September 20, 2005
National Archives Upcoming Events 2005/2006
All exhibitions are free and open to the public. The National Archives Building is located at Constitution Avenue and 9th St. NW. Exhibit hours are from 10 AM-5:30 PM. Open every day except December 25. Please see www.archives.gov for updates.
Ongoing Permanent Exhibitions in 2005
The Charters of Freedom
National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom holds the original Declaration of Independence, Constitution and Bill of Rights. These Charters are the centerpiece of the National Archives Experience. For the first time, all four pages of the Constitution are displayed and new cases make the Charters more accessible for younger visitors and those using wheelchairs.
A New World Is At Hand
Surrounding the Rotunda's centerpiece cases holding the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights, this exhibition chronicles the creation of these three documents in the 18th century, and the impact of the Charters on the course of history in the United States and around the world. Located in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.
New documents in this continuing exhibition through September 2006:
Declaration of Jehu Grant, who fled slavery to fight in the Revolutionary War, 1832
Jehu Grant was a slave living in Narragansett, Rhode Island, whose master remained loyal to the British during the Revolutionary War. In this declaration, submitted as part of a pension claim some sixty years after the war, Grant describes how he escaped in August 1777 and served on the American side for ten months, until his master tracked him down. When the Government informed Grant that he was not eligible for a pension, due to his status as a fugitive slave at the time of his service, he responded with a statement of poignant simplicity: "…when I saw liberty poles and the people all engaged for the support of freedom, I could not but like and be pleased with such thing (God forgive me if I sinned in so feeling)."
President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction
President Lincoln issued this Proclamation on December 8, 1863, fifteen months before the end of the Civil War. The Proclamation reflected a spirit of healing and reconciliation that Lincoln believed would best ensure the nation's preservation and progress.
Draft of President John F. Kennedy's 1961 Inaugural address
Kennedy's Inaugural address, delivered on January 20, 1961, is widely considered to be one of the most effective and inspiring inaugural addresses of any American President, President Kennedy invoked the nation's founding principles of liberty as he called on the nation to conquer the greatest challenges of the 20th century-"tyranny, poverty, disease, and war itself."
Starting Friday, September 16, the 1297 Magna Carta will be on display. In 1215 on the plains of Runnymede an assembly of barons confronted the despotic King John of England and demanded that traditional rights be recognized, written down, confirmed with the royal seal, and sent to each of the counties to be read to all freemen. King John agreed, binding himself and his heirs to grant "to all freemen of our kingdom" the rights and liberties described in the great charter, or Magna Carta. Thus King John placed himself and England's future sovereigns and magistrates within the rule of law. Between 1215 and 1297, Magna Carta was reissued by each of King John's successors. The 1297 Magna Carta, confirmed by Edward I, was entered on the English statute rolls and thus became the foundation document of English common law. Only four originals of the 1297 Magna Carta remain. The 1297 Magna Carta on display at the National Archives was purchased by the Perot Foundation in 1984 and is on loan to the National Archives. It is the only Magna Carta permanently residing in the United States. Located in the West Rotunda Gallery.
Temporary Exhibitions in 2005/2006
The Way We Worked
December 16, 2005 - May 29, 2006
Historic photographs from the National Archives honor those who built this country-the working men and women of America. Work and the workplace have gone through enormous transformations between the mid-19th and the late-20th century. Photos held by the National Archives offer a lens for viewing these changes. National Archives photographs and motion pictures document work clothing, locales, working conditions, and workplace conflict. They also document a workforce whose distinctiveness was shaped by many factors-immigration and ethnicity, slavery and racial segregation, wage labor and technology, gender roles and class-as well by the American ideals of freedom and equality. In the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery.
June 23, 2006-January 1, 2007
Eyewitness accounts, in the form of letters, diaries, photographs, audio and film recordings, are presented in this unique exhibition, chronicling some of the most dramatic moments in U.S. history. Gripping and emotional, they capture the exuberance, grief, joy, panic, or chaos that characterized the events described. Many of the items, never before exhibited, offer a fresh and surprising perspective on familiar events. In the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery.
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For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Office at 202-501-5526.