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American History Programs

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Thursday, October 2, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Author Karen Abbott reveals how charm, disguise, daring, and a steady trigger finger propelled a quartet of remarkable women through dangerous intrigues.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer bring to dramatic life the story of one of the Civil War’s most daring and controversial military actions—the attempted raid on Richmond by the fiery young Union Brig. Gen. Judson Kilpatrick and Col. Ulric Dahlgren.

Saturday, October 11, 2014 at 10:00 AM

The ironclad USS Monitor changed the course of the Civil War—and naval combat forever. Historians and scientists, part of an ongoing conservation and research project at the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, examine the historic warship’s significance from a variety of perspectives.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Historian Ken Hughes, a research specialist on the White House tapes, unravels how the Watergate cover-up connects to wider revelations of secrets and lies in the Nixon administration.

Sunday, October 19, 2014 at 7:30 AM

Grab your hiking boots and camera and take in the autumn beauty—and the local history—during an excursion led by historian Garrett Peck.

Monday, October 27, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Nobody—except maybe zombies—thinks of Halloween as a romantic holiday. Daniel Gifford, a holiday scholar, illustrates how a century ago buxom witches and swooning cupids were part of the day’s iconography—and reflected the changing social climate in America.

Thursday, October 30, 2014 at 7:00 PM

Before he was 30, he had helped his father develop Rockefeller Center and his mother establish the Museum of Modern Art. At 32, he was Franklin Roosevelt’s wartime coordinator for Latin America. As New York’s four-term governor, he set national standards in education, the environment, and urban policy. Biographer Richard Norton Smith discusses the always-fascinating life of Nelson Rockefeller.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 at 6:45 PM

In a lively, interactive event, hear presidential and constitutional scholars explore the issue of terms limits, and then decide for yourself: Should presidents be allowed to serve more than two terms?

Wednesday, November 5, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Historian and New Yorker writer Jill Lepore mixes early women’s-rights activism, pulp comics, an unconventional marriage, and the invention of the lie detector as she traces William Moulton Marston’s creation of the wildly popular female superhero.

Saturday, November 8, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Civil War historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer lead an overnight tour that follows a trail from Petersburg National Battlefield—site of a 10-month campaign during which 70,000 were killed or wounded—to Appomattox Court House, where Gen. Robert E. Lee surrendered to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014 at 6:45 PM

They’re just ordinary Americans—who answer to the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service. An FBI historian and counterintelligence staff members uncover how spies become part of the neighborhood.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM

It was a year that gave us classics including Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, and so many movies we love. Learn why 1939 marked the pinnacle of the studio system, and how its films defined a unique cultural moment in America.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Pivotal events in the War of 1812 took place in our region. Ed Bearss leads a tour highlighting the British withdrawal from Washington and the attacks on Baltimore and Fort McHenry on their 200th anniversary.

Saturday, November 22, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Genealogy expert John Colletta guides you in researching your own family’s history within the broad sweep of European migration to North America. He offers practical tips to deepen your investigation in the records of your ancestors’ native country.

Wednesday, December 3, 2014 at 7:00 PM

As the ideological gap between both parties continues to wide, Ken Walsh, U.S. News & World Report’s chief White House correspondent, moderates a spirited panel discussion about the political divide.

Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 7:00 AM

Join historians Ed Bearss and Greg Clemmer on a tour that focuses on the 1777 Battle of the Clouds and Paoli Massacre, as well as the arduous winter Washington and his troops spent at Valley Forge.

Saturday, December 6, 2014 at 9:30 AM

As the 150th anniversary of the Reconstruction era approaches, historian Michael Ross considers how this tumultuous chapter in our history redefined the rights of all Americans.

Sunday, December 7, 2014 at 2:00 PM

Spend an afternoon with professional holiday decorator Coleen Christian Burke as she covers the traditions of White House holiday decorating, brings you behind the scenes as the seasonal transformation takes place, and shares some practical tips on how you can make your own holiday home reflect the sparkle of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Monday, December 8, 2014 at 7:00 PM

The Roosevelts stand apart from American dynasties of the past and present in terms of their political and personal impact on our nation. Filmmaker Ken Burns and writer Geoffrey C. Ward, collaborators on a new PBS series and companion book, discuss how they crafted their portraits of Theodore, Franklin, and Eleanor Roosevelt to capture both their larger-than-life public personas and the private lives that shaped them as individuals.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Charles Dickens' A Christmas Carol is one of the most beloved and widely known pieces of holiday literature. Learn how the classic English tale also mirrors a time when our country was undergoing rapid transformation and needed guidance and reassurance.

Thursday, December 11, 2014 at 6:45 PM

Senator John McCain discusses his evocative history of Americans at war, told through the personal accounts of 13 remarkable men and women who fought in conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Saturday, December 13, 2014 at 9:30 AM

Saddle up for an entertaining and insightful look at the landscape of the Hollywood Western and trace its progression from early sagebrush melodramas to films that explore complex stories, history, and core American values.

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