Press/Journalists

National Archives Public Programs in December
Press Release · Wednesday, November 30, 2022

Washington, DC

In December the National Archives will present free public programs at the National Archives Museum in Washington, DC, at its Presidential Libraries nationwide, and virtually online. 

*(In Person & Online) Book Talk & Signing – Path Lit by Lightning: The Life of Jim Thorpe
Thursday, December 1, at 7 p.m. ET 
Register to attend in person & online; watch on the National Archives YouTube Channel 

Jim Thorpe, a member of the Sac and Fox Nation, rose to world fame as a mythic talent who excelled at every sport. He won gold medals in the decathlon and pentathlon at the 1912 Stockholm Olympics, was an All American football player at the Carlisle Indian School, the star of the first class of the Pro Football Hall of Fame, and played major league baseball for the New York Giants. Even in a golden age of sports celebrities, he was one of a kind. David Maraniss’s book, Path Lit by Lightning, tells Thorpe’s story. Anita Thorpe, Jim Thorpe's granddaughter, will be attending the program. 

(In Person Only) Family Activities The Bill of Rights and You!
Thursday, December 1, to Friday, December 30, Monday–Friday only, 10 a.m. –4 p.m. ET
Boeing Learning Center, National Archives Museum, Washington, DC

We're celebrating the Bill of Rights all month long with civics-themed activities in the Boeing Learning Center! Join us in-person for family-friendly games, books, and crafts celebrating the First 10 Amendments to the Constitution on its anniversary (December 15) and throughout the month. 

(In Person Only) Tree Lighting Ceremony & Reception at the George Bush Presidential Library 
Thursday, December 1, 5:30 p.m.–8 p.m. CT
George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, TX
Register online in advance 

Join us as we light the George Bush Presidential Library Center's Community Christmas Tree! Modeled after the tree-lighting ceremony that takes place annually on the White House grounds, the ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. and will include musical entertainment and a special guest tree lighter. The ceremony will take place outside, and a reception will follow inside. Throughout the month, we encourage people to take their family pictures in front of the beautifully decorated, beautifully lit tree.

(In Person Only) Sunday Concert Series at the Nixon Presidential Library and Museum
Saturday/Sundays, December 3, 4, 11, and 18 at 2 p.m. PT unless otherwise noted
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, CA

Dec. 3:  Saturday – Patrick's Music School – Fall Festival. 10:30 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 
Dec. 4:  KidSingers Holiday Concert   
Dec. 11:  Golden State British Band      

Dec. 18:  Placentia Community Chorus

(In Person Only) Holiday Event at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m.–1 p.m. ET (free museum admission on December 3)
Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum, Atlanta, GA

This holiday season, the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum invites you and your family to help decorate the museum holiday tree! This year, the theme is based on the 1979 White House Christmas tree, which featured handmade ornaments by students at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, DC.

On December 3, the Carter Library and Museum will host a free family holiday event where visitors can create ornaments to add to the tree. Visitors can also create a Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or seasonal craft in the lobby to celebrate the holidays.

The family day event coincides with our current temporary exhibition, Colors of Peace: President Carter’s Vision Through the Art of Children, which includes over 270 artworks handmade by children from more than 50 countries. The exhibition runs through January 31, 2023.

(In Person Only) 2022 Holiday in the Rotunda at the George Bush Presidential Library 
Saturday, December 3, 10 a.m.–3 p.m. CT
George H.W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum, College Station, TX
Register online in advance 

Get into the holiday spirit with our annual Holidays in the Rotunda celebration at the Bush Library and Museum on Saturday, December 3, starting at 10 a.m.! This free event takes place in front of the museum's magnificently decorated Christmas tree in the rotunda.

Live holiday entertainment, along with ornament-making in Santa's workshop, will get you in the yuletide spirit. Santa Claus will be here to hear your children's wish lists, so bring your cameras! There will be cookies, hot chocolate, and punch served during the activities. Author Sharon Thayer will be on hand to sign free copies of her book, The Story of Santa’s Beard, while supplies last. For more information call 979-691-4014 or email reservations.bush@nara.gov.

