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Press Release
February 18, 2009

National Archives Presents Free Public Programs in Celebration of New Exhibit “BIG!” in March

NARA 75th AnniversaryWashington, DC…In March, the National Archives celebrates the opening of its new exhibition “BIG! Celebrating the 75th Anniversary of the National Archives,” with free public programs including a panel discussion, two film screenings, and an author lecture.

The National Archives celebrates its 75th year in 2009 with a new exhibition featuring big records, big events, and big ideas. At a time when many people struggle to see documents and images on smaller and smaller screens, the National Archives exhibition “BIG!” presents the nation’s original record in its full-scale glory. From the 13-foot scroll of the Articles of Confederation, the first constitution of the United States, to the size 22 sneakers of basketball legend Shaquille O’Neal, the items in the exhibition are pieces of the American story—writ large.

The exhibition opens in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC on Friday, March 13, 2009, and runs through January 3, 2010. Winter hours (through March 14) are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.; Spring hours (March 15 through Labor Day) are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., daily. Admission is free.

Panel Discussion—Big Strides, Diverse Paths: Women’s Journeys to Political Leadership
Thursday, March 5, at 7:30 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater

The influence of women has redefined the nature of politics, but how did they get there and what are the stories of their political journeys? Join moderator Eleanor Clift, weekly panelist on The McLaughlin Group and author of Madam President, as she moderates a panel of women who have come from a variety of backgrounds, represent different levels of political activity, and have played leadership roles in politics. Panelists include Mazie Hirono, U.S. Congresswoman from Hawaii; Grace Napolitano, U.S. Congresswoman from California; Madeleine Kunin, former Governor of Vermont and author of Pearls, Politics, and Power; and Jennette Bradley, former Lieutenant Governor of Ohio. Presented in partnership with the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at the University of Massachusetts Boston’s McCormack Graduate School.

D.C. Environmental Film Festival Premiere—Built for the People: The Story of TVA (2008)
Tuesday, March 17, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater

Built for the People: The Story of TVA (2008) was produced by Academy Award®-nominated Washington documentary filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine (War/Dance). The film chronicles the transformation of the vast and magnificent Tennessee Valley—devastated by flooding, deforestation, poor farming practices, and forest fires—through the Tennessee Valley Authority, established by Franklin D. Roosevelt and Congress in 1933. President Roosevelt called the TVA, which helped lift the region out of the Great Depression, “one of the great social and economic achievements of the United States.” With the establishment of TVA, the Tennessee River watershed began a resurgence, reducing the risk of flooding, providing electric power, and promoting agricultural and industrial development. (86 minutes.) Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine will join us to discuss the film and answer audience questions.

Author Lecture—The Great Decision:  Jefferson, Adams, Marshall, and the Battle for the Supreme Court
Wednesday, March 18, at noon, Jefferson Room

In 1800 the United States teetered on the brink of a second revolution. The Presidential election between Adams and Jefferson was a bitterly contested tie, and the Supreme Court had no clear purpose or power. In The Great Decision, David McKean tells the riveting story of John Marshall and the landmark court case Marbury v. Madison, through which he empowered the Supreme Court and transferred the idea of the separation of powers into a working blueprint for our modern state. A book signing will follow the program.

Film Screening—King Kong
Saturday, March 28, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater

Skull Island natives capture aspiring movie star Ann Darrow (Fay Wray) and offer her as a sacrifice to their god, King Kong. But Ann’s movie crew rescues her, captures King Kong, and brings him to New York. This ape of epic proportions, of course, escapes and terrorizes the city. (1933, 109 minutes)

The programs are free and open to the public. For information on National Archives Public Programs, call 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events. The William G. McGowan Theater and the Jefferson Room are located in the National Archives Building on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC. Use the National Archives Building Special Events entrance on the corner of 7th Street and Constitution Avenue.

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

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