National Archives Virtual Daytime Programs in January
Press Release · Thursday, December 23, 2021

Washington, DC

Join us for virtual daytime programs in January on topics ranging from civil rights leader Fannie Lou Hamer to the Civil War, and a special series from the LBJ Presidential Library, The Presidents: The Lives Behind the Legends. These events are free and open to the public and (with the exception of The Presidents series) will be streamed live (and available afterward) on the National Archives YouTube Channel.

Book Talk – Walk with Me: A Biography of Civil Rights Leader Fannie Lou Hamer 
Thursday, January 6, at 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
Award-winning historian and biographer Kate Clifford Larson offers a fresh and stirring reappraisal of Fannie Lou Hamer’s life and impact on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s. Larson reveals recently opened FBI records, secret Oval Office tapes, new interviews, and more to uncover never-seen details about Hamer’s life. Joining the author in conversation will be author, activist, and civil rights leader Joyce Ladner.

Book Talk – Beyond Slavery’s Shadow: Free People of Color in the South
Wednesday, January 12, at 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
On the eve of the Civil War, most people of color in the United States toiled in bondage. Yet nearly half a million people of color, including over 250,000 in the South, were free. Author Warren Eugene Milteer, Jr., draws from a wide array of sources to demonstrate the serious challenges they faced from the colonial period through the Civil War. Nevertheless, in the face of attempts to deny them the most basic privileges and rights, free people of color defended their families and established organizations and businesses. Joining the author in conversation will be University of Pittsburgh professor Alaina Roberts.

Book Talk – The Shattering: America in the 1960s
Wednesday, January 19, 1 p.m. ET 
Register in advance; watch the live stream on our
YouTube Channel
Covering the late 1950s through the early 1970s, Kevin Boyle’s new book, The Shattering, focuses on the period’s fierce conflicts—the civil rights movement, rising Black nationalism, Nixon-era politics of busing and the Supreme Court, and the Vietnam War. Boyle captures the inspiring and brutal events of this passionate time and those who made history. The Shattering illuminates currents that still run through our politics. Joining the author in conversation will be Suzanne E. Smith, professor of history at George Mason University. 

Young Learners Program – Meet Fannie Lou Hamer
For upper elementary through middle school students.
Thursday, January 20, 11 a.m. ET
Watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel

Young Learners can meet Fannie Lou Hamer, an activist in the 1960s and 1970s for voting rights, civil rights, and women’s rights (as portrayed by Sheila Arnold). Fannie Lou Hamer fought for freedom, equality, and opportunity to make the United States a more just society. She will share her story from her birth as the 20th child of parents who were tenant farmers in Mississippi to her efforts to organize the Mississippi Freedom Summer for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and how she became Vice-Chair of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party, attending the 1964 Democratic National Convention in Atlantic City, NJ. As Hamer stated when running for Congress: “If I’m elected as congresswoman, things will be different. We are sick and tired of being sick and tired.”

Book Talk – Watching Darkness Fall: FDR, His Ambassadors, and the Rise of Adolf Hitler
Wednesday, January 26, 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel

Author David McKean's Watching Darkness Fall recounts the rise of the Third Reich in Germany and the road to war from the perspective of four American diplomats in Europe who witnessed it firsthand: Joseph Kennedy, William Dodd, Breckinridge Long, and William Bullitt, who all served in key Western European capitals—London, Berlin, Rome, Paris, and Moscow in the years prior to World War II. They were President Roosevelt's eyes and ears on the ground, but unfortunately, most of them underestimated the power and resolve of Adolf Hitler and Germany’s Third Reich. Watching Darkness Fall is a gripping new history of the years leading up to and the beginning of World War II in Europe.

Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library – The Presidents: The Lives Behind the Legends 
Wednesdays, January 12, 19, & 26, 3 p.m. ET/4 p.m. CT
Register in advance (only once for the entire series)

January 12: John A. Farrell speaking on Richard Nixon
January 19: Annette Gordon-Reed and Peter Onuf speaking on Thomas Jefferson
January 26: Amity Shlaes speaking on Calvin Coolidge

No figure looms as large in American history as the nation’s President. Our schools and political traditions teach us that these men uniquely embodied their eras and shaped the country’s destiny. But who are the Presidents, the flesh-and-blood individuals who rose to the nation’s highest office? What motivated them? How did they achieve their successes and cope with failure? What legacies did they leave?

This series of programs will explore such questions through lively discussion with eminent Presidential biographers. Over six weeks, we will learn about towering figures like Thomas Jefferson and John F. Kennedy as well as lesser-known men such as John Tyler and Calvin Coolidge. And we will explore the evolution of the Presidency itself to the present day.

This series is co-hosted by the LBJ Presidential Library and Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) at The University of Texas at Austin.If you have questions about this series, email


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This page was last reviewed on December 23, 2021.
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