Watch Historic Alexandria Lectures Online
Watch Lectures Online
Learn more about Alexandria’s history through select recordings of Historic Alexandria’s public lecture series. These lectures were presented virtually, via zoom, and are listed here by date.
Additional programs sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project can also be viewed online.
All videos of past programs are posted with permission from the speakers.
See the calendar above for upcoming lectures, in-person, hybrid or via Zoom.
The ‘Chinese Lady’s’ Presence in DC (November 10, 2022)
A lecture by Nancy E. Davis
Originally presented Thursday, November 10
Nancy E. Davis, curator emeritus of Home and Community Life at the National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution, shares the story of Afong Moy’s travels in Virginia, the District of Columbia, and Maryland. In November 1849, Afong Moy, dubbed “The Chinese Lady,” appeared at Lyceum Hall in Alexandria, Virginia, during a tour of the mid-Atlantic states. She had come to New York in 1834 and was the first recognized Chinese woman to arrive in America. For 17 years, she traveled across the country, becoming the first Chinese person to receive wide public acclaim and national recognition. In the later 1830s and 40s, and by the time she appeared in Alexandria, Afong Moy had made a transition from a promoter of goods to that of spectacle.
A City Built on Ships: Reconstructing 18th-Century Ships Excavated from the Alexandria Waterfront (October 26, 2022)
A lecture by Dr. Eleanor Breen and Dr. Chris Dostal
Originally presented Wednesday, October 26
Between 2015-2018, construction crews excavating along the Alexandria waterfront revealed the broken remains of four 18th-century wooden ships in what was once the shoreline of the Potomac River. To study them, each ship was disarticulated and the individual timbers were laser scanned, allowing researchers to virtually reassemble the ships and develop theoretical reconstructions of how they would have looked when they were in use. These highly accurate digital timber models were 3D printed and assembled by a master ship model maker, further informing these reconstructions. The four ships are now on two different preservation journeys. The Hotel Indigo ship was sent to the Conservation Research Laboratory at Texas A&M University for conservation by freeze drying, and the three Robinson Landing ships were submerged in a pond at Ben Brenman Park this spring. Hear the latest findings and discover what was learned through digitally reconstructing the four ships.
Christopher Dostal is an Assistant Professor with the Department of Anthropology’s Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University, where he is also the Director of the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation, the Conservation Research Laboratory, and the Director of the Analytical Archaeology Laboratory in charge of scanning the four 18th century ships excavated in Alexandria. He holds his degrees from Texas A&M University (Ph.D.), and the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research and work includes historical maritime archaeology of North America and Western Europe, the conservation and long-term preservation of waterlogged archaeological artifacts, preservation and documentation techniques for underwater archaeological sites, X-ray fluorescence elemental analysis of archaeological artifacts, and digital imaging and 3D modeling of archaeological artifacts.
Patton and Rommel: The Missing Generals of D-Day (June 2, 2022)
A lecture by Dr. Kim Bernard Hollen
Originally presented June 2, 2022
Did you know two of the most important men of D-Day… weren’t even there? Dr. Kim Holien returns with another fascinating behind-the-scenes look at D-Day. Dr. Kim Bernard Holien was a professional historian with the U.S. Army for 34 years, receiving commendations from the late John Marsh, Secretary of the Army, and President Ronald Reagan. He is the recipient of the 2008 Joseph L. Harsh History Award from the Northern Virginia Association of Historians and the co-recipient of the 2016 T. Michael Miller Alexandria History Award from the Alexandria Historical Society. His father served as an Army medical officer during the Second World War and took care of many D-Day wounded on their return to England, later serving on President Dwight Eisenhower’s Medical Staff. This lecture was presented by the Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee, part of the Office of Historic Alexandria, for their annual D-Day commemoration events.
Reparations at VTS: Uncovering a Not So Hidden History Part II (March 30, 2022)
A virtual program
Originally presented March 30, 2022
See Part I below, March 24, 2021
In September 2019, Virginia Theological Seminary announced the creation of a reparations endowment fund and the intent to research, uncover, and recognize African Americans who toiled under the oppression of VTS during slavery and throughout the Jim Crow era. The March 30th lecture looks at the program’s progress providing reparations to descendants since March 2021’s lecture and overview. This year, Ebonee Davis, will provide an update to the program and speak with one of the descendants about what the VTS reparations program has meant to their family.
