August 11, 2000
September Public Programs at the National Archives
Washington, DC . . . In September, the National Archives and Records Administration presents programs, exhibits and a concert highlighting a variety of subjects including the slave trade in the District of Columbia, the Korean War, the Civil War and African American history. To commemorate the 213th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution of the United States, the National Archives will host a special concert by the U.S. Navy Commodores, two special exhibits, a panel discussion and a naturalization ceremony.
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.
Friday, September 1-Special Document Display
Ending the Slave Trade in the District of Columbia
In September 1850, Congress passed legislation ending the slave trade in Washington, DC. To commemorate the 150th anniversary of this action, the National Archives will display the original engrossed version of the U.S. Senate's bill suppressing the slave trade in our nation's capital. National Archives Rotunda through September 28.
Thursday, September 7-Commemorating the Korean War
As a young man-drawing on his own still-vivid experiences-Ed Simmons wrote a story set during the Korean War. Now retired, General Simmons has resurrected the novel Dog Company Six, in which reserve Capt. George Bayard journeys from a private school in Baltimore to lead his marines from Inchon to the Chosin reservoir. Along the way, he learns the difficult lessons of combat leadership and finds the true meaning behind the words of the Marine Corps' motto, Semper Fidelis. Noon. Room 105.
Monday, September 11- The American Presidency
Symposium and Booksigning
Co-sponsored by the Center for Democracy and the Society of American Historians, NARA will host an all-day forum on the American Presidency. The society has just published a volume entitled To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidents. The day's events include a morning panel on "Presidential Reputations: the Shifting Historical Verdict" and two afternoon panels: "The President as Crisis Manager" and "Presidential Power in the 21st Century." Speakers include Douglas Brinkley, James Chace, Robert Dallek, James McPherson, Herbert Parmet, Richard Reeves, Susan Ware, Tom Wicker, and Allen Weinstein. 9 A.M. to 5:30 P.M. Theater.
Wednesday, September 13-Civil War series
The Civil War in 3-D-Stereo Photographs from the Battlefields. Learn the secrets of Civil War photography and its remarkable 3-D legacy. (The audience will wear 3-D glasses.) These images are featured in Bob Zeller's new book, The Civil War in Depth, Volume 2, and his just-published Civil War Collection, a box of reproduction memorabilia that includes a half-dozen documents from the National Archives. At approximately 11:30 in the Theater lobby, Rob Gibson will demonstrate how photographers made the images on glass plate negatives using the challenging collodion wet-plate method. Together, Gibson and Zeller have started the Civil War Photography Center on the World Wide Web at www.civilwarphotography.com/. Books will be available for sale in the theater lobby. Noon. Theater.
Thursday, September 14-African American History
Dr. Ira Berlin will discuss Remembering Slavery: African Americans Talk About Their Personal Experiences of Slavery and Emancipation. This work is a book and tape set of the recordings of interviews with former slaves conducted by the Federal Writers Project in the early 1930s. The ex-slaves talked about their relationships with their former owners and their relationships with other slaves. Ira Berlin is a preeminent slavery historian and founding director of the Freedmen and Southern Society Project at the University of Maryland. Noon. Theater.
Friday, September 15-Special Document Display
New Encasement of Page Two of the Constitution
For the first time in 12 years, the public may view the second page of the Constitution, now resting in its new state-of-the-art protective encasement. The document will be on display for 3 days only. NARA worked with world-renowned conservation and technical experts for more than 2 years to design new encasements using the latest technology to protect and preserve the Charters of Freedom. An honor guard will flank the page two exhibit and the Charters of Freedom on opening day, September 15; the changing of the guard will take place every 30 minutes. Through September 17. Rotunda.
Friday, September 15-Exhibit Opening
Preserving the Charters of Freedom
This new exhibit tells the fascinating story of the NARA's efforts to design and build new encasements-sealed environments using the latest preservation technology-to protect the Charters of Freedom-the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. During September 15-17, in honor of Constitution Week, the exhibit will feature the rarely seen second page of the Constitution. Beginning September 18, the full-size manufacturing model will be on view. Through July 4, 2001. Rotunda.
