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American History Programs
Modern First Ladies: Creating (and Re-Creating) an Identity

Andrew Och, author and producer of the C-SPAN series “First Ladies: Influence and Image,” looks at how a number of 20th- and 21st-century residents of the White House created identities that reflected their personal outlooks and the issues of their times, and complemented the goals and profile of their husbands’ presidencies.

Tuesday, July 17, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
She Persisted, and Resisted: Four Centuries of Women in America

Historian Elisabeth Griffith, a biographer of suffrage pioneer Elizabeth Cady Stanton, leads a fast-paced 4-session lecture series that examines the history of women in America from the colonial period through second-wave feminism. This session focuses on women from 1920–1970.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Jazzy Nights in Shaw: A Stroll Through 1920s Washington

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.

Thursday, July 19, 2018 - 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
America’s Authentic Revolutionaries: Jefferson, Paine, and Monroe

Historian John Ferling explores the careers and revolutionary passions of a trio of Founding Fathers who envisioned a new era of independence in which both America and France were swept free of ruling monarchies.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Inside the World of Diplomacy

Take a rare opportunity to hear first-person stories from men and women whose careers are spent in diplomatic Washington when you spend a day at the American Foreign Service Association and the U.S. Department of State.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Smithsonian Sleepover at the American History Museum

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!

August 10 - 11, 2018, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Richmond’s Museum District

Join decorative arts specialist Erin Kuykendall for a visit to Richmond’s famed Museum District, a day of guided in-depth tours of historical collections and art exhibitions, including stops at the Virginia Museum of History & Culture, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and the American Civil War Museum.

Friday, August 17, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
Strategic Civil War Crossings of the Upper Potomac

Military historian Gregg Clemmer investigates six river crossings by Union and Confederate forces. Follow the path of one as you cross the Potomac at White’s Ford in the highlight of the day.

Saturday, August 25, 2018 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Blueprints of Empire: Ancient Rome and America

Steve Forbes, editor-in-chief of Forbes, and historian and classicist John Prevas examine the connection between the final stages of the Roman Empire and the United States as a contemporary world power. Though an analysis of political and moral leadership, they compare these two versions of empire, their similarities and differences, and speculate on what that link holds for America’s future.

Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Historic Chestertown and a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this lovely Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Sunday, September 9, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
The Supreme Court: A Preview of the New Term

Spend a morning getting a rare behind-the-scenes look at the Supreme Court—including the courtroom where cases are argued. Then, a panel of top legal experts previews the issues that will come before the court when the new session begins in October.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Railways and History in Altoona and Johnstown

Rail historian Joe Nevin leads an overnight tour that explores two key aspects of Central Pennsylvania’s past: its railroading heritage and one of the country’s most tragic natural disasters—the Johnstown flood of 1889—and the role of the railroads in spreading the warning and saving lives.

Depart: Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 7:00 a.m.
Return: Sunday, September 16, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.
Theodore Roosevelt’s North Dakota: Badlands, Bison, and the Making of a Conservationist
5-Day Tour

The rugged landscape of western North Dakota was the setting against which Theodore Roosevelt transformed himself from an asthmatic 24-year-old into a robust outdoorsman—and a passionate lifelong conservationist. Experience that corner of the West—filled with dramatic vistas, vividly colored canyons, and wandering herds of wild bison—on an extraordinary 5-day tour that brings you into the heart of Roosevelt’s Badlands and the national park that bears his name.

Depart from Bismarck, ND: Saturday, September 15, 2018 - 7:00 p.m.
Return to Bismarck, ND: Wednesday, September 19, 2018 - 1:00 p.m.
Flying Aces of WWI

Early in the last century, a group of young men from several nations took to the sky to do battle in World War I. They went on to achieve a status similar to modern-day rock stars. Learn about the exploits of these daring flying aces—many of whom didn’t survive the war.

Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Battle of Antietam

On Sept. 17, 1862, more than 23,000 soldiers met death in the Maryland farmland of Antietam. Civil War historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer lead a tour to sites connected with this bloodiest battle of the war.

Saturday, September 22, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Historic Chestertown and a Cruise on the Schooner Sultana

Regional historian Hayden Mathews explores the rich heritage of this lovely Eastern Shore town, focusing on both land and sea. The day includes a cruise on a replica of an 18th century vessel, as well as an historic-district walking tour guided by Chestertown’s mayor.

Sunday, September 23, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.
Caught in the Act!

The best operatives never get caught—but some spies and insurgents get stopped in their tracks. Learn about notable arrests, captures, and expulsions from the 1960s through today from experts familiar with the maneuvers behind each successful catch.

Wednesday, September 26 to October 17, 2018 - 10:15 a.m. to 11:45 p.m.
The World Series: Baseball’s Prize

Join John McMurray, chair of the Deadball Era Committee and Oral History Committee of the Society for American Baseball Research, for an examination of how the World Series came to be, its evolution, and a fascinating replay of highlights from Series history. 

Monday, October 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
White Canvas Over Blue Water: 500 Years of Sailing Adventure

Join transportation expert Scott Hercik in an immersive exploration into great sailing vessels, from those of the earliest explorers to today’s high-tech and high-performance speedsters. Highlights include the Mariners’ Museum in Newport News, Virginia, the Watermen’s Museum in historic Yorktown, and a 2-hour schooner sailing adventure. 

Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 7:30 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.