Celebration
Celebrate July 4 at the National Archives Building on the Constitution Avenue steps between 7th and 9th Streets. If you can't come in person, join our celebration through US National Archives YouTube Channel

Indoor seating is available in the William G. McGowan Theater. Email specialevents@nara.gov.

Saturday, July 4
10–11 a.m.
Declaration of Independence Reading Ceremony

Presentation of colors by the Continental Color Guard*
Performance by the Fife and Drum Corps*
Remarks by Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
Dramatic reading of the Declaration of Independence by special guests including Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, and Ned Hector (portrayed by costumed interpreters)

* Continental Color Guard and Fife and Drum Corps provided by U.S. 3rd Infantry, the Old Guard

11 a.m.–4 p.m.
Inside the National Archives Building, Boeing Learning Center

  • Take part in hands-on family activities, including storytime and crafts.
  • Between noon and 4 p.m., meet Revolutionary figures: Abigail and John Adams, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, Ned Hector, Thomas Jefferson, and George Washington.

July 4th at the National Archives is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation with generous support of Signature Sponsor John Hancock. Major support provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Dykema.

Thursday, July 9, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Our Crime was Being Jewish: Hundreds of Holocaust Survivors Tell Their Stories

Historian Anthony S. Pitch has collected and compiled the memories of hundreds of Holocaust survivors. He will discuss stories of persecutions at the start of the war as well as the daily hell of the concentration camps. A book signing will follow the program.

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, July 14, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Melvin Laird and the Foundation of the Post-Vietnam Military, 1969–1973

Erin Mahan, chief historian of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, moderates a discussion on the contributions of former Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird (1969–73) during the Vietnam War. The panel features author Richard A. Hunt; Jeremi Suri, Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin; and George Herring, Alumni Professor of History Emeritus at the University of Kentucky. Former Senator John Warner will make opening remarks. Presented in partnership with the Historical Office of the Secretary of Defense.

 

Wednesday, July 15, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Potsdam: The End of World War II and the Remaking of Europe

On July 17, 1945, Harry Truman, Winston Churchill, and Joseph Stalin gathered in a quiet suburb of Berlin to discuss, as Churchill put it, “the gravest matters in the world.” Historian Michael Neiberg captures the delegates’ personalities and discusses their dramatic debates over how to end the war. A book signing will follow the program.

 

Thursday, July 16, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Writers and Scholars Roundtable on Civil Rights

Pulitzer Prize–winning authors Gilbert King, Devil In the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America; Diane McWhorter, Carry Me Home; Taylor Branch, Parting the Waters: America in the King Years, 1954–63; and Clarence Jones, civil rights activist and adviser to Martin Luther King, Jr., will explore the events of the civil rights era. Journalist A’Lelia Bundles will moderate. A book signing will follow the program. Presented in partnership with the March on Washington Film Festival.

Lost Weekend courtesy of Swank Motion Pictures

Saturday, July 18, at 2pm
William G. McGowan Theater
The Lost Weekend

Ray Milland won an Oscar® for his portrayal of an alcoholic in this drama directed by Billy Wilder. Also stars Jane Wyman and Howard da Silva. (1945; 101 minutes.)

Monday–Friday, July 20–24, 9 a.m.–noon
Boeing Learning Center
Genealogy Camp for Kids at the National Archives

This hands-on camp for ages 12 and up will introduce the basics of genealogy research. For more information, email education@nara.gov with “Genealogy Camp” in the subject line.

This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the support of the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and John Hancock Financial.

 

 

Wednesday, July 22, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
The Creole Affair: The Slave Rebellion that Led the U.S. and Great Britain to the Brink of War

Author Arthur Downey discusses the most successful slave rebellion in American history. Held against their will aboard the Creole–a slave ship on its way from Richmond to New Orleans in 1841–the rebels seized control of the ship and changed course to the Bahamas. Because the Bahamas were subject to British rule of law, the slaves were eventually set free, and their presence on foreign soil sparked one of America's most contentious diplomatic battles with the United Kingdom. A book signing follows the program.

Wednesday, July 29, at 11 a.m.
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Army Reference Roundtable

Army reference staff will present the second annual Army Reference Roundtable, highlighting information about Old Army records at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Topics of research interest will include women in the military, carded medical and field hospital records, medical officers files, and more.

Wednesday, July 29, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater & US National Archives YouTube Channel
Enabling Acts: The Hidden Story of How the Americans with Disabilities Act Gave the Largest US Minority Its Rights

Author and professor Lennard Davis tells the untold story of how a group of leftist Berkeley hippies made an alliance with upper-crust, conservative Republicans to bring about a truly bipartisan bill. The Americans with Disabilities Act has since become the model for most civil rights laws around the world. A book signing will follow the program.

Wednesday, August 5, 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.

Thursday, August 6, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Immigration Workshop: Professional Development for Teachers

Explore immigration by examining primary sources from the National Archives. Brainstorm new ways to use these records from Ellis Island and Angel Island into your teaching. Take a tour of our exhibit “Records of Rights.” To register, email education@nara.gov with “Immigration Workshop” in the subject line.

Harvey courtesy of Swank Motion Pictures

Saturday, August 15, at 2 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Harvey

James Stewart delivers one of his most memorable performances as Elwood P. Dowd, whose companion is an invisible six-foot rabbit named Harvey. Also stars Josephine Hull and Peggy Dowd. Directed by Henry Koster (1950; 104 minutes.)

Wednesday, August 26, 5:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Boeing Learning Center
Constitution-in-Action Hands-on Adult Workshop

Experience the excitement of interpreting historical documents! Take on a special research assignment from the President to launch a new campaign in a fun hands-on simulation. To register, email education@nara.gov with “Adult Workshops” in the subject line.

 

 

 

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 hootch 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 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act 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: 1774 Articles of Association
In honor of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, we present the rarely viewed Articles of Association issued by the Continental Congress in response to the Intolerable Acts. East Rotunda Gallery, June 4–July 29
The National Archives Museum’s "Featured Document" exhibit is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Coca-Cola Company.

Featured Document Display: Coca-Cola Bottle and Patent
The Coca-Cola Company launched a competition to design a distinctive bottle in 1915. The design patent of the winning bottle design and an original contoured "Coke" bottle will be on display. West Rotunda Gallery, June 4–July 29
The National Archives Museum’s “Special West Rotunda Gallery Exhibition” is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of The Coca-Cola Company.

Featured Document Display: Selma Marchers’ Statements to the FBI
On March 7, 1965, civil rights activists attempted a protest march from Selma to Montgomery. The statements made by John Lewis and Amelia Boynton on the events of Bloody Sunday are on display. East Rotunda Gallery, July 30–August 26

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 the National Archives. 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 July 3 and 4 for the Independence Day holiday.

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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