About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for "Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow"

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
October 11, 2018

Good evening, and welcome to the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. I’m David Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and I’m pleased you could join us for tonight’s screening of Above and Beyond: NASA’s Journey to Tomorrow to observe NASA’s 60th anniversary.

Before we start the film, I’d like to let you know about two other programs coming up next week.

On Tuesday, October 16, at noon, historian Harlow Giles Unger will be here to discuss his latest book, Dr. Benjamin Rush: The Founding Father Who Healed a Wounded Nation.  Known primarily as America’s most influential physician, Rush was also among the first to call for the abolition of slavery, equal rights for women, and improved living conditions for the poor.

On Wednesday, October 17, at noon, we welcome back Pulitzer Prize–winning historian Joseph J. Ellis, who will speak on his latest book, American Dialogue: The Founding Fathers and Us. The book gives us an insightful examination of the relevance of the views of Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Adams to some of today’s most divisive issues.

Book signings follow both of these programs.

Check our website, Archives.gov, or sign up at the table outside the theater to get email updates. You’ll also find information about other National Archives programs and activities.

Another way to get more involved with the National Archives is to become a member of the National Archives Foundation. The Foundation supports the work of the agency, especially its education and outreach programs. Check out their website— archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about them and join online.

Tonight’s screening is one of several programs and activities we plan to present to celebrate not only the 60th anniversary of the creation of NASA (which opened its doors on October 1, 1958), but the 50th anniversary of milestone Apollo missions.

The National Archives contains a wealth of NASA records in the Washington, DC, area and at several of our archival locations across the country. In this building we have the original legislation that created NASA—the National Aeronautics and Space Act of 1958 - and the National Archives at Fort Worth holds a large collection of records from the Johnson Space Center.

You can view the 1958 act and many other NASA records in the online National Archives Catalog.

Beginning on November 29, audio and video documents related to the December 1968 flight of Apollo 8 will be on display in the East Rotunda Gallery. In conjunction with that display, we will present a screening of a new documentary, Earthrise, which tells the story of the first image captured of the Earth from space in 1968. Told solely by the Apollo 8 astronauts, the film recounts their experiences and memories and explores the beauty, awe, and grandeur of the Earth against the blackness of space. That screening will take place on Wednesday, December 5 at noon in this theater.

And now to introduce tonight’s film, I’ll turn you over to Dr. Paul A. Newman, Chief Scientist for Earth Sciences at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. Dr. Newman is a Seattle native who graduated from Seattle University with a B.S. in physics and a minor in mathematics and completed his doctorate in physics at Iowa State University. Before joining NASA in 1990, he was a National Research Council fellow and then worked for Applied Research Corporation and the Universities Space Research Associates.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Dr. Paul A. Newman.