In a historic moment at the heart of American democracy, Dr. Shogan has been sworn in as the first woman to hold the prestigious position of Archivist of the United States. The swearing-in ceremony, graced by the presence of First Lady Jill Biden, Governor Blanchard, and Senator Capito, marked a significant milestone in the nation’s history. The event, held at the National Archives, highlighted the importance of preserving the country’s rich heritage and the critical role that Dr. Shogan is set to play in this endeavor.
As the ceremony commenced, Governor Blanchard, with deep gratitude, acknowledged Dr. Shogan’s dedication to the National Archives. He emphasized the importance of the institution and the critical role it plays in safeguarding the nation’s history.
Senator Capito, who had championed Dr. Shogan‘s nomination in the Senate, received heartfelt thanks for her unwavering support. Her efforts were instrumental in making this historic moment possible, and her dedication to preserving the nation’s history was evident throughout the proceedings.
However, the significance of this ceremony transcended the celebration of Dr. Shogan’s appointment. It coincided with the somber anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a day that forever changed the United States. First Lady Jill Biden took a moment to remember and honor the lives lost on that tragic day and in its aftermath. She expressed the nation’s solidarity with the families of the victims, emphasizing that they would always remain in the nation’s hearts.
The ceremony, set against the backdrop of the National Archives, highlighted the importance of preserving democracy’s history. First Lady Jill Biden stressed that the history of a democracy belongs to its people and must be preserved with care for future generations. She recounted how the founding leaders recognized the power of the nation’s founding documents and the need to keep them safe and accessible.
“Access to history, unfiltered and uncensored,” she stated, was the key to empowering citizens to claim their rights and hold elected officials accountable. Over the past 250 years, the National Archives had diligently collected records, ensuring that each document became a snapshot in time, tracing the nation’s journey from its inception to its current status as a global superpower.
The documents preserved in the National Archives tell a story – the story of a country and its people, with all their complexities, triumphs, and challenges. These records include the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, the Louisiana Purchase and the Emancipation Proclamation, and the 13th and 19th Amendments, among others. Each document represents a piece of the American narrative, from Harriet Tubman’s Civil War pension claims to Thomas Edison’s lightbulb patent.
However, this narrative isn’t always a glorified one. The National Archives also house documents that reflect the nation’s darker moments, such as manifests of slave ships, President Roosevelt’s Executive Order on Japanese internment, and the Supreme Court’s infamous Dred Scott decision. First Lady Jill Biden emphasized that it is these stories from which the nation must learn the most, as the past serves as a prologue to the future.
Drawing from her experience as an educator, First Lady Jill Biden underlined the interconnectedness of the past, present, and future. She stressed that understanding and learning from history were essential to prevent repeating past mistakes.
In her role as First Lady, she has been steadfast in upholding the sanctity of these institutions, ensuring that they continue to serve the American people and educate the next generation about their shared heritage. The National Archives have been integral to this mission for nearly a century.
However, First Lady Jill Biden also highlighted an important historical aspect of the National Archives’ leadership – for its entire existence, the institution had been led by men. Today, this changes with Dr. Shogan’s appointment as the 11th Archivist of the United States.
The person at the helm of this institution profoundly influences the stories preserved, elevated, and amplified. First Lady Jill Biden celebrated this milestone, recognizing that the appointment of the first woman head of the National Archives and Records Administration was momentous.
She commended Dr. Shogan for her immense qualifications, sterling record of service, unwavering commitment to preserving the nation’s unique history, and deep respect for the country’s founding principles. Under Dr. Shogan’s leadership, the National Archives are poised to house the next generation of American stories, ensuring that they are part of the nation’s enduring narrative.
As Dr. Shogan officially assumed her role as the Archivist of the United States, the ceremony not only marked a historic milestone but also served as a reminder of the importance of preserving the nation’s history, learning from the past, and shaping a brighter future. The National Archives, under Dr. Shogan’s leadership, will continue to play a crucial role in safeguarding the American story for generations to come.