2014 Press Releases

The National Archives Presents Free Noontime Programs in January
Press Release · Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Washington, DC

Washington, DC…The National Archives presents a series of noontime public programs in January on topics ranging from the history of free speech to Nazi-looted art. These events are free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

FILM SCREENING: Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story
Tuesday, January 7, at noon

Emmy award–winning journalist and executive producer Regina Griffin will present her 2010 documentary, Brown Babies: The Mischlingskinder Story. The film tells the story of the unwanted, ignored, and forgotten children born to German women and African-American soldiers after World War II. Winner of the Best Documentary award at the 2011 American Black Film Festival, this documentary chronicles the lives of the biracial, bicultural children, many of whom were placed in orphanages and left to live without the support of their parents and their countries. Presented in partnership with the National Archives' Afro-American History Society. (102 minutes.)

BOOK TALK: The Great Dissent: How Oliver Wendell Holmes Changed His Mind—and Changed the History of Free Speech in America
Thursday, January 9, at noon

No right seems more fundamental to American life than freedom of speech. Yet well into the 20th century, Americans were regularly imprisoned merely for speaking out against government policies. But in 1919, Supreme Court justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, a lifelong skeptic of all individual rights, wrote a dissenting opinion that would become the canonical affirmation of free speech in the United States. In his book, The Great Dissent, law professor Thomas Healy reconstructs Holmes’s journey from free-speech opponent to First Amendment hero. A book signing will follow the program.

BOOK TALK: Useful Enemies: John Demjanjuk and America’s Open-Door Policy for Nazi War Criminals
Friday, January 17, at noon

Author Richard Rashke, in his latest book, Useful Enemies, takes us back to a time just after World War II when the United States recruited "useful" Nazi war criminals to work in Europe as spies and saboteurs, as well as scientists to work in the U.S. developing rockets and armaments during the Cold War and Space Race. This allowed a number of them to slip into America through loopholes in U.S. immigration policy. Years later, dedicated men and women in the U.S. Congress and Justice Departments, worked to find and investigate alleged Nazi war criminals and successfully prosecute them for visa fraud and deport them to stand trial for their crimes. A book signing will follow the program.

FILM SCREENING: The Rape of Europa
Thursday, January 23, at noon

The Rape of Europa chronicles Nazi Germany’s plundering of Europe’s great works of art during World War II and Allied efforts to minimize the damage. For 12 years, the Nazis looted and destroyed art on a scale unprecedented in history. But young art professionals as well as ordinary heroes, from truck drivers to department store clerks, fought back to safeguard, rescue, and return the millions of lost, hidden, and stolen treasures. Joan Allen narrates the documentary film. (2006; 117 minutes.) This screening is presented in conjunction with the Featured Document display.

Featured Document Display: Album of Artwork Looted by the Nazis
East Rotunda Gallery, January 23–February 19, 2014

A special Nazi task force, the Einsatzstab Reichsleiter Rosenberg, created a series of photo albums to document the Nazis’ systematic looting of cultural treasures in Nazi-occupied countries. The Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (the Monuments Men) used these albums to return treasures to their rightful owners. We display a recently discovered album donated to the National Archives by Monuments Men Foundation President Robert M. Edsel.

BOOK TALK: Never Call Retreat: Theodore Roosevelt and the Great War
Friday, January 24, at noon

J. Lee Thompson provides a look at the final years of Theodore Roosevelt and the way in which the U.S. was drawn into the First World War. At the center of this story is the personal and political battle waged between Roosevelt and President Woodrow Wilson. A book signing will follow the program.

BOOK TALK: The Wars of Reconstruction: The Brief, Violent History of America’s Most Progressive Era
Friday, January 31, at noon

The brief years of Reconstruction marked the United States’ most progressive moment prior to the civil rights movement. Congressional action ended slavery and gave the vote to black men, and in 1870 the first African Americans were elected to the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. Douglas Egerton explores state and local politics and the struggles of some 1,500 African American officeholders who fought against white resistance and who were met by ruthless violence, angry mobs, and assassination. A book signing will follow the program.

The National Archives is fully accessible, and Assisted Listening Devices are available in the McGowan Theater upon request. To request a sign language interpreter for a public program, please send an email to public.program@nara.gov or call 202-357-5000 at least two weeks prior to the event. To verify dates and times of the programs, call 202-357-5000 or view the Calendar of Events online. To contact the National Archives, call 1-866-272-6272 or 1-86-NARA-NARA (TDD 301-837-0482).

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

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