Ebonee Davis, Associate for Multicultural Ministries Programming and Historical Research for Reparations with VTS, will update the research findings and implementation of VTS’ Reparations Program. Davis is a public historian with nearly 15 years’ experience working for local, state, and national institutions in the Americas and Africa. With VTS, she is coordinating the research efforts of the VTS’ Reparations Program and works directly with the program’s descendant families.
This event is sponsored by the Alexandria Historical Society, Alexandria Black History Museum, and the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project.
Irma Stern and the Paradox of South African Art (March 24, 2022)
Virtual program presented on March 24, 2022
Dr. LaNitra Berger presented a lecture on South African artist Irma Stern’s complex life and work. Dr. Berger discussed her recently published book, “Irma Stern and the Racial Paradox of South African Modern Art: Audacities of Color,” which explores how Stern became South Africa’s most prolific and controversial painter. Stern depicted the lives of people who are of black, Jewish and mixed race origins, while maintaining a neutral position on apartheid. A discussion with Rabbi David Spinrad, a member of the ACRP Steering Committee, followed the lecture.
¡Viva George! (February 3, 2022)
A lecture by Dr. Elaine Peña
Originally presented February 3, 2022
Alexandria has celebrated hometown legend George Washington for hundreds of years with parades and balls. Another city in America that has also celebrated with pomp and parade? Laredo, Texas. Learn from Dr. Elaine Peña, Associate Professor of American Studies at The George Washington University, about her research on these extensive festivities along the border. Afterwards, Tyler Vanice, Chair of Alexandria’s George Washington Birthday Celebration Committee, will join Dr. Peña as they explore the similarities and difference between Laredo and Alexandria. Dr. Peña's book, ¡Viva George! Celebrating Washington's Birthday at the U.S.-Mexico Border, is available in our online store.
What Made George Washington Tick? (November 18, 2021)
A Lecture by Dr. Peter Henriques
Originally presented November 18, 2021
While recognizing him as the most important figure in American History, Professor Peter Henriques takes issue with the traditional image of George Washington as a selfless leader. Rather, his portrait of George Washington reveals a more complicated - and interesting - man who was both self-effacing and wildly ambitious, with a desire for public adulation that he never acknowledged, perhaps even to himself. Dr. Henriques, Professor Emeritus of History from George Mason University and noted George Washington scholar, lectures on these themes. This lecture topic was inspired by one of the chapters of his latest book First and Always: a New Portrait of George Washington.
How the Monuments Came Down (October 20, 2021)
A Virtual Film Screening and Discussion
Presented October 20, 2021
This event is a joint program of the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project and the Alexandria Historical Society
"How the Monuments Came Down,” produced by Field Studio in association with VPM, Virginia’s home for public media, is a timely and searing look at the history of white supremacy and Black resistance in Richmond. The feature-length film — brought to life by history-makers, descendants, scholars, and activists — reveals how monuments to Confederate leaders stood for more than a century, and why they fell. This virtual discussion was a live, public presentation on October 20, 2021. The panel includes public historian Lauranett Lee, Eugene Thompson, past member of the Alexandria Ad Hoc Advisory Committee on Confederate Memorials and Street Names, and the filmmakers Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren. At the time of this posting, the film can be viewed on PBS.
Hannah Ayers and Lance Warren are Emmy-winning married documentary filmmakers whose production company, Field Studio, is based in Richmond, Virginia. They collaborated as Directors, Producers, and editors for How the Monuments Came Down. Ayers and Warren’s work also extends to other media where they continue to highlight African American history and the struggle for social justice.
Dr. Lauranett Lee is a public historian specializing in teaching, advocating, and collaborating with diverse community and academic audiences. She is a fulltime lecturer at the University of Richmond. Lee is the historian for Virginia Africana Associates and the former Curator of African American History at the Virginia Historical Society. She is the author of Making the American Dream Work: A Cultural History of African Americans in Hopewell, Virginia. Lee consults with museums, churches and community organizations and serves on several boards and commissions.
Eugene Thompson, a native Alexandrian, was the first Director of the Alexandria Black History Resource Center (now the Alexandria Black History Museum.) Mr. Thompson was also the Senior Curator at the African American Museum in Philadelphia and the Public Art Director for the city of Philadelphia. He received his BA in History from Marquette University and MS Ed. in Leadership in Museum Education from the Bank Street Graduate School of Education.
