Upcoming Noontime Lectures and Film Screenings at the National Archives
Press Release · Friday, December 9, 2016

Washington, DC

The National Archives continues its series of noontime programs on topics including presidential inaugurations and NATO war games in 1983. 

These programs are free and open to the public and will be held at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater of the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC.  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. Reservations are recommended and can be made online. For those without reservations, seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. The Theater doors will open 45 minutes prior to the start of the program. Late seating will not be permitted 20 minutes after the program begins.

FILM SCREENING: The Selling of the Pentagon (1971)
Wednesday, December 14, at noon
In February 1971, CBS broadcast this documentary–an exposé of the use of public funds to promote the Vietnam War. The ensuing controversy became a landmark First Amendment case as it pertained to television news (60 minutes).

BOOK TALK: Three Days in January: Dwight Eisenhower's Final Mission
Tuesday, January 17, at noon
Live stream on YouTube
In his debut book, political journalist Bret Baier looks at the three days between Dwight Eisenhower’s prophetic "farewell address" on the evening of January 17, 1961, and his successor John F. Kennedy’s inauguration on the afternoon of January 20. A book signing follows the program.

FILM SCREENINGS: From the Vaults: Presidential Inaugurations
Wednesday, January 18 and Thursday, 19, at noon
In celebration of the 2017 Presidential inauguration, we present a selection of archival motion pictures drawn from the holdings of the National Archives related to the ceremonial inaugural events.

Friday, January 20, 2017 at 11:30 a.m.
The President’s swearing-in ceremony will be shown live in the William G. McGowan Theater.

BOOK TALK: Able Archer 83: The Secret History of the NATO Exercise That Almost Triggered Nuclear War
Wednesday, January 25, at noon
Live stream on YouTube
In his book based on newly declassified documents, Nate Jones tells the chilling story about how, in November 1983, a Soviet misinterpretation of NATO war games almost led to nuclear war. A book signing follows the program.

Related exhibit: Amending America
Only 27 times—out of more than 11,000 proposals—have Americans reached consensus to amend the Constitution. This new exhibit reveals the stories behind why some proposed amendments successfully became part of the Constitution, while others failed to gain enough support. Lawrence F. O’Brien Gallery, through September 4, 2017.


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For media inquiries, please contact: National Archives Public and Media Communications at (202) 357-5300 or via email at

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This page was last reviewed on December 9, 2016.
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