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Tag: Washington DC

Celebrate July 4th with the National Archives in DC, nationwide, and online!

Join the National Archives in celebrating the 239th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with special events in Washington, DC, at Presidential Libraries nationwide, and online!

You can see the full press release online here.

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives in Washington, DC

The National Archives in Washington, DC, will celebrate the 239th anniversary of the adoption of the Declaration of Independence with its traditional Fourth of July program. C-SPAN host Steve Scully will return to serve as emcee for a fourth year, and Archivist David S. Ferriero will make remarks.

The free celebration will include patriotic music, a dramatic reading of the Declaration by historical reenactors, and exciting family activities and entertainment for all ages. See here for more information.

If you can’t make it out to the nation’s capital, the festivities will be live-streamed on the National Archives YouTube channel.

July 4th at the National Archives is made possible in part by the National Archives Foundation with the generous support of Signature Sponsor John Hancock. Major support provided by The Coca-Cola Company and Dykema.

Celebrate July 4th at the National Archives Presidential Libraries

Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum, West Branch, IA

An Eastern Iowa Brass Band Concert at the West Branch High School will feature museum docent Richard Paulus as Samuel Adams reading the Declaration of Independence. This event is at 2 p.m.

For … [ Read all ]

Location, Location, Location: Settling on a Capital City

Today’s post comes from Judith Adkins, an archivist at the Center for Legislative Archives at the National Archives in Washington, DC.

Senate Resolution that Congress should meet in Philadelphia, May 24, 1790. (Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives)

Senate Resolution that Congress shall meet in Philadelphia, May 24, 1790. (Records of the U.S. Senate, National Archives)

While the First Congress met for its two sessions in New York City, delegates from Pennsylvania longed to move the seat of government back to Philadelphia, home of the Continental Congress.

On May 24, 1790, Senator Robert Morris of Pennsylvania offered a resolution, “That Congress shall meet and Hold their next Session in the City of Philadelphia”—the first overture on the issue during the second session.

Three days later, Congressman Thomas Fitzsimons, also from Pennsylvania, introduced an almost identical resolution in the House of Representatives.

Debate ensued.

That spirited discussion was recorded in the Annals of Congress, the predecessor publication to today’s Congressional Record. Representative Elbridge Gerry worried that Congress would become “a political shuttlecock, bandied about between two rival cities.” Some in Congress argued for keeping the government in New York until a permanent residence had been determined.

Other members insisted that Philadelphia be made the permanent seat of government. And still others proposed Baltimore or Wilmington as temporary homes.

In late June, the House and Senate reached a compromise: the permanent capital would be located along the Potomac River, satisfying the fervent … [ Read all ]

Archivist welcomes visitors back to the National Archives

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero welcomes a visitor to the reopened National Archives Museum on October 17, 2013.

Archivist of the United States David Ferriero welcomes a visitor to the reopened National Archives Museum on October 17, 2013.

At 1 p.m. on October 17, the doors to the National Archives Museum on Constitution Avenue opened for the first time since September 30. Archivist of the United States David Ferriero greeted the first visitors to enter the building.

“It’s really nice to see people roaming the halls again. I’m proud of the fact that we were able to open our doors as quickly as we did,” said Ferriero. “It’s clear that our visitors are extraordinarily grateful to spend this special time with the documents.”

The message from the Archivist and other staff was “We’re happy to be back,” and the visitors’ feelings were the same.

Visitors had come from across the country and around the world. One couple from St. Louis, MO, had been in Washington three years ago but missed the National Archives. This time they were determined to come to the Archives. Two other California visitors came from the north and south: Los Gatos and Orange County.

Visitors from Italy were among the first people to enter the reopened building, and they were followed by people from several countries. A couple from Japan had been in Washington since Friday and were happy to be able to visit the Federal museums after all. Two men from the United Kingdom—one from London … [ Read all ]

Facial Hair Friday: Our very own beard!

If you visited the National Archives in Washington, DC, last year and waited in line on the Constitution Avenue side of the building on your way to see our Charters of Freedom, you may have seen a red cart with a big red umbrella and a sign that says “Ask the Question.”

And now, you may also see this man.

Christian Tenney tends The Cart—and his beard.

That’s right—fans of Facial Hair Friday can now see a fine example of facial hair standing right outside the National Archives. Christian Tenney works for the Foundation for the National Archives, helping tourists purchase gifts, souvenirs, and books as well as helping them find the entrance or the nearest bus stop.

I took this opportunity to “Ask the Question” (several questions, actually) about his prodigious beard, and I am happy to present answers to the questions you wish you could ask someone with an flowing beard:

First, he is not a Civil War reenactor (this is a common question, apparently).
Second, yes, the ladies do like the beard.
Third, he has not seen his chin since 2004, when he decided to start growing the beard and he no longer remembers what his face looks like.
Fourth, he does shampoo and trim the beard to keep it up to sartorial standards.
Fifth, yes, eating with a beard can … [ Read all ]

Get ready for the Genealogy Fair!

Why is this dog wearing a blue coat? It's the Geneaalogy Hound, and he's wearing a stack coat just an archivist! You can get your picture taken with him--he's over five feet tall--to show you are just as dogged when it comes to following your ancestors' trail through the records!

Why is this dog wearing a blue coat? He's the Genealogy Hound, and he's wearing a stack coat just like an archivist! You can get your picture taken with him--he's over five feet tall--to show you are just as dogged when it comes to following your ancestors' trail through the records!

Only 9 days left until the seventh annual Genealogy Fair! The fair is free and open to the public, and will take place at the National Archives building in Washington, DC. The Archivist will cut the ribbon at 9 a.m. on April 20 to open the fair.

Need an introduction to genealogy? There’s a session April 20 at 9.30 a.m.

Interested in researching headstone records for military veterans? That’s April 20 at 3 pm.

Looking for African American ancestors who fought in the Revolutionary War? Come to the lecture on Thursday April 21 at 2 p.m.

What about the 1940 census? We’ll see you on Thursday April 21 at 2 p.m.

And this is just a small sample of the many lectures–by National Archives staff and expert speakers–going on over the two days of the Fair. You can check out the complete schedule on the Genealogy Fair website.

There will also be guest exhibitors to help you extend your genealogical research out of Federal records, so make sure you visit their … [ Read all ]