(In Person Only) Holiday Story Time at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Sunday, December 4, 2 p.m.–4 pm ET
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, MI

Register online in advance
Join us for stories of community and togetherness, celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, plus a fun winter story about what happens when all of the animals decide to move into the park ranger's cabin on a very cold night. This event is geared toward children of all ages!  There is no cost to attend the program. Museum admission fees apply if viewing the exhibits.

(In Person & Online) Lecture Series – Becoming America: How We Gained and Secured Freedom and Self-Government
Tuesday, December 6, at 6 p.m. PT
Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda, CA
Watch the videos on the Nixon Library’s YouTube channel

December 6: “The Judges and the Constitution: Do They Really Have the Last Word?” Volker Janssen
In this lecture series, we will reflect on our history as a nation with an overview of our founding documents. The series runs through February 28. For a full list of lectures, please visit the Nixon Library’s website.           

(In Person and Online) Book Talk – Becoming FDR: The Personal Crisis that made a President with Jonathan Darman
Wednesday, December 7, at 7 p.m. ET
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
Register for attendance online; Register for attendance in person 

Join the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation for a presentation by journalist and historian Jonathan Darman. Discussing his book Becoming FDR, Darman will reveal the riveting story of struggle that shaped Roosevelt’s character and political ascent. Tracing the physical, political, and personal evolution of the iconic President, Becoming FDR shows how adversity can lead to greatness, and to the power to remake the world. The program will be followed by a book signing.

(Online Only)The National Archives Comes Alive! Young Learners Program – Meet George Mason
Thursday, December 8, at 11 a.m. ET
Register to attend online; watch on the National Archives YouTube Channel 

Meet George Mason, portrayed by Don McAndrews. George Mason drafted the Virginia Declaration of Rights and was one of our nation’s Founding Fathers. He believed “that all men are by nature equally free and independent and have certain inherent rights.” It was his belief and actions that gave him the name “Father of the Bill of Rights.” Mr. Mason will reflect on why he refused to sign the U.S. Constitution without securing individual rights for the people, his friendship with George Washington, and his home life at Gunston Hall, Virginia. This program is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation.

In partnership with Gunston Hall, home of George Mason and Home of American Rights.

(Online Only) Book Talk – The Jeffersonians: The Visionary Presidencies of Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe
Thursday, December 8, at 1 p.m. ET
Register to attend online; watch on the National Archives YouTube Channel 

Kevin R.C. Gutzman’s The Jeffersonians chronicles the men, known as the Virginia Dynasty, who served as President from 1801 to 1825 and implemented the foreign policy, domestic, and constitutional agenda of the radical wing of the American Revolution, setting guideposts for later American liberals to follow. The three close political allies were tightly related: Jefferson and Madison were the closest of friends, and Monroe was Jefferson’s former law student. Their achievements were many, including the founding of the opposition Republican Party in the 1790s, the Louisiana Purchase, and the call upon Congress in 1806 to use its constitutional power to ban slave imports beginning on January 1, 1808. Joining the author in conversation will be Robert M.S. McDonald, professor of history at the United States Military Academy at West Point.

(In Person Only) Holiday Open House at the FDR Library
Saturday, December 10, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. ET
Henry A. Wallace Center at the Frank D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, Hyde Park, NY

Visit the Roosevelt Library and the Home of FDR National Historic Site for their annual Holiday Open House. Both the Home and the Roosevelt Library study will be decorated for the holidays as they were during the Roosevelt Presidency.

The annual Children’s Reading Festival will be held in the Henry A. Wallace Center from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Children’s book authors will read from and sign copies of their books. Featured books will be available for purchase.

In addition, there will be live music, free photos with Santa, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m., and children can make holiday cards for sailors on the USS Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt  beginning at noon.

Refreshments in the visitor center will be served throughout the afternoon.

