The National Archives Hosts Special Public Programs this Summer
Press Release · Thursday, June 15, 2017

Washington, DC

The National Archives presents a series of daytime public programs this summer. These programs are free and open to the public. Attendees should use the Special Events entrance on Constitution Avenue at 7th Street, NW.  The building is Metro accessible on the Yellow and Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial/Penn Quarter station.
July Education Activity in the ReSource Room: Americans with Disabilities Act

July 5–31 (Monday–Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Boeing Learning Center

The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 is the first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities. Investigate the history behind this groundbreaking law and discover how it protects Americans today.

Frederick Douglass: The Meaning of July 4th for the Negro

Monday, July 3, 1 p.m.–2 p.m., William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

In a July 5, 1852, speech to a group of abolitionists, Frederick Douglass reminded them that for slaves and former slaves, the Declaration of Independence represented the unfulfilled promise of liberty for all. Phil Darius Wallace will give a dramatic reading of excerpts from the speech, followed by a discussion with Nathan Johnson, Supervisory Park Ranger at the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site, and History Professor Robert S. Levine, author of The Lives of Frederick Douglass.  A book signing will follow the program, and this event will stream live online. Presented in partnership with the Frederick Douglass National Historic Site.

July 4 at the National Archives!

Celebrate Independence Day at the National Archives Building in Washington, DC! This fun-for-all-ages special program and day-long activities are free and open to the public. The event is outside, and the audience sits on the steps of the building, facing Constitution Avenue. Share your experience on social media using the hashtag #ArchivesJuly4.  Full schedule online.

PRESENTATION:  Discovering the Sussex Declaration

Thursday, July 6, noon, William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Harvard University researchers Danielle Allen and Emily Sneff will discuss the recent identification of a second parchment manuscript of the Declaration of Independence in Chichester, England. The manuscript, dating from the 1780s, is written in the hand of a single clerk. This event will stream live online


McGowan Theater, Boeing Learning Center & YouTube

Celebrate the start of summer break with the National Archives’ first-ever, two-day “Write” Stuff Festival!  Writers young and old, accomplished and novice, are invited to meet and learn from favorite authors and illustrators. Young writers (4th-6th grade) can participate in special “story development” workshops in person or online. Additional Festival highlights include book signings, discussions, hands-on activities, and more! Full schedule online. The Festival is free and open to the public.

“Write” Stuff Author Conversations, Friday, July 7, 10:30 a.m.–noon

Join online or in person to learn how authors use research in their writing.  In the morning,  authors and Illustrators John Hendrix, Syl Sobel, Susan Campbell Bartoletti, Jacqueline Jules and Tonya Bolden will share research and writing tips.  Kitty Felde, host of the podcast Book Club for Kids, will  moderate and take questions.  The program will stream live online.  After a book signing, there will be “kids only” afternoon workshops with the authors.  These are limited to 4th–6th graders and require advance online registration.

“Write” Stuff Family Research & Literacy Day, Saturday, July 8, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

The whole family can enjoy hands-on activities and engage with authors and illustrators Marty Rhodes Figley, Syl Sobel, John Hendrix, Janet Macreery, and Diane Kidd & Dr. Margaret A. Weitekamp, Tim Grove, and Tonya Bolden.  Watch a live recording of Kitty Felde’s Book Club for Kids podcast at 11 a.m with celebrity guest reader, NPR special correspondent Susan Stamberg.  The Book Club for Kids podcast will stream live online.  

BOOK TALK:  Wrestling with His Angel: The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, 1849–1856

Wednesday, July 12, noon, William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Volume II of Sidney Blumenthal’s acclaimed biography, The Political Life of Abraham Lincoln, reveals the future President’s genius as he found his voice and helped create a new political party. A book signing follows the program, and the event will stream live online.

BOOK TALK: Raven Rock: The Story of the U.S. Government's Secret Plan to Save Itself

Tuesday, July 18, at noon, William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Secret government Doomsday plans lay out how to evacuate and protect the nation’s historic artifacts and its leaders. Garrett Graff sheds light on the inner workings of the compound called Raven Rock as well as dozens of other government bunkers. A book signing follows the program, and the event will stream live online.


Tuesday, July 25, noon, William G. McGowan Theater & YouTube

Four-time international whistling champion Christopher Ullman presents Find Your Whistle, the story of a Washington and Wall Street insider who uses his simple gift to touch hearts and change lives. A book signing follows the program, and the event will stream live online.

August Activity in ReSource Room: Tennessee Ratification of the 19th Amendment

August 1–30 (Monday–Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.), Boeing Learning Center

What did a mother, son, and letter have to do with Tennessee’s ratification of the 19th Amendment? In this hands-on activity for the whole family, discover how women’s suffrage was achieved.

Amending America Escape Room! Hands-on Adult Workshop

Wednesday, August 2, 5:30-7:30 p.m., Boeing Learning Center

Participants are invited to race against the clock to solve puzzles and ciphers about amendments to the Constitution in this "escape room" for adults. Registration required.

BOOK TALK:  The Road to Camelot: Inside JFK's Five-Year Campaign

Tuesday, August 8, at 12 noon, McGowan Theater & YouTube

Journalist Thomas Oliphant takes us behind the scenes of John F. Kennedy’s campaign to the White House in The Road to Camelot. A book signing follows the program, that will stream live online.    

PRESENTATION:  National Archives ​History Hub

Thursday,  ​August 17, at 2 p.m., McGowan Theater & YouTube

Alex Champion, archivist, introduces the History Hub, a crowdsourcing platform for American history. Presentation materials are available online, and the program will stream live.   

Solar Eclipses: Past and Present

Monday, August 21, noon –4 p.m., Constitution Avenue near 7th St., NW

View the solar eclipse through the lenses of safe solar telescopes provided by the National Air and Space Museum. In addition, look through the lens of history and see some records from our holdings about past solar eclipses.

BOOK TALK: Stanton: Lincoln’s War Secretary

Tuesday, August 22, at noon, McGowan Theater

Award-winning author Walter Stahr tells the story of Abraham Lincoln’s indispensable Secretary of War, Edwin Stanton. A book signing follows the program, that will stream live online.  

Public programming at the National Archives is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation with the generous support of the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund.


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