The National Archives Commemorates Veterans Day
Press Release · Friday, October 29, 2021

Washington, DC

The National Archives honors our nation’s veterans with free special programs on topics from the Revolutionary War to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and World War II movies. All event times are Eastern Time and will be livestreamed on the National Archives YouTube Channel

The National Archives proudly serves veterans and their families, especially through our work at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO, and there are many veterans on staff. Explore our Veterans Day Resource page to learn how we help veterans access their records to receive benefits and discover how our Preservation staff makes these records accessible.

Hollywood Victory: The Movies, Stars, and Stories of World War II
Presented in partnership with Turner Classic Movies (TCM)
Tuesday, November 2, at 7 p.m.; Register to attend. Watch the livestream.
Christian Blauvelt’s book Hollywood Victory tells how the film industry enlisted in the Allied effort during the Second World War—a story that started with staunch isolationism as studios sought to maintain the European market and eventually erupted into impassioned support in countless ways. Industry output included war films reminding moviegoers what they were fighting for and "home-front" stories designed to boost the morale of troops overseas. Joining Blauvelt in conversation will be TCM host Ben Mankiewicz. Excerpts from the National Archives’ motion picture holdings will be presented.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A Century of Honor 
Thursday, November 4, at 1 p.m.; Register to attend. Watch the livestream.
For over a century, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has been America's most cherished and revered military shrine. The dramatic story of this magnificent monument is skillfully told by historian Philip Bigler. Bigler chronicles the Tomb’s history from its early inception after World War I through its formalization and beautification, and its continuing cultural importance. He covers in detail the subsequent interments of World War II, Korean, and Vietnam Unknowns, framing them within the context and scope of the nation’s history.

Related Kids’ Talk: Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier 
Wednesday, November 10 at 11 a.m. ET, Register to attend. Watch the livestream.
November 11, 2021, is the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Author Jeff Gottesfeld will read from his children’s book Twenty-One Steps: Guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which tells the story of how the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier came into being. He will be joined by a Tomb guard who will explain the rigorous process of being selected as a guard and their 27-hour shifts.

British Blockade Runners of the American Civil War: The Story of Joannes Wyllie, Commander of the Steamer Ad-Vance 
Friday, November 12, at 1 p.m., Register to attend. Watch the livestream
Joannes Wyllie was one of thousands of British sailors who ran the blockade of Confederate ports during the Civil War. Britain remained neutral during the war—so why were so many British vessels used, and what was the motivation for the British sailors to head toward the conflict? Author John F. Messner will describe how one such British mariner came to command one of the most successful runners of the war. Joining Messner in discussion will be Vann Evans, audiovisual archivist at the State Archives of North Carolina, and Civil War blockade historian Stephen Wise. 

Our First Civil War: Patriots and Loyalists in the American Revolution 
Tuesday, November 23, at 1 p.m. Register to attend. Watch the livestream
Pulitzer Prize finalist H. W. Brands describes the American Revolution in a way that shows it to be more than a fight against the British: it was also a violent battle among neighbors forced to choose sides, Loyalist or Patriot. Our First Civil War reminds us that before America could win its revolution against Britain, the Patriots had to win a bitter civil war against family, neighbors, and friends.

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This page was last reviewed on October 29, 2021.
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