National Archives Upcoming Events Fall 2004
Press Release · Friday, October 29, 2004

CONTACT: NARA Public Affairs Staff
Laura Diachenko (301) 837-1700
Miriam Kleiman (202) 501-5526

Join us for exciting and informative upcoming events. All events are free and open to the public. The National Archives Building is located at Constitution Avenue and 9th St. NW.

The Declaration of Independence: What’s on the Back?
November 19, 2004 - January 9, 2005
What’s on the reverse side of this famous document? A treasure map? A draft of the document? Come see for yourself!

The American Presidency: Photographic Treasures of the National Archives December 7, 2004-February 21, 2005 Presented by U.S. News & World Report, this exhibit will take visitors behind the scenes to see unexpected moments that reveal the character of our Chief Executives over the last 150 years. Photojournalists and editors from U.S. News & World Report have combed the files of the Presidential libraries and the still picture holdings at the National Archives’ College Park, MD, facility to find 40 exceptional images that capture not just the events of public life, but the human qualities of our leaders. The rarely-seen images reproduced in the exhibit reflect the work of the talented White House photographers and their access to the corridors of power. This exhibit will formally inaugurate the new Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery.

Bill of Rights Day and Naturalization Ceremony
December 15, 2004
Celebrate the 213th anniversary of the adoption of the Bill of Rights, with a swearing-in ceremony for new citizens in the National Archives Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom. Chief Judge Thomas F. Hogan will preside over 35 petitioners for United States citizenship as they take the oath of citizenship. Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin will make remarks.

Presidential Inauguration, January 2005
January 10-31, 2005
View the first and last pages of President George Washington's First Inaugural Address, delivered in New York City on April 30, 1789. General Washington had been unanimously elected President by the first Electoral College, and John Adams was elected Vice President because he received the second greatest number of votes. The pages are in George Washington's own clear and distinctive handwriting. The Bible on which Washington took the oath of office will also be displayed, courtesy of St. John’s Lodge No. 1 in New York City.

State of the Union, January 2005
Part of the "A New World Is at Hand" exhibit, now through August 2005
See the draft of President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s original Four Freedoms’ Speech that was his State of the Union message in 1941. When President Franklin D. Roosevelt stood before Congress to deliver this State of the Union message, war was raging around much of the globe. Nazi Germany had invaded Poland, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. To galvanize the American people into action, Roosevelt reached back to the same concepts of liberty that had inspired the nation's Founders throughout the years of the American Revolution. In this speech -- immortalized by Norman Rockwell -- Roosevelt internationalized the notion of individual freedoms and, with his own powerful, repetitive rhetoric, set forth a vision in which four essential freedoms were extended throughout the world.

Black History Month, February 2005
Special documents will be on display for a limited time:

  • The original Emancipation Proclamation, issued by President Abraham Lincoln in the midst of the Civil War, marks a major milestone in the destruction of slavery in this nation. It is one of our country’s most treasured documents. On display over Presidents’ Day weekend, February 18-21 2005.
  • The 1936 Statement of Jehu Grant, who fled slavery in Rhode Island to fight in the Revolutionary War. At the time of the Revolutionary War, Jehu Grant was a slave living in Narragansett, Rhode Island. In this statement, submitted as part of a pension claim some sixty years after the war, he describes with poignant simplicity how he was lured by the promise of freedom to flee his Loyalist master, Elihu Champlen, and enlist in the American Army: ". . . when I saw liberty poles and the people all engaged for the support of freedom, I could not but like and be pleased with such thing (God forgive me if I sinned in so feeling)." For ten months, from summer 1777 to spring 1778, he served as a teamster, until his master tracked him down and brought him back to Rhode Island. The Government denied Jehu Grant a pension, explaining that since he had been a fugitive slave at the time of his enlistment, his service could not be recognized. Grant was one of an estimated 5,000 blacks who fought for the American cause during the War for Independence. Part of the "A New World is at Hand" exhibit, now through September 2005.

Paris on the Potomac
May 27-September 5, 2005
An exhibition spotlighting Americans whose encounters with France have affected diplomatic, political, military or cultural life at pivotal moments in the United States or world history. Diaries, journals, photographs and film from the National Archives illustrates how these individuals felt about Paris or how Paris felt about them. From Benjamin Franklin through Jackie Kennedy’s famous visit. National Archives records will reveal their experiences in France.

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