National Archives Celebrates Presidents Day with Special Program February 11
Press Release · Monday, January 25, 2010

Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis

Washington, DC…The National Archives presents Director of the Lyndon B. Johnson Presidential Library Mark Updegrove and Assistant Managing Editor for TIME Magazine Michael Duffy in a free discussion of Baptism by Fire: Eight Presidents Who Took Office in Times of Crisis on Thursday, February 11, at 7 p.m. A book signing will follow the program.

This event is free and open to the public, and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building, located at Constitution and 7th St., NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

Baptism by Fire examines eight presidents (from George Washington to Gerald Ford) who faced crises immediately upon assuming office. Washington led a fragile and fledgling nation; Jefferson faced a nation divided by a two-party schism; Tyler stepped into office after the first death of a sitting President; Lincoln inherited a divided nation on the brink of war; Franklin Roosevelt wrestled with the Great Depression; Truman was sworn in as commander in chief at the close of World War II; Kennedy stepped into the heated atmosphere of the Cold War; and Ford aimed to end America’s “long national nightmare.”

Note: Featured books are available for purchase in the Archives Shop before or during the event at a 15% discount. To purchase books before an event please call 202-357-5271. All proceeds support exhibit, education, and public programs at the National Archives.

Baptism by Fire is Mr. Updegrove’s second major work on the Presidency. His first, Second Acts: Presidential Lives and Legacies After the White House, published by Lyons Press in 2006, won the Book of the Year Silver Medal Award for Political Science from ForeWord Magazine.

From 1990 to 2001, Mr. Updegrove was associated with TIME Magazine where he created “Time and the Presidency,” a multi-media program which featured photographs of Presidents Franklin Roosevelt through William Clinton from the Time & Life archive. The project included a traveling exhibition that appeared at four presidential libraries, the Newseum and the Miller Center; a book; a web site; a short film and ongoing editorial features in the magazine.

For more information, the public should call the Public Programs Line at: (202) 357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

For Press information, contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.


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