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Honor Vietnam Veterans, Celebrate Jewish-American Heritage Month and More During Live at the Library in May

Release Date: 21 Apr 2023
The War and Peace of Tim O Brien

Honor Vietnam Veterans, Celebrate Jewish-American Heritage Month and More During Live at the Library in May
Visitors Invited to Experience Beauty of Main Reading Room During Live at the Library

Honor Vietnam War veterans and their enduring legacy of service during Live at the Library on May 11. Cultural events in May also will celebrate Yiddish history in the United States and the history of recipes and cookbooks in America.

On Thursday evenings, the Library’s Thomas Jefferson Building and all exhibitions are open for extended hours from 5 to 8:30 p.m. Visitors are invited to enjoy happy hour drinks and snacks available for purchase in the Great Hall overlooking the Capitol and the Library’s beautiful architecture while visiting the Library’s exhibits, collections and programs.

Visitors also are now invited to Experience the Main Reading Room during Live at the Library. Usually reserved for researchers, visitors can now walk inside and see one of Washington’s most beautiful spaces. Please note that due to strong interest and limited capacity, those with timed-entry passes are not guaranteed access.

Free timed-entry passes or an event registration are required to enter the Thomas Jefferson Building. Visit to reserve your pass for Live at the Library.

Programming Highlights for May

May 4: Orpheus Chamber Orchestra and Chad Hoopes at 8 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 301 A Street SE Washington, D.C. Concerts from the Library of Congress presents an evening with Orpheus Chamber Orchestra in honor of legacy conductor Andrew Kostelanetz. Chad Hoopes performs Mendelssohn's violin concerto, and a new Library of Congress commission from acclaimed film and concert composer Danny Elfman. Register for tickets.

May 11: “The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien” Film Screening at 5 p.m. in Room 119. In conjunction with the U.S. Vietnam War Commemoration’s “Welcome Home” event, view the film “The War and Peace of Tim O’Brien,” enjoy music by Vietnam Gold Star Sister Barbara Martin and view a display of collection items from the Library’s Veterans History Project. Reserve a timed-entry pass.

May 11: Writers, Radicals and Rugelach: Yiddish Culture in America at 6 p.m. in the Whittall Pavilion. Lauren Strauss, professor at American University, will illustrate the world and flavors of East European Jewish culture and how it was recreated in the United States. Plus, view a display of Yiddish-Americana items from the Library’s collections. Reserve a timed-entry pass.

May 18: American Feast: A Culinary Celebration at 5 p.m. in the Great Hall. In celebration of the new book “American Feast: Cookbooks and Cocktails from the Library of Congress,” view a display of items from the Library’s culinary collections, including the first cookbook written and printed in America and rare classic first editions. Plus, enjoy a panel conversation with the authors and local celebrity chefs Joan Nathan and Peter Pastan on the history of recipes and cookbooks in the United States. Reserve a timed-entry pass.

Exhibitions On View

Explore Library exhibitions during Live at the Library. The Library’s newest exhibition, “Join In: Voluntary Associations in America,” explores the history of voluntary associations that reveal the aspirations of Americans as “a nation of joiners,” while also acknowledging these groups have sometimes reflected society’s exclusions, discriminations and divisions. The exhibit is on display in the South Gallery of the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Not an Ostrich: And Other Images from America’s Library” represents a sampling of the more than 15 million photographs held by the Library, ranging from the early days of photography to today. Take a look at the “first selfie,” which is thought to be the world’s oldest known photographic self-portrait, and see important pictures of Harriet Tubman, the Wright brothers and more.

Through May 18, view “The Stars of 19th Century Book Design,” a display in the Great Hall celebrating the golden age of book design in American publishing.

Find the latest event details at, and subscribe to the Library’s Upcoming Events email list. Future events will be announced on a monthly basis.

Live at the Library is part of a broader effort to reimagine the visitor experience at the Library of Congress that invites visitors to enjoy the Library and its collections in new formats during extended evening hours on Thursday night. The series regularly features special conversations, music, performances, films and workshops that showcase the broad range of holdings at the national library.

The Library of Congress is the world’s largest library, offering access to the creative record of the United States — and extensive materials from around the world — both on-site and online. It is the main research arm of the U.S. Congress and the home of the U.S. Copyright Office. Explore collections, reference services and other programs and plan a visit at; access the official site for U.S. federal legislative information at; and register creative works of authorship at


Media Contact: Leah Knobel,

PR 23-038
ISSN 0731-3527

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