Press Preview for “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” Exhibit at the National Archives
Press Release · Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Groundbreaking exhibit explores nation’s love affair with, fear of, and obsession with food


Washington, DC…A special press only “sneak preview” to launch the new National Archives exhibition: What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? The Government’s Effect on the American Diet.

What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? is a thoughtful selection of records culled from thousands of pages of material that chronicle the story of the government’s efforts to feed Americans an ample, safe, and nutritious diet. Spanning the Revolutionary War-era through the late 1900s, the documents, films, and photographs in the exhibition echo many of our current concerns about the Government's role in the health and safety of our food supply. There are over 100 original records in the exhibit—including folk songs, war posters, educational films, and even seed packets. Passing over the traditional chronological approach, the exhibition is arranged into four themes: “Farm,” “Factory,” “Kitchen,” and “Table.” What's Cooking, Uncle Sam?" is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives with support from Mars Incorporated and Mars Food.

At the preview, the press will be invited to sample tastes from several of the recipes featured in the exhibition and the companion cookbook.

Watch this 2:53 video short titled What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? – at the National Archives to get a peek at exhibition highlights and hear interviews with What’s Cooking Chief Culinary Advisor chef José Andrés and exhibition curator Alice Kamps.


This video is in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages its use and free distribution.


Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero
Special guests Sam Kass, White House Assistant Chef and Senior Policy Adviser for Healthy Food Initiatives and
Dr. Roland Mesnier, former Executive Pastry Chef at the White House
What's Cooking, Uncle Sam? Exhibition Curator Alice Kamps


The Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, National Archives Building, Washington, DC
Please use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011
11 AM.—Exhibition “tastes”
11:20 AM—Remarks
11:30 AM—Exhibit Tours

RSVPs preferred, please e-mail:

What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam? is free and open to the public, and will be on display in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, from June 10, 2011, through January 3, 2012. The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Spring/Summer hours are 10 AM – 7 PM (through Labor Day). Fall/Winter Exhibit Hall hours are 10 AM – 5:30 PM daily, except Thanksgiving and December 25 (through March 14).

Please Note: No Artificial Light May Be Used in the Exhibition Area.

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For more information about What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?, see the online press kit [] or call the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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This page was last reviewed on January 7, 2013.
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