Skip to main content
American History Programs
The Wrong Side of History: Loyalists in the American Revolution

Historian Richard Bell examines the American Revolution from the point of view of those colonists who remained staunchly loyal to Britain and the Crown. He traces why men and women—of a surprisingly wide range of types—opposed the fight for a new democratic nation, and how their lives changed once the patriots were victorious.

Date
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
George Washington in Alexandria
Daytime Walking Tour

No other city is as closely associated with George Washington as Alexandria, Virginia, which he considered his home town. Join author historian Garrett Peck on a charming walk that takes in Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, 18th-century architecture, and waterfront.

Date
Friday, April 27, 2018 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The South: Exploring an American Idea

Something about the South won’t let go of the American imagination. We remain fascinated by the region, its people, its culture. Historian Stephen D. Engle explores the South both as place and idea, and why its complexities remain in our modern culture.

Date
Saturday, April 28, 2018 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

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.

Date
Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

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.

Date
Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
George Washington in Alexandria
Weekend Walking Tour

No other city is as closely associated with George Washington as Alexandria, Virginia, which he considered his home town. Join author historian Garrett Peck on a charming walk that takes in Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, 18th-century architecture, and waterfront.

Date
Sunday, April 29, 2018 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Dwight D. Eisenhower: Perspectives on a Presidency

From 1953 to 1961 no one dominated the world stage as did President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Learn about Eisenhower’s enormous influence on modern America, the Cold War, and his extraordinary accomplishments, including ending the Korean War, avoiding a war in Vietnam, and soothing relations with the Soviet Union after Stalin’s death.

Date
Thursday, May 3, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Sears Houses of Arlington
Weekend Tour

Join historian Kathryn Holt Springston on a bus tour through historic Virginia neighborhoods to view the distinctive exteriors of Sears homes. Sold as kits during the first half of the 20th century, these affordable prefabricated dwellings allowed many Americans a chance to become homeowners.

Date
Saturday, May 5, 2018 - 12:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

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.

Date
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

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.

Date
Sunday, May 6, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Writings That Shaped a Nation: Voices From the Revolutionary Era

The revolutionary era produced some of the most important political texts and autobiographies in American history. This four-evening book discussion series offers the chance to learn about, read, and informally discuss four classics of the period by Founding Fathers and one too-often-overlooked masterpiece by an ordinary American soldier. This session discusses Common Sense by Thomas Paine.

Date
Monday, May 7, 2018 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Giants of the Sea: Norfolk’s Naval Heritage
All-Day Tour

Transportation expert Scott Hercik guides an immersive day at the Port of Norfolk focused on some of the world’s greatest ships and the men and women who sail them.

Date
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 7:00 a.m. to 8:30 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 1776–1850.

Date
Wednesday, May 9, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Morning Tour

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.

Date
Friday, May 11, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Afternoon Tour

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.

Date
Friday, May 11, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 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!

Date
May 11 - 12, 2018, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Gettysburg 101
All-Day Tour

Join historian Gregg Clemmer as he explores and interprets the most iconic battle of the Civil War in a full-day excursion.

Date
Saturday, May 12, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
The Bill of Rights: A User’s Guide

Constitutional scholar and journalist Linda R. Monk offers an overview of the 10 amendments that have shaped American democracy for more than 200 years, and tells stories of the ordinary people whose life experiences made the Bill of Rights come alive.

Date
Wednesday, May 16, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Adventures on the C&O Canal
Overnight Tour

Explore the man-made wonders of the C&O Canal, as well as natural beauty of spring along the Potomac River, guided by writer and local historian Garrett Peck. Highlights include the Monocacy Aqueduct, the canal town of Williamsport, the Paw Paw Tunnel, and an overnight stay in Berkeley Springs, West Virginia, site of America’s first spa.

Date
Depart: Saturday, May 19, 2018 - 8:30 a.m.
Return: Saunday, May 20, 2018 - 6:00 p.m.
Writings That Shaped a Nation: Voices From the Revolutionary Era

The revolutionary era produced some of the most important political texts and autobiographies in American history. This four-evening book discussion series offers the chance to learn about, read, and informally discuss four classics of the period by Founding Fathers and one too-often-overlooked masterpiece by an ordinary American soldier. This session discusses Ordinary Courage by Joseph Plumb Martin.

Date
Monday, May 21, 2018 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Glassmaking in Brooklyn: Past and Present
All-Day Tour

Visit the Corning Museum of Glass’s GlassBarge, a unique glassmaking demonstration barge docked in Brooklyn—where the company that grew into Corning International was originally located in the mid-19th century. A stop at the studios and galleries of UrbanGlass provides a glimpse of Brooklyn’s contemporary connection to the art and industry of glassmaking.

Date
Thursday, May 24, 2018 - 6:45 a.m. to 11:00 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!

Date
May 25 - 26, 2018, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

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.

Date
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
The Potomac Eagle: A Rail Ride Through the Trough
All-Day Tour

Join rail historian Joe Nevin for a 3 1/2-hour excursion on the diesel-powered Potomac Eagle along the route of the South Branch Valley Railroad, from Petersburg to Romney, West Virginia. The panorama from the train features natural wonders such as the river’s crystal-clear water, home to some of the largest fish caught yearly in the state, and eagles, deer, and other wildlife.

