2015 Press Releases

National Archives Hosts Special Daytime Programs in May
Press Release · Thursday, May 7, 2015

Washington, DC

The National Archives presents a series of daytime public programs in May on topics ranging from Civil War soldiers’ prosthetics to freedom of speech. These programs are free and open to the public and will be held at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC. Programs in the William G. McGowan Theater will be streamed live on YouTube. Attendees to programs in the Theater should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW. Attendees to programs in the Research Center should use the Research Entrance at 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.

BOOK TALK: Freedom of Speech: Mightier Than the Sword
Wednesday, May 13 at noon, William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Pulitzer Prize–winning author and journalist David K. Shipler discusses his book, Freedom of Speech: Mightier than the Sword. Shipler focuses on recent free speech controversies across the nation and reveals the patterns of both suppression and opportunity that are making today a transitional moment. A book signing will follow the program.

GENEALOGY TALK: Using Records of Artificial Limbs for Union Civil War Veterans, 1861–1927
Thursday, May 14, at 2 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Claire Kluskens, archivist, will discuss records in the National Archives that may give information about a veteran’s medical condition and whether he received money or an artificial limb from the U.S. Government.

GENEALOGY HELP: “Help! I’m Stuck” Genealogy Consultation
Saturday, May 16, noon–4 p.m., Room G-25, Research Center

Not sure where to begin? Has a genealogical problem stumped you? An archivist is available to answer your questions. Sign up for a 20-minute appointment at the Microfilm Research desk on Saturday.

BOOK TALK: The Baltimore Sabotage Cell: German Agents, American Traitors, and the U-Boat Deutschland During World War I
Monday, May 18, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

By the summer of 1915, Germany was faced with two major problems in fighting World War I: the British blockade and how to disrupt the British supply line across the Atlantic. Their solution was to create a U-boat fleet and employ German agents to carry out sabotage missions in the U.S. Dwight R. Messimer discusses these two solutions and one man behind them: Paul Hilken, in Baltimore. A book signing will follow the program.

Related Featured Document Display: 100th Anniversary of the Sinking of the RMS Lusitania
East Rotunda Gallery, through June 3, 2016

The Lusitania sank in 18 minutes, and only six of the ship’s lifeboats were successfully deployed. Nearly 1,200 passengers and crew died. A drawing of the lifeboat used in the Lusitania liability case is on display.

CIVIL WAR TALK: Restoring the Brotherhood of Union: Confederate Pardon and Amnesty Records, 1865–1877
Thursday, May 21, at 2 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Archives specialist John Deeben provides a brief legislative history of amnesty activity during and after the Civil War by examining the application process and resulting records of Presidential pardons and congressional amnesty offered to former Confederates.

BOOK TALK: The Bill of Rights: The Fight to Secure America’s Liberties
Wednesday, May 27, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Revered today for articulating America’s founding principles, the Bill of Rights was in fact a political stratagem by James Madison to preserve the Constitution, the Federal Government, and the latter’s authority over the states. Carol Berkin discusses the story of the fight over the document, the ongoing debate over the Founders’ original intent, and what it means for our country today. A book signing will follow the program.

BOOK TALK: Building a Paper Trail: Using Archival Materials to Construct a Narrative
Thursday, May 28, at noon, Room G-25, Research Center

Glenn C. Frankel, professor of journalism at the University of Texas at Austin and a recipient of a Pulitzer Prize in journalism, will discuss research for his book project, “The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of High Noon.”

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

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