Jefferson and Adams in a Debate of Revolutionary Proportions
Press Release · Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Washington, DC

On Tuesday, July 3, at noon, the National Archives, in collaboration with American Historical Theatre ( ), will host a live discussion and debate between two Founding Fathers, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. This friendship and rivalry comes to life on stage during Rival Friends: John Adams and Thomas Jefferson Discuss & Debate the Founding of the United States. Reserve your seat online or watch the live stream on the National Archives YouTube channel.

John Adams and Thomas Jefferson (portrayed by Joseph Doyle and Steven Edenbo) take to the stage to debate each other and take questions from the audience on the pressing issues of their time, with topics including the Declaration of Independence, Alexander Hamilton, the Constitution, the Presidency, and any subject that the audience would like to introduce (provided it happened before July 4, 1826). The personal friendship, patriotic collaboration, and political rivalry of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams spanned five decades. Together they fought to establish the new nation; later, they fought over the direction that nation would take.

The Rival Friends debate is free and open to the public and will be held 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.


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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 June 28, 2018.
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