National Archives Celebrates -Coming to America- with Columbus Day Family Program Monday, October 10
Press Release · Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Press Release
September 20, 2005

National Archives Celebrates "Coming to America" with Columbus Day Family Program Monday, October 10

Washington, DC…On Monday, October 10, (Columbus Day) the National Archives will offer a day of fun family programs and activities celebrating the theme "Coming to America" with performances, demonstrations and activities related to genealogy, immigration, and preserving family history. Visitors can experience the sights, sounds, and excitement of arriving in a new place by attending Destination: American in the McGowan Theater, design a colorful fraktur (folk art), trace their family's origin through maps, and create their own family tree.

All programs are free and open to the public. The National Archives Building is located on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.

Coming to America Family Day Program:

Noon to 4:00 P.M.

  • Genealogy Information Center
    The National Archives is the perfect place to start exploring your family tree. Pick up information on where to begin, what to look for, and what resources to use to discover your roots. Constitution Avenue Lobby

  • Make a Fraktur
    Frakturs, a kind of Pennsylvania German folk art, are beautifully illustrated documents that recorded marriages, births, and baptisms in the 18th century. Design your own fraktur! Public Vaults Entrance Lobby

  • Make a Family Chart
    A family chart is a fun way to keep track of names, birthdays, and birthplaces and is a perfect way to start exploring your family tree. O'Brien Gallery Lobby

  • Create a Map
    Show everyone where your family originated and to where they immigrated. Find all the places you, your parents, and your grandparents have lived. O'Brien Gallery Lobby

  • Apply for Naturalization, a Land Grant, or a Pension
    Use what you know about your family history to fill out reproductions of historical forms. Experience what your ancestors may have experienced. O'Brien Gallery Lobby

  • Design a Quilt Square
    Choose to color in a traditional pattern, or design your own quilt square that tells part of your family's story! Presidential Conference Center Lobby

  • Genetic Science
    Join the Marian Koshland Science Museum of the National Academy of Sciences for hands-on science activities.
    See Your DNA
    See and keep your own DNA! Using a simple procedure, isolate visible DNA from your own cheek cells, and take it home with you in a laboratory-grade pendant.
    Take Inventory of Your Genetic Traits
    Ever wonder how you "got" your mother's eyes or your father's chin? Find out how genetic traits are passed from generation to generation as you take inventory of your own traits.
    Create Your DNA Alias Learn about the genetic code as you translate your name into a DNA alias. Then create and take home a bracelet or key chain encoded with your alias. Public Vaults Exit Lobby

1:00 P.M.

  • Destination: America (Experiential Performance)
    Destination: America explores the experiences of people coming to America between 1900 and 1920. The program begins with the audience packed into the theater lobby like immigrants packed onto a steamship. Once the audience is seated, writer and actor Steve Kohrherr expresses feelings of these travelers in a moving performance. This program was created with support from The Chrysler Museum of Art. William G. McGowan Theater

1:00 to 3:00 P.M.

  • Traditional Sampler Stitching
    Since colonial times, samplers have been passed down through generations. Artist Alyce Schroth discusses the history of samplers and demonstrates the techniques used in creating them. Jefferson Presidential Conference Room

2:00 to 4:00 P.M.

  • Fraktur Art
    Fraktur artist Geraldine Knock-Paul presents "Decorative Arts in Colonial Times" and demonstrates, with audience participation, the process of creating a fraktur. Public Vaults Entrance Lobby

  • Annapolis Quilters Guild
    Members of the Annapolis Quilters Guild demonstrate some of the timeless skills used in quilting. Washington Presidential Conference Room

To verify the date and times of the programs, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: (202) 501-5000, for information, or view the Calendar of Events on the NARA web site. To contact the National Archives, please call 1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA (TDD) 301-837-0482.

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For PRESS information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs Office at 202-501-5526.


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