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American History Programs

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016 at 12:00 PM

The new lunchtime lecture series on Washington’s four quadrants continues with a focus on Northeast, an area with connections to the railroad and public markets, as well as education, social change, a president, and a neighborhood once known as Swampoodle. This lecture features the Sewall-Belmont House.

Friday, May 6, 2016 at 7:30 AM

Staff from the Jamestown Rediscovery project share the eloquent archeological story of life and death in North America’s first permanent British settlement during a visit to this fascinating research site.

Saturday, May 7, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer lead a tour that visits major sites in the battle that many scholars consider Robert E. Lee’s greatest campaign.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016 at 6:45 PM

President Lyndon B. Johnson’s vision of a Great Society was breathtaking in its scope and dramatic in its impact, yet in many ways is remembered as a personal and political failure. Historian Randall B. Woods analyzes the unintended consequences of well-intentioned policy in America’s most ambitious—and controversial—domestic agenda since the New Deal.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 12:00 PM

The new lunchtime lecture series on Washington’s four quadrants continues with a focus on Northeast, an area with connections to the railroad and public markets, as well as education, social change, a president, and a neighborhood once known as Swampoodle. This lecture features Historic Swampoodle.

Friday, May 13, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the American History Museum. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Saturday, May 14, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Get an in-person look at several notable Northeast Washington, D.C. sites in this local tour. Part of 6-Session Lecture Series with All-Day Tour.

Friday, May 20, 2016 at 7:30 AM

Staff from the Jamestown Rediscovery project share the eloquent archeological story of life and death in North America’s first permanent British settlement during a visit to this fascinating research site.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Hop aboard an early 20th-century self-propelled railcar called the Doodlebug and take in the spring sights along the historic Wilmington and Western Railroad line. Joe Nevin, a railroad historian, serves as the tour’s leader.

Saturday, May 21, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Experts from Colorado’s Crow Canyon Research Institute offer insights into a question more than 700 years old: Why did inhabitants of a flourishing Pueblo civilization abandon their generations-old homeland in southwestern Colorado? The answers still resonate today.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Do cities hold the key to helping meet the social and economic challenges of contemporary life? Or do they only create those problems? Georgetown University sociologist Brian J. McCabe draws on work by urban planners, political scientists, geographers, and sociologists to consider the answers.

Friday, June 3, 2016 at 8:00 AM

All aboard for an exciting three-day rail journey through West Virginia’s breathtaking mountain scenery led by railroad historian Joe Nevin

Saturday, June 4, 2016 at 1:00 PM

D.C. was expected to be the “model dry city” during Prohibition. No way. There were about 3,000 speakeasies and even Congress employed its own bootleggers. Discover the quirky and little-known “monuments” to Prohibition on a walking tour in town.

Sunday, June 5, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Spectators picnicked above the banks of Bull Run on July 21, 1861, as what became known as the First Battle of Manassas unfolded—and turned from an expected minor encounter into the first great clash of the Civil War. Follow Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer on a day-long tour through this Virginia countryside battlefield.

Friday, June 10, 2016 at 1:00 PM

D.C. was expected to be the “model dry city” during Prohibition. No way. There were about 3,000 speakeasies and even Congress employed its own bootleggers. Discover the quirky and little-known “monuments” to Prohibition on a walking tour in town.

Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM

From summer refuge to Chautauqua center to amusement park to National Park site, Glen Echo’s identity has undergone plenty of shifts—but its charms have remained a constant. Join historian Jeanne Fogle for a walking tour to explore more than a century of change within one of Maryland’s smallest towns.

Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 12:30 PM

From summer refuge to Chautauqua center to amusement park to National Park site, Glen Echo’s identity has undergone plenty of shifts—but its charms have remained a constant. Join historian Jeanne Fogle for a walking tour to explore more than a century of change within one of Maryland’s smallest towns.

