Press "Sneak Preview" for Public Vaults Exhibition
Press Release · Thursday, October 28, 2004

Washington, DC

Media Alert
October 28, 2004

Major Permanent Exhibition Goes "Behind-the-Scenes" at the National Archives

Media Contact:
National Archives Public Affairs
(202) 501-5526 or (301) 837-1700

A special press "sneak preview" and breakfast to launch the major permanent "Public Vaults" exhibition. The new exhibition will give visitors the sensation of going behind-the-scenes to explore among the billions of unique documents, photographs, maps, films, recordings, and objects in the Archives’ holdings. Audio and video displays, computer interactives and games will engage visitors of every age and interest. The exhibition, which is free, opens to the public on November 12.

Entering the Public Vaults is a journey of discovery:

  • Eavesdrop on President Kennedy and his advisers discussing the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • Create your own D-Day documentary
  • Investigate the Challenger disaster
  • Design your own version of the Great Seal of the United States
  • Compare the movie Glory to the real story of the Massachusetts 54th Regiment
  • Peek at home movies of former Presidents when they were children


  • Archivist of the United States John W. Carlin
  • President of the Foundation for the National Archives Tom Wheeler
  • Director of Museum Programs and curator of the exhibition Marvin Pinkert
  • Special guest John Beaulieu, whose 6th grade letter to President Eisenhower is featured in the exhibition, will be available for interviews. Mr. Beaulieu, then a student at Perkins School for the Blind, sent a letter in Braille to "Ike" in the fall of 1956, with some suggestions for the President’s campaign speeches.

WHERE: National Archives Building, Constitution Avenue at 9th St., NW. Washington DC.

WHEN: Tuesday, November 9, 2004, 9 AM – 11 AM

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