Saturday, September 16-Band Concert
A musical concert by the U.S. Navy's premier jazz ensemble, the Commodores, will take place on Constitution Avenue in front of the National Archives Building. Under the direction of Master Chief Musician Leland V. Gause, the Commodores feature 18 of the Navy's top jazz and "big band" musicians. Seating for the concert will be on the building steps. Preceding the concert, you are invited to meet some of the framers of the U.S. Constitution: George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and James Monroe-performers with the American Historical Theatre. 1 P.M., Constitution Avenue.
Monday, September 18-Abraham Lincoln series
Simple Soldier Boys: Lincoln's Pardons and What They Mean. Article II, section 2, of the Constitution provides that the President "shall have the power to grant pardons and reprieves for offences against the United States," and no one exercised this power more widely and notably than Abraham Lincoln. "Lincoln's pardons are a window on his moral understanding," declares speaker William Lee Miller, scholar of ethics and institutions at the University of Virginia's Miller Center of Public Affairs. Co-sponsored by the Abraham Lincoln Institute of the Mid-Atlantic. Noon. Room 105.
Tuesday, September 19-Commemorating the Korean War
Joseph Owen will discuss his book, Colder than Hell: A Marine Rifle Company at Chosin Reservoir. During the early, uncertain days of the Korean War, Owen saw firsthand how the hastily assembled mix of some two hundred regulars and raw reservists hardened into a superb Marine rifle company known as Baker-One-Seven. As comrades fell wounded and dead around them on the frozen slopes above Korea's infamous Chosin Reservoir, Baker-One-Seven's marines triumphed against the relentless human-wave assaults of Chinese regulars. Noon. Theater.
Wednesday, September 20-Panel Discussion
This evening the National Archives and the First Amendment Center will host a panel discussion among five individuals whose lives were changed by the first amendment and who, in turn, changed the nation. The panel will be moderated by Sander Vanocur, current host of "Movies in Time" on the History Channel and longtime network newsman. Alton Lemon and Mary Beth Tinker, plaintiffs in Supreme Court cases addressing, respectively, freedom of religion and freedom of speech, will be among the participants. 7:30 P.M. Theater. Advance registration is required; call 202-501-6694.
Friday, September 22-Naturalization Ceremony
A naturalization ceremony for petitioners seeking American citizenship will be held in the Rotunda in front of the Constitution with The Honorable Norma Holloway Johnson, Chief Judge of the U.S. Court for the District of Columbia, presiding. This moving ceremony is open to petitioners' families and guests as well as to a limited number of members of the public holding tickets. Tickets are free but must be reserved by calling 202-501-5215. 10 A.M., Rotunda. Please note that the Exhibition Hall will open to the public at noon today and will remain open until 5:30 P.M. Winter hours of 10 A.M.-5:30 P.M. resume on September 23.
Tuesday, September 26-Biography
Evan Thomas will discuss his book Robert Kennedy: His Life. Robert Kennedy has been viewed as hero and villain; Evan Thomas's achievement is to realize RFK as a human being, to bring to life an extraordinarily complex man who was at once kind and cruel, devious and honest, fearful and brave. He interviewed all of Kennedy's closest aides and advisers, many of whom were forthcoming in ways that they had not been before. Noon. Room 105. Reservations recommended; call 202-208-7345.
Wednesday, September 27-Picturing the Century series
Images of Urban America: Three Examples from the DOCUMERICA Photography Project. Bruce Bustard, curator of NARA's "Picturing the Century: One Hundred Years of Photography from the National Archives" exhibit, will present an illustrated lecture on DOCUMERICA and will highlight its coverage of the American city. The audience may view the Circular Gallery exhibit, "Picturing the Century," following the lecture. Noon. Room 105.
For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.