Press/Journalists
Press Release
October 30, 1998
December Lectures at the National Archives

Washington, DC . . . In December, the National Archives and Records Administration presents free lectures and booksignings that relate to Washington, DC Civil War Monuments, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln.

The programs are free and open to the public and will take place at the National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. The public may verify times and dates by calling the National Archives public events line at (202) 501-5000. TDD users may call (202)501-5404.

Thursday, December 3- Civil War/DC History/Designs for Democracy Kathryn Allamong Jacob, author of Testament to Union: Civil War Monuments in Washington, DC, will discuss the fascinating story behind some of our local monuments and her extensive use of archival records in documenting their history. Published by Johns Hopkins University. Noon. Room 105.

Monday, December 7- Military History William Greider, national editor for Rolling Stone magazine, will discuss his new book, Fortress America: The American Military and the Consequences of Peace, by Public Affairs publisher. Mr. Greider will focus on U.S. national defense, military spending, weaponry, troop strength, and how after the end of the Cold War, the nation must find a new purpose, new politics, and a new set of principles. Noon. Room 105

Wednesday, December 9- "Theodore Roosevelt: Icon of the American Century" Twenty-sixth President, wielder of the big stick, champion of the Panama Canal, avid conservationist, Rough Rider, sportsman, man of letters, defender of the American family, and nemesis of corporate trusts—Theodore Roosevelt helped shape America's transition from a provincial society to a burgeoning world power. James Barber, National Portrait Gallery curator, will give a brief overview of the National Portrait Gallery's exhibition and of the research involved. The exhibition explores the life of Roosevelt drawing on more than one hundred paintings, photographs, political cartoons, and memorabilia. The exhibit was organized with the National Park Service. Following the lecture, the audience will walk to the National Portrait Gallery where Mr. Barber will lead a guided tour of the exhibit. Lecture: noon. Room 105. Tour departure: 12:30 P.M.

Wednesday,December 16- Abraham Lincoln series Abraham Lincoln, John Hay, and the Bixby Letter, or The Real Hero of Saving Private Ryan. Lincoln's 1864 letter of condolence to the widow Bixby, who purportedly lost five sons in the Civil War, is widely considered one of his greatest prose masterpieces, ranked as a worthy companion of the Gettysburg Address and his Second Inaugural Address. In Stephen Spielberg's recent movie, Saving Private Ryan, the Bixby letter is read impressively by General George Marshall to his staff as he justifies the unusual mission around which the plot of the film revolves. Michael Burlingame, professor of history at Connecticut College in New London, will discuss the rumors that have long circulated that the letter was not composed by Lincoln but rather by his assistant private secretary, John Hay. Hay later achieved fame as Secretary of State under Presidents William McKinley and Theodore Roosevelt. Recently discovered evidence in the Library of Congress and at Brown University, as well as stylistic analysis of the document, suggests that Hay was indeed the author of the Bixby letter. Burlingame is writing the first multi-volume, cradle-to-grave biography of Lincoln ever done by a professional historian. Co-sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Mid-Atlantic. Noon. Room 105.

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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