Press/Journalists

Press Release
January 31, 2011

National Archives Presents Free Civil War-Themed Public Programs in February

Washington, DC…The National Archives presents a special series of programs in February including book talks, a presentation on espionage in the Civil War, and a screening of three parts of Ken Burns’ The Civil War, inspired by Part II, Consequences, of the Discovering the Civil War exhibition. The programs are free and open to the public. While most of the programs will be held in the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, one of the programs will be held at the International Spy Museum, and one will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD. For programs in the William G. McGowan Theater and in the Jefferson and Adams Rooms of the National Archives Building, please use the Special Events entrance on the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Street.

Discovering the Civil War Part II, Consequences, is featured in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, and runs through April 17, 2011. The exhibit peels back 150 years of accumulated analysis, interpretation, and opinion to reveal a Civil War that is little-known and even more rarely displayed. The exhibition offers visitors the chance to join researchers in unlocking secrets, solving mysteries, and uncovering unexpected events in the Civil War records of the National Archives. Museum winter hours (through March 14) are 10A.M. to 5:30 P.M. daily. The exhibition is presented by the Center for the National Archives Experience and the Foundation for the National Archives.

BOOK TALK: Near Andersonville - Winslow Homer's Civil War
Monday, February 7, at noon, Jefferson Room

American painter Winslow Homer rose to national attention during the Civil War, but one of his most important early paintings, “Near Andersonville,” remained unknown for a century. In this illustrated lecture, author Peter Wood reveals the long-hidden story of this remarkable Civil War painting. Wood examines the interplay of symbolic elements and links the painting to Abraham Lincoln’s presidential campaign of 1864. Wood’s provocative study offers a fresh vantage point on Homer’s early career, the struggle to end slavery, and the dramatic closing years of the Civil War. 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.

BOOK TALK: An Example for All the Land: Emancipation and the Struggle over Equality in Washington, DC
Tuesday, February 8, at noon, Jefferson Room

In An Example for All the Land, author Kate Masur discusses Washington, DC, during the period of Reconstruction after the Civil War. The city became a laboratory for political experimentation as the question of racial equality produced a debate about black Washingtonians and their demands for public respect, equal access to employment, public services, and the right to vote. 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.

PROGRAM: Spies and Conspiracies: Espionage in the Civil War
Tuesday, February 8, at 7 P.M.
International Spy Museum, 800 F Street NW, Washington DC

During the Civil War both sides conducted intelligence operations. Despite the often disorderly nature of these efforts, there were successes, including the use of Union codes to protect communications. Both sides also effectively used agents to gather and report information. Clayton D. Laurie, historian for the Center for the Study of Intelligence at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), moderates a panel including Donald E. Markle, author of Spies and Spymasters of the Civil War; Ann Blackman, author of Wild Rose: Rose O’Neale Greenhow, Civil War Spy; and Ken Daigler, former CIA employee and author of Black Dispatches: Black American Contributions to Union Intelligence During the Civil War. This program is presented in partnership with the International Spy Museum.

FILM: The Hunley
Saturday, February 12, at noon, Jefferson Room

Armand Assante and Donald Sutherland star in the true story of the submarine CSS Hunley, set during the siege of Charleston of 1864. The Hunley was the first submersible to sink an enemy ship during wartime. (1999; 120 minutes)

FILM: Ken Burns’s The Civil War - Thursdays, February 10, 17, and 24 at noon
National Archives Building - Jefferson Room and William G. McGowan Theater

We continue the landmark nine-part television series by filmmaker Ken Burns:
February 10—Most Hallowed Ground (1990; 72 minutes) - Jefferson Room
February 17—War is All Hell (1990; 67 minutes) - Jefferson Room
February 24—The Better Angels of Our Nature (1990; 69 minutes)- William G. McGowan Theater

Related records programs

Know Your Records: From the Records Book Group
Tuesday, February 15, at 11 A.M. and noon, Adams Room

After a related presentation at 11 a.m., the book group discusses Escape on the Pearl: The Heroic Bid for Freedom on the Underground Railroad by Mary Kay Ricks. Check the Archives Shop (202-357-5271) for book availability and a discount for book group participants. Brown bag lunches are welcome.

Know Your Records: Emancipation Records of the District of Columbia
Wednesday, February 16, at 11 A.M., Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)

Damani Davis, archivist, teaches this month’s “Beyond the Basics” archival research skills for genealogists (all skill levels welcome).

Know Your Records: Exploring the Ex-Slave Pension Movement
Tuesday, February 22, at 11 A.M., Room G-24, Research Center (Enter on Pennsylvania Avenue)

Miranda Booker Perry, archivist trainee, discusses the quest for ex-slave pensions and the role Federal agencies played in suppressing freed people. (The lecture will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, in Lecture Room B, Thursday, February 24, at 11 A.M.)

PLEASE NOTE: The William G. McGowan Theater will be closed through February 19, 2011, to make necessary improvements to the lighting and projection systems. Public programs will continue during this period in alternate venues.

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

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