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Lectures
The Garden in Your Beer

Since the beginnings of beer, brewers have used a variety of cultivated and foraged ingredients for added flavor and preservation. Take a look at the garden through the lens of the botanicals, spices, wild yeasts, fruits, berries, and hops that flavor your favorite beer.

Date
Thursday, August 16, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Mixing Cocktails With Panache: Drinks From the Bar at Quill

Katie Dandridge, one of the cocktail experts from Quill, the lounge at Washington’s Jefferson Hotel, leads a hands-on class (and tasting) for amateur mixologists who want to learn how to shake things up at home.

Date
Saturday, August 18, 2018 - 3:00 p.m.
Discover Your Backyard: Great Hikes Within and Around the Beltway

Whether you’re looking for a trail that offers great scenery, history, family fun, or a challenge to your hiking skills, Renee Sklarew and Rachel Cooper, authors of 60 Hikes Within 60 Miles of Washington, D.C., know all the right spots for your fall excursions.

Date
Wednesday, August 22, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
A DC Theatre Season Preview

With more than 80 professional companies in the area, how can theater fans know what might be the hottest ticket in town, what’s worth the price, and what they might be able to skip? Turn to Lorraine Treanor, editor of DC Theatre Scene, who reveal what’s buzz-worthy in the bountiful 2018–2019 season.

Date
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on ancient Chinese philosophers.

Date
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Many Cultures of Taiwan

Taiwan and its many smaller offshore islands may not be huge in area, but they contain vast history, traditions, cultures, and natural attractions. Get ready to explore many of the treats Taiwan has to offer and discover many of its indigenous cultures during a single spectacular evening, featuring Taiwanese music and food and drink samples.

Date
Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 6:45 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. Through an analysis of political and moral leadership, they compare these two versions of empires, their similarities and differences, and speculate on what that link holds for America’s future.

Date
Thursday, September 6, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Pick Your Poison, Royal Style

For centuries, Europe’s royals were frightened there might be poison in their pie, so servants were forced to lick the royal family’s spoons. Perilous potions and royal schemes are the subject of historian Eleanor Herman’s entertaining discussion about the eras when mercury ointment, dead birds, and arsenic and quicksilver were part of many a royal’s first-aid kit.

Date
Wednesday, September 12, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Star Power: Inside the Michelin Guide

When the Michelin Guide, a powerful arbiter of taste, arrived in Washington in 2016, it was widely interpreted as validation of the city’s culinary pedigree. Hear about the newly selected Washington “stars” from Michael Ellis, Michelin’s international director. The program also features a conversation with several Washington chefs and a tasting.

Date
Friday, September 14, 2018 - 11:00 a.m.
The Biggest and Best Eyes on the Skies: Telescopic Revelations

Hubble. Chandra. Spitzer. Kepler. Over the years, these and other space telescopes have revealed the wonders of the cosmos to scientists and other stargazers. Sam Quinn, an astronomer with the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, tells us what new wonders might be revealed by those amazing eyes in the sky.

Date
Monday, September 17, 2018 - 6:45 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.

Date
Thursday, September 20, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
A Private Lunch at Sababa: Israeli Cool

Sababa is Hebrew slang for great or cool. It is also the name of a new contemporary Israeli restaurant in Cleveland Park. Sababa opens exclusively to Smithsonian guests for a family-style lunch and a glass of wine—and author and culinary expert Joan Nathan adds a dash of cultural context to the proceedings.

Date
Friday, September 21, 2018 - 12:00 p.m.
Music from the Anacostia Delta: Celebrating the Legacy of Washington’s Guitar Masters

The late great guitarist Danny Gatton was the preeminent artist of a uniquely Washington sound—a virtuosic blend of rock and roll, jazz, blues, rockabilly, country, and soul that he said came from the Anacostia Delta. Experience that unique form as several master Anacostia Delta musicians gather to celebrate the music in stories and performance.

Date
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Maryland: A Fertile State for Dinosaur Fossils

Ray Stanford, a self-taught fossil hunter, accidentally found the tracks of five dinosaur species in the parking lot of NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt. Stanford, who has tracked dinosaurs for 25 years, talks about the amazing diversity of fossils preserved within Maryland, from Ice-Age mammals to fossils hundreds of millions of years old.

Date
Tuesday, September 25, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Richard III: The Search for the “Real” King

Richard III is one of the most famous—and possibly the most infamous—of all British monarchs. For more than 500 years, his true nature has been debated. Renaissance scholar Carol Ann Lloyd Stanger explores the various attempts to portray Richard III over the centuries, from the villain of Shakespeare to the hero of his followers.

