National Archives Virtual Daytime Programs in April
Press Release · Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Washington, DC

WASHINGTON, March 23, 2022 – Join us for virtual programs in April as the National Archives celebrates its release of the 1950 Census on April 1 with an author book talk on The Fifties: An Underground History and a genealogy webinar on the 1950 Census P8 Indian Reservation Schedule. On April 29, 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 livestreamed programs are free and open to the public, and recordings are available afterward.

1950 Census Release/Book Talk – The Fifties: An Underground History
Tuesday, April 5, at 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch on the National Archives YouTube Channel

Author James R. Gaines argues that the 1950s were not a decade of conformity but a time when individuals pioneered the gay rights, feminist rights, civil rights, and environmental movements. The Fifties brings to life people who sparked movements for change in their time and our own. Of the many discussed are Ruth Bader Ginsberg and the argument that made sex discrimination illegal, only one of her gifts to 21st-century feminism. We meet Harry Hay, who dreamed of a national gay-rights movement as early as the mid-1940s. We hear the voices of Silent Spring’s Rachel Carson and MIT’s preeminent mathematician, Norbert Wiener, whose legacy is the environmental movement. Journalist Margaret Carlson will join the author in conversation. Census programming is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

Book Talk – True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson
Tuesday, April 12, at 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch on the
National Archives YouTube Channel
True: The Four Seasons of Jackie Robinson by Kostya Kennedy is an unconventional biography, focusing on four transformative years in Robinson's athletic and public life: 1946, his first year playing in the essentially all-White minor leagues for the Montreal Royals; 1949, when he won the Most Valuable Player Award in his third season as a Brooklyn Dodger; 1956, his final season in major league baseball, when he played valiantly despite his increasing health struggles; and 1972, the year of his untimely death. Through it all, Robinson remained true to the effort and the mission, true to his convictions and contradictions. Joining Kennedy in conversation will be Raymond Doswell, Vice President, Curatorial Services for the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum. This program is presented in conjunction with the display of a letter Robinson wrote after an incident on a bus while he was a second lieutenant at Fort Hood, Texas.  The letter will be on display in the East Rotunda of the National Archives in Washington, DC, and online through April 20, 2022. 

Young Learners Program – Meet Frederick Law Olmsted
Thursday, April 14, at 11 a.m. ET
Watch on our
National Archives YouTube Channel
Frederick Law Olmsted is considered the father of American landscape architecture.  He may be best known for designing Central Park in New York City with his partner, Calvert Vaux. Olmsted was also an experimental farmer, author, and gold mine manager. During the Civil War, Olmsted was selected as the first Executive Secretary of the U.S. Sanitary Commission, the forerunner of the American Red Cross. Olmsted was ahead of his time as he understood that parks build democracy as a space where all people are welcome, are connected to nature, and feel a sense of belonging and contentment. In addition, Olmsted’s report about the Yosemite reservation laid the foundation for the national park system. Join us to hear from Frederick Law Olmsted as portrayed by Joseph Smith and to celebrate Olmsted’s 200th birthday on April 26. 

Book Talk – Benjamin Franklin's Last Bet: The Favorite Founder’s Divisive Death, Enduring Afterlife, and Blueprint for American Prosperity
Thursday, April 14, at 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch on the
National Archives YouTube Channel
Author Michael Meyer discusses the incredible story of Benjamin Franklin’s parting gift to the working-class people of Boston and Philadelphia—a deathbed wager that captures the Founder’s American Dream and his lessons for our current, conflicted age. Benjamin Franklin was not a gambling man. But at the end of his illustrious life, Franklin allowed himself a final wager on the survival of the United States: a gift of two thousand pounds to Boston and Philadelphia, to be lent out to tradesmen over the next two centuries to jumpstart their careers. Each loan would be repaid with interest over 10 years. If all went according to Franklin’s inventive scheme, the accrued final payout in 1991 would be a windfall. In Benjamin Franklin’s Last Bet, Meyer traces the evolution of these twin funds as they bankrolled woodworkers and silversmiths, trade schools, and space races. Over time, Franklin’s wager was misused, neglected, and contested—but never wholly extinguished. Meyer shows how Franklin’s stake in the “leather-apron” class remains in play to this day and offers an inspiring blueprint for prosperity in our modern era of growing wealth disparity and social divisions.

