News & Politics

The National Archives Will Teach Your Children Some Manners

As the holidays wind down, the nation's record keeper offers a crash course in thank-you notes.

Photograph by Flickr user by Ray Tsang.

The National Archives is the nation’s record keeper, but it may also help keep the peace at your next family gathering. On December 30, the Archives plans to host a thank-you-note-writing contest where “Children will have the opportunity to learn and practice their thank you note writing skills.”

Should this course lead to a new, e-mail-free regime of thanking in your household, you may also foil your more passive-aggressive relations, who will no longer be able to torment you with wide-eyed inquiries like, “Did my gift ever arrive?”

The Archives will exhibit some of the better thank-you notes from its collection, it says in a press release, and children who complete notes can enter them in a contest to win a fountain pen from Fahrney’s, which sponsors the Archives’s “Making Their Mark” exhibit, along with other prizes. Your little ingrates can learn about the finer points of note-writing from 10 AM to 4 PM in the Boeing Learning Center on the Archives’s upper floor. Admission is free.

Find Andrew Beaujon on Twitter at @abeaujon.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.