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American History Programs
Monuments, Remembrance, and the Slave Past

Art historian Renée Ater draws focus to several monuments to the slave past recently added to the landscape in Virginia, Maryland, and the District as she considers the ways that visualizing, remembering, and engaging with the past may help transform the future. (World Art History Certificate elective, 1/2 credit)

Date
Sunday, February 24, 2019 - 2:00 p.m.
Benedict Arnold: “The Blackest Treason": Betrayal and Loyalty in the American Revolution

How did the name of a Continental Army general become a synonym for treason? Historian Richard Bell reconstructs the life and times of Benedict Arnold, the reasons he turned on his country, and the larger problems of betrayal and desertion that dogged George Washington’s army.

Date
Wednesday, February 27, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
The Books That Fought Slavery

The long fight against American slavery produced some of the most powerful autobiographies and works of fiction in American history. Read and discuss four 19th-century classics by men and women, both black and white, who were central figures in the struggle to destroy the institution. This session features Harriet Beecher Stowe's Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Date
Thursday, February 28, 2019 – 6:45 p.m.
The Women Who Animated the Movies: Uncovering a Colorful History

Their names may not be as familiar as those of Minnie Mouse or Betty Boop, but female animators have made significant contributions to the form since its earliest days. Mindy Johnson, a leading expert on women’s roles in animation and film history, tells their mostly little-known stories.

Date
Thursday, March 7, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
All Eyes on Pittsburgh

The city of smokestacks and steel has been miraculously reborn as a cultural capital. Join arts journalist Richard Selden for a visit that surveys its art scene (highlighted by the 57th Carnegie International exhibition) as well as the rich ethnic and industrial history of “the ’Burgh.”

Date
Depart: Sunday, March 10, 2019 - 8:00 a.m.
Return: Tuesday, March 12, 2019 - 10:00 p.m.
Montgomery Meigs in Washington: Beyond the Civil War

From the Capitol dome to the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building, the work of architect and builder Montgomery Meigs is still part of our region’s landscape—and our daily lives. Spend a day focused on Washington history and architecture to discover the many facets and achievements of the former Civil War officer who helped define and develop an enduring vision of the capital city.

Date
Friday, March 15, 2019 - 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
The Books That Fought Slavery

The long fight against American slavery produced some of the most powerful autobiographies and works of fiction in American history. Read and discuss four 19th-century classics by men and women, both black and white, who were central figures in the struggle to destroy the institution. This session features William Wells Brown's Clotel.

Date
Thursday, March 28, 2019 – 6:45 p.m.
Inside the Stephen Decatur House: The First and Last Private Residence in Lafayette Square

The elegant Stephen Decatur House, one of the oldest homes in Washington, has welcomed 200 years of America’s political elite. In an evening presented in collaboration with the White House Historical Association, explore its architectural, cultural, and historical significance to the life of the nation’s capital.

Date
Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.
Capital Cheers: A DC Brew Tour

Washington has always been a thirsty town, with a brewing tradition stretching back centuries. Spend a day tracing its past and sampling its present as local historian Garrett Peck leads a bus tour of brew-related sites.

Date
Friday, April 12, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Frederick Douglass’s Anacostia

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Date
Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
Frederick Douglass’s Anacostia

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Date
Saturday, April 13, 2019 - 12:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.
George Washington in Alexandria

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Date
Friday, April 19, 2019 - 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Harriet Tubman, Union Spy

One significant aspect of Harriet Tubman’s life is less well-known than her role in the abolitionist movement: her Civil War military service as a spy for the Union Army in South Carolina. Historian Elizabeth Cobbs examines her activities behind enemy lines—including guiding an armed mission that liberated more than 700 slaves.

Date
Monday, April 22, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
The Books That Fought Slavery

The long fight against American slavery produced some of the most powerful autobiographies and works of fiction in American history. Read and discuss four 19th-century classics by men and women, both black and white, who were central figures in the struggle to destroy the institution. This session features Solomon Northup's Twelve Years a Slave.

Date
Thursday, April 25, 2019 – 6:45 p.m.
Defining Reconstruction: How the Civil War Changed a People and a Nation

Historian Stephen D. Engle argues reconstruction commenced not in April 1865 with peace, but in April 1861 with the onset of the Civil War. Learn how the Civil War changed a people and a nation as he surveys the wider scope of its social and political changes.

Date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 9:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m.
Thomas Jefferson and Madeira: A History and Tasting

Thomas Jefferson was among the most notable aficionados of Madeira, the fortified Portuguese wine that at one time was the most popular potable throughout the British Empire. At his namesake hotel in downtown Washington, learn about the Founding Father’s connection to the drink, and enjoy a guided tasting of fine Madeiras.

Date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 1:00 p.m.
George Washington in Alexandria

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Date
Saturday, April 27, 2019 - 3:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Frederick Douglass’s Anacostia

Developed in the mid-19th century as one of the District’s first suburbs, Anacostia and its residents played a key role in shaping the city we know today. Join a historian for a walking tour that traces its heritage and significance, with a focus on the noted resident that came to be known as the “Lion of Anacostia,” Fredrick Douglass.

Date
Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 9:00 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
George Washington in Alexandria

No other location is as associated with George Washington as Alexandria, a place he considered his hometown. Join author and historian Garrett Peck as he follows Washington’s footsteps through Old Town’s alleyways, rustic taverns, churches, 18th-century houses, and historic waterfront.

Date
Sunday, April 28, 2019 - 2:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
The CIA and the Presidents: An Ever-Changing Relationship

The sprawling Central Intelligence Agency has thousands of eyes and ears, but only one client: the president of the United States. The CIA’s chief historian David Robarge discusses the agency’s changing role throughout administrations, and how presidents’ experience with intelligence and their foreign policy agendas have affected that relationship.

Date
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.
Lincoln in Virginia: A Wartime Journey

Abraham Lincoln spent 18 of his last 21 days of life not in Washington but in eastern Virginia, headquarters for Ulysses S. Grant’s campaign against Robert E. Lee. Trace his steps through sites in the region which offer new insights into a war-weary president—and nation—at a pivotal moment in history.

Date
Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 7:30 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Southern Maryland’s Chesapeake Heritage: Exploring Calvert and St. Mary’s Counties

Environmental historian Hayden Mathews leads a two-day tour that delves into the often-overlooked riches that Calvert and St. Mary’s counties offer to visitors including the Calvert Marine Museum, a tour of St. Mary’s City, and Sotterly Plantation.

Date
Depart: Saturday, May 4, 2019 - 8:00 am.
Return: Sunday, May 5, 2019 - 6:00 p.m.
Richard Nixon: An Inevitable Fall

His early political career was notable for his embrace of plans to build a better world. But then things changed. Biographer John Farrell examines Richard Nixon’s personal and political journey from naval lieutenant to disgraced president.

Date
Wednesday, May 8, 2019 - 6:45 p.m.