October 2014
Washington, DC, Area Events

2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair Poster (PDF version)

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

  • History of Washington Baseball
    Frederic J. Frommer provides a complete history of baseball in the Washington, DC, area. (October 3)
  • Covering the Supreme Court
    Members of the Supreme Court press corps discuss what it’s like to cover the highest court in the land. (October 8)
  • Finding Your Roots
    Henry Louis Gates, Jr., discusses his PBS series and companion book, Finding Your Roots. (October 16)
  • CANCELED Nixon Legacy Forum: Vietnam and the Paris Peace Accords
    An expert panel will examine the chronology, key players, and impact of the 1973 Paris Peace Accords. (October 16)
  • Lincoln and the Power of the Press
    Harold Holtzer leasds a discussion about press and politics in the age of Abraham Lincoln. (October 23)
  • Film: Codebreaker
    This feature-length docudrama details the highs and lows of the life of Alan Turing, the British mathematical genius who broke the German Enigma code during World War II. (October 27)
  • Virtual Genealogy Fair
    The 2014 Virtual Genealogy Fair on October 28, 29 & 30 starts daily at 10 a.m. eastern time.
  • Noontime Lectures
    Hear the authors of Kennesaw: One Last Mountain (October 10) The Map Thief (October 23); Vietnam: How a Divisive War Changed American Public Memory (October 23); and Founder’s Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln (October 30).
  • Know Your Records
    Get started with the Introduction to Genealogy workshop (October 1), and bring your tough questions to a genealogy specialist (October 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

Wednesday, October 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.

Friday, October 3, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
You Gotta Have Heart: A History of Washington Baseball

“First in War, First in Peace… and Last in the American League.” Expressions such as this fill the story of baseball in the nation’s capital. In his book You Gotta Have Heart:  A History of Washington Baseball from 1859 to the 2012 National League East Champions, author Frederic J. Frommer provides a complete history of baseball in the DC area, including the 1924 World Series championship team and the Homestead Grays, the Negro League pennant winners. The book features the voices of current and former players, along with Presidents, senators, and political commentators who have called the teams their own. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Courtroom Drama:  Covering the Supreme Court

Wednesday, October 8, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Courtroom Drama:  Covering the Supreme Court

A panel of Supreme Court reporters discusses what it is like to cover the news about the highest court in the land. Moderated by Bill Grueskin, Professor, Columbia School of Journalism, panelists representing the press from various angles include Jess Bravin (The Wall Street Journal), author of The Terror Courts: Rough Justice at Guantanamo Bay; Marcia Coyle (National Law Journal), author of The Roberts Court: The Struggle for the Constitution; and Garrett Epps (The Atlantic), author of American Epic: Reading the U.S. Constitution. Book signings will follow the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park

Friday, October 10, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
Kennesaw: One Last Mountain

In the predawn hours of June 27, 1864, Union officers received an order from Gen. William Tecumseh Sherman to assault Confederate forces entrenched along the Kennesaw Mountain line, anchored by an imposing precipice known as the “Gibraltar of Georgia.” Sherman’s mission: capture Atlanta, a critical Confederate rail center and industrial hub. The film Kennesaw: One Last Mountain (2013; 35 minutes) brings this dramatic Civil War story to life. A discussion featuring Executive Producer Adam Eisenberg and Anthony Winegar, Chief Ranger at Kennesaw Mountain National Battlefield Park, will follow. Presented in partnership with the National Park Service.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

Thursday, October 16, at 7 p.m.
McGowan Theater
Finding Your Roots: The Official Companion to the PBS Series, by Henry Louis Gates, Jr.

Who are we, and where do we come from? The fundamental drive to answer these questions is at the heart of Henry Louis Gates, Jr.'s Finding Your Roots.Join us this evening as Gates discusses practical information for amateur genealogists just beginning archival research on their own roots, and then details the tools of cutting-edge genomics and deep genealogical research that now allows us to learn more about our roots, looking further back in time than ever before. A book signing follows the program.

You can view this program live on YouTube at:

 

CANCELED Thursday, October 16, at 10 a.m.
We hope to reschedule at a later date.
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 "to end the war and bring peace with honor" in Southeast Asia. Today’s panel, including KT McFarland, Winston Lord, John Negroponte, and Dick Smyser, will examine the chronology, key players, and impact of the Paris Peace Accords. Presented in partnership with the Richard Nixon Foundation.

Saturday, October 18, 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? An 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.

