Press/Journalists

Press Release
July 29, 2008

Junior High Sweethearts Get Engaged at the National Archives

Site of proposal marks anniversary of first kiss during 8th grade visit to the Rotunda

Newly engaged couple Leigh Lacy and Matt Whitmer with Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein in the National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom.

Washington, DC…Today, 12 years after they first became an item, Matt Whitmer surprised his longtime sweetheart Leigh Lacy, by proposing to her before hundreds of surprised and then cheering visitors in the National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. Matt popped the question at the site where they first kissed on an eighth grade field trip, in front of the Declaration of Independence.

The couple was hand in hand, in line to see the Charters of Freedom. Matt got down on one knee to propose and then shouted: “She said yes!” "I’m amazed. I’m so excited. I can’t believe this” Leigh exclaimed.

“I am delighted for Matt and Leigh. This proposal confirms that the National Archives is a “must-see” destination for Washingtonians, tourists, and true romantics alike,” said Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein.

The lovebirds, now both 25, first met in school in Springboro, a suburb of Dayton, OH. They now live in Atlanta, where Matt works for an advertising company and Leigh teaches seventh grade. Matt had planned this romantic getaway to Washington, DC, under the guise of a work commitment. No word yet on a wedding date for the couple, but the National Archives staff suggested a July 4th celebration would be appropriate.

More than a million visitors come to the National Archives each year to see the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, Public Vaults exhibition, William G. McGowan Theater, and Lawrence F. O’Brien changing exhibit gallery. The National Archives Experience is made possible by a public/private partnership between the National Archives and the Foundation for the National Archives, which is working as the private sector partner to support the creation of these new exhibitions and educational programs and resources. Unbeknownst to the couple, this engagement dovetails perfectly with the new National Archives Experience “Ask the Question” marketing campaign.

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

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The U.S. National Archives and Records Administration
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