2015 Press Releases

National Archives Hosts Special Daytime Programs in April 2015
Press Release · Monday, March 30, 2015

Washington, DC

The National Archives presents a series of daytime public programs in April. These programs are free and open to the public and will be held in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, and streamed live on YouTube, unless otherwise noted. Book signings will follow each book talk. 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.

BOOK TALK:  Fortune's Fool: The Life of John Wilkes Booth
Tuesday, April 7, noon

John Wilkes Booth catapulted into history on the night of April 14, 1865, when he assassinated President Lincoln. Historian Terry Alford looks at the man whose life has been overshadowed by his final, infamous act. A book signing will follow the program.

BOOK TALK:  President Lincoln Assassinated!!: The Firsthand Story of the Murder, Manhunt, Trial, and Mourning
Thursday, April 16, at noon

Historian Harold Holzer recaptures the drama of Lincoln's assassination, the hunt for the conspirators and their military trial, and the nation's mourning for the martyred president. Using original eyewitness reports, medical records, trial transcripts, newspaper articles, speeches, diary entries, and poems, Holzer reveals of one the most shocking and tragic events in our history.

FILM:  From the Vaults: Spirited Republic
Friday, April 17, noon

See America on the Rocks, a 1973 film from the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare; For Which We Stand—Let's Get it Straight, a 1950 film made by the U.S. Navy; and others. Excerpts from these films are featured in our new exhibit, "Spirited Republic." Parental guidance suggested. This program will not be streamed on YouTube.

Related exhibit:  Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History
Lawrence F. O'Brien Gallery, March 6–January 10, 2016

Spirited Republic uses nearly 100 National Archives documents and artifacts to reveal the Federal Government's efforts, successes, and failures to change our drinking habits, from whiskey rations to the Continental Army to the Whiskey Rebellion to Prohibition and beyond. The stories they tell echo today's debates over regulating drinking and the legalization of other drugs. Spirited Republic is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of HISTORY® and the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family.

Saturday, April 18, 11 a.m.–4 p.m.

  • 11 a.m. A Finger in Lincoln's Brain: What Modern Science Reveals about Lincoln, His Assassination, and Its Aftermath
    E. Lawrence Abel sheds light on the details surrounding the death of Abraham Lincoln, including John Wilkes Booth's illness, the alleged medical treatment the wounded President received, and the significance of his funeral for the American public.
  • 12:30 p.m. Marching Home: Union Veterans and Their Unending Civil War
    Civil War historian Brian Matthew Jordan describes how veterans—left tending rotting wounds, battling alcoholism, and campaigning for paltry pensions—realized that they stood as unwelcome reminders to a new America eager to heal and forget.
  • 2 p.m. Their Last Full Measure: The Final Days of the Civil War
    Historian Joseph Wheelan relates the dramatic events which followed one after another, leading ultimately to Lee's surrender at Appomattox and Lincoln's assassination.

BOOK TALK:  Lincoln's Autocrat: The Life of Edwin Stanton
Wednesday, April 22, at noon

Edwin Stanton wielded enormous influence and power as Lincoln's Secretary of War during the Civil War and under Johnson during the early years of Reconstruction. William Marvel reexamines Stanton's life, career, and legacy. A book signing follows the program.

BOOK TALK:  Celebrity in Chief: A History of the Presidents and the Culture of Stardom
Friday, April 24, at noon

Award-winning White House correspondent and Presidential historian Kenneth T. Walsh looks at the history of America's Presidents. He argues that modern Presidents need to be celebrities, building on their fame to rally public support for themselves as national leaders so that they can get things done.

FILM:  The Thin Man
Saturday, April 25, at 2 p.m.

In this "sleeper" hit from 1934, William Powell and Myrna Loy play Nick and Nora Charles, a retired detective and his socialite wife who—when not enjoying cocktails—are pressed into service when a friend disappears after a murder. Directed by W.S. Van Dyke. (93 minutes.) This program will not be streamed on YouTube.

BOOK TALK:  A Higher Standard: Leadership Strategies from America's First Female Four-Star General
Tuesday, April 28, at noon

General Ann Dunwoody, the first female four-star general in military history, shares leadership lessons from her 38 years of service in the Army.

The National Archives is fully accessible, and Assisted Listening Devices are available in the McGowan Theater upon request.

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