Spending the Fourth of July with us? Inspired by a certain celebrity group shot at the Oscars, we invite you to post a #ColonialSelfie on Twitter! 

While out enjoying your Fourth of July, snap a picture with a Founding Father and show us on Twitter. If you don’t run into Thomas Jefferson or Benjamin Franklin, be creative; your #ColonialSelfie can be with anything that was in fashion in 1776! 

Don’t forget to use the #ColonialSelfie hashtag, and send it to us on Twitter at @USNatArchives.

To find out more about July 4 at the National Archives

todaysdocument:

On July 2, 1964, with Martin Luther King, Jr., directly behind him, President Lyndon Johnson scrawled his signature on a document years in the making—the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the landmark legislation.

Civil Rights Act of 1964 , 07/02/1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the 1964 Civil Rights Act as Martin Luther King, Jr., others look on, 07/02/1964. (The Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library)

The first and the signature pages of the act will be on display at the National Archives Rubenstein Gallery in Washington, DC, until September 17, 2014. These 50-year-old sheets of paper represent years of struggle and society’s journey toward justice.

The most comprehensive civil rights legislation since the Reconstruction era, the Civil Right Act finally gave the Federal Government the means to enforce the promises of the 13th,  14th, and 15th Amendments. The act prohibited discrimination in public places, allowed the integration of public facilities and schools, and forbade discrimination in employment.

But such a landmark congressional enactment was by no means achieved easily…

Keep reading at Prologue: Pieces of History » Now On Display: The Civil Rights Act of 1964

Plus more on the Civil Rights Act of 1964:

Quills: Myth or Fact?

Most people today recognize the quills on the left. However, typically quills looked like the ones on the right. Because the process of using a quill was dirty, the feathers were either scraped off or cut into an ornate design. 

Making quills such as the ones above is one of many activities we will have in the Boeing Learning Center during July 4. 

The National Archives in Washington, DC celebrates the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2014. Highlights include fife & drum music, dramatic historical readings, archives exhibits, family activities and entertainment, all free and open to the public. 

To find out more about July 4 at the National Archives. To see a promo video.

National Archives Photo by Jeffrey Reed. 

todaysdocument:

#YOSEMITE150!  

One Hundred and Fifty years ago, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Act authorizing the protection of the “Yo-Semite valley” and “Mariposa Big Tree Grove.”  

The Act was one of the first instances of land preservation for public use. Initially granted to the State of California, this area would later be incorporated into the future Yosemite National Park in 1890.

An Act authorizing a grant to the State of California of the “Yo-Semite valley,” and of the land embracing the “Mariposa Big Tree Grove,” June 30, 1864.  Record Group 11: General Records of the United States Government, 1778 - 2006

Petition and map from John Muir and other founders of Sierra Club protesting a bill to reduce the size of Yosemite National Park. 01/02/1893. National Archives Identifier: 306674

(This map was included with a petition to Congress from the Sierra Club, protesting a bill to reduce the size of the park in 1893.)

Stay tuned to Todays Document for more #Yosemite150 posts!

Elizabeth Mitchell tells the definitive, extraordinary story of the Statue of Liberty and dispels the myths around its creation.
Join us on Wednesday, July 2 at noon in the William McGowan Theater. Watch live online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1yFUrk3OLY) or join us in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
A book signing follows the program.

Elizabeth Mitchell tells the definitive, extraordinary story of the Statue of Liberty and dispels the myths around its creation.

Join us on Wednesday, July 2 at noon in the William McGowan Theater. Watch live online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1yFUrk3OLY) or join us in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).

A book signing follows the program.

A Time for Justice and Mighty Times: The Children’s March
In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we present two Academy Award-winning documentaries. A Time for Justice (1994; 38 minutes) depicts the battle for civil rights as told by its foot soldiers. Directed by four-time Academy Award winner Charles Guggenheim, the film reveals the heroism of individuals who risked their lives for the cause of freedom and equality. Mighty Times: The Children’s March (2004; 40 minutes) tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama, braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. 
Tuesday, July 1, at noon in the William McGowan Theater (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
Both films are being screened courtesy of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.
Image: Civil Rights Act of 1964 , 07/02/1964 National Archives Identifier: 299891. 

A Time for Justice and Mighty Times: The Children’s March

In commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, we present two Academy Award-winning documentaries. A Time for Justice (1994; 38 minutes) depicts the battle for civil rights as told by its foot soldiers. Directed by four-time Academy Award winner Charles Guggenheim, the film reveals the heroism of individuals who risked their lives for the cause of freedom and equality. Mighty Times: The Children’s March (2004; 40 minutes) tells the story of how the young people of Birmingham, Alabama, braved fire hoses and police dogs in 1963 and brought segregation to its knees. 

Tuesday, July 1, at noon in the William McGowan Theater (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).

Both films are being screened courtesy of Teaching Tolerance, a project of the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Image: Civil Rights Act of 1964 , 07/02/1964 National Archives Identifier: 299891. 

On Friday, the Washington Capitals mascot, Slapshot, stopped by the National Archives. He posed in the Rotunda for the Charters of Freedom with David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, and checked out the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution of the United States, and the Bill of Rights.

Go Caps!

National Archives photo by Jeffrey Reed

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns
Join us for Episode Six: Swing: The Velocity of Celebration. In the late 1930s, commerce sometimes leads to compromise, and the heart of jazz is often kept under wraps. But in the middle of the country a new kind of music is incubating. (105 minutes.)
Friday, June 27 at noon in the William McGowan Theater (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
Jazz at the National Archives is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Natixis Global Asset Management.

Jazz: A Film by Ken Burns

Join us for Episode Six: Swing: The Velocity of CelebrationIn the late 1930s, commerce sometimes leads to compromise, and the heart of jazz is often kept under wraps. But in the middle of the country a new kind of music is incubating. (105 minutes.)

Friday, June 27 at noon in the William McGowan Theater (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).

Jazz at the National Archives is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Natixis Global Asset Management.

Powdered Wigs

Making wigs such as the ones above is one of many activities we will have in the Boeing Learning Center during July 4. 

The National Archives in Washington, DC celebrates the 238th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 2014. Highlights include fife & drum music, dramatic historical readings, archives exhibits, family activities and entertainment, all free and open to the public. 

To find out more about July 4 at the National Archives. To see a promo video

National Archives Photo by Jeffrey Reed. 

Francis Scott Key made his mark as an American icon by one single and unforgettable act: writing The Star-Spangled Banner. Historian Marc Leepson reveals unexplored details of the life of an American patriot whose legacy has been largely unknown until now. 
Join us on Thursday, June 26 at noon. in the William McGowan Theater. Watch live online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf6oq855QkE) or join us in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).
A book signing follows the program.

Francis Scott Key made his mark as an American icon by one single and unforgettable act: writing The Star-Spangled Banner. Historian Marc Leepson reveals unexplored details of the life of an American patriot whose legacy has been largely unknown until now.

Join us on Thursday, June 26 at noon. in the William McGowan Theater. Watch live online (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rf6oq855QkE) or join us in person (enter the National Archives Building through the Special Events entrance at Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue).

A book signing follows the program.