Book Talk – Making America’s Public Lands: The Contested History of Conservation on Federal Lands
Tuesday, April 19, at 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch on the
National Archives YouTube Channel
In the United States, the federal government owns more than a quarter of the nation’s landscape—nearly 640 million acres, or more than a million square miles, which, if consolidated, would make it the 10th largest nation on earth. Primarily managed by four federal agencies—the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and the National Park Service—American public lands have been central to developing the American economy, state, and identity. The history of these lands intersects with critical components of the American past—namely nature, politics, and economics. From the beginning, the concept of “public” has been the subject of controversy, from visions of homesteaders realizing the ideal of the Jeffersonian republic to western ranchers who use the open range to promote a free enterprise system to wilderness activists who see these lands as wild places, free from human encumbrance. Environmental historian Adam Sowards synthesizes public lands history from the beginning of the republic to recent controversies. Since public lands are located everywhere, including iconic national parks like Yellowstone or the Grand Canyon, Americans at large have a stake in these lands. They are, after all, ours. In a real sense, this book is for those citizens who camp in the national forests, drive through the national parks, or admire distant wilderness landscapes. Joining the author in conversation will be journalist and author Michelle Nijhuis.

Book Talks – The Hudson Valley History Reading Festival
Saturday, April 23, at 10 a.m., 11 a.m, 1 p.m., and 2 p.m. ET
No registration required; streamed live to the FDR Library’s YouTube, Facebook & Twitter accounts
The Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum and the Friends of the Poughkeepsie Public Library present the annual Hudson Valley History Reading Festival. This is a hybrid event, taking place in person at the Henry A. Wallace Center and streamed to the FDR Library’s social media accounts.  

  • 10 a.m. ET - Patriots and Spies in Revolutionary New York by A.J. Schenkman
  • 11 a.m. ET - The Catskills in the Ice Age: Third Edition, Revised and Expanded by Robert and Johanna Titus
  • 1 p.m. ET - Paths to the Past: History Hikes through the Hudson River Valley, Catskills, Berkshires, Taconics, Saratoga & Capital Region by Russel Dunn and Barbara Delaney
  • 2 p.m. ET - Roosevelt Homes of the Hudson Valley: Hyde Park and Beyond by Shannon Butler

1950 Census Genealogy SeriesThe Story of the 1950 Census P8 Indian Reservation Schedule
Wednesday, April 27, at 1 p.m. ET
Watch on our
National Archives YouTube Channel
As part of the 1950 population census, the Census Bureau used a special schedule on certain Native reservations nationwide. Join archivist Cody White as he explains the genesis, creation, and execution of the 1950 P8 Indian Reservation schedule, which becomes available online on April 1. Learn more about the 1950 Census with our Genealogy Series. Census programming is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of Denise Gwyn Ferguson.

Book Talk Incomparable Grace: JFK in the Presidency
Thursday, April 28, at 1 p.m. ET
Register in advance; watch on the
National Archives YouTube Channel
Historian Mark K. Updegrove offers an illuminating account of John F. Kennedy’s brief but transformative tenure in the White House. Nearly 60 years after his death, JFK still holds an outsize place in the American imagination, yet his years in office were marked by more than his style and elegance. The author describes his Presidency as the story of a fledgling leader forced to meet unprecedented challenges and to rise above missteps to lead his nation into a new and hopeful era. Updegrove reveals how JFK’s first months were marred by the Bay of Pigs invasions, a disastrous summit with the Soviet Premier, and a mismanaged approach to the civil rights movement. But the young President soon proved that behind the glamor was a leader of uncommon fortitude and vision. A humbled Kennedy conceded his mistakes and, importantly for our times, drew important lessons from his failures that he used to right wrongs and move forward undaunted. Indeed, Kennedy grew as President, radiating greater possibility as he coolly faced a steady stream of crises before his tragic end. Incomparable Grace compellingly reexamines the dramatic, consequential White House years of a flawed but gifted leader too often defined by the Camelot myth that came after his untimely death.

Lunch & Learn – Churchill and Eisenhower’s relationship
Thursday, April 28, at 1 p.m ET

Register in advance
Allen Packwood, Director of the Churchill Archives Centre in Cambridge, England, will discuss the relationship between Sir Winston Churchill and President Dwight Eisenhower. 

The Lunch & Learn series is hosted by the Dwight D. Eisenhower Presidential Library, Museum, and Boyhood Home. It is held the fourth Thursday of each month. The 2022 program theme is "Dwight Eisenhower: The Making of a Leader" and will focus on family, military, Presidency, and mentorship.

Distance Learning Programs for Students – “We Rule: Civics for All of US” 
Friday, April 29, 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 or Presidential Libraries across the country. Check for more information, including how to request a program for groups of 10 or more students. 

  • No Conscription Without Representation: Voting Rights and the Constitution (Grades 9–12)
    11:15 a.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.
  • The Constitution and Our Community (Grades 3–5)
    1:15 p.m.  ET;  Register online.

    In this 45-minute program, students will explore the idea of community, hone their primary source analysis skills by examining government records, and connect the Constitution to their own lives.

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This page was last reviewed on March 23, 2022.
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