Early American History (virtual) Recap at the National Archives
Press Release · Friday, September 10, 2021

Washington, DC

Celebrate our nation’s founding this month with programs on the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution from the National Archives, permanent home to these and many other landmark documents. These programs are free, but advanced registration is encouraged, and all times are Eastern time. Join author Joseph Ellis for a new look at the American Revolution! Learn more about Thomas Jefferson’s later years, and celebrate the 234th anniversary of the Constitution with a book talk and a kids’ program with James Madison! 

KIDS’ PROGRAM: Meet James Madison
Thursday, September 16, at 11 am; Reserve a Seat, View on YouTube
In this National Archives Comes Alive! Young Learners Program, fourth President and “Father of the Constitution” James Madison (portrayed by John Douglas Hall) will reflect on his role in the document’s creation and the controversy that ensued.

Constitution Day Program!
BOOK TALK: The People’s Constitution: 200 Years, 27 Amendments, and the Promise of a More Perfect Union
Friday, September 17, at 1 pm; Reserve a Seat, View on YouTube
Celebrate the 234th anniversary of the signing of the Constitution with authors John Kowal and Wilfred Codrington III. Learn how generations have reshaped the Constitution and its role in some of the most contested, and controversial battles in American political life. It’s a story of how We the People have improved our government’s structure and expanded the scope of our democracy during eras of transformational social change. See Celebrating Constitution Day for related online resources. Learn about We Rule: Civics for All of US - our new civics initiative!

BOOK TALK with Joseph Elllis: The Cause: The American Revolution and its Discontents, 1773–1783
Thursday, September 23, at 1 pm; Reserve a Seat, View on YouTube
Author Joseph J. Ellis presents his culminating work on the American Founding by rethinking the American Revolution as we have known it. He takes a fresh look at the events between 1773 and 1783, revealing a war more brutal than any in American history save the Civil War and discovering a strange breed of revolutionaries. The Cause brings together a cast of familiar and forgotten characters challenging the story we have long told ourselves about our origins as a people and a nation. Joining the author in conversation will be author and historian Richard Brookhiser.

BOOK TALK: The Illimitable Freedom of the Human Mind: Thomas Jefferson’s Idea of a University
Wednesday, September 29, at 1 pm; Reserve a Seat, View on YouTube
Already renowned as a statesman, when Thomas Jefferson retired from government he turned his attention to academia. In The Illimitable Freedom of the Human Mind, author Andrew O’Shaughnessy reveals how Jefferson’s vision anticipated the modern university and profoundly influenced the development of American higher education. Along with the Declaration of Independence and the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, he viewed his role in the creation of the University of Virginia as one of his greatest achievements. Nonetheless, historians often treat this period as an epilogue to Jefferson’s career. Joining the author in conversation will be Holly Brewer, Professor of History, University of Maryland.








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