National Archives Virtual Daytime Programs in May
Press Release · Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Washington, DC

Join us for virtual programs in May on topics ranging from Civil Rights to the 1950 census, plus educational programs on the Constitution and a special program for Jewish American Heritage Month. On May 20, we will offer two civics programs for students in grades K–12 that are part of the National Archives’ national civic education initiative: We Rule: Civics for All of US. These events are free and open to the public and streamed online with recordings available afterwards. Unless otherwise noted, all programs are listed as Eastern Time.

Wednesday, May 4, at 1 p.m.
Civil Rights Queen: Constance Baker Motley and the Struggle for Equality
Register in advance; watch the live stream on our YouTube Channel.
Constance Baker Motley was the first Black woman to argue a case in front of the Supreme Court. The only Black woman member in the legal team at the NAACP’s Inc. Fund at the time, she defended Martin Luther King in Birmingham, helped to argue in Brown v. Board of Education, and played a critical role in vanquishing Jim Crow laws throughout the South. She was the first Black woman elected to the New York state senate, the first woman elected Manhattan Borough President, and the first Black woman appointed to the federal judiciary. In Civil Rights Queen, civil rights and legal historian Tomiko Brown-Nagin, brings Motley to life, and explores some of the most profound judicial and societal changes made in 20th-century America. Civil Rights Queen captures the story of a remarkable American life. Joining the author in conversion will be Maria Goldverg, Editor, Penguin Random House Publishing.

Saturday, May 7 at 11:30 a.m.
Celebrate! with Eth-Noh-Tec - Fantasia Asia
Register in advance, watch the live stream on the  Kennedy Library's YouTube channel.
Master storyteller Robert Kikuchi-Yngojo of Eth-Noh-Tec delights viewers with folktales and myths from Korea, Japan, China, Tibet, Afghanistan, and other Asian cultures. His engaging performances take you on an adventure of the imagination, weaving a variety of traditional tales with music, movement, and wild facial gestures to bring the characters and places to life in this video program for all ages.

Tuesday, May 10, at 1 p.m.
When Rabbis Bless Congress: The Great American Story of Jewish Prayers on Capitol Hill
Register in advance; watch the livestream on YouTube
Howard Mortman’s When Rabbis Bless Congress is an unprecedented examination of 160 years of Jewish prayers delivered in the literal and figurative center of American democracy. With exhaustive research written in approachable prose, it tells the story of over 400 rabbis giving over 600 prayers since the Civil War days―who they are and what they say. The book is an important addition to our understanding of Congress and Jewish contribution to America.  Joining Mortman in conversation will be Brian Lamb, founder and former CEO of C-SPAN.  This program is presented in commemoration of Jewish American Heritage Month.

Wednesday, May 11, at 1 p.m.
From Parchments to Printouts: History of the Census from 1790 to 1950 by Sharon Tosi Lacey
Watch the livestream on YouTube.
Every census is a snapshot of our country at a particular point in time. As America has grown and changed, the U.S. census has evolved with it. As the first census after World War II, the 1950 Census marked the beginning of pivotal changes in every aspect of our society: economically, demographically, and technologically. This presentation will trace the arc of progress from 1790 to 1940, then provide the context for how the Census Bureau collected, processed, and analyzed the 1950 Census data. Learn more about the 1950 Census with our Genealogy Series.

Thursday, May 12, 1 p.m.
Lincoln and the Fight for Peace
Register in advance; watch the livestream on YouTube.
In Lincoln and the Fight for Peace, author John Avlon discusses the power of Lincoln’s personal example in the closing days of the Civil War. He offers a portrait of a peacemaker who did not demonize people he disagreed with but used humor, logic, and scripture to depolarize bitter debates. Even during the war, surrounded by reactionaries and radicals, he refused to back down from his belief that there is more that unites us than divides us. But he also understood that peace needs to be waged with as much intensity as war. Joining the author in conversation will be author and historian Mark Updegrove. 

Tuesday, May 17, at 1 p.m.
Quest for the Presidency: The Storied and Surprising History of Presidential Campaigns in America
Register in advance, watch the livestream on YouTube 
In Quest for the Presidency, author Bob Riel gathers in a single volume the compelling stories behind every Presidential campaign in American history, from 1789 through 2020. Riel takes us inside the 1800 clash between Thomas Jefferson and John Adams, the 1860 election that launched the Civil War, the 1948 whistle-stop comeback of Harry Truman, the Kennedy-Nixon drama of 1960, the 1980 Reagan Revolution, the historic 2008 election of Barack Obama, the turbulent 2020 battle between Joe Biden and Donald Trump, and everything in between.

This book includes a trove of entertaining stories about campaigns and candidates, and it goes beyond the campaign tales to also consider the threads that link elections across time. It sheds light on the continually evolving story of American democracy. Joining the author in conversation will be journalist and author Tom Zoellner.

Wednesday, May 18, at 1 p.m.
History of Census Records and the National Archives by Jessie Kratz
Watch the livestream on YouTube.
Join our Historian, Jessie Kratz, as she presents the history of census records in relation to the history of the National Archives. She will discuss census records before they came to the National Archives, their transfer upon the creation of the National Archives, and the history of their availability and use.  Learn more about the 1950 Census with our Genealogy Series.

