National Archives Public Programs in June 2005
Press Release · Friday, April 22, 2005

Washington, DC. . . In June, the National Archives will host free public programs with topics relating to Xerox, Presidential libraries, African American cinema, signals intelligence and pirates. Reservations are recommended. Reserve by e-mail ( or telephone 202-501-5000.

Programs are free and open to the public. The McGowan Theater and the Jefferson Conference Room are located in the National Archives Building on Constitution Avenue between 7th and 9th Streets, NW, Washington, DC.


Captain Andrew Jampoler, USN (Ret.) will discuss his book, Sailors In The Holy Land: 1848 American Expedition To The Dead Sea (Naval Institute Press, March 2005). Using records in the National Archives, Jampoler unearthed the history of the Lynch expedition down the River Jordan and across the Dead Sea. The mission had a scientific purpose (to determine the elevation of the Dead Sea) but Lynch, a devout Christian, was also interested in finding proof of the Biblical story of the terrible punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah. Noon. Jefferson Conference Room.

Wednesday, June 8-BIRTH OF XEROX

David Owen will discuss his book, Copies in Seconds: How a Lone Inventor and an Unknown Company Created the Biggest Communication Breakthrough Since Gutenberg--Chester Carlson and the Birth of Xerox (Simon and Schuster, 2005). What makes the first plain-paper office copier unusual among major high-tech inventions is that a single person conceived its central process. Drawing on interviews, Xerox company archives, and the private papers of the Carlson family, David Owen has woven together a fascinating and instructive story about persistence, courage, and technological innovation. Owen is a staff writer for The New Yorker and the author of a dozen books. Noon William G. McGowan Theater.


This 1991 documentary looks at the great New York World's Fair of 1939, a technological showcase that drew more than forty million people to witness the bright and beckoning world of the future. A combination of architectural marvels, sideshow attractions and nightly fireworks, the fair was the greatest peacetime project ever. A celebration of idealism and industry brought to an untimely end by the outbreak of war in Europe. Using home movies, newsreels, cartoons, photographs and vintage graphics, The World of Tomorrow evokes that fragile moment when the world stood poised between black & white and color, between the Great Depression and the Second World War. Narrated by Jason Robards. Produced and directed by Tom Johnson and Lance Bird. (83 minutes.) 7 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater.

Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein will moderate a town hall meeting on the Presidential Library system. A panel composed of the directors from the National Archives' 11 Presidential Libraries will discuss their unique collections as well as detail their diverse educational and outreach programs across the country. Noon. William G. McGowan Theater.

Friday, June 17- Saturday, June 18-CLOSE UP IN BLACK
In partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives, the Charles Guggenheim Center for the Documentary Film at the National Archives, and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the National Archives presents three programs in conjunction with the exhibit Close Up in Black: African American Film Posters. The exhibit, on display at the Smithsonian Institution's International Gallery through July 28, takes a historical look at African American cinema through the vibrant medium of the movie poster. These artworks trace the development of the roles African Americans have played on screen and behind the scenes.

Program Schedule:


Dr. Thomas Cripps will introduce and discuss The Negro Soldier, which was released in 1944 and produced to demonstrate to black troops their particular stake in the fight against the Axis powers. The film was directed by Frank Capra and Stuart Heisler and produced by the Special Service Division, Army Service Forces, U.S. War Department. Dr. Cripps is University Distinguished Professor emeritus at Morgan State University, where he also served as Coordinator of the University Television Project, and has published a number of books on black film. A 35mm print of The Negro Soldier from the motion picture holdings of the National Archives will be used for the screening. 8 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater. Please note that the time of this screening has been changed from the original 7 p.m.

Saturday, June 18- HALLELUJAH

Released in 1929 and directed by King Vidor, this early talkie is the first film from a major studio with an all-black cast. Featuring a musical score comprised of jazz, spirituals and folk songs, Hallelujah tells the story of a Southern cotton-picker who becomes a preacher but retains all-too-human weaknesses. Starring Daniel L. Haynes and Nina Mae McKinney, the screening will be introduced by historian Dr. Edward Mapp, whose personal collection of vintage film posters forms the basis of the exhibit, Close Up in Black: African American Film Posters. Hallelujah will be presented in a new sepia-toned print, made to replicate the film's original release print, courtesy of Warner Bros. and the collection of Martin Scorsese. (109 minutes.) 4:00 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater.

Saturday, June 18-CARMEN JONES

Dorothy Dandridge received the first Academy Award® nomination given to an African American for this 1954 musical that Oscar Hammerstein II adapted from Bizet's opera Carmen. The film also stars Harry Belafonte and Pearl Bailey and was directed by Otto Preminger. Joe Barber, an entertainment reviewer and cultural critic for nearly 20 years, will introduce the screening. Carmen Jones will be presented in a new 35mm Cinemascope print courtesy of Twentieth Century-Fox. (105 minutes.) 7 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater.

Wednesday, June 22-IRON TEARS

Stanley Weintraub will discuss his book, Iron Tears: America's Battle for Freedom, Britain's Quagmire: 1775-1783 (Free Press, 2005). For generations, Americans have been taught to view the Revolutionary War as a heroic tale of resistance, exclusively from the perspective of the Continental army and the Founding Fathers. Weintraub examines the war from three divergent and distinct vantage points: the battlefields, the American leadership under George Washington, and that of England, embroiled in controversy over the war. Noon. Jefferson Conference Room.


Linda McCarthy of History is a Hoot, Inc. will discuss "From Pigeons to Predators: How SIGINT Helped Shape American History and Espionage." Signals Intelligence (SIGINT in the spy trade) is an extremely timely and compelling subject. Much of the initial research and development for the information delivery devices we rely upon today was initially undertaken and advanced for classified Government projects. McCarthy will explore intriguing and little-known elements of American technological innovation and show reproductions of rare period images and maps. 5:30 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater.


The National Archives presents a selection of short subjects, newsreels, and film clips from the motion picture holdings of the National Archives related to technological innovation. Included will be Finding His Voice, a 1929 animated cartoon explaining "talking" movies, Tree in a Test Tube, a 1942 Department of Agriculture short featuring the only appearance by comedy team Laurel and Hardy in color, and Report on the Atom, a 1949 March of Time newsreel on atomic energy research. (90 minutes.) 5:30 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater.

Wednesday, June 29-CRUISE OF THE SEA EAGLE

Blaine Pardoe will discuss his book, The Cruise of the Sea Eagle: The Amazing True Story of Imperial Germany's Gentleman Pirate (Lyons Press, 2005). Pardoe uncovers the story of Count Felix von Luckner, commander of the Seeadler, a captured American windjammer. During the First World War, the Seeadler posed as a neutral ship and lured merchants for capture. Based on records housed at the National Archives, including U.S. Navy subject files, intelligence files, telegrams, and personal files of the crew, Pardoe sheds light on this remarkable tale of an early 20th-century pirate Noon. Jefferson Conference Room.

Thursday, June 30- DAVID MCCULLOUGH, 1776

David McCullough will discuss his latest book, 1776 (Simon and Schuster, 2005) in which he tells the intensely human story of those who marched with General George Washington in the year of the Declaration of Independence. Based on extensive research in both American and British archives, 1776 is a powerful story of Americans in the ranks and of the King's men. Here also is the Revolution as experienced by American Loyalists, Hessian mercenaries, politicians, preachers, traitors, spies, men and women of all kinds caught in the paths of war.

McCullough was the first recipient of the Foundation for the National Archives "Records of Achievement" Award. 7:00 p.m. William G. McGowan Theater.

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

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


This page was last reviewed on January 30, 2013.
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