Washington, D.C. (April 9, 2014) — Millions of people who visit Washington each year go to see its famous monuments or view the historic records, which chronicle significant events in the nation’s history. Toyota is helping preserve a portion of that history through a $100,000 gift to the Foundation for the National Archives.
More than 10 historic documents, from Congressional passage of the Bill of Rights in 1789 to President Nixon’s letter of resignation in 1973, will be part of the notable records that Toyota will help protect.
"It is with a deep sense of honor that Toyota makes this donation to the Foundation for the National Archives in recognition of our nation’s rich history,” said Jim Lentz, CEO of Toyota’s North American Region. “We are proud to help preserve treasured documents marking major milestones in American history.”
Lentz noted that Toyota has enjoyed an almost 60 year history in the U.S. as a business deeply engrained in communities nationwide. “Giving back to our society reflects who we are as a company,” he said.
Toyota’s gift will support the conservation and preparation process to display more than 10 historical documents in the National Archives Museum’s Rotunda Galleries. Because of strict archival conservation guidelines, most records can be on display only for roughly two to four weeks
“Toyota’s generosity recognizes the vital importance of the National Archives,” said the Foundation’s Executive Director Patrick M. Madden. “These are one-of-a-kind historic documents that range from light-hearted to monumental acts. Each one still resonates in our country’s consciousness today.”
Toyota’s donation will support the Foundation’s exhibition fund and help the Archives prepare and display records in the “Featured Document” exhibit in the museum’s East Rotunda Gallery over the next six months.
Located near displays of the original Declaration of Independence, the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, the rotating exhibit includes:
* Smith-Lever Act of 1914, signed by President Woodrow Wilson 100 years ago, creating the national Cooperative Extension System to expand programs at land-grant universities.
* Mother’s Letter to the Children’s Bureau, one of hundreds of letters written by mothers and soon-to-be mothers seeking advice and support in the care of children. This 1916 letter from Mrs. Neil Williams to Julia Lathrop is displayed in honor of Mother’s Day.
* 125th establishment of the Shiloh National Cemetery by the War Department in 1889. The cemetery holds 3,584 Civil War dead, 2,359 of whom are unknown.
* G.I. Bill of Rights of 1944, passed by Congress 70 years ago, providing benefits to World War II veterans, including grants for school and college tuition, low-interest mortgages, and unemployment benefits.
* Tonkin Gulf Resolution of 1964, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Congress giving President Lyndon Johnson the authority to increase U.S. involvement in the war between North and South Vietnam.
* President Richard Nixon’s resignation letter to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger (August 9, 1974) and President Gerald Ford’s unconditional pardon of Nixon (September 8, 1974).
* House Passage of the Bill of Rights, celebrating its 225th anniversary. The First Congress proposed to the state legislatures 12 amendments to the Constitution, 10 of which were ratified and are now collectively known as the Bill of Rights.
* Documents and an artifact commemorating the 1814 attack on Baltimore and Fort McHenry and the burning of Washington. During the War of 1812, Fort McHenry was responsible for defending Baltimore and raising the flag that inspired Francis Scott Key to write the words to “The Star Spangled Banner” 200 years ago.
Toyota (NYSE:TM) established operations in the United States in 1957 and currently operates 10 manufacturing plants. There are nearly 1,500 Toyota, Lexus and Scion dealerships in the United States, which sold more than 2.2 million vehicles in 2013. Toyota directly employs over 32,000 in the United States and its investment here is currently valued at more than $20 billion, including sales and manufacturing operations, research and development, financial services and design. Toyota's annual purchasing of parts, materials, goods and services from U.S. suppliers totals over $32.2 billion.