About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
March 27, 2019 

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 special preview screening and discussion of Joseph Pulitzer: Voice of the People, with our special guests, filmmaker Oren Rudavsky and author Nicholson Baker.

Before we start the film, I’d like to let you know about two other programs coming up soon in this theater.

Tomorrow night, a 7 p.m., historian and former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Tom Wheeler will tell us about his latest book, From Gutenberg to Google: The History of Our Future. Wheeler explains how network revolutions of the past have shaped the present and set the stage for the revolution we are experiencing today.

On Monday, April 1, at 7 p.m., we will join with the One Woman, One Vote Film Festival to present a preview screening of The Best of Enemies, a new feature film starring Taraji P. Henson and Sam Rockwell. Based on a true story, The Best of Enemies centers on the unlikely relationship between an outspoken civil rights activist and a local Ku Klux Klan leader who reluctantly co-chair a community summit about desegregating schools in Durham, North Carolina.

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.

For a program about famed newspaper man Joseph Pulitzer, it’s appropriate that one of our guests is Nicholson Baker, author and creator of the American Newspaper Repository. He donated this remarkable collection of 19th- and 20th-century American newspapers to Duke University in 2004 when I was University Librarian. The collection includes the largest and most complete run of Pulitzer’s New York World, which had the largest circulation of any American newspaper in the 1890s.

The National Archives, like many research institutions, digitizes documents for reasons of preservation and greater access to the records. But we know there’s nothing quite like the thrill of encountering the original words as ink on paper, touched by the hands of men and women who created and used them.

And now to lead us into tonight’s film, it’s my pleasure to introduce Oren Rudavsky. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and several National Endowment for the Humanities and National Endowment for the Arts grants. His film A Life Apart: Hasidism in America was broadcast on PBS, and his film Hiding and Seeking was nominated for an Independent Spirit award and was chosen for the Public Broadcasting Service’s POV series. Rudavsky’s work includes writing and producing segments for the ABC national series PrimeTime Live, the PBS series Media Matters, Religion and Ethics Newsweekly, and other national programming. He has also worked as a post-production supervisor on the film unit of Saturday Night Live and the syndicated series Tales From the Darkside.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Oren Rudavsky.