Sarmiento's Trepidations in DC, 1847 (October 13, 2021)
Dr. Enrique Pumar, Fay Boyle Professor and Chair of the Santa Clara University Department of Sociology, shows how Faustino Domingo Sarmiento, the Latin American statesman and public intellectual, conceived the functioning of our democracy and the splendor of our nation’s capital at a time of great uncertainty and political rancor. The presentation introduces Sarmiento and the purposes that brought him to the United States. After discussing his travels around the country, and in particular his stay in our nation’s capital, the presentation discerns his observations about American democracy. This lecture was part of Historic Alexandria's Hispanic American Heritage Month.
A Short History of Shuter's Hill (June 23, 2021)
Originally presented June 23, 2021
Shuter's Hill overlooks Old Town Alexandria. It has hosted farms and Civil War encampments, and in the 20th century became the site of the George Washington National Masonic Memorial.
Director of the Library and Museum Collections at the memorial, Mark Tabbert chronicles the history of the hill, and delves into the construction of the monument which spanned decades.
This lecture was presented by the Alexandria Historical Society, in partnership with the Office of Historic Alexandria.
Celebrate Juneteenth Along the Waterfront (June 19, 2021)
Originally presented June 19, 2021
Get a behind-the-scenes look at a community history project featuring stories of African American people, places and neighborhoods from the time of Alexandria’s founding through the 20th century. The African American Heritage Trail Committee discuss the importance of Black history in Alexandria, what archaeology reveals about the past, and the potential benefits and impacts of community history initiatives.
Learn about the sites along the northern route of the African American Heritage Trail and view the StoryMap.
Mapping the Gay Guides (June 10, 2021)
Originally presented June 10, 2021
Understanding Queer Spaces in Pre- & Post-Stonewall America
Dr. Eric Gonzaba discusses Mapping the Gay Guides, a digital project which aims to understand the often-ignored queer geographies through an interactive web application and digital public history project. Drawing on and making accessible the Damron Guides, an early but longstanding travel guide aimed at gay men since the early 1960s, this online mapping project explores different dimensions of American gay life through time, from bars and nightlife, bookstores, cinemas, and churches. Utilizing digitized data and visualizations from the site, Mapping the Gay Guides presents a historical analysis of the changing ways that gay spaces were defined. Eric Gonzaba is an Assistant Professor of American Studies at California State University, Fullerton where he teaches courses on the history of race and sexuality in America. He received his PhD in American history at George Mason University in 2019. His work has previously been supported by grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Point Foundation, and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. He previously served on the board of the Rainbow History Project, the DMV’s premier LGBTQ historical association.
Forgotten: the Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War (June 4, 2021)
Originally presented June 4, 3021
Sponsored by the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee
As part of the City of Alexandria’s 11th annual D-Day commemoration, Linda Hervieux, Paris-based American journalist, photographer and author of FORGOTTEN: The Untold Story of D-Day's Black Heroes, at Home and at War, shares the story of D-Day’s only African-American combat soldiers, who were effectively written out of the history of the Normandy invasion. Tom Brokaw called FORGOTTEN "utterly compelling," and Douglas Brinkley said "all Americans should read" this battalion's journey through segregated Jim Crow America to unexpected freedom in Britain and France. Hervieux has lectured extensively on the African Americans of D-Day and World War II at Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, the Imperial War Museum in London, and the National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C.
D-Day Commemoration Lecture (June 3, 2021)
Originally presented June 3, 3021
Sponsored by the City of Alexandria and the Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee
Alexandria-Caen Sister City Committee's 11th annual D-Day commemoration presents former U.S. Army Historian Dr. Kim Bernard Holien discussing D-Day secrets, known and unknown in a 'Rest of the Story' presentation about the secrets that made the Allies victorious on the 'day of days.' Dr. Kim Bernard Holien was a professional historian with the U.S. Army for 34 years, receiving commendations from the late John Marsh, Secretary of the Army, and President Ronald Reagan. He is the recipient of the 2008 Joseph L. Harsh History Award from the Northern Virginia Association of Historians and the co-recipient of the 2016 T. Michael Miller Alexandria History Award from the Alexandria Historical Society.
18:51 - Dr. Holien's lecture begins
07:18 - This video also includes a 10 minute interview with Alexandrian and WWII vet, Robert Fischman, recounting his experience at Normandy on D-Day.