Admission is free to the Home and Library throughout the day. The Home will be open from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.; the Museum from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

(In Person Only) Holiday Story Time at the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum
Sunday, December 11, 2 p.m.–4 p.m. ET
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
Register online in advance

Join us for stories of community and togetherness, celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah, and Kwanzaa, plus a fun winter story about what happens when all of the animals decide to move into the park ranger’s cabin on a very cold night. This event is geared toward children of all ages!  There is no cost to attend the program. Museum admission fees apply if viewing the exhibits.

(Online and In Person) Book Talk – Watergate: When the Seventies Really Began with H. W. Brands
Tuesday, December 13, at 7 p.m. ET
Gerald R. Ford Presidential Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
Register for attendance online; Register for attendance in person 

Gerald Ford went from the House Minority Leader to Vice President to President in less than one year. He became our nation’s first unelected Vice President and first unelected President under the 25th Amendment. Ford’s life mirrored the roller-coaster of his times—the 1970s.

The Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, Gerald R. Ford Presidential Library & Museum, and Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at GVSU are welcoming H.W. Brands back to West Michigan. Brands’s command of history and his skill as a storyteller will deepen our insights into the 1970s and Ford’s place in that pivotal decade.

*(Online Only) Book Talk – If Gold Is Our Destiny: How a Team of Mavericks Came Together for Olympic Glory
Wednesday, December 14, at 1 p.m. ET
Register to attend online; watch on the National Archives YouTube Channel

In If Gold Is Our Destiny, Sean P. Murray shares the incredible story of how a group of free-spirited players and their demanding coach captured the heart of a nation and became one of the greatest indoor volleyball teams of all time. As the team struggled leading up to the Olympics, head coach Doug Beal mandated a highly controversial three-week Outward Bound hike across 100 miles in the Canyonlands and Abajo Mountains in Utah. Murray details all the internal strife and heartwarming triumphs from this unprecedented trip, as players and coaches learned to cooperate and trust one another. He reveals how the team used this newfound trust to implement an innovative approach to volleyball that changed not only their success on the court but the sport itself on a global scale.

(Online Only) “Civics for All of US” Bill of Rights Day Programs for Students
Thursday, December 15, at 11:15 a.m., 1:15 p.m.,  and 2 p.m. ET
These programs are offered as a part of Civics for All of US, an 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 civics.archives.gov for more information, including how to request a program for groups of 10 or more students. 

  • Make Your Voice Count: Learning About the First Amendment (Grades K–2)
    11:15 a.m. ET;  
    Register online
    Students will explore the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights using primary historical sources to learn about the importance of rights and how to exercise their freedoms.
  • The Bill of Rights Protects You (Grades 6–12)
    1:15 p.m. ET;  Register online

    Students will explore the Bill of Rights and how it outlines both limits on government and the rights of the people. Students will work together to analyze three case studies that underscore the remedies that citizens can use to address instances where their rights have been violated. This program will introduce students to the Bill of Rights and strengthen their civic understanding.
  • The First Amendment: Five Rights in One! (Grades 3–5)
    2:15 p.m.;  Register online
     
    During this interactive program, students will explore the First Amendment freedoms from the Bill of Rights using 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.

(In Person Only) Celebrate! with Ezekiel's Wheels Klezmer Band – Exploring Klezmer
Tuesday, December 27, at 10:30 a.m. ET
Smith Center at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston, MA

Advance registration required
Join in the fun! Learn about different musical instrument families (woodwind, string, and brass) and sing along to a lively set of traditional klezmer tunes played on clarinet, violin, trombone, and double bass. Band members will share klezmer music and its significance in secular Ashkenazi Jewish culture both in Eastern Europe and in the United States. Sing along to songs with Yiddish lyrics and discover popular Yiddish words!

*All American: The Power of Sports is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation through the generous support of AT&T, AARP, and Mars, Incorporated. Additional support provided by HISTORY® and the Lawrence F. O’Brien Family. Opening programming support provided by Anheuser-Busch.

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This page was last reviewed on November 30, 2022.
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