2016 Press Releases

National Archives Hosts Special Daytime Programs in October
Press Release · Friday, October 2, 2015

Washington, DC

The National Archives presents a series of daytime public programs in October. 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: The Making of Asian America: A History
Friday, October 2, at noon

Historian Erika Lee tells the little-known history of Asian American immigration, and shares her own incredible story. When 27-year-old Wong Lan Fong and her husband, Yee Shew Ning came to the United States, they were aware of anti-Chinese prejudices and took measures to emphasize their respectability and economic status. They brought both their wedding photograph and a letter from the clergyman who performed their ceremony. U.S. immigration officials confiscated both items. Some 70 years later, their granddaughter, Dr. Lee, was conducting research for her book on Chinese immigration at the National Archives in San Bruno, California, when she discovered her grandparents’ wedding photograph in her grandmother’s immigration file. These records were featured in the National Archives’ 2012 exhibit: Attachments: Faces and Stories from America’s Gates.

BOOK TALK: Henry Clay: America’s Greatest Statesman
Wednesday, October 7, at noon

In a little-known chapter of early American history, a fearless Kentucky lawyer rids Congress of corruption and violence in an era when congressmen debated with bullets as well as ballots. Harlow Giles Unger reveals how Henry Clay, the youngest congressman ever elected Speaker of the House, rewrote congressional rules and established the Speaker as the most powerful elected official after the President.

FILM: Some Like It Hot
Saturday, October 17, at 2pm

Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis star in this legendary comedy about two Prohibition-era musicians who, after witnessing the St. Valentine’s Day massacre, elude gangsters by joining an all-girl band. Also stars Marilyn Monroe and George Raft. Directed by Billy Wilder. (1959; 119 minutes.) This will not be streamed on YouTube.

Related exhibit: Spirited Republic: Alcohol in American History
Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, through January 10, 2016

Who was the lady hooch hunter? What is a drunkometer? And why did some Americans campaign against the spirit ration? Find these answers and more in this fascinating collection of alcohol-related posters, films, patent drawings, petitions, photographs, and artifacts. Spirited Republic is presented in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of HISTORY® and the Lawrence F. O'Brien Family.

BOOK TALK: A Settler’s Year: Pioneer Life through the Seasons
Monday, October 19, at noon

A Settler’s Year provides a rare glimpse into the lives of early American immigrants. Author Kathleen Ernst discusses the challenges and triumphs found in rural life during the 19th and early 20th centuries. She describes the experience of back-straining chores, cherished folk traditions, annual celebrations, and the indomitable spirit that made up pioneer life.

BOOK TALK: The Real Watergate Scandal: Collusion, Conspiracy and the Plot that Brought Nixon Down
Tuesday, October 27, at noon

Geoff Shepard joined Nixon’s White House staff right out of Harvard Law School, later becoming the youngest lawyer on his Watergate defense team. It all ended rather badly: Nixon’s election mandate was wiped out, he resigned in disgrace, and many of his staff were imprisoned. Forty years later, Shepard is back with newly uncovered documents from prosecutors’ files at the National Archives.

BOOK TALK: 1944: FDR and the Year that Changed History
Wednesday, October 28, at noon

It was not inevitable that World War II would end as it did, or that it would even end well. Jay Winik brings to life in gripping detail the year 1944, which determined the outcome of World War II and put more pressure than any other on an ailing yet determined President Roosevelt and the extraordinary struggles of the era’s outsized figures.

BOOK TALK: War Plan Red: The United States’ Secret Plan to Invade Canada and Canada’s Secret Plan to Invade the United States
Thursday, October 29, at noon

It’s known as the world’s friendliest border. Five thousand miles of unfenced, unwalled international coexistence and a symbol of neighborly goodwill between the United States and Canada. But just how friendly is it really? In War Plan Red, Kevin Lippert discusses the secret “cold war” between the United States and Canada in full and humorous detail and culminating with actual declassified invasion plans that Canadian and U.S. militaries drew up in the 1920s and 1930s.

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