Date
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Mallows Bay by Kayak: Ghost Ships and Bald Eagles
Weekend Tour

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.

Date
Saturday, May 26, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Memorials In the 21st Century

In this memorial-laden city, it is easy to think of the various monuments as the only way to properly honor the historic figures to which they are dedicated. Martin Moeller, senior curator at The Building Museum, talks about the meaning of memorials, which often say more about the ethos of the era in which they are built than they do about the event or person being memorialized. 

Date
Thursday, May 31, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
A Mountain Rail Extravaganza: The Cass Scenic Railroad and Other West Virginia Excursions
3-Day Tour

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

Date
Depart: Friday, June 1, 2018 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Sunday, June 3, 2018 - 7:30 p.m.
Booth’s Escape Route
All-Day Tour

A single shot in Ford’s Theater on an April night in 1865 set off a dramatic chain of events, one of the most sensational of which was John Wilkes Booth’s flight from Washington. Civil War historians Ed Bearss and Gregg Clemmer trace his path from the District to Maryland to the Virginia barn where he met his death.

Date
Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Walt Whitman in Washington
Weekend Tour

Follow the writer’s footsteps through the city’s downtown on a tour led by local historian and author Garrett Peck. Examine the urban backdrop against which Whitman carved out a role as a nurse to Civil War soldiers; met the love of his life; worked as a federal clerk; and built a community through his literary circle.

Date
Saturday, June 2, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 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 1850–1920.

Date
Wednesday, June 6, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The President’s Neighborhood: Lafayette Park
Daytime Walking Tour

Photographer Bruce White has spent much time in and around the White House, shooting it for books published by the White House Historical Association. As the author of At Home in the President’s Neighborhood, he’s the perfect guide for a walking tour of the area most closely connected with the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park.

Date
Friday, June 8, 2018 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The President’s Neighborhood: Lafayette Park
Weekend Walking Tour

Photographer Bruce White has spent much time in and around the White House, shooting it for books published by the White House Historical Association. As the author of At Home in the President’s Neighborhood, he’s the perfect guide for a walking tour of the area most closely connected with the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park.

Date
Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 10:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
The President’s Neighborhood: Lafayette Park
Weekend Walking Tour

Photographer Bruce White has spent much time in and around the White House, shooting it for books published by the White House Historical Association. As the author of At Home in the President’s Neighborhood, he’s the perfect guide for a walking tour of the area most closely connected with the residents of 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Lafayette Park.

Date
Saturday, June 9, 2018 - 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Writings That Shaped a Nation: Voices From the Revolutionary Era

The revolutionary era produced some of the most important political texts and autobiographies in American history. This four-evening book discussion series offers the chance to learn about, read, and informally discuss four classics of the period by Founding Fathers and one too-often-overlooked masterpiece by an ordinary American soldier. This session discusses The Federalist Papers by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay.

Date
Monday, June 11, 2018 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m.
Thenceforward, and Forever Free: Abraham Lincoln and the Emancipation Proclamation

Historian Christopher Hamner explores the political, social, and military effects of the Emancipation Proclamation and what prompted Lincoln to make such a controversial and dramatic executive move as the second year of the Civil War came to a close.

Date
Tuesday, June 12, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Behind the Scenes at Historic Jamestown
All-Day Tour

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.

Date
Friday, June 15, 2018 - 7:30 a.m. to 9:00 p.m.
Walt Whitman in Washington
Afternoon Tour

Follow the writer’s footsteps through the city’s downtown on a tour led by local historian and author Garrett Peck. Examine the urban backdrop against which Whitman carved out a role as a nurse to Civil War soldiers; met the love of his life; worked as a federal clerk; and built a community through his literary circle. 

Date
Friday, June 15, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 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!

Date
June 15 - 16, 2018, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m.
U.S.–China Relations: Looking Ahead

A panel moderated by Robert Daly, director of the Wilson Center’s Kissinger Institute on China and the United States, examines a relationship between nations that has transitioned from an era of engagement to one of mutual suspicion and testing as they vie to shape global practices to suit contrasting social and political systems.

Date
Wednesday, June 20, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Walt Whitman in Washington
Weekend Tour

Follow the writer’s footsteps through the city’s downtown on a tour led by local historian and author Garrett Peck. Examine the urban backdrop against which Whitman carved out a role as a nurse to Civil War soldiers; met the love of his life; worked as a federal clerk; and built a community through his literary circle.

Date
Saturday, June 23, 2018 - 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
North to Freedom: Harriet Tubman’s Eastern Shore
All-Day Tour

Harriett Tubman’s childhood knowledge of the geography of the Eastern Shore played an essential role as she ferried more than 70 people to freedom through the Underground Railroad. Uncover the saga of Tubman’s life as nurse, scout, and spy by exploring significant sites in the region where she was raised—and that shaped her dreams of freedom and equality.

Date
Saturday, June 30, 2018 - 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 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.

Date
Wednesday, July 18, 2018 - 6:45 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!

Date
August 10 - 11, 2018, 7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.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.

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