Equity in Preservation Panel Discussion (May 27, 2021)
Originally presented May 27, 2021
The panel discussion features three professionals with deep expertise in this timely and important topic. John Sprinkle, Bureau Historian for the National Park Service, will open the session with a discussion on historic preservation and neighborhood conservation, specifically focusing on displacement, urban violence, and architectural survey in Alexandria. Purvi Irwin, Practice Manager for Architecture at CADD Microsystems, will then discuss new approaches to include diversity and inclusion in the preservation field while preserving our past for the future. Both Mr. Sprinkle and Ms. Irwin serve on the Alexandria Board of Architectural Review. Finally, Jaqueline Tucker, Race and Society Equity Office in the City Manager’s Office, will examine ways to operationalize diversity and equity in Alexandria.
A Jewish History of Old Town Alexandria (May 26, 2021)
Originally presented May 26, 2021
From the first Jewish immigrants to Alexandria in the late 1850s to a thriving microcosm of Jewish life today, Jewish Alexandrians have helped shape and been shaped by their city. This talk will introduce audiences to several Jewish synagogues, merchants, Civil War soldiers, and mayors, uncovering history hidden in plain site along King Street and the surrounding area. This lecture was presented in partnership with the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Alexandria Historical Society. To learn more about the presenters, visit Capital Jewish Museum.
Hindsight is 2020: Misconceptions of the Revolution (May 22, 2021)
Originally presented May 22, 2021
Revolutionary War Symposium
In preparation for the 250th anniversary of 1776, public historians share their research into this turbulent time during a one-day symposium in partnership with Emerging Revolutionary War. Gadsby’s Tavern Museum highlights the complexity of early America, but these challenges and uncertainties were rooted in what transpired before and during the Revolutionary War.
Emerging Revolutionary War and Gadsby's Tavern Museum presents Hindsight is 2020: Misconceptions of the Revolution. "Disaffected and Dangerous Persons: Loyalists in the Mid-Atlantic" was presented by Travis Shaw. Mr. Shaw is currently the Director of Education for the Virginia Piedmont Heritage Area and has nearly two decades of experience in the fields of archaeology, preservation, and museum education.
Learn more about Emerging Revolutionary War (ERW), which serves as a public history-oriented platform dedicated to sharing original scholarship and discussion on the American Revolution and the historical time periods that bookend the war.
The play list includes six videos, with five speakers and a panel discussion.
- Loyalist Resistance in the Mid-Atlantic
- Rev War from the Bottom Up: Southern Theater Misconceptions
- Drunk Hessians and Other Myths of the Ten Crucial Days
- African Americans Serving in the Continental Army
- General John Sullivan and the Battle of Brandywine
- Rev War Symposium Panel Discussion
Chocolate City (May 6, 2021)
Originally presented on Thursday, May 6, 2021
A lecture by George Musgrove.
Chocolate City tells the tumultuous, four-century story of race and democracy in our nation’s capital, of which Alexandria was once a part. Tracing D.C.’s massive transformations from a sparsely inhabited plantation society into a diverse metropolis, from a center of the slave trade to the nation’s first black-majority city, from “Chocolate City” to “Latte City” this account is peppered with unforgettable characters, a history of deep racial division but also one of hope, resilience, and interracial cooperation.
George Derek Musgrove co-authored this book with Chris Myers Asch. Dr. Musgrove is an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County.
Hannah Griffith, 18th century entrepreneur (March 11, 2021)
Originally presented on March 11, 2021
Hannah Griffith used her status, experience, and industriousness to make a new life for her and her eight young children in late 18th century Alexandria. Although her husband was a Church of England pastor, life changed dramatically in 1789 when she became widowed. Using her experience while serving as a "deputy husband" during the American Revolutionary War, she operated the prestigious Alexandria Coffee-House, which is one of the buildings that today is part of Gadsby's Tavern Museum.
This lecture is presented by Kristy Huettner, museum educator for the Office of Historic Alexandria and graduate student in World History at George Mason University.
You will Find it Handy: Traveling Safely in the Old Dominion with The Green Book (February 24, 2021)
Originally presented on February 24, 2021
As automobile travel increased in the 20th century, refusal of service and other threats made travel extremely difficult for African Americans. In response, Victor H. Green began publishing The Green Book, which provided a safety net with its listings for services such as garages, barbers, beauty parlors, hotels and guest houses, tailors, restaurants, and drug stores that welcomed African Americans.
Susan Hellman, Principal Planner with the City of Alexandria Planning & Zoning Historic Preservation division, will explore Virginia businesses listed in The Green Book during this lecture.