Scene from rarely-seen British comedy, On Approval

Saturday, October 18, at 2:30 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
On Approval

In this rarely-seen British comedy, two couples in Victorian England decide to find out if they are compatible for marriage by living together for a time, trying out prospective spouses “on approval”. Stars Clive Brook, Beatrice Lillie, and Googie Withers. Directed by Clive Brook. (1944; 80 minutes) Presented in partnership with the National Gallery of Art.

 

 

 

Thursday, October 23, at noon
William G. McGowan Theater
The Map Thief

Maps have long fascinated viewers—both as beautiful works of art and as practical tools to navigate the world. But for collectors, the map trade can be a cutthroat business. In his book The Map Thief: The Gripping Story of an Esteemed Rare-Map Dealer Who Made Millions Stealing Priceless Maps, author Michael Blanding describes the life of E. Forbes Smiley, a respectable antiquarian map dealer who spent years doubling as a map thief—until he was finally arrested for slipping maps out of books in the Yale University library. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

 

 

Thursday, October 23, at noon
Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
Vietnam in American Public Memory

David Kieran discusses his new book Forever Vietnam: How a Divisive War Changed American Public Memory, which explores how memory of the Vietnam War has affected the commemoration of other events, and how those acts of commemoration have influenced postwar debates over American foreign policy.

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, October 23, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Lincoln and the Power of the Press: The War for Public Opinion

Tonight’s talk and conversation will focus on press and politics in the age of Abraham Lincoln, including Lincoln’s dabbling in journalism, and his use of political patronage to secure and maintain press support. Lincoln scholar Harold Holzer, author, co-author or editor of over 40 books will join in discussion with Newseum journalist Frank Bond. The topics will include the publishing giants who dominated Civil War journalism. A book signing will follow the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

Alan Turing

Monday, October 27, at 7 p.m.
William G. McGowan Theater
Codebreaker

Alan Turing was the British mathematical genius who broke the German Enigma code during World War II, gave birth to the computer age, and pioneered artificial intelligence. In 1952, he was convicted of "gross indecency" with another man and forced to undergo chemical castration. Two years later, he commited suicide at age 41. This feature-length docudrama details the highs and lows of Alan Turing’s life, tracking his extraordinary accomplishments, his government persecution, and his tragic death in 1954. (2011; 81 minutes.) Following the screening, Patrick Sammon, the film’s executive producer, will discuss the film and answer questions. Presented in partnership with Stonewall@NARA, the National Archives’ LGBT employee affinity group.

October 28, 29, & 30, starting daily at 10 a.m. EDT
Online at www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair
National Archives Virtual Genealogy Fair

Participate in our biggest genealogy event of the year! During the three days of Internet broadcasting, learn and ask questions about Federal records as resources for family history research. Speakers include genealogy experts from National Archives facilities across the nation and from U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services. From beginner to expert, discover new tips and tricks—we have sessions for all skill levels. After the event, recorded sessions and handouts will remain online. Learn more at www.archives.gov/calendar/genealogy-fair.

Thursday, October 30, at noon
Jefferson Room
Founder’s Son: A Life of Abraham Lincoln

In Founder’s Son, Richard Brookhiser presents a compelling new biography of Abraham Lincoln, highlighting Lincoln’s lifelong struggle to carry on the work of the founding fathers. Throughout his career, the founders were the lodestars that guided him, and Lincoln ultimately brought their vision to bear on the Civil War and the question of slavery. A book signing follows the program.
US National Archives YouTube ChannelWatch live on YouTube

 

 

 

 

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
“Making Their Mark: Stories through Signatures” displays both famous and little-known signatures found in the holdings of the National Archives. Discover the invention Michael Jackson patented; see “signature” items worn by Jacqueline Kennedy, Dwight Eisenhower, and First Lady Michelle Obama; and discover what prompted Katharine Hepburn, Johnny Cash, and Jackie Robinson to write to the government. “Making Their Mark” explores the stores behind the signatures that made their mark on the American narrative. Through January 5, 2015, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery.

"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 "Landmark Document" on display is the Judiciary Act of 1789 signed by George Washington, one of the first acts of Congress, which established the Federal court system. Beginning September 17, you may view one of the first acts of Congress, the Judiciary Act of 1789 signed by George Washington, which established the Federal court system. 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: Bicentennial Commemoration of the Burning of Washington and Battle of Baltimore
We will exhibit a charred remnant of the White House and a letter written after the bombardment of Fort McHenry—the War of 1812 battle that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the poem that became the national anthem, “The Star-Spangled Banner.” East Rotunda Gallery, September 11–November 3


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:

Alert icon Please note that all National Archives research rooms will be closed on Monday, October 13, for the Columbus 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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