Press/Journalists

Press Release
May 12, 2006

National Archives June Public Programs Celebrating New "Eyewitness" Exhibition

Washington, DC…Throughout June, the National Archives will present a series of free programs celebrating its new exhibition "Eyewitness—American Originals from the National Archives." "Eyewitness" opens in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., on June 23, 2006 and runs through January 1, 2007. The exhibition features gripping eyewitness accounts—from handwritten reports by George Washington and Thomas Jefferson to the Apollo 8 Christmas Eve broadcast from lunar orbit—chronicling dramatic moments in U.S. history.

Unless otherwise noted, these programs will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, D.C., located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW. Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis; the theater doors will open 30 minutes before the start of each program. The National Archives is fully accessible. If you need to request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program please email public.program@nara.gov or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event to ensure proper arrangements are secured.

The Newsreel: The Eyes and Ears of the World
Friday, June 9

Before TV, newsreels provided sights and sounds of the day’s events. Those flickering black and white images still have the power to draw us into history. In partnership with the Newseum, The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives presents a discussion and newsreel screening exploring the legacy of the American newsreel. Participating in the discussion will be Raymond Fielding, Dean Emeritus at Florida State University and author of The American Newsreel: 1911–1967, and Les Waffen, Chief, Motion Picture, Sound & Video Branch of the National Archives Special Media Archives Services Division. Rich Foster, Newseum Programs Director, will moderate. 7 p.m.

Flag Day Celebration
Flag: An American Biography
Wednesday, June 14

The 13-stripe, 50-star flag is as familiar an American icon as any in the nation’s history. It stirs pride and patriotism in the hearts of Americans; it is truly an American original. Yet the history of the American flag is cloaked in myth and misinformation. Marc Leepson, journalist, historian, and author of Flag: An American Biography, clarifies that history, presenting a lively, comprehensive, illuminating look at the story of the American flag from its beginnings to today. Noon. This program will take place in the Jefferson Presidential Conference Room.

President Ford’s Washington and the World
Monday, June 19

The National Archives hosts a tribute to President Gerald R. Ford featuring presentations by distinguished Americans including Henry Kissinger, 56th U.S. Secretary of State (1973–1977), and David Gergen, political commentator, best-selling author of Eyewitness to Power, and adviser to presidents for more than 30 years. Historian, biographer, and nationally recognized authority on the American Presidency Richard Norton Smith will moderate.

These and other eyewitnesses to history will discuss the national and global impact of the Ford administration at a critical time in American history, and how the policies created then still reverberate. Reservations required. 9 a.m.–11 a.m.

The Statue of Liberty and The Making of Liberty
Wednesday, June 21

In partnership with SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Film Festival, The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives presents Martin Scorsese’s Lady by the Sea: The Statue of Liberty. This documentary explores the meaning and history both of the concept of liberty, as it has played out in American history, and of the statue itself. In a variety of ways, Scorsese reconnects the statue to its original meaning—the celebration of the end of slavery—and highlights the statue’s purpose as a gift of friendship from the French government. (2004; 55 minutes)

Scorsese was the honoree at this year’s SILVERDOCS Charles Guggenheim Symposium. In connection with that event, Charles Guggenheim’s The Making of Liberty, made for the 1986 centennial celebration, will be screened tonight at the National Archives. This film chronicles one of America’s most treasured symbols from its creation to its restoration, as seen through the eyes of the artisans and laborers whose tasks are separated by a hundred years, but whose vision transcends time. (1986; 58 minutes) A videotaped welcome by Martin Scorsese especially made for this event will be shown at the beginning of tonight’s program. 7 p.m.

Eyewitness to War: The Combat Cameraman
Friday, June 23

The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives welcomes Norman Hatch, a combat cameraman in the 2nd Marine Division during the Second World War, who will introduce and discuss With the Marines at Tarawa (1944; 18 minutes) and To the Shores of Iwo Jima (1945; 20 minutes). These two color films feature footage Hatch shot while standing side-by-side with his combat counterparts. Noon.

Mark Twain Tonight!
Saturday, June 24

The National Archives presents a special screening of the landmark television event Mark Twain Tonight! In this classic portrayal of Mark Twain, Hal Holbrook captures the flamboyant humor and irreverence of the celebrated American writer. Most startling is the freshness of Twain’s stinging eyewitness commentary on politics, deception, religion, patriotism, and slavery. Holbrook’s performance allows us to see into the heart and soul of the great humorist at 70. (1967, 90 minutes) Noon.

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For press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (202) 357-5300.

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