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Smithsonian Associates - Entertaining, Informative, Eclectic, Insightful

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In early 1902, a potentially devastating strike by anthracite coal miners in Pennsylvania escalated a legal and personal clash between President Theodore Roosevelt and financier J.P. Morgan over the government’s role in regulating big business. Author Susan Berfield recounts the story of a banker and a president thrown together in the crucible of national emergency, and discusses why the lessons of Roosevelt and Morgan’s time have taken on a renewed urgency today.

Date of event
Wednesday, July 22, 2020 - 6:45 p.m ET
Live Streaming

Leaders from Franklin Roosevelt to Donald Trump dealt with their defining moments—including international, economic, political, and personal crises—in a variety of ways that forever changed our perceptions of them. As he surveys these responses, journalist Ken Walsh identifies what we have learned about presidential attributes and skills that matter most in trying times, and takes a fresh look at President Trump through the prism of his crisis-filled administration.

Date of event
Wednesday, July 29, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

The Harry Potter novels may seem like a strange perspective from which to view economics, but a realm filled with magic also includes some financial realities that even the most powerful spell can’t make vanish. Economist Brian O’Roark entertainingly investigates how topics including monetary systems, black markets, utility theory, and more pervade the Potterverse.

Date of event
Tuesday, August 4, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

The question of how to meet the challenges of climate change continues to take on an increasingly larger role in the worldwide debate about the future of our planet. Olúfémi O. Táíwò, an assistant professor of political philosophy and ethics at Georgetown University, provides an overview of these issues as he examines the range of pathways that are under discussion by communities, countries, and policymakers.

Date of event
Tuesday, September 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

As our nation experiences another election season, historian Diane Harris Cline examines how ancient Greece’s political system reflects a civilization that valued and encouraged literacy and education, a love of beauty, technological and intellectual progress, and civic engagement.

Date of event
Thursday, September 3, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

Each fall, the Supreme Court justices begin hearing and deliberating the country’s most important—and often most controversial—legal cases. Get in on the conversation as a panel of legal experts on the Supreme Court preview and debate critical issues raised in some of the cases the court will take up.

Date of event
Thursday, September 10, 2020 - 12:00 p.m. to 1:15 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

Pamela Nadell, director of the Jewish Studies program at American University, traces the history of anti-Semitism in the United States from colonial days to its dangerous contemporary rise and examines how that resurgence forces the nation to address its uniquely American forms.

Date of event
Tuesday, September 15, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

As she traces Brexit’s complicated past, present, and future, historian Jennifer Paxton examines issues that reveal the tensions at the heart of a nation that may reshape the United Kingdom more profoundly than any political event in the past 300 years.

Date of event
Tuesday, September 22, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

Meeting the shock and awe of extreme floods, droughts, storms, and fires calls for plans and action—and authoritative scientific information. Roger S. Pulwarty, the senior scientist in the physical sciences division at NOAA’s Earth System Research Laboratory, examines the significance and sources of that information as countries, communities, and businesses make critical decisions in response to changing weather and extreme climate trends.

Date of event
Wednesday, September 23, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

Bakari Sellers, a CNN analyst and one of the youngest state representatives in South Carolina history, examines the plight of the South's dwindling rural population of black working-class men and women. Drawing on his new book My Vanishing Country, he surveys the struggles that shape their lives: gaining access to healthcare, making ends meet as factories shut down, holding on to traditions as towns erode, and forging a path forward without succumbing to despair.

Date of event
Wednesday, September 30, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET
Live Streaming

As civility seems to decline due to political polarization and the increasingly unfettered climate of social media, does remaining civil in social and political discourse still have value? Olúfémi O. Táíwò of Georgetown University unpacks the role of civility in today’s world and how its potential benefits—and hazzards—relate to the search for social justice.

Date of event
Thursday, October 1, 2020 - 6:45 p.m. ET

Austerlitz, Borodino, and Waterloo are among the places most closely associated with the era of the Napoleonic Wars. But this period of nearly continuous Franco-British conflict affected nations far beyond Europe. Historian Alexander Mikaberidze analyzes the immediate and extended consequences of the political tremors that spread as far as the Americas, Africa, India, Indonesia, and the Philippines, as well as across the Atlantic and the Indian oceans.

Date of event
Saturday, November 21, 2020 - 9:30 a.m.