About the National Archives

Welcome Remarks for Our Lost Declaration: America's Fight Against Tyranny from King George to the Deep State

McGowan Theater, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
June 20, 2019 

Good afternoon, 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 today’s program, whether you are here in the theater or joining us through Facebook or YouTube.

Today we’re happy to host Senator Mike Lee, who will talk about his new book, Our Lost Declaration: America's Fight Against Tyranny from King George to the Deep State.

Before we get started, I’d like tell you about two other programs coming up soon in this theater.

On Tuesday, June 25, at 7 p.m., we will show The Apollo, an HBO documentary film about the famous Apollo Theater in New York City. Following the screening, there will be a discussion with producer Lisa Cortes, Apollo Theater executive producer Kamilah Forbes, and theater historian Billy Mitchell.

And on Friday, June 28, at noon, Step by Step: Building a Feminist Movement, 1941–1977.  This film by Joyce Follet follows the lives of eight Midwestern women, six of whom became founders of NOW. Their stories illustrate the continuity and diversity of 20th-century feminism, as they describe the labor, civil rights, and political movements of the 1940s and 1950s that led them to take action. (1998; 56 minutes.)

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. Visit its website—archivesfoundation.org—to learn more about the Foundation and join online.

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In just two weeks, the steps outside on Constitution Avenue will be filled with people gathered to celebrate Independence Day—the anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence.

It’s probably safe to say that most Americans have not read the entire Declaration. But at our July 4th celebration, people listen attentively as actors read the document from start to finish. They loudly cheer for the assertions of independence and the vision of a government founded on the principles of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and jeer energetically during the list of grievances against the king of England.

To those who have only a passing acquaintance with the Declaration of Independence, that list of complaints is unfamiliar, although it takes up two-thirds of the document.

In Our Lost Declaration, Senator Mike Lee draws our attention to that core section of the Declaration of Independence and reminds us of why the Founders risked their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor to break away from the crown and establish a new nation with a new form of government.

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Let’s turn now to Senator Lee to hear about his new book, Our Lost Declaration. It is good to have him back at the National Archives. Senator Lee was last here on Constitution Day in 2015 with his book, Our Lost Constitution. May I suggest “Our Lost Bill of Rights” for your next book? That will cover all the Charters in the Rotunda upstairs.

Senator Mike Lee was elected in 2010 to represent Utah in the United States Senate.

He graduated from Brigham Young University's Law School in 1997 and went on to serve as law clerk to Judge Dee Benson of the U.S. District Court for the District of Utah, and then with future Supreme Court Justice Judge Samuel A. Alito, Jr., on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

Throughout his career, Lee earned a reputation as an outstanding practitioner of the law based on his sound judgment, abilities in the courtroom, and thorough understanding of the Constitution.

Senator Lee is a member of the Judiciary Committee and serves as Chairman of the Antitrust, Competition Policy, and Consumer Rights Subcommittee.

He also oversees issues critical to Utah as the Chairman of the Water and Power Subcommittee of the Energy and Natural Resources Committee and serves on the Commerce Committee as well.

In 2019, Lee became the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee where he is overseeing the Social Capital Project.

Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome Senator Mike Lee.