2015 Press Releases

National Archives Presents Daytime Programs in June
Press Release · Thursday, May 28, 2015

Washington, DC

The National Archives presents a series of daytime public programs in June on topics ranging from negotiations with Cuba to beer brewing! 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 at 7th Street NW. The National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, is Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. For upcoming programs, see the Calendar of Events.

BOOK TALK: Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana
Monday, June 1, at noon

William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh will discuss this timely topic and their book Back Channel to Cuba, which chronicles a surprising history of dialogue and negotiations, both open and furtive, from the Kennedy to Obama administrations.

BOOK TALK: Capital Beer: A Heady History of Brewing in Washington, D.C.
Wednesday, June 3, at noon

Washington Brewery—the city’s first brewery—opened in 1796. Brewer barons like Christian Heurich and Albert Carry dominated the taps of city saloons until production ground to a halt with Prohibition. Only Heurich survived, and when the venerable institution closed in 1956, Washington, DC, was without a brewery for 55 years. Author and beer scholar Garrett Peck taps this history while introducing readers to the bold new brewers leading the capital’s recent craft beer revival.

Related exhibit: Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History
Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery through 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. Spirited Republic is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of HISTORY® and the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family.

RECORDS TALK: The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865
Wednesday, June 3, at 2 p.m.

Archives specialist Rebecca Sharp will discuss The Medical and Surgical History of the War of the Rebellion, 1861–1865. This published source contains information about Civil War medical and surgical procedures as well as case studies. Presentation materials are available online.

BOOK TALK: Reagan: A Life
Friday, June 5, at noon

In his new biography, H. W. Brands puts forth Ronald Reagan as one of the great Presidents of the 20th century. Brands follows Reagan from small-town Illinois to Hollywood and to the White House. A persistently controversial figure – an icon of American strength to some, a caricature of ideological rigidity to others – Brands succeeds brilliantly in reconciling those views to produce a full life of Reagan that is a powerful new portrait of a preeminent American leader. H. W. Brands holds the Jack S. Blanton Sr. Chair in History at the University of Texas at Austin. A New York Times bestselling author, he was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in biography for The First American and Traitor to His Class.

BOOK TALK: In the Shadow of the Great Charter
Monday, June 15, at noon

In the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling on whether Guantanamo detainees could be barred from U.S. courts, Justice Anthony Kennedy cited both the U.S. Constitution and the Magna Carta. Why would a 21st-century judge invoke a document signed by an English king in the 13th century? As professor and author Robert Pallitto shows, Magna Carta’s legacy in the United States reaches back to the nation’s founding, with even the colonial charters reflecting its influence and principles that protect the rights and liberty of the citizenry. This event is part of the National Archives’ year-long celebration of the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta.

Related celebration snack: Magna Carta Cake!
Monday, June 15, 1:30–2:30 p.m., McGowan Theater Lobby

Join us for a slice of Magna Carta cake! Free cake with an image of Magna Carta will be served to the first 200 attendees.

BOOK TALK: Nixon’s Nuclear Specter: The Secret Alert of 1969, Madman Diplomacy, and the Vietnam War
Thursday, June 18, at noon

In 1969, Nixon and Kissinger used coercive diplomacy and excessive military force, including the specter of nuclear force, in their initial efforts to end the Vietnam War. Authors Jeffrey Kimball and William Burr relate how Nixon and Kissinger launched a secret global nuclear alert to back up these threats.

Saturday, June 20, at 2 p.m. This film will not be streamed on YouTube

Arguably Charles Chaplin’s most beloved film, City Lights features the Little Tramp being befriended by both a blind flower girl and a millionaire. Dr. Charles Maland, J. Douglas Bruce Professor of English and Cinema Studies at the University of Tennessee Knoxville and author of Chaplin and American Culture: The Evolution of a Star Image, introduces the screening. This screening is presented in conjunction with the exhibit, Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History.

BOOK TALK: Stars for Freedom: Hollywood, Black Celebrities, and the Civil Rights Movement
Wednesday, June 24, at noon

The Stars for Freedom—a handful of celebrities both black and white—risked their careers by crusading for racial equality. Focusing on the “Leading Six” trailblazers—Harry Belafonte, Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Sammy Davis, Jr., Dick Gregory, and Sidney Poitier—author Emilie Raymond reveals how they advanced the Civil Rights movement.

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