News Article

Jon Meacham Honored with National Archives Foundation’s Highest Award

November 17, 2021


Washington, DC – At its annual Gala on Wednesday, November 17th, the National Archives Foundation honored Pulitzer Prize-winning author and presidential historian, Jon Meacham, with the Records of Achievement Award. This award, bestowed on individuals whose work elevates American history to the national level, is the Foundation’s highest honor.

During the evening’s theater program, Jon Meacham was interviewed by noted historian Michael Beschloss. In speaking about the modern lens through which we view history, Meacham said “The story of this country has to be redeeming ourselves from [our sins.] Sometimes we have hours of grace and kindness, sometimes we have hours of cruelty and coldness. And a democracy is a sum of its parts. So why wouldn’t our country be any different than us?”

In attendance were US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senator Dick Durbin, Congressman Mike Quigley, David M. Rubenstein, former US Senator Chuck Robb, former US Congressman Charlie Dent, along with a variety of former ambassadors and nationally renowned dignitaries.

Speaker Pelosi addressed the crowd, saying that Jon Meacham’s work “teaches us about our country’s founding values,” and that those values will “take us beautifully into the future.”

The evening, which had a Tennessee theme in honor of Jon Meacham’s home state, included performances featuring the premier Bluegrass/Americana stylings of the Eastman String Band.

About the National Archives Foundation
The National Archives Foundation is an independent nonprofit foundation that increases public awareness of the National Archives, inspires a deeper appreciation of our country’s heritage, and encourages citizen engagement in our democracy. The Foundation generates financial and creative support for National Archives exhibitions, public programs and educational initiatives, introducing America’s records to people around the U.S. and the world. Learn more at