Press/Journalists

Press Release
May 17, 2011

National Archives Celebrates New Food exhibition in June with Free Public Programs

Washington, DC…The National Archives presents a special series of programs in June including an evening with celebrity chef José Andrés, a presentation on American folk hero Johnny Appleseed, and a food themed return of Archives Jeopardy – with Archivist David. S. Ferriero as game show host – all inspired by the new What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? exhibition that opens June 10. All programs are free and open to the public, and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street.

WHAT’S COOKING? OPENING PROGRAM: The First Kitchen – Dining at the FDR White House
Friday, June 10, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was a lifelong gourmand and his wife Eleanor was a generous and thoughtful hostess, but the food in the Roosevelt White House was the worst in the history of the Presidency. Everyone complained, including FDR, but Eleanor wouldn’t hear of revamping the cuisine. Food writer and author Laura Shapiro discusses Eleanor’s passionate commitment to plain, economical living during the nation’s hard times. Attendees will receive a special celebratory edible treat – not based on a recipe from the FDR White House chef.

AMERICA EATS OPENING PROGRAM:  Chef José Andrés
Friday, June 10, at 7 P.M., William G. McGowan Theater
Join us for the inaugural program of "America Eats," a series developed in conjunction with José Andrés, who is Chief Culinary Advisor for the new exhibit "What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?" This opening program features the James Beard Award–winning chef himself. Chef Andrés will discuss the history of American food and cooking, science and cooking, and why food is the solution to many of the challenges we face as a nation. A book signing of Made in Spain: Spanish Dishes for the American Kitchen will follow the program; the book is available at a discount from the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) before and during the event.

BOOK TALK: High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America
Wednesday, June 15, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
The work of cookbook author Jessica B. Harris on the food and foodways of the African Diaspora culminates in High on the Hog. Harris discusses how these foods formed African American culture, history, and identity. A book signing will follow the program; the book is available at a discount from the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) before and during the event.

GAME SHOW:  Return of Archives JEOPARDY!
Thursday, June 16 at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Back by popular demand, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero returns as host for a food-themed “Archives Jeopardy!” Audience members will be selected to test their historical knowledge and win prizes.

BOOK TALK:  Johnny Appleseed: The Man, the Myth, and the American Story
Wednesday, June 22, at noon, Jefferson Room
Author Howard Means discusses his book on John Chapman, better known as American folk hero Johnny Appleseed, and looks at the man behind the myth. A book signing will follow the program; the book is available at a discount from the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) before and during the event.

PRESENTATION:  “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?
Thursday, June 23, at noon, Jefferson Room
Exhibit specialist Alice Kamps shares the surprising discoveries she made while researching food records for “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” in the National Archives.

FILMS:  Johnny Appleseed and Ratatouille
Saturday, June 25, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Winner of the 2008 Oscar® for Best Animated Feature Film, Ratatouille (111 minutes) tells the story of a rat named Remy who dreams of becoming a great Parisian chef. Johnny Appleseed, a 1948 short from Walt Disney Productions, will be shown first (19 minutes).

PANEL DISCUSSION:  The 1959 Kitchen Debate
Wednesday, June 29, at 7 PM, William G. McGowan Theater
The National Archives Experience and the Office of Presidential Libraries present an eyewitness account of the impromptu debate between then-Vice President Richard Nixon and Soviet Premier Nikita Khruschev on July 24, 1959. This debate took place alongside a model of a kitchen of a suburban model house on display at the U.S. National Exhibition at Sokolniki Park in Moscow. Timothy Naftali, Director of the Nixon Presidential Library, will moderate a panel including former Ambassador Gilbert A. Robinson, who was coordinator of the Exhibition, and Exhibition guides Tatiana Sochurek and George Feifer.

About “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?”

What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” explores the Government’s effect on the American diet. Unearth the stories and personalities behind the increasingly complex programs and legislation that affect what Americans eat. Learn about Government’s extraordinary efforts, successes, and failures to change our eating habits. From Revolutionary War rations to Cold War cultural exchanges, discover the multiple ways that food has occupied the hearts and minds of Americans and their Government. There are over 100 original records in the exhibit—including folk songs, war posters, educational films, and even seed packets. The exhibition, which is free and open to the public, opens June 10, 2011, in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building. Museum hours (through Labor Day) are 10 A.M. to 7 P.M. daily. See “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” for more information [www.archives.gov/exhibits/whats-cooking]. The exhibition was created by the exhibit staff of the National Archives Experience with support from the Foundation for the National Archives.

To verify dates and times of the programs, call 202-357-5000 or view the Calendar of Events online. To request an accommodation (e.g., sign language interpreter) for a public program, please e-mail public.program@nara.gov or call (202) 357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event.

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