Start your own research into The Green Book:
Hidden in Plain Sight: Moss Kendrix and the Enterprise to Sell Black Citizenship (February 17, 2021)
Originally presented on February 17, 2021
Dr. Brenna Wynn Greer traces how Black public relations guru Moss Hyles Kendrix enlisted white corporate America in a campaign to redefine black citizenship after World War II. Dr. Greer also examines how Kendrix and his work—so visible and so important in the early Cold War era—was almost lost to us.
Dr. Greer is Associate Professor of History at Wellesley College, and her first book Represented: The Black Imagemakers Who Reimagined African American Citizenship (University of Pennsylvania Press), is now available for purchase.
Reparations at Virginia Theological Seminary (March 24, 2021)
Virtual lecture, presented on March 24, 2021
In September 2019, Virginia Theological Seminary announced the creation of a reparations endowment fund and the intent to research, uncover, and recognize African Americans who toiled under the oppression of VTS during slavery and throughout the Jim Crow era. Ebonee Davis, Associate for Multicultural Ministries Programming and Historical Research for Reparations with VTS, shares the research findings and implementation of VTS’ Reparations Program. Davis is a public historian with nearly 15 years experience working for local, state, and national institutions in the Americas and Africa. With VTS, she is coordinating the research efforts of the VTS’ Reparations Program and works directly with the program’s descendant families. This virtual event was sponsored by the Alexandria Historical Society, Alexandria Black History Museum, and the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project.
Serendipity or destiny? Alexander von Humboldt’s visit to Washington (December 6, 2020)
Originally presented on December 6, 2020
Dr. Sandra Rebok is a historian with over twenty years of experience in Humboldt scholarship, and the author of several books on Humboldt. This lecture was cosponsored by the Alexandria Association.
During the first days of June 1804, the Prussian explorer Alexander von Humboldt was a guest of President Jefferson in the White House, and took the opportunity to visit also Georgetown, Alexandria, and Mount Vernon. This was at the end of his five-year exploration voyage through Spanish America, dedicated to the study of the natural history, for which he had obtained an unprecedented authorization by the Spanish king Carlos IV. The visit also happened right after the Louisiana Purchase and the beginning of a series of exploration voyages into the West, when his expertise was of particular importance for the young nation.
Dr. Rebok discusses Humboldt's early interest for the young nation, the historic background of his visit, the specific goals he pursued and the impact his introduction to the most prominent political and scientific circles in Philadelphia and Washington had on his work.
Dr. Sandra Rebok is a historian of knowledge, author, speaker and scientific consultant. Trained in Heidelberg, Paris and Madrid, she worked for many years at the Spanish National Research Council. Her research focuses on the globalization of science, intellectual networks and transnational scientific collaborations during the 19th century. She has over twenty years of experience in Humboldt scholarship, she is the author of several books on Humboldt and the editor of three of his works in Spanish. Her last book discusses his intellectual exchange with Thomas Jefferson (Jefferson and Humboldt, 2014) and her forthcoming monograph analyzes his position between the Spanish Empire and the expanding United States (Humboldt’s Empire of Knowledge, 2021). Currently, she is working on her new book that analyzes the Humboldt’s networks of knowledge within the United States (Expanding the Frontiers of American Science). Dr. Rebok has held several fellowships at the International Center for Jefferson Studies.
The Alexandria Story of the Syphax Family: an African American Genealogy (November 19, 2020)
Originally presented on November 19, 2020
Lecture presented by Steve Hammond, genealogist and family historian. Nancy Syphax, once enslaved by tavern keeper John Gadsby, is Mr. Hammond’s third great-grandmother.
Working to find the African American roots of the prominent Syphax family, Steve Hammond forged working relationships with scholars across the nation. Through his work, Mount Vernon, Carlyle House, Arlington House, and the White House Historical Association as well as Historic Alexandria’s own Gadsby’s Tavern Museum and the Stabler-Leadbeater Apothecary Museum have been able to tell a more complete story of Alexandria and the nation.
The Suburb and the Sword: Wartime Housing, Integration, and Suburbanization in Alexandria, VA (October 28, 2020)
Originally presented on October 28, 2020
A lecture by Dr. Ryan Reft, a historian of the modern U.S. in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress.
Dr. Ryan talks about Chinquapin Village, Ramsey Homes, and Cameron Valley, all built during World War II to provided quarters for war workers, veterans, and service personnel and their families.
