National Archives Museum Displays Original Smith-Lever Act to Celebrate 100th Anniversary

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Washington, DC…Through May 8, 2014, the National Archives is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Smith-Lever Act with a special featured document display in the East Rotunda Gallery of the National Archives Museum.

Signed by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914, the Smith-Lever Act created the national Cooperative Extension System that extended outreach programs through land-grant universities to educate rural Americans about advances in agricultural practices and technology. These advances helped increase American agricultural productivity dramatically throughout the 20th century.

Today, cooperative extension offices continue to serve the educational and developmental needs of communities across the United States by supporting clubs, classes, and events that help citizens keep pace with rapid advances in agricultural techniques and technologies.

The Smith-Lever Act celebrates its 100th anniversary on May 8, 2014.

The National Archives Museum’s "Featured Documents" exhibit is made possible in part by the Foundation for the National Archives through the generous support of Toyota.

Located near displays of the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, the featured document exhibit is seen by more than one million visitors each year.

More information about the exhibited records’ history and free access to high resolution images [www.archives.gov/nae/visit/featured-documents.html] are available through the National Archives website.

The National Archives Museum is located on the National Mall on Constitution Avenue at 9th Street, NW. Metro accessible on Yellow or Green lines, Archives/Navy Memorial station. Museum hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., daily. Free admission. Additional information on exhibits and programs at the National Archives Museum can be found online.

Following the Smith-Lever Act, the museum plans to display:

Mother’s Letter to the Children’s Bureau, one of hundreds of letters written by mothers and soon-to-be mothers seeking advice and support in the care of children. This 1916 letter from Mrs. Neil Williams to Julia Lathrop is displayed in honor of Mother’s Day. (May 9 – 21)

Whitman Report on Cemeteries, 1869, commemorating Memorial Day, the 1869 Whitman Report on Cemeteries, will be displayed open to an illustration of the cemetery at the site of the Battle of Shiloh in Tennessee. (May 22 –June 5)

G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944, passed by Congress 70 years ago, providing benefits to World War II veterans, including grants for school and college tuition, low-interest mortgages, and unemployment benefits. (June 6– July 14)

Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Congress giving President Lyndon Johnson the authority to increase U.S. involvement in the war between North and South Vietnam. (July 15 – August 7)

President Richard Nixon’s resignation letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (August 9, 1974) and President Gerald Ford’s full and unconditional pardon of Nixon (September 8, 1974). (August 8 –11)

House Passage of the Bill of Rights, celebrating its 225th anniversary. The First Congress proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution, 10 of which were ratified and are now collectively known as the Bill of Rights. (August 12 – September 10)

Documents and an artifact commemorating the 1814 burning of Washington and attack on Baltimore and Fort McHenry. During the War of 1812, British forces occupied Washington, burning the White House and other government buildings. Just weeks later the Americans held off the British at the Battle of Baltimore including a 25 hour bombardment of Fort McHenry that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” 200 years ago. (September 11 – November 3)

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For press information contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at 202-357-5300.

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