Date
Wednesday, September 26, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Perfect Pairings: Natural Wines and Your Favorite Foods

Have you heard the new culinary term, “wine food”? It refers to matching a wider range of wines to food. Dana Frank and Andrea Slonecker, authors of Wine Food, discuss a range of distinctive flavors that natural wines offer, and how to match them with your favorite foods. Stay for a specially paired bite and sip.

Date
Thursday, September 27, 2018 - 6:45 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. 

Date
Monday, October 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on ancient China.

Date
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Ronald Reagan: A Life Well Played

Forty years after he left the White House, Reagan has assumed a near-mythical place in American history, even as the public forgets the details of his life. This evening, Bob Spitz draws on his new biography, Reagan: An American Journey, to portray a man who—by dint of luck, charm, or something else—landed the role of his life.

Date
Tuesday, October 2, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Gershwin, by George!

Pianist and Gershwin authority Robert Wyatt explores the composer’s life and legacy in a lively program that includes Wyatt’s performances of the solo version of Rhapsody in Blue, early and unpublished music, the piano improvisations, and other Gershwin musical selections. 

Date
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Novelist Jodi Picoult: Her Latest Tough Topic

Popular author Jodi Picoult is known for addressing tough topics in her novels. This evening, she talks about her career, her writing process, and how the issues she tackles in her new novel, A Spark of Light, spoke to her as a writer.

Date
Wednesday, October 3, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Austria's Wine Country

Austrian-born wine importer Klaus Wittauer offers a guide to the country’s leading wine-producing regions, and leads a tasting of a number of products from these distinctive terrioirs.

Date
Thursday, October 4, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Sicily’s World of Food and Culture

Sicily bears fascinating traces in art, architecture, and cuisine of the many civilizations that have ruled it over the centuries. Food historian Francine Segan examines how a myriad of cultures influenced the flavors of this island’s iconic dishes. After the program, sample Sicilian history at a reception featuring the region’s desserts and wines.

Date
Tuesday, October 9, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Chocolate! Cioccolato! Schokolade! Chocolat!

Chocolate has quite a history—and it’s delicious. Join food historian Francine Segan as she explores its evolution from ancient grainy bitter brew to the smooth and luscious treat we love today. And stay for a tasting of imported Italian chocolates paired with selected French red wine.

Date
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Nik Sharma’s Table: Spiced by a World of Flavors

Food columnist, blogger, and photographer Nik Sharma joins the Washington Post’s Joe Yonan to discuss how he creates recipes shaped by a personal outlook on food that spans and mixes cultures, traditions, and cuisines.

Date
Thursday, October 11, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Vietnam: A Portrait of Tragedy

Vietnam became the Western world’s most divisive modern conflict. Drawing on his new book, Vietnam: An Epic Tragedy, 1945-1975, journalist Max Hastings portrays extraordinary moments in this bitter conflict—and examines some of its lasting lessons for the 21st century.

Date
Monday, October 15, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Naval Warfare in WWII: A Global Battlefield

A central element of the Second World War was the presence of dozen navies on six oceans and a number of seas, including the Mediterranean and the Caribbean. Maritime historian Craig L. Symonds offers a summary and analysis of how that naval conflict determined both the trajectory and the outcome of the war.

Date
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Stakes for Sports Gambling

In May, the Supreme Court struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned commercial sports betting in most states. Veteran sports attorney Phil Hochberg moderates a conversation that takes on the issues facing a brave new world where gambling is legal, taxed, and as convenient as a smartphone app.

Date
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Grammatical Gaffes: A Linguist Looks at Language Peeves

Are you someone who winces at the word irregardless? Do you find it hard to believe someone who tells you, “I was literally climbing the walls”? Do you wish everyone would use the Oxford comma in lists of three items? If so, this lively seminar on language is for you. (Hopefully, you’ll come.)

Date
Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Evolution In Warp Drive: The Science of Star Trek

Have you ever wondered why most alien life depicted on Star Trek strongly resembles us Earthlings? Come explore the possibility of humanoid or other forms of life on other planets with Mohamed Noor, a professor of biology at Duke University—and lifelong Trekkie!

Date
Thursday, October 18, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Eye-Opening New Rules of Coffee

Learn about growing, roasting, brewing, and serving coffee, along with details about its production and a few coffee myths from the founders and editors of Sprudge, the premier website for coffee content.

Date
Sunday, October 21, 2018 - 1:00 p.m.
Morbid Curiosity: Presidential Last Moments Preserved

In a fascinating look into our nation’s history and how we remember our fallen leaders, museum specialists from the American History Museum uncover some of the extraordinary stuff of presidential death that Americans have saved over the centuries.

