Press/Journalists

Press Release
September 25, 2006

National Archives Honors Veterans Throughout November

Special speakers, programs, events, and films to honor US veterans

Washington, DC…In November, the National Archives will pay special tribute to our nation's troops - past and present. Month-long special events, programs, exhibits, speakers and films will honor the brave men and women who have fought for our country.

The National Archives, which takes special pride in its role in protecting the records of those who have protected our nation, holds both individual service records and unit records stretching from the American Revolution to the Gulf War, covering all branches of the military service. For detailed information about these holdings, and about National Archives activities nationwide to honor veterans and active military personnel and their families, see the National Archives Veterans web page (this page will be updated regularly).

Events, programs, films and exhibits at the National Archives in Washington, DC

The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall and winter hours are 10 A.M. - 5:30 P.M. daily. Unless otherwise noted, all events are free and open to the public, and will be held in the National Archives Research Center, Room G-24 - please enter on Pennsylvania Ave.

Tuesday, October 31, 10:00 a.m.-12:45 p.m.
Lecture and Workshop: If Grandpa Wore Blue, If Grandpa Wore Grey
Guest lecturer and genealogist Marie Melchiori will explore Civil War records at the National Archives. She will explain how to use both common and uncommon compiled military service and pension records for Union soldiers, both Regular Army and Volunteers. She will also describe how to use the War Department Collection of Confederate Records. Reservations are required, and a fee of $20 is payable by cash or check at the door. Call 202-357-5333.

Friday, November 3, at 11 a.m.
Lecture--Military Service in the War of 1812
Archives Specialist John Deeben will offer a general primer on how to research both Army and Navy military records for the War of 1812.

Tuesday, November 7, at 11 a.m.
Video--The Ramparts We Watch: A Saga of Modern America (1940, 99 minutes)
The impact of World War I on a typical small town--New London, Connecticut. This film was a production of "The March Of Time," a monthly screen magazine started in 1935 that brought the news of the world to American movie screens.

Wednesday, November 8, at 11 a.m.
Video--Flashes of Action (1925, 47 minutes)
Produced by the US Army Signal Corps, this footage shows World War I soldiers fighting in battle, aiding the wounded and handling prisoners of war.

Wednesday, November 8, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater
D-Day Remembered (1994, 52 minutes)
This Academy Award®-nominated documentary tells the story of a pivotal moment in the Allied struggle against Nazi Germany during World War II--the successful invasion of Normandy by the largest armada in history on June 6, 1944, and the battle that followed, told through the experiences of those who planned, executed, and fought on D-Day. Executive producer Grace Guggenheim introduces the screening. Presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives.

Thursday, November 9, at 11 a.m.
Lecture--Gold Star Mothers' Pilgrimage
From 1930 to 1933, the Federal Government paid the way for the mothers and widows of World War I soldiers to visit the graves of their sons and husbands in Europe. Archivist and genealogy specialist Constance Potter will describe the visit of one woman, Katherine Holley of Hedgesville, WV.

Thursday, November 9, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
The Fighting Lady (1944, 62 minutes)
Created from footage shot on and around the Essex-class aircraft carrier USS Yorktown during its first months of action in the Pacific and narrated by Robert Taylor, this film won the 1944 Oscar® for best documentary feature. It intersperses combat scenes of breathtaking intensity with shots of daily life aboard ship during the long waits between battles. The Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives will be screening a newly restored 35mm print, courtesy of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Rear Adm. Richard A. Buchanan, President and Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Navy Memorial Foundation, will introduce the screening.

Saturday, November 11, all-day
National Archives Salutes US Veterans and Active Military (10 AM to 5:30 PM)
On Veterans' Day November 11, all veterans, active military and their families may go to the front of the visitors' line at the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue, and will receive a special discount in the Archives Shop.

Monday, November 13, at 11 a.m.
Video--The Negro Soldier (1944, 42 minutes)
Chief of Staff George Marshall asked Frank Capra's Army film unit to make a documentary film that would teach racial tolerance and promote wartime unity in the fight against the Axis Powers. This film was released by the War Department to the general public on April 13, 1944, through the War Activities Committee with the help of Jack Warner.

