National Archives Hosts Event for Women’s Equality Day August 24 at noon
Press Release · Thursday, August 15, 2013

From Words to Action: The Women’s Perspective on Rights in America

Washington, DC…On Saturday, August 24, at noon, the National Archives, in partnership with the Sewall-Belmont House & Museum and the National Park Service, hosts a discussion titled From Words to Action: The Women’s Perspective on Rights in America. Expert panelists Page Harrington, Executive Director, Sewall-Belmont House & Museum, and Dr. Joy Kinard, Central District Manager, National Capital Parks-East, will share and discuss rarely-seen historic documents of local leaders and organizations related to women’s participation in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s.

The event, presented in commemoration of Women’s Equality Day and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington, is free and open to the public and will take place in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events Entrance, located on the National Mall at Constitution Ave. and 7th Street, NW.

Related Display, Video, Program, Film Screening, and Upcoming Exhibit

DISPLAY:  “One Face Among Thousands: Remembering the March on Washington"
East Rotunda Gallery from August 20th through September 9th, 2013
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the National Archives presents an iconic photograph of a young girl, Edith Lee, who celebrated her twelfth birthday by attending the March on Washington with her mother. This photograph, taken by a photographer hired by a Federal government agency, especially captured the spirit of the marchers and has become emblematic of the day. Ms. Lee-Payne’s incredible story is shown in a 3:05 minute video short produced by the National Archives, online on the National Archives YouTube channel [].

August 26, 27 & 28 at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
To mark this important anniversary, the National Archives Film Preservation Lab completed a full digital restoration of the James Blue’s 1964 film, The March, produced for the U.S. Information Agency. Using Blue’s original negatives, staff restored defects in the image and enhanced the audio track – a process that took more than three months. The March documents the event from its preparations through Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech. (40 minutes.) The newly restored version will be posted on the National Archives YouTube channel on August 26.

PROGRAM:  Let Freedom Ring: Stanley Tretick’s Iconic Images of the March on Washington
Thursday, September 12, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater
On August 28, 1963, despite searing heat, over 250,000 people from all corners of the country marched on our nation’s capital. In the shadow of the Washington Monument, all the marchers shared the same dream: equality for the nearly 20 million African Americans living in the United States. This moment in time is recorded by Stanley Tretick’s never-before-published photos of that day, now released in a new book accompanied by author Kitty Kelley’s poignant text. Joining Kitty Kelley on stage will be journalist Soledad O’Brien and Marian Wright Edelman, President of the Children's Defense Fund and March on Washington participant. The program will include photos projected on screen and vocal performances by Garrick Jordan. A book signing will follow the program. Presented in partnership with the Children’s Defense Fund.

March on Washington 50th anniversary programming at the National Archives is made possible in partnership with the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Texas Instruments.

NEW EXHIBITION:  David M. Rubenstein Gallery Records of Rights
On November 8, the National Archives will open the David M. Rubenstein Gallery, a new permanent exhibition that uses original documents, photographs, facsimiles, videos, and interactive exhibits to explore how Americans have worked to realize the ideals of freedom enshrined in our nation’s founding documents, and how they debated issues such as citizenship, free speech, voting rights, and equal opportunity.

Remembering the Ladies, a section of this exhibit, chronicles women’s efforts to have the full rights of citizens and achieve economic self-determination. Original petitions for—and against—granting the right for women to vote complement lesser-known facets of our nation’s history. “Repatriation oaths” reveal that, during the early 20th century, women derived their citizenship from their husbands and marrying a man who wasn’t a citizen meant the loss of their rights as Americans. Only when they divorced their husbands or became widows did a woman “repatriate” and become an American. Even as late as the 1970s, a woman had difficulties obtaining a mortgage or credit on her own. This section of the exhibition also explores the failure of the Equal Rights Amendment and the success of Title IX, which ensured equal opportunities in education for women.

Bending Towards Justice, another section, examines how our nation and individual citizens struggled to reconcile the conflict between the promise of freedom and the realities of slavery and racism. Exhibits illustrate the personal experiences of African Americans from the early days of our republic, to emancipation, the Jim Crow era, and life in modern-day America. On view are the original discharge papers of a slave who fought in the Revolutionary War in order to gain his freedom, and letters to the president from children who questioned the morality of segregation. The exhibits look at the 100-year struggle from the adoption of the 15th Amendment, which granted the right to vote to all men, to the Voting Rights Act of 1965, which finally enabled the exercise of that basic right.

Women’s Equality Day 2013 marks 93 years since women won the right to vote. Related
Online educational resources include:

The National Archives has extensive holdings from the March on Washington, and highlights are online [].

The National Archives is fully accessible. To verify the date and times of the programs, call 202-357-5000, or view the Calendar of Events online.

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

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