Date
Monday, October 22, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Churchill's Secret Army: The Ministry of Ungentlemanly Warfare

In 1940, Winston Churchill famously ordered his Special Operations Executive (SOE) to “set Europe ablaze.” His top-secret army of mavericks soon began a program of supporting resistance deep behind enemy lines. Learn how they not only influenced the war, but SOE’s legacy also shaped the peace in surprising—and sometimes dramatic—ways.

Date
Tuesday, October 23, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Beefeater and the Birds: Meet the Tower of London’s Ravenmaster

As Halloween draws near, spend an evening with Christopher Skaife, the ravenmaster at one of the world's eeriest monuments. He’s responsible for the care of the Tower of London’s remarkable ravens, and he has some fascinating stories to share about one of the world’s most unusual jobs.

Date
Wednesday, October 24, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Hubert Humphrey: American Statesman

He was passionate about his beliefs, he treated his peers with respect, and they dubbed him "The Happy Warrior" for his tireless advocacy of liberal causes. Learn about the long career of Hubert Humphrey, one of the great post-war leaders who played a central role in some of the country's most divisive issues.

Date
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Astronomer Royal Looks to the Future

British cosmologist, astrophysicist, and Astronomer Royal Martin Rees believes that, too often, our approach to what lies ahead is constricted by short-term thinking, polarizing debates, alarmist rhetoric, and pessimism. Drawing from his new book On the Future: Prospects for Humanity, Rees discusses how we can use science to solve critical problems while avoiding its dystopian risk.

Date
Thursday, October 25, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Booze and Vinyl: A Listening Party with Cocktails

Food writers, cocktail fans, and musicians Andre Darlington and Tenaya Darlington teamed up to write Booze and Vinyl, showcasing iconic albums from the 1950s through 2000s, each matched with the perfect cocktails. If you’re feeling in the groove, join the Darlingtons at the Smithsonian Castle for a listening party—and learn how to mix a couple of perfect cocktails.

Date
Monday, October 29, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Racing Into the Sky: The Women Who Broke the Original Glass Ceiling

Between the world wars, no sport was more popular, or more dangerous, than airplane racing. Drawing on his new book, Fly Girls: How Five Daring Women Defied All Odds and Made Aviation History, Keith O’Brien recounts how a cadre of those women banded together to break the original glass ceiling: the entrenched prejudice that conspired to keep them out of the sky.

Date
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Benjamin Rush: The Overlooked Founding Father

Though it’s among the signatures on the Declaration of Independence, Benjamin Rush’s name is one that doesn’t immediately come to mind as one of the most influential patriots of the Revolutionary era. Drawing from his new biography, Stephen Fried resurrects and celebrates the most significant Founding Father we’ve never heard of.

Date
Tuesday, October 30, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Putin Paradox: Popularity or Fear?

He has been criticized for restricting freedom in Russian and eradicating any real dissent and political opposition. But at home, Putin has exhibited remarkable staying power that few other democratically elected heads of state can rival. Historian George E. Munro, an expert in Russian history, explores various questions in an absorbing program that examines the case for Vladimir Putin as the leader of Russia.

Date
Thursday, November 1, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on modern Chinese history.

Date
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
The Jews of Spain: 1000 Years of History

After almost a millennium of harmonious existence in Spain, what had been the most populous and prosperous Jewish community in Europe ceased to exist on the Iberian Peninsula by the end of the 15th century. Author Jeffrey Gorsky traces that history—which encompasses both power and the persecutions of the Inquisition—as well as the impact of this early racial and religious discrimination on later cultures.

Date
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
What the Midterm Elections Reveal About America

With a nation of highly polarized voters heading to the polls on November 6, the 2018 midterms will help clarify what’s important to a restless electorate. Two days after the ballots are cast, White House and political analyst Ken Walsh brings together four leading political analysts to interpret what the victories and losses mean for the country.

Date
Thursday, November 8, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
How Hamilton Remixes History and Show Biz

Historian Richard Bell examines this musical phenomenon to reveal what its success tells us about the marriage of history and show business. He investigates what the show gets right—and wrong—about Alexander Hamilton, the American Revolution, and the birth of the United States, and why it all matters.

Date
Tuesday, November 13, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
Loving Lenny: Leonard Bernstein at 100

Music recordings, film clips, and photographs highlight a discussion led by music specialist Fred Plotkin that celebrates the great Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990), an American Renaissance Man: composer, conductor, concert pianist, Broadway tunesmith, educator, humanitarian, and so much more.

Date
Thursday, November 15, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.
China and Japan: A History of Empires

The influence of China and Japan on global history has been immense, and goes back further than many Americans may realize. To understand these nations in the context of the modern world, Justin M. Jacobs, associate professor of history at American University, provides a comprehensive perspective on thousands of years of their pasts in an informative lecture series. This session focuses on the Japanese Empire.

Date
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 6:45 p.m.