National Archives Revisits the 1970s and DOCUMERICA Photography Project in March
Press Release · Thursday, February 21, 2013

Special programs explore pivotal decade’s environment, culture and trends

Washington, DC…In March, the National Archives celebrates the March 8 opening of a new photographic exhibition, “Searching for the Seventies: The DOCUMERICA Photography Project” with a series of special programs and events. Attendees to all programs except the March 12 exhibition overview should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.

Bad fashion, odd fads, and disco dance music sum up the 1970s for many Americans. But the1970s were much more than leisure suits, streaking, and disco. During the seventies, profound changes took root in American politics, society, environment, and economy. “Searching for the Seventies” takes a new look at the 1970s using remarkable color photographs taken for the Federal photography project called DOCUMERICA (1971-1977).

Created by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), DOCUMERICA was born out of the decade’s environmental awakening, producing striking photographs of many of that era’s environmental problems and achievements, but also captured the era’s trends, fashions, and cultural shifts. Located in the Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC, the “Searching for the Seventies” exhibit is free and open to the public, and runs through September 8, 2013.

“Searching for the seventies”-related March programs

BOOK TALK:  When We Were Free To Be: Looking Back at a Children’s Classic and the Difference It Made
Friday, March 8, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater
Free to Be . . . You and Me—the groundbreaking children’s record, book, and television special, debuted in 1972. Conceived by actress and producer Marlo Thomas and promoted by Ms. magazine, it captured the spirit of the growing women’s movement and inspired girls and boys to challenge stereotypes, value cooperation, and respect diversity. Book editors Lori Rotskoff and Laura L. Lovett will discuss this cultural milestone with Free To Be...You and Me producer Carole Hart; Dorothy Pitman Hughes, co-founder of Ms. magazine; and child development specialist Barbara Sprung. A book signing will follow the program.

EXHIBIT OVERVIEW:  Searching for the Seventies: The Documerica Photography Project
Tuesday, March 12, at 11 a.m., Room G-25, Research Center (Penn. Ave. Entrance)
“Searching for the Seventies” exhibit curator Bruce Bustard will discuss the exhibit and share some of his favorite research discoveries. (This overview will be repeated at the National Archives at College Park, MD, Lecture Room B, on Thursday, March 14, at 11 a.m.)

FILM:  Earth Days
Thursday, March 21, at 7 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater
Earth Days (2009; 102 mins.) looks back to the dawn and development of the modern environmental movement. Environmental activist Denis Hayes, who was the national coordinator of the original Earth Day, will introduce the film and take questions from the audience. Presented by the Charles Guggenheim Center for Documentary Film in partnership with the 2013 Environmental Film Festival in the Nation’s Capital.

The National Archives is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Fall/winter hours are 10 AM-5 PM (September 4 through March 14). Spring/summer hours are 10 AM-7 PM (March 15-Labor Day). The National Archives at College Park is located at 8601 Adelphi Road. See directions to both locations [].

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

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