National Archives News

Virtual Programs Newsletter

Issue #32, June 29, 2021

A Message from the Archivist of the United States

refer to caption

David S. Ferriero

This year, we will celebrate the 245th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence with our traditional Fourth of July program both online and in person. Join us for a variety of family-friendly programs with historical figures and Archives educators, and a patriotic reading ceremony emceed by journalist Soledad O’Brien. Find the full schedule at

Until then, you can watch our program with Pulitzer Prize–winning author Joseph Ellis discussing his book Revolutionary Summer, see how a question on the Declaration of Independence was answered on the History Hub, and view a featured document exhibit on Juneteenth. There are also a number of kid-friendly Independence Day activities for families to enjoy.

Please continue to practice social distancing and stay safe. We hope to see you in person soon.

Citizen Archivist Missions

Document from Vietnamese Correspondents Accreditation FilesVietnamese Correspondents Accreditation Files, 1967–72

Help us transcribe correspondence, memorandums, application forms, photographs, and other records relating to the accreditation of Vietnamese national correspondents by the Special Projects Division of the Information Office in Vietnam.

New to the Citizen Archivist program? Learn how to register and get started.



Research Family History

This presentation from the 2013 Virtual Genealogy Fair provides an overview of basic records at the National Archives that document military service from the Revolutionary War to the late 20th century, including Volunteer and Regular service/enlistment records, pension records, draft records, and unit records from World War I to Vietnam.

From the Catalog

Oh dam(s)! This newly available series of Construction Progress Negatives from the Records of the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) document major construction stages of TVA fossil, hydro, nuclear, and coal gasification projects. Nearly 4,000 photographs in this series also include general activities of people, places, and events, including portraits, pictures of dedication ceremonies, managers, and presentations.

Image: Cherokee Dam Construction Progress, Upstream Cone Area, 4/7/1941. National Archives Identifier 204246914

Social Media Campaign

We’re starting the Independence Day weekend with a flourish! Join us for #ArchivesSignatures on Friday, July 2, on& Twitter and Instagram!

From the loops of John Hancock’s famous signature to the illegible scribbles of Presidents, from scrawls on baseballs to artists’ marks on their masterpieces, share your favorite signatures from your holdings!


Question of the Week

History Hub Question of the Week"My family has an old copy of the Declaration of Independence. How can I determine its age and authenticity?"

See the answer to our Question of the Week on History Hub, our crowdsourced platform for history and genealogical research where anyone can ask questions and get answers from archivists and other community members!

Stop by the History Hub and check out more questions about a variety of subjects. Register and get started on History Hub.

Featured Exhibit

Excerpt  from general Order No 3

On June 17, 2021, President Joe Biden signed a bill into law establishing Juneteenth—the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States—as a federal holiday. Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that U.S. Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger issued General Order 3, which finally delivered the freedom promised by the Emancipation Proclamation to 250,000 people who remained enslaved in Texas. Visit this Featured Document exhibit to learn more about these milestone documents in the long struggle for American freedom.

July 4 Family Activities

coloring book page showing Declaration of IndependenceEngage kids in a variety of family activities to learn about Independence Day. Download our activity book or coloring pages, practice calligraphy, print your own copy of the Declaration of Independence, or make an Independence Day Ice Cream Sundae!


Public Programs

From June 2014, Pulitzer Prize–winning author Joseph Ellis discusses his book Revolutionary Summer and the influential figures and events of the summer of 1776— when the 13 colonies agreed to secede from the British Empire.

Research Services

Cover of the Papers of the Continental CongressIn 1971, the National Archives established the Center for the Documentary Study of the American Revolution, a sort of “one-stop” location for research of the American Revolution and the inception of our founding  charters.

But the greatest legacy of the Center was the creation of the Index: The Papers of the Continental Congress, 1774–1789, published in 1978. Learn more in his blog post from the Text Message.



MoPix Video Selection

"Transfer of the Constitution and Declaration of Independence to the National Archives" is a 1952 film showing the transfer of the Constitution of the United States and the Declaration of Independence from the Library of Congress to the National Archives, and features a speech by President Truman. Read more about the transfer in the Pieces of History blog.

Visit the Online Store

Framed Declaration of IndependenceJuly 4th is just a few days away.

Is there any better place to get your patriotic merch than the home of the Declaration of Independence?

We have copies of the Declaration, Constitution, and Bill of Rights so you can display our nation’s founding document right in your home. Shop now!