About the National Archives

Society of History in the Federal Government annual meeting

Welcome remarks for
Society of History in the Federal Government annual meeting
Thursday, March 13
McGowan Theater

Good morning!  

After a three-year hiatus, it’s great to have you back here at the National Archives.  I see some familiar faces and many new members in the audience. Welcome!

The Society for History in the Federal Government was founded in 1979 in Washington, DC, to advance the unique interests of Federal historians and provide a body through which they could address common concerns, support shared interests, and stimulate discussion. The National Archives staff has been involved with the Society––some were founding members––and over the past 38 years NARA staff have served in many capacities including President; editor of the publication The Federalist; on the Executive Council, and more. We are an institutional member of the Society, and we host monthly executive council meetings and workshops.

At the beginning of the society’s founding, the National Archives was a main topic of discussion. During your first annual meeting in 1980, Senator Robert Morgan of North Carolina gave the keynote address on the need for an independent National Archives. It was an issue that galvanized the Society. It was your number one issue from 1980 through 1984 when the National Archives Act passed.

During your lunch break I hope you’ll take time to visit the museum upstairs.  Specifically I invite you to go to the O’Brien Gallery and see the current special exhibit, “Amending America,” which explores how our Constitution has been amended—or not—over the course of our nation’s history. Curator Christine Blackerby is here and will be speaking on a panel about that exhibit later this morning.  

There are several people I want to recognize for making today’s annual meeting happen:

From the National Archives…Jessie Kratz, Nikol McCombs, and contractor Jamie Atkinson.

And Society members Terrance Rucker, Zack Wilske, Elizabeth Charles, Mattea Sanders, Anne Musella, Julie Prieto, and Kristin Ahlberg.

Congratulations on a job well done.

You have a great program lined up today. Thank you for coming, and enjoy!