Special National Archives Programs this November
Press Release · Wednesday, November 4, 2020

Washington, DC

Join us for one or all of a series of free virtual book talks this month on topics ranging from the Revolutionary War to slavery on trial, and an audacious spy plot. 

1774: The Long Year of Revolution in partnership with the Concord Museum
Tuesday, November 17, at 7 p.m. ET
Register to attend. Watch the livestream on the National Archives YouTube channel.

In her new book, 1774: The Long Year of Revolution, historian Mary Beth Norton chronicles the revolutionary changes that occurred from December 1773 to April 1775—from the Boston Tea Party to the Battles of Lexington and Concord. In those 16 months, colonists loyal to King George III began discordant “discussions” that led to their acceptance of the inevitability of war. Norton will talk with Tom Putnam, director of the Concord Museum and former longtime director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. At the close of the event, in partnership with the U.S. Semiquincentennial Commission, the Concord museum will unveil an interactive microsite, The Shot Heard Round the World, with animations that bring to life the iconic events of April 19, 1775.

The Lenin Plot: The Untold Story of America’s Midnight War Against Russia 
Thursday, November 19, at noon ET
Register to attend. Watch the livestream on the National Archives YouTube channel.

In The Lenin Plot, Barnes Carr discusses the most audacious spy plot in American history. During World War I, President Woodrow Wilson gave the order for a military invasion of Russia. Their objective, to defeat the Red Army and mount a coup in Moscow against Soviet dictator Vladimir Ilich Lenin. Allied leaders would then install their own Allied-friendly dictator in Moscow as a means to get Russia back into the war against Germany.

A Question of Freedom: The Families Who Challenged Slavery from the Nation’s Founding to the Civil War 
Monday, November 30, at noon ET
Register to attend. Watch the livestream on the National Archives YouTube channel.

For over 70 years and five generations, the enslaved families of Prince George’s County, MD, filed hundreds of suits for their freedom against a powerful circle of slaveholders, taking their cause all the way to the Supreme Court. Between 1787 and 1861, these lawsuits challenged the legitimacy of slavery in American law and put slavery on trial in the nation’s capital. In A Question of Freedom, William G. Thomas III, history department chairman at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, recounts the story of the longest and most complex legal challenge to slavery in American history.


# # #

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

Connect with the National Archives on:

Facebook logo icon Facebook: USNationalArchives

Instagram logo icon Instagram: usnatarchives

LinkedIn icon LinkedIn: usnatarchives

Threads icon Threads: usnatarchives

Tumblr icon Tumblr: usnatarchives

X iconX: @USNatArchives

YouTube iconYouTube: usnationalarchives


This page was last reviewed on November 4, 2020.
Contact us with questions or comments.