At 11 AM on Saturday, June 11, 2005, the National Archives National Personnel Records Center (NPRC) in St. Louis will formally open the records of Charles Lindbergh, President John F. Kennedy, General George S. Patton, Steve McQueen, Clark Gable, and Jackie Robinson, among others. Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein will officiate at the ceremony. U.S. Congressman William Lacy Clay (D-Missouri) and other dignitaries will participate in the opening festivities.
For the first time, nearly 1.2 million official military personnel files of former US Navy and Marine Corps enlisted personnel who served between 1885 and 1939 will be open to the public. This first opening also includes 150 "persons of exceptional prominence", including former Presidents, famous military leaders, celebrities, entertainers, and professional athletes who served in the military and have been deceased for at least 10 years.
An exhibition focusing on some of these military personnel files will be open to the media, attendees, and the public. A display of documents and artifacts recovered from the USS Arizona in Pearl Harbor also will be on display at the NPRC. Additionally, the YMCA, Red Cross, Salvation Army, and USO will have booths highlighting their support to military personnel for the World War I period and beyond. The public is invited to an open house from noon to 3 PM.
Guided tours of the National Personnel Records Center will provide visitors an opportunity to see areas that have never been opened to the public before, including record storage and stack areas, the Preservation Lab, and a new archival research room.
The public and the media must present photo identification and allow extra time on arrival to complete security screening. Non-flash photography/video will be allowed in designated areas only.