National Archives Announces Special Programs to Mark April 2 Release of 1940 Census
Press Release · Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Washington, DC…This spring, the National Archives will host a series of special programs in conjunction with the historic April 2, 2012, online release of the 1940 Census. These programs are free and open to the public and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC.  Attendees to the Genealogy Fair should enter on Pennsylvania Avenue.  Attendees to all other programs should use the Special Events Entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th St., NW.

EVENT:  8th Annual Genealogy Fair - Branching Out: Exploring Your Family Tree
Wednesday, April 18, and Thursday, April 19, Pennsylvania Avenue Plaza
Learn how to use Federal records at the National Archives – including newly-released 1940 Census records – for family history research. Speakers include National Archives staff, historians, and genealogy professionals. This popular fair – which attracted over 5,000 people last year – will provide information and guidance for experienced genealogy professionals and novices alike. The fair is free and open to the public, and presented in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives and with support from Reservations are not required. See more information [].

PROGRAM:  Behind the Scenes of The Big Broadcast
Thursday, May 10 at 7:00 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater
In conjunction with the release of the 1940 Federal Population Census, the National Archives welcomes Ed Walker, host of WAMU’s longest-running radio show The Big Broadcast who, along with Rob Bamberger, host of WAMU's Hot Jazz Saturday Night, will discuss the history of the show, present a sampling of the vintage radio broadcasts and discuss how they enriched the lives of 1940s America.  The Big Broadcast is WAMU 88.5's longest-running program (started in 1964), and features a collection of vintage radio programs from the 1930s, '40s, and '50s. Hot Jazz Saturday Night features vintage jazz, swing, and big band recordings from the '20s, '30s, and '40s.

1940 America Goes to the Movies Film Series: His Girl Friday
Saturday, April 21, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
In His Girl Friday, a newspaper editor uses every trick in the book to keep his ace reporter ex-wife from remarrying. Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, and Ralph Bellamy star in this film directed by Howard Hawks. (1940; 92 minutes)

1940 America Goes to the Movies Film Series: Rebecca
Saturday, May 19, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Rebecca is a 1940 gothic thriller directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring Laurence Olivier, Joan Fontaine, and Judith Anderson.  The film's screenplay was an adaptation of Daphne du Maurier's 1938 novel of the same name.  Rebecca won two Academy Awards, including Best Picture, out of a total 11 nominations. (1940; 130 minutes)

More about the 1940 Census

On April 2, 2012, users will be able to search, browse, and download the 1940 census schedules, free of charge, from their own computers or from the public computers at National Archives locations nationwide through the new 1940 census website:  For the release of the 1940 census online, the National Archives has digitized the entire census, creating more than 3.8 million digital images of census schedules, maps, and enumeration district descriptions.

The public is encouraged to bookmark the website now in order to more quickly access the 1940 census data when it goes live. No other website will host the 1940 census data on its April 2 release date.

A National Archives video short on YouTube and on provides a “behind-the-scenes” view of staff preparations and gives viewers tips on how to access the data once it is launched on April 2. This video is in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages the free distribution of it.

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For press information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs Staff at: 202-357-5300.

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