Sunday, June 12, 2016 at 1:00 PM

D.C. was expected to be the “model dry city” during Prohibition. No way. There were about 3,000 speakeasies and even Congress employed its own bootleggers. Discover the quirky and little-known “monuments” to Prohibition on a walking tour in town.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016 at 6:45 PM

The named plaintiff in the historic case that defined marriage equality one year ago talks with NPR’s Nina Totenberg about the personal and public backdrops against which that legal struggle played out. Jim Obergefell is joined by Washington Post journalist Debbie Cenziper, co-author of his new memoir Love Wins.

Thursday, June 16, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Robert Wyatt, a specialist in American music, leads a lively look at the rich decade in which studios, stars, and memorable musicals generated patriotism and nostalgia in wartime audiences.

Friday, June 17, 2016 at 7:00 AM

Get a true insider’s look at New York as a world economic center when you visit the Museum of American Finance, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York (including its gold vault), and step onto the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Friday, June 24, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the American History Museum. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Saturday, June 25, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer discuss both the historical context and military action of one of Gen. Robert E. Lee's greatest victories on this day-long tour of key battle sites.

Sunday, June 26, 2016 at 1:00 PM

Frederic Bertley of Philadelphia’s Franklin Institute examines Franklin’s life and extraordinary intellect. He also speculates on what a prolifically talented multitasker such as Ben might have achieved had we been lucky enough to welcome into the 21st century.

Thursday, July 7, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Spend a summer evening with local historian Garrett Peck and step into the heyday of Washington’s “Black Broadway,” when jazz filled the clubs and theaters of U Street and the nightlife scene rivaled Harlem’s.

Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 8:00 AM

Strategically located midway between the opposing capitals of Washington and Richmond, Fredericksburg saw a devastating battle early in the war, followed by three years of brutal activity in the surrounding countryside. Civil War historians Gregg Clemmer and Ed Bearss explore the city’s dramatic wartime history.

Saturday, July 9, 2016 at 2:00 PM

It’s the most exclusive setting any Washington bride could ask for. Coleen Christian Burke, who writes on White House cultural history, takes a look at weddings of first family members that reflected a mix of the private, the public, and the political—as well as lots of romantic spectacle.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Spend a summer evening with local historian Garrett Peck and step into the heyday of Washington’s “Black Broadway,” when jazz filled the clubs and theaters of U Street and the nightlife scene rivaled Harlem’s.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Purple carrots? A Mafia chokehold on the asparagus market? Food historian Joel Denker is ready to spill the beans (and plenty of other vegetables) as he recounts some fascinating and flavorful backstories of everyday foods and ingredients.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016 at 6:45 PM

Food historian Roger Horowitz traces how the complex and sometimes-contentious encounter between ancient religious principles and the 20th-century food industry brought kosher products into America’s supermarkets and dining rooms.

Thursday, July 21, 2016 at 6:00 PM

Spend a summer evening with local historian Garrett Peck and step into the heyday of Washington’s “Black Broadway,” when jazz filled the clubs and theaters of U Street and the nightlife scene rivaled Harlem’s.

Friday, July 29, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the American History Museum. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 8:30 AM

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 9:00 AM

Complex and controversial, the towering figure of Clarence Darrow helped shape the legal landscape of early-20th-century America. Lawyer and author Jack Marshall examines his career and his legacy, and actor Paul Morella brings Darrow’s spell-binding courtroom oratory to life.

Saturday, July 30, 2016 at 12:30 PM

Mallows Bay on the lower Potomac is the site of a “ghost fleet” of nearly 200 wrecked vessels dating from the Revolutionary War through World War I. There’s no better vantage point than a two-person kayak from which to experience this dramatic collection, as well as to explore the bay’s marshy tributaries filled with abundant wildlife.

Friday, August 5, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the American History Museum. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

Friday, August 12, 2016 at 7:00 PM

Family Program: (Ages 8 to 12) Go on an interactive exploration of the American History Museum. Then roll out your sleeping bag and dream away in the darkened halls of one of the world’s most famous museums!

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