National Archives Author Lecture Series in July 2003
Press Release · Thursday, June 19, 2003

Washington, DC

In July, the National Archives and Records Administration presents a series of lectures relating to Aviation in America, World War I, World War II and the Presidential Election of 1881.

Please note: No public programs are scheduled for August-the National Archives is busy working on the grand rededication of the National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the first phase of the National Archives Experience. The Rotunda will reopen to the public on September 18, 2003.

The programs are free and open to the public and will take place in Room 105 at the National Archives Building, Pennsylvania Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW. Due to limited seating in Room 105 of the National Archives Building, reservations are recommended, call the National Archives public programs line at (202) 501-5000. TDD users may call (202) 501-5404.

Tuesday, July 8- Aviation in America
Dr. Richard Hallion will discuss "America and the Air and Space Revolution: Past Perspectives and Present Challenges." Hallion will trace the complex roots of flight, how Americans invented the airplane and then lost control of the aeronautical revolution, how the United States regained its competitiveness, and how this continues to be a serious challenge as we enter the second century of powered, winged flight. Dr. Hallion, one of the founding curators of the National Air and Space Museum, served as Air Force Historian from 1991 to 2002 and is an adviser to the Air Force Centennial of Flight office. He is the author of numerous award-winning books, the most recent of which is Taking Flight (Oxford University Press, 2003). 7 p.m.

Thursday, July 10- World War I
Historian Thomas Fleming will discuss his book The Illusion of Victory: America in World War I. The political history of the American experience in World War I is a story of conflict and bungled intentions that begins in an era dedicated to progressive social reform and ends in the Red Scare and Prohibition. Fleming tells this story through the complex figure of Woodrow Wilson. Wilson's inability to convince Congress to ratify U.S. membership in the League of Nations was one of the most poignant failures in the history of the American Presidency, but even more heartrending were Wilson's concessions to his bitter allies in the Treaty of Versailles. 7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 22-World War I
Steve Harris will discuss his book Harlem's Hell Fighters: The African-American 369th Infantry in World War I. These men not only received little instruction at their training camp in South Carolina but were also victims of racial harassment, from both civilians and their white comrades. Once in France, they initially served as laborers but later became one of the few U.S. units that American Commanding General John J. Pershing agreed to let serve under French command. The men of the 369th fought valiantly alongside French Moroccans and held one of the widest sectors on the Western Front. Within the book is the story of James Reese Europe, the unit's bandleader, who is credited with bringing jazz to Europe. Noon.

Tuesday, July 22-World War II
Bryan Mark Rigg returns to discuss his book, Hitler's Jewish Soldiers: The Untold Story of Nazi Racial Laws and Men of Jewish Descent in the German Military. Contrary to conventional views, Rigg reveals that the actual number of German military men classified by the Nazis as Jews or "partial-Jews" (Mischlinge) was much higher than previously thought-perhaps as many as 150,000, including decorated veterans and high-ranking officers. Based on a deep and wide-ranging research in archival and secondary sources, as well as extensive interviews, Rigg's study truly breaks new ground. 7 p.m.

Tuesday, July 29-Presidential Election of 1881
Ken Ackerman discusses his book Dark Horse: The Surprise Election and Political Murder of President James A. Garfield. Ackerman re-creates the American political landscape where fierce battles for power unfolded against a chivalrous code of honor in a nation struggling under the shadow of a recent war. The journey through political back rooms, dazzling convention floors, and intrigue-filled congressional and White House chambers reveals the era's decency and humanity as well as the sharp partisanship that exploded in the pistol shots of assassin Charles Guiteau. 7 p.m.


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