American History Programs
The Ghosts of Langley: How the CIA’s Leaders Shaped the Agency

The Central Intelligence Agency is an organization whose operations are necessarily cloaked in secrecy. Through a critical examination of CIA leaders past and present, John Prados, a senior fellow of the National Security Archive, offers a window into the workings of the world of Langley and the nature of the men who charted its direction.

Date
Thursday, January 18, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Inside Camp David

Invitations to the exclusive presidential getaway deep in the woods of Maryland’s Catoctin Mountains go only to a select few, while the rest of us have been left to wonder, “What is Camp David really like?” Michael Giorgione, a retired naval officer who served as commander there under two presidents, offers the answer as he discusses his new book about the history-filled retreat.

Date
Tuesday, January 23, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Chris Matthews on Bobby Kennedy’s Indomitable Spirit

MSNBC’s Hardball anchor Chris Matthews shares an in-depth look at Robert F. Kennedy, a man who was both a pragmatic politician and an idealist who was an inspiration to millions.

Date
Wednesday, January 24, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
"Who Are You?": How Passports Changed Travel—and the Idea of Identity

Craig Robertson, author of The Passport in America: The History of a Document, traces the evolution of the most essential marker of identity for travelers. From its roots in 18th-century letters of introduction to chip-enhanced contemporary versions, he examines how this sometimes-controversial document became rooted in our lives.

Date
Thursday, January 25, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
1968: The Tumultuous Year That Changed America

War, assassinations, riots, political and social upheavals, and national anxieties: 1968 was packed with them all. Author, journalist, and historian Ken Walsh reviews the extraordinary events of a year Americans of a certain age will never forget—and that holds lessons to remember in the face of contemporary turmoils.

Date
Tuesday, January 30, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Interception: How Info and Secrets Get Stolen
4-Session Daytime Course

In an absorbing series, intelligence experts and historians explore how secrets are safeguarded and stolen. They cover collection operations and counter tactics from the Cold War to today, ranging from organized campaigns by one country against another, to systems turned again citizens, and even to solo 21st-century hackers with an agenda.   

Date
Wednesday, February 7 to 28, 2018 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 a.m.
Ulysses S. Grant: The Embattled President

President Ulysses S. Grant was as controversial in politics as he was in the military. Historian Charles W. Calhoun offers a fresh look at this oft-criticized presidency and offers insight into how Grant navigated another treacherous battleground.

Date
Thursday, February 8, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Alexander Hamilton: A Washington Presence
All-Day Tour

Alexander Hamilton always called New York home, but his image and influence is found all around Washington. Join local historian Kathleen Bashian and scholar Denver Brunsman on a tour of sites that reflect the vision and leadership of this Founding Father—well before he was reinvented as a Broadway musical phenomenon.

Date
Friday, February 9, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Lives of Benjamin Franklin

Historian Richard Bell explores aspects of the public and private life of America’s favorite Founding Father, tackling his experiences as writer and printer, inventor and philanthropist, husband and father, and reluctant revolutionary.

Date
Saturday, February 10, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Wallis in Love: Andrew Morton on the Untold Life of the Duchess of Windsor

Wallis Simpson—the infamous “woman I love” for whom Edward VIII abdicated his throne—continues to fascinate us. Historical biographer Andrew Morton draws on his new book to offer insights into the personality and motivations of a complex and controversial American who changed the course of the monarchy.

Date
Tuesday, February 20, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Alexander Hamilton: A Washington Presence
All-Day Tour

Alexander Hamilton always called New York home, but his image and influence is found all around Washington. Join local historian Kathleen Bashian and scholar Denver Brunsman on a tour of sites that reflect the vision and leadership of this Founding Father—well before he was reinvented as a Broadway musical phenomenon.

Date
Friday, February 23, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
The Great Suffrage March of 1913: The Final Push for the 19th Amendment

When more than 5,000 suffragists and supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural, they made history—and marked a newly energized phase of a decades-long fight. Join author Rebecca Boggs Roberts as she traces the heroic struggle of suffrage leader Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party as they worked to earn the vote.

Date
Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Great Suffrage March of 1913: The Final Push for the 19th Amendment with Morning Tour

When more than 5,000 suffragists and supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural, they made history—and marked a newly energized phase of a decades-long fight. Join author Rebecca Boggs Roberts as she traces the heroic struggle of suffrage leader Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party as they worked to earn the vote. Includes a morning walking tour on March 2.

Date
Program: Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Tour: Friday, March 2, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
The Great Suffrage March of 1913: The Final Push for the 19th Amendment with Morning Tour

When more than 5,000 suffragists and supporters marched down Pennsylvania Avenue on the eve of Woodrow Wilson’s inaugural, they made history—and marked a newly energized phase of a decades-long fight. Join author Rebecca Boggs Roberts as she traces the heroic struggle of suffrage leader Alice Paul and the National Woman’s Party as they worked to earn the vote. Includes a morning walking tour on March 3.

Date
Program: Thursday, March 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Tour: Saturday, March 3, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Feel Like an American: How the History of Emotions Reveals National Character
4-Session Daytime Course

The history of emotions is a relatively new area of study that offers a valuable tool to examine social developments and cultural trends. Historian Peter Stearns of George Mason University highlights some of the field’s core ideas as he looks at 250 years of American history through the lenses of happiness, love, shame and guilt, and anger and fear.

Date
Thursday, March 8 to 29, 2018 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:30 p.m.
The Conservative Legacy of William F. Buckley Jr.

The political philosophy—and personality—of William F. Buckley Jr. were significant forces in shaping a uniquely American conservatism that reached its apex of influence in the election of Ronald Reagan. Presidential historian Alvin Felzenberg considers what Buckley’s movement achieved and what may befall it in the age of Trump.

Date
Tuesday, March 13, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Potomac: Rolling Through DC’s History and Heart

Spend a day with a variety of experts who examine the Potomac’s rich legacy, geology, and wildlife, following its course through hundreds of years of history from the region’s early inhabitants to the latest in conservation technology.

Date
Sunday, March 18, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Doodlebugging Through Delaware
All-Day Tour

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.

Date
Saturday, April 21, 2018 - 7:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.