Press/Journalists

Press Release
April 23, 2004


National Archives Lecture Series

Washington, DC . . . During June, the National Archives presents lectures and discussions on topics relating to Abraham Lincoln, the Cold War, espionage, and George Washington.

The programs are free and open to the public and will take place in the Jefferson Room at the National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, unless otherwise noted. Due to limited seating in the Jefferson Room, reservations are recommended. Call the National Archives public programs line at (202) 501-5000. TDD users may call (202) 501-5404.

Tuesday, June 8 --Abraham Lincoln
Harold Holzer will discuss his recently published book, Lincoln at Cooper Union: The Speech that made Abraham Lincoln President. Vice President for Communications and Marketing at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Holzer is one of the country's leading authorities on the political culture of the Civil War era. He is co-chairman of the United States Lincoln Bicentennial Commission, and has authored, co-authored, or edited more than 20 books about Lincoln. 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 10 --Cold War
David Johnson will discuss his book, The Lavender Scare: The Cold War Persecution of Gays and Lesbians in the Federal Government. The McCarthy era is generally considered the worst period of political repression in recent American history. While the famous question, "Are you now or have you ever been a member of the Communist Party?" resonated in the halls of Congress, security officials were posing another question at least as frequently, if more discreetly: "Information has come to the attention of the Civil Service Commission that you are a homosexual. What comment do you care to make?" Relying on newly declassified documents, years of research in the records of the National Archives and the FBI, and interviews with former civil servants, Johnson recreates the vibrant gay subculture that flourished in New Deal-era Washington and takes us inside the security interrogation rooms where thousands of Americans were questioned about their sex lives. The homosexual purges ended promising careers, ruined lives, and pushed many to suicide. But, as Johnson also shows, the purges brought victims together to protest their treatment, helping launch a new civil rights struggle. Johnson is visiting assistant professor in the history department at the University of South Florida. 7 p.m.

Thursday, June 17 --Espionage
R. Bruce Craig will discuss his book, Treasonable Doubt: The Harry Dexter White Spy Case. Harry Dexter White, who played a central role in the founding of the United Nations' twin financial institutions, the World Bank and International Monetary Fund, was the highest ranking figure in the Roosevelt and Truman administrations to be accused of espionage. Craig's research draws heavily on previously untapped or underused sources, including White's personal papers, Treasury Department records, FBI files, and the once secret Venona files of decrypted Soviet espionage cables. Craig includes interviews with nearly two dozen key figures in the case, including Alger Hiss and former KGB officer V.G. Pavlov. Although it still remains unclear whether White leaked classified information vital to national security, Craig argues that none of the most serious allegations against White can be substantiated. Craig is Executive Director of the National Coalition for History in Washington, DC. 7 p.m.

Tuesday, June 22 --George Washington
Joel Achenbach, Washington Post staff writer, columnist, and author, will discuss his book The Grand Idea: George Washington's Potomac and The Race to the West. George Washington viewed the Potomac River as a link to the west-a great commercial artery that would be critical to the republic. He believed that without a Potomac highway, the west would secede, and that the country he had helped create would not long endure. Achenbach describes Washington's idea the Potomac "might act as a binding agent, a long and winding tether," and shows that Washington was not the stiff figure of official portraits, but a bold man who plunged into uncharted terrain. 7 p.m.

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For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700.

To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: 202-501-5000, or view the Calendar of Events on the web at: www.archives.gov/about_us/calendar_of_events/index.html

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