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Civil War Washington
All-Day Tour
Historians Gregg Clemmer and Ed Bearss lead an excursion covering life, politics, and key events in the Union’s capital city during wartime.
Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 8:00 AM
Christmas with the First Ladies: Decking the Halls at the White House
Spend an afternoon with professional decorator and author 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 how modern first ladies from Jacqueline Kennedy to Michelle Obama have lent their distinctive styles and creativity to guiding the seasonal themes.
Saturday, December 10, 2016 - 2:00 PM
Architectural Splendors: Fifth Avenue Palaces and Long Island Retreats
Architect, author, and historian Gary Lawrance offers a look at these now-vanished wonders of residential architecture, their breathtaking interiors, the people who built them, and the changing face of New York City and Long Island from 1870 to 1930. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)
Tuesday, December 13, 2016 - 6:45 PM
Spies Among Us: Codebreaking, Espionage, and Counterintelligence in Arlington
Arlington, that across-the-Potomac center of booming neighborhoods, restaurants galore, and enviable real estate, has long held a secret distinction: It’s a hotbed of spies. Rendezvous with David Robarge, the CIA’s chief historian, as he exposes the dark side of suburban Virginia.
Tuesday, January 10, 2017 - 6:45 PM
Designed to Impress: Residential Interiors and Landscapes of the Gilded Age
Heidi Nasstrom of the Smithsonian’s MA program in the History of Decorative Arts
highlights the design of opulent houses and gardens in New York, Newport, and the Hamptons that served as highly public statements of their owners’ wealth and status.
Wednesday, January 11, 2017 - 6:45 PM
City of Sedition: New York During the Civil War
Civil War-era New York was a place of patriots, war heroes, and abolitionists, and simultaneously one of antiwar protest, draft resistance, and defiance. Author John Strausbaugh  reveals how New Yorkers of all kinds seized the opportunities the conflict presented to amass capital, create new industries, and lay the foundation for the city's—and the nation's—growth.
Thursday, January 12, 2017 - 6:45 PM
Deceiving Hitler: The Ghost Army of WWII
Armed with rubber tanks, fake artillery, and more than a few artistic tricks up their sleeves, a handpicked group of young GIs (including future fashion designer Bill Blas and painter Ellsworth Kelly) created a traveling road show of deception on the battlefields of Europe, with the German Army as their audience. Author and documentary filmmaker Rick Beyer tells the story of the most curious and creative group of soldiers deployed in the western theater of war.
Wednesday, January 18, 2017 - 6:45 PM
Vodka Nation
Vodka is the toast of the town—and America’s favorite spirit. Victorino Matus, author of Vodka: How a Colorless, Odorless, Flavorless Spirit Conquered America, examines the national vodka phenomenon from its humble origins in the Depression-era Smirnoff plant through its transformation into a top-shelf status symbol.
Wednesday, January 25, 2017 - 6:45 PM
Brothers at Arms: A Revolutionary Look at American History
The story of the American Revolution gets a remarkable retelling by historian Larrie D. Ferreiro who places the struggle—and its ultimate success—in the context of the global strategic interests of France and Spain in their fight against Great Britain.
Thursday, January 26, 2017 - 6:45 PM
Mario Batali on Regional American Cooking
Mario Batali, best known for Italian cuisine, headed into new territory to prepare his latest cookbook: all corners of America. In a conversation with Joe Yonan, food and dining editor of the Washington Post, he discusses what the dishes served at state fairs, church socials, BBQ joints, and family dinners reveal about our food culture and traditions.
Saturday, January 28, 2017 - 3:00 PM
Reading the Gilded Age Authors
Works by novelists Edith Wharton, Henry James, Theodore Dreiser, and Anzia Yezierska provide literary perspectives on the changes that swept America during the Gilded Age. Lisbeth Strimple Fuisz of Georgetown University leads a reading-group series that explores their varied depictions of characters whose personal dramas play out against rapidly shifting social, cultural, and economic backdrops.
Monday, February 13, 2017 - 6:45 PM
New York City in the Gilded Age: A Cultural History
The grand story of late 19th-century New York’s burgeoning wealth and emerging national dominance has its darker parallel in the world of its tenements and sweatshops. From Fifth Avenue’s Millionaire’s Row to the Lower East Side, George Scheper of Johns Hopkins University surveys the panorama of a city as it creates the foundations of its modern identity.
Saturday, February 25, 2017 - 9:30 AM
The Battle of the Meuse-Argonne: 47 Days to Victory
Over the course of a month and a half in 1918, poorly equipped and inexperienced American doughboys managed a feat that had stymied French and British forces for more than 3 years: defeating the German army. Historian Mitchell Yockelson recounts the story of the battle that brought WWI to a close.
Monday, February 27, 2017 - 6:45 PM
At the Gilded Age Table
Gilded Age society reveled in teas, cotillions, lawn parties, picnics, luncheons, and formal dinners—all of which had their own codes of dress and manners. Food historian Francine Segan examines the foods and entertainments enjoyed by the upper crust. A light reception with a period-inspired menu follows.
Thursday, March 2, 2017 - 6:45 PM