Built as part of the Lanham Act of World War II, Chinquapin Village, Ramsey Homes, and Cameron Valley all provided quarters for war workers, veterans, and service personnel and their families. Each housing complex persisted after the war due to the needs of an expanding Cold War military, growing military industrial complex, and a national housing shortage. Due in great part to their construction and the families that resided in them, wartime housing transformed Alexandria from a small southern city into a growing and developing suburb. In particular, Chinquapin Village’s history serves as a window into the racial and class hierarchies of the day as well as Alexandria’s struggle to position itself in a burgeoning and competitive Northern Virginia suburban landscape.
Dr. Ryan Reft is a historian of the modern U.S. in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress. He cofounded the blog Tropics of Meta in 2009 with Alex Sayf Cummings, is a writer for KCET in Los Angeles, and is co-editor of The Metropole, the official blog of the Urban History Association. His work has appeared in numerous journals, including California History, The Journal of Urban History, and Souls, among others, as well as edited volumes such as Barack Obama and African American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America’s New Leadership and Asian American Sporting Cultures. He is co-editor of, and contributor to, East of East: The Making of Greater El Monte (Rutgers Press, 2020).
The Riches of this Land (October 14, 2020)
Originally presented on October 14, 2020
A lecture by Jim Tankersley
Alexandria author and journalist Jim Tankersley traces the origins and destiny of an American middle class that is under siege in his new book, The Riches of this Land, on a reporting journey from the rocket suburbs of Los Angeles to the tobacco fields of North Carolina.
For nearly two centuries, the best jobs in the United States were walled off to everyone but white men. After World War II, women, immigrants, and black men began to tear those walls down, helping to build the greatest middle class in human history. But the steady disappearance of good jobs, followed by two once-in-a-lifetime economic crises, eroded that middle class and locked millions of people out of the American Dream. History shows how to lift workers up again, but not the history that elite white men have sold for decades. Tankersley's vivid people-driven storytelling, supported by balanced cutting-edge research, reveals a path to revival and the essential heroes of what was, and can again be, a great American economy.
To get a signed copy of Tankersley's book, or to ask him questions inspired by this lecture, go to www.JimTankersley.com.
The Election of 1800 (October 6, 2020)
Originally presented on October 8, 2020
A lecture by Dr. Peter Henriques
Dr. Henriques delves into this pivotal election, the first modern political campaign in U.S. history, and its parallels to politics today.
On any short list of pivotal moments in American history, the election of 1800 will always have a central place. It is the first modern political campaign in our history. Adding to its appeal, this election involved larger than life figures – Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton, John Adams, and Aaron Burr. Dr. Peter Henriques will talk about this important election and the surprising parallels between the nation’s 2020 election.
Dr. Peter R. Henriques is Professor of History, Emeritus, from George Mason University and author of Realistic Visionary: A Portrait of George Washington. His new book, First and Always: A New Portrait of George Washington is now available.
Cartography of a Port City (September 24, 2020)
Originally presented on September 24, 2020
A lecture by City of Alexandria Archaeology Dr. Benjamin Skolnik
This lecture was presented in partnership with the Alexandria Historical Society.
Dr. Skolnik presents a new take on the history of the city as told through fifteen seldom-seen maps. From Native American representations of social space to 21st-century Geographic Information Systems (GIS), this talk examines the map as a cultural artifact that can tell archaeologists much more than just the locations of buried treasure. Dr. Benjamin Skolnik is an archaeologist for the City of Alexandria specializing in landscape archaeology, digital mapping, and GIS.
The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution (September 17, 2020)
Originally presented on September 17, 2020
A lecture by Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky.
The US Constitution did not create the president’s cabinet. In fact, the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. However, faced with unprecedented diplomatic, constitutional, and domestic challenges, President George Washington concluded he couldn’t decisions alone.
Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky, author of The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution, explains how Washington formed this powerful institution and why its legacy is so important.
The Battle of Guilford Courthouse: A Most Desperate Engagement (July 23, 2020)
Originally presented on July 23, 2020
A lecture by local author Dr. John Maass
Around the North Carolina village of Guilford Courthouse in the late winter of 1781, two weary armies clashed on a cold, wet afternoon. Historian Dr. John R. Maass recounts the bloody battle and the grueling campaign in the South that led up to it, a crucial event on the road to American independence. Dr. John Maass is also author of the book The Battle of Guilford Courthouse.