Thursday, May 19, at 11 a.m. 
National Archives Comes Alive! Young Learners Program: Meet Marian Anderson (portrayed by Jillian Pirtle)
Watch the livestream on YouTube
Meet Marian Anderson, the African American contralto and civil rights activist, as portrayed by Jillian Pirtle. Discover the story of how her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday in 1939 transformed the Lincoln Memorial into a place of protest. 

Marian Anderson is best known for her concert on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial on Easter Sunday in 1939. The Daughters of the American Revolution owned Constitution Hall, a performing arts venue built in 1929. The DAR refused to allow Marian Anderson to perform at Constitution Hall based on their “Whites only” concert policy. Marian Anderson gained support from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt, the NAACP, Howard University, and other leaders who arranged for a concert at the Lincoln Memorial of an integrated audience of over 75,000 people. The concert was an inspiration for the growing civil rights movement, and the Memorial became a place of protest in the struggle to extend rights to all American citizens.       

Distance Learning Programs for Students—“We Rule: Civics for All of US” 
Friday, May 20 at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. ET
These programs are offered as a part of We Rule: Civics for All of US, a new education initiative from the National Archives that promotes civic literacy and engagement. Our interactive distance learning programs draw upon the vast holdings of the National Archives to promote the knowledge and skills students need for civic engagement in the 21st century. Each program is led by one of our educators located at National Archives sites and Presidential Libraries across the country. Check for more information, including how to request a program for groups of 10 or more students. 

The First Amendment: Five Rights in One! (Grades 3–5)
11:15 a.m. ET,  Register online
Students will explore the First Amendment freedoms from the Bill of Rights in this interactive and engaging civics program based on historical primary sources from the National Archives. Students will learn about the importance of First Amendment rights, identify examples in photographs and short written documents, and discover how to exercise those freedoms.

Voting Rights, the Constitution, & Representative Government (Grades 6–8) 
1:15 p.m. ET; Register online
Using the Constitution, constitutional amendments, legislation, and a Supreme Court case, students will explore the progression of voting rights in the United States with particular focus on the effort to lower the voting age to 18. Additional primary source documents from the National Archives, including photographs, video recordings, and political cartoons, will enhance student understanding of the ways in which contemporary events and public civic engagement influence their lives today.

Monday, May 23, at 1 p.m.
Black Suffrage: Lincoln’s Last Goal
Register online; watch the livestream on YouTube.
In April 1865, as the Civil War came to a close, Abraham Lincoln announced his support for voting rights for at least some of the newly freed enslaved people. Author Paul D. Escott explores the popular sentiment in the North on this issue and, at the same time, examines the vigorous efforts of Black leaders, in both North and South, to organize, demand, and work for their equal rights as citizens. Based on extensive research into Republican and Democratic newspapers, magazines, speeches, and addresses, Escott explores the vigorous national debates in the pivotal year of 1865 over extending the franchise to all previously enslaved men—crucial debates that had not yet been examined in full—revealing both the nature and significance of growing support for Black suffrage and the depth of White racism that was its greatest obstacle. Joining the author in conversation will be Barton A. Myers, professor of ethics and history at Washington and Lee University.

Wednesday, May 25, at 1 p.m.
Historic Census Bureau Sources for Filipino, Guamanian and Chamorro, American Samoan, and Native Hawaiian Research by Christopher Martin
Watch the livestream on YouTube
This presentation focuses on historic Census Bureau resources for Filipinos, Guamanians and Chamorros, American Samoans, and Native Hawaiians. We will explore the surveys and census history unique to those Pacific islands as well as the enumeration and representation of their populations in stateside questionnaires and reports.  Learn more about the 1950 Census with our Genealogy Series.

Thursday, May 26 at 1 p.m. CT 
May Lunch & Learn: Eisenhower's Pandemic
Registration in advance.
Dr. Jack Holl will speak about Eisenhower’s leadership during the flu pandemic of 1918. Dr. Holl is the former chair of the Department of History at Kansas State University and has written numerous books and articles on Eisenhower. He is currently working on a book about Eisenhower’s paintings. The Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum’s Lunch & Learn series is held on  the 4th Thursday of each month. The 2022 program theme is "Dwight Eisenhower: The Making of a Leader" and focuses on family, military, presidency, and mentorship. 

Coming soon: Kids’ Camp. Sign up now! 
July 11–15, 11 a.m.– noon
Kid Detectives: History Camp at the National Archives (Ages 11–15)
Virtual and/or in-person at the National Archives Museum, Washington, DC
Discover how your family’s past connects to American history during this exciting and fun week at the National Archives. Work with other kid detectives and the National Archives Education staff to sleuth out your history using the resources of the National Archives! To register, email, with “Kid Detectives History Camp” in the subject line. In the email, note whether you are interested in the in-person or the virtual camp. This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation.


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This page was last reviewed on April 26, 2022.
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