Films at the National Archives’ New McGowan Theater in September 2004
Press Release · Tuesday, August 3, 2004

Washington, DC

Press Release
August 3, 2004


Films at the National Archives’ New McGowan Theater in September 2004

Washington, DC . . . As part of the grand opening celebration of the William G. McGowan Theater, the National Archives and Records Administration will present free film screenings throughout the month of September. The McGowan Theater is located in the National Archives Building on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.

The William G. McGowan Theater is a centerpiece of the new National Archives Experience, a multi-year initiative that will more than triple the exhibition spaces and public educational and programming facilities of the National Archives on the Mall in Washington, DC. It will be one of the nation’s leading centers for documentary film, as well as a prominent forum for the discussion and exploration of great issues of American history, democracy and government.

Saturday, September 11, day-long
Meeting the Test

In conjunction with the opening of the William G. McGowan Theater, the National Archives presents a day-long program of films chronicling America’s response to challenges of the 20th century as seen through a selection of motion pictures taken from the holdings of the National Archives.

12:00 noon
The Plow that Broke the Plains (1936) & The River (1937)

Two classic documentaries from the Depression Era. (60 minutes)

2:00 p.m.
Prelude to War (1942)

The first in the World War II–era Why We Fight series of orientation films. (54 minutes)

4:00 p.m.
Answer to Stalin (1948)

This episode of The March of Time newsreel describes America’s response to Russian aggression and the Marshall Plan for post–World War II foreign economic aid. (20 minutes)

The Road to the Wall (1962)
In this documentary by CBS Films, the Berlin Wall is used as a focal point to trace the rise of communism in Russia, Eastern Europe, China, and Cuba. (34 minutes)

5:00 p.m.
The March (1963)

This documentary explores the civil rights march on Washington in August 1963. (30 minutes)

Nine from Little Rock (1964)
Nine from Little Rock profiles the lives of the nine African American students who integrated Central High in Little Rock, AK, during the fall of 1957. (21 minutes)

Saturday, September 11, 8:30 p.m.
The Fog of War

The National Archives is pleased to present the 2004 Academy Award winner for best documentary feature. Directed by Errol Morris, this film is a fascinating examination of the life and career of Robert S. McNamara, who was both witness to and participant in many of the crucial events of the 20th century. (106 minutes)

September 13–17, 20, 21, 23, 27–30, one episode each day at noon.
The Adams Chronicles

To commemorate the 215th anniversary of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, the National Archives presents the landmark 13-part PBS production, first aired in 1975, that brings to life five generations of one of America’s leading political and historical families. Each episode is one hour long. Episodes 1–3 will be repeated on Saturday, September 18, at 3 p.m. Episodes 4–6 will be repeated on Saturday, September 25, at 3 p.m. Episodes 7–9 will be repeated on Saturday, October 2, at 3 p.m. Episodes 10–13 will be repeated on Saturday, October 9, at 2 p.m.

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For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or (202) 501-5526.

To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: (202) 501-5000, the hearing impaired should call TDD (202) 501-5404 for information, or view the Calendar of Events on the web at:


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