Terrorists, Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies
Press Release · Wednesday, December 18, 2019

Washington, DC

Noontime author talks and book signings at the National Archives in January include the never-before-told story of America’s first female terrorist group, M19; the life of  journalist Marie “Missy” Mattingly Meloney; and the work of an unlikely band of librarians, archivists, and scholars during World War II.

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 Seventh 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.

BOOK TALK & SIGNING: Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol: The Explosive Story of M19, America’s First Female Terrorist Group
Thursday, January 16
Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
In Tonight We Bombed the U.S. Capitol, author William Rosenau tells a shocking, never-before-told story from American history. Rosenau takes a close look at the hidden history of M19, the first and only domestic terrorist group founded and led by women, and their violent fight against racism, sexism, and what they viewed as Ronald Reagan’s imperialistic vision for America. 

BOOK TALK & SIGNING: American Queenmaker: How Missy Meloney Brought Women Into Politics 
Tuesday, January 21
Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
Professor Julie Des Jardins has written the first biography of the most important woman you’ve never heard about. Marie “Missy” Mattingly Meloney lived in an America where women could not vote. Over the course of her life as a journalist and magazine editor, she recognized the power that women held as consumers and family decision-makers, creating the idea of the female demographic, which, after the passage of the 19th Amendment, became a recognized political force. She served as a political adviser to Presidents Calvin Coolidge, Herbert Hoover, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, and persuaded politicians to engage with and appeal to women directly. 

BOOK TALK & SIGNING: Information Hunters: When Librarians, Soldiers, and Spies Banded Together in World War II Europe 
Thursday, January 23
Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
While armies have seized enemy records and rare texts as booty throughout history, it was only during World War II that an unlikely band of librarians, archivists, and scholars traveled abroad to collect books and documents to aid the military cause. They collected enemy texts, followed advancing armies to capture records, and seized Nazi works from bookstores and schools. When the war ended, they found and helped restitute looted collections hidden in cellars and caves. In Information Hunters, cultural historian Kathy Peiss reveals how book and document collecting became part of the new apparatus of intelligence and national security, military planning, and postwar reconstruction. 

PANEL DISCUSSION: New Visions of the Future of Press Freedom
Wednesday, January 29
Reserve a seat; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel

Presented in partnership with the Student Press Law Center, New Visions of the Future of Press Freedom will bring together prominent high school and college journalists to envision what the future of a free press looks like and to discuss current challenges to student press freedom and the First Amendment. Student journalists have suddenly been thrust into the middle of the press freedom debates as they are filling gaps in "news deserts" and, with their peers, serving as watchdogs on key civic issues of our time.  Moderated by television journalist Joie Chen (America Tonight), the panel will include Maya Goldman, editor-in-chief of the Michigan Daily, Neha Madhira, former editor-in-chief of the Eagle Nation Online at Prosper High School (Texas), Joe Severino, former news editor at the DA (at West Virginia University), and Kristine Guillaume, the outgoing president of the Harvard Crimson. Join us to hear new perspectives on the future of the First Amendment from the leaders of the next generation.


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For press information contact the National Archives Public and Media Communications Staff at 202-357-5300.

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This page was last reviewed on January 10, 2020.
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