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All upcoming American History programs

All upcoming American History programs

Programs 1 to 10 of 39
Friday, July 26, 2024 - 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

Quilting is a tradition that has transcended the limits of culture and eras. Throughout the centuries, styles and techniques evolved, but the common thread in the creation of quilts was often their makers: women. Led by Alden O’Brien, textile and costumes curator at the Daughters of the American Revolution Museum, visit three museums to explore the role quilting has played in our society, including how it has been used to express emotion and act as a force of social justice.

Monday, July 29, 2024 - 6:30 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. ET

In March 1945, the Rhine River was the last natural barrier left open to Germany’s heartland. As Allied troops advanced, the only bridge still spanning the river was the Ludendorff railroad bridge at Remagen. Military historian Mitch Yockelson examines how the 9th U.S. Armored Division took control of the strategically vital bridge only minutes before German forces had planned to destroy it and how this pivotal action ultimately shortened the war in Europe.

Tuesday, July 30, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET
In-Person Collaborations

Blues music goes back over 100 years and remains a vital genre of music today—and women blues musicians have been there since the start. Learn about that rich history through conversation and performances as Krystal Klingenberg, curator of music at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, is joined by blues and soul vocal legend Bettye LaVette and a sparkling newcomer, singer/songwriter Adia Victoria, for a discussion of their work in the field and the legacy that they share. (Free program; registration required.)

Wednesday, July 31, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Thomas Jefferson, primary author of the Declaration of Independence and our third president, has been called the architect of American democracy. Yet his legacy has been questioned in large part because he owned over 600 slaves during his lifetime. Historian John Ragosta examines the question of what a white slave-owning aristocrat has to teach us about the nature of American leadership.

Tuesday, August 6, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

The role is unpaid and undefined, yet many women serving as First Lady made pivotal contributions that helped shape the United States. From early trailblazers like Dolley Madison, whose residence on Lafayette Square was nicknamed the “second White House,” to those in the role who are less well-known, like Harriet Lane—the first to use the title—explore how first ladies can personify persistence and perseverance. Join staff from A Tour Of Her Own to hear stories of America’s first ladies, not often recognized with monuments but ingrained in the fabric of history.

Wednesday, August 7, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The Jefferson Pier on the National Mall.  A 170-year-old Japanese stone pagoda set among DC’s fabled cherry trees. A long-neglected fountain in the neighborhood once known as "Murder Bay." They’re among D.C.’s most unique, surprising and little-known monuments, memorials, and landmarks. Carolyn Muraskin, founder of DC Design Tours, knows their stories—and those of many more distinctive sites that visitors (and Washingtonians) often overlook.

Thursday, August 8, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

The Gold Rush radically altered the development and course of history for California, the United States, and the world. It sparked one of the largest voluntary migrations of people in U.S. history, accelerated industrial, agricultural, and economic development in the future state—but also brought severe negative impacts. Katy Bartosh of California’s Gold Rush Museum examines the period and how the zeitgeist of the Gold Rush in many ways epitomizes what came to be known as the American Dream.

Thursday, August 8, 2024 - 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. ET

The Presidio encompasses more history than any other site within San Francisco. It was also the longest-operating Army base in the country when it shuttered in 1994. Historian John Martini unfolds its story that encompasses Spanish colonial settlers, 1906 earthquake refugees, more than 140 years of U.S. Army history, its dizzying variety of military architecture, and the Presidio’s notable transition “from post to park.”

Monday, August 12, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:15 p.m. ET

Ulysses S. Grant’s rise during the four years of the American Civil War was nothing less than meteoric, and a critical part of his success was his ability to communicate his strategic vision to his subordinates. Historian Christopher Hamner uses Grant’s often-overlooked 1864 Overland Campaign as a window into his effectiveness as a commander and communicator—roles that proved crucial in driving the Union toward its overall victory the following year.

Tuesday, August 20, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET

In America’s collective consciousness, Pat Nixon has long been perceived as elusive and enigmatic. Her biographer Heath Hardage Lee examines a figure who bore little resemblance to the woman so often described in the press: an empathetic, adventurous, self-made woman who wanted no power or influence but who connected warmly with both ordinary Americans and people from different cultures she encountered worldwide.