The Boeing Company Provides $5 Million for the National Archives Experience
Press Release · Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Boeing Learning Center and Expanded Traveling Exhibition Program to Bring National Archives’ Educational Resources Nationwide

Washington, DC…The Foundation for the National Archives announced today that The Boeing Company has awarded a $5 million gift to expand the National Archives Experience to a national audience and share the National Archives’ rich resources with Americans across the country.

The gift will enable the National Archives to complete its center for educational outreach, which will be known as the Boeing Learning Center. In addition, the gift will fund the launch of an expanded traveling exhibition program, beginning with the critically acclaimed Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives. The gift also will enable the development of an interactive educational web site for online visitors worldwide.

“For more than 90 years, Boeing has been dedicated to taking Americans beyond our horizons, opening up new worlds, and allowing them to experience the rich diversity of a global community,” said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Integrated Defense Systems. “We decided that this gift to the Foundation was an important step in enabling millions of Americans to similarly experience and learn from all of the history and human drama found in the documents and images of the National Archives. By expanding the reach of the National Archives beyond their horizons through the internet and traveling exhibits, many people will experience these national treasures for the first time.”

The National Archives Experience is a multi-million dollar initiative begun in 2003 that transformed the visitor experience at the National Archives’ Washington, DC building, and included a renovation of the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom, the new award-winning Public Vaults permanent interactive exhibition, the state-of-the-art William G. McGowan Theater, the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery for special exhibits, and more. The Boeing Company gift supports Washington DC-based elements of the National Archives Experience and significantly expands these components to reach a national and international audience. The gift will make the rich resources of the National Archives and its new Boeing Learning Center accessible to Americans nationwide who are unable to travel to Washington, DC.

Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein said, “The Boeing Company has presented the National Archives with a wonderful opportunity to reach out beyond our walls, for which we are deeply grateful. With this gift we will be able to take major steps towards our goal of helping to strengthen the civic literacy of the American people so that they can more readily appreciate the history of our democracy and their place in it.”

“We are profoundly grateful to The Boeing Company for this generous gift and for supporting our vision of expanding the educational resources of the National Archives,” said Tom Wheeler, President of the Foundation for the National Archives. “Not only is The Boeing Company a leader within the aerospace industry, it is also a leader in corporate citizenship, with a wonderful history of community building. The Boeing Company’s support for the National Archives Experience exemplifies its commitment to creating communities that understand their past and can take an active role in shaping their future.”

When complete, the Boeing Learning Center will include a Learning Lab and Resource Room offering interactive visitor programs, teacher training, student lab activities, distance learning, and Internet initiatives. The Center staff will train educators in the effective use of primary sources in the classroom with facsimile documents, instructional videos, sample lesson plans, and other tools. The staff will engage walk-in visitors, of all ages, with hands-on activities to enhance civic literacy and promote an understanding of the American stories found in the records of the federal government.

The Boeing gift also supports the traveling exhibition program, including sponsorship of the national tour of Eyewitness: American Originals from the National Archives. The 3,000-square-foot exhibition presents first-hand accounts—in the form of letters, diaries, photographs, audio and film recordings—of some of the most dramatic moments in U.S. history. It recently completed its six-month debut in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery at the National Archives in Washington, DC and begins a two-year national tour with six major venues that began February 2, 2007, at the Jimmy Carter Library in Atlanta, GA.

About the National Archives

The National Archives and Records Administration is a Federal agency that serves American democracy by safeguarding and preserving the records of our government, ensuring that the people can discover, use, and learn from this documentary heritage. It supports democracy, promotes civic education, and facilitates historical understanding of our national experience. Every subject relating to American history is covered in the nine billion pages, the millions of photographs, maps and electronic records and the thousands of motion pictures and audio recordings that are available to the public at the National Archives nationwide. The National Archives maintains 13 regional archives and 11 Presidential libraries nationwide.

About the Foundation for the National Archives

Created in 1992, the Foundation for the National Archives is an independent nonprofit organization committed to increasing public awareness and appreciation of the National Archives as an essential resource in the American democracy. The Foundation serves as the private-sector partner of the National Archives in the creation of the National Archives Experience, a national civic literacy initiative which includes permanent exhibits, educational programs, traveling exhibits, special events and screenings, educational literature, and historical/records-related products and media. The Foundation supports these activities by generating financial and creative support from individuals, foundations and corporations who share a belief in the importance of innovative civics education.

About The Boeing Company

Boeing is the world's leading aerospace company and the largest manufacturer of commercial jetliners and military aircraft combined. Additionally, Boeing designs and manufactures rotorcraft, electronic and defense systems, missiles, satellites, launch vehicles and advanced information and communication systems. As a major service provider to NASA, Boeing operates the Space Shuttle and International Space Station. The company also provides numerous military and commercial airline support services. Boeing has customers in more than 90 countries around the world and is one of the largest U.S. exporters in terms of sales. Headquartered in Chicago, Boeing employs more than 150,000 people across the United States and in 70 countries. Total company revenues for 2006 were $61.5 billion.

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