Tuesday, November 14, at 11 a.m.
Three Short Videos: Homes for Veterans explores the housing shortage for returning veterans (1946, 28 minutes); Women on the Warpath includes color footage of women war workers (1943, 10 minutes); WASPS tells the story of the Women's Air Force Service Pilots (1943, 20 minutes).

Wednesday, November 15, at noon
November Book Group meeting: The National Archives “From the Records” Book Group
will discuss Presidents at War: From Truman to Bush, The Gathering of Military Powers To Our Commanders in Chief, by Gerald Astor and Congressman John Murtha (Wiley Publishers, 2006).

Tuesday, November 21, at 11 a.m.
Video--This Is Korea (1951, 50 minutes)
The story of the 7th Fleet and the 1st Marine Division, including footage of Korean life and numerous aspects of the daily routine of soldiers, from frontline battles and M.A.S.H. hospitals to Christmas dinner.

Tuesday, November 28, at 11 a.m.
Two Short Videos: Vietnam Crucible shows soldiers training for fighting in the Vietnam War (1968, 30 minutes); A Day in Vietnam highlights daily activities of U.S. troops in Vietnam (28 minutes).

National Archives exhibits pay tribute to the US military:
  • The Public Vaults Permanent Exhibition
    In this interactive exhibit, visitors can see and explore documents, maps, films, and photographs of both great national events and the lives of individual Americans. An entire vault of the exhibition - “Provide for the Common Defense” - highlights the US military, and captures both individual heroism and collective sacrifice. Together with declassified records of strategy and tactics, they bring a human dimension to the tragedy of war. Highlights include: up-close accounts of significant conflicts across US military history; information about the recruitment process and how it has changed over time; historic citations for individual bravery such as the Gold Star and Medal of Honor; an examination of Presidential decision-making, exploring Presidents' military decisions in their public role as peacemakers and commanders of US forces overseas; and, formerly “Top Secret” documents regarding the invasion of Japan, atomic bomb development, testing, and use, and OSS wartime propaganda.

  • EYEWITNESS - American Originals from the National Archives
    Firsthand original accounts in “EYEWITNESS” chronicle some of the most dramatic moments in US military history. Gripping and emotional, they capture the exuberance, grief, joy, panic, or chaos that characterized the events described. Many of these accounts, never before exhibited, offer a fresh and surprising perspective on familiar events. Military highlights include: a letter from General George Washington to John Hancock, President of Congress, regarding an alleged British plot to spread smallpox among the American troops during the Revolutionary War; a letter from a Red Cross nurse held as a prisoner of war (POW) in the Philippines during World War II; report of an American POW from inside a Hanoi prison during the Vietnam War; and, numerous excerpts from war diaries throughout American history. An audio tour of the exhibit by Acoustiguide is available free of charge. In the Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery through January 1, 2007.

  • A New World Is at Hand
    Flanking the permanent display of the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom is the exhibition, “A New World Is at Hand.” Featuring a selection of the National Archives' most treasured documents, this exhibition reveals the drama, passion, and poignancy of the struggle for freedom that has defined much of U.S. history. Military-related highlights of the exhibit include the Statement of Jehu Grant (1836), who fled slavery to fight in the Revolutionary War, and President Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Amnesty and Reconstruction, December 8, 1863, issued during the Civil War.
Events at the National Archives II at College Park, MD
  • Archives II is located at 8601 Adelphi Rd., in College Park, MD. For directions, see: http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/college-park/index.html

  • Thursday, November 9, at 11 a.m., Lecture Room B.
    Video--The Ramparts We Watch: A Saga of Modern America (1940, 99 minutes)
    The video details the impact of World War I on a typical small town--New London, Connecticut.

  • Thursday, November 16, at 11 a.m., Meet in the lobby.
    Lecture--Aerial Photography of World War II Campaigns
    Archives specialist Jerry Luchansky will show original aerial film taken by the Americans and Allies during World War II and captured aerial prints from the German Luftwaffe. He will also display photographs and overlays, and explain how to use aerial flight mission overlays for research.

  • Thursday, November 30, at 11 a.m., Lecture Room B
    Two Short Videos: Vietnam Crucible shows soldiers training for fighting in the Vietnam War (1968, 30 minutes); A Day in Vietnam highlights daily activities of U.S. troops in Vietnam (28 minutes).

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

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