Watch Lectures Online

A selection of Historic Alexandria’s public lectures are available online.

Page updated on Dec 17, 2020 at 3:00 PM

Watch Lectures Online

Learn more about Alexandria’s history through select recordings of Historic Alexandria’s public lecture series.

A Conversation: Attorney Philip Hirschkop

Sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project
Originally presented via zoom on December 9, 2020 

This conversation with Civil Rights Attorney Philip Hirschkop about the Loving Case and his groundbreaking legal career will inspire you. He is interviewed by Jean Kelleher, Director of the Office on Human Rights. Mr. Hirschkop also answers questions about his Supreme Court cases, his work on prison reform, and he remembers some of his past clients who have included Martin Luther King, Jr., H. Rap Brown, Norman Mailer and the America Nazi Party.

This conversation is sponsored by the Alexandria Community Remembrance Project. It’s the first of a series of conversations we will host periodically with social justice leaders. The Alexandria Community Remembrance Project (ACRP) is a city-wide initiative dedicated to helping Alexandria understand its history of racial terror hate crimes and to work toward creating a welcoming community bound by equity and inclusion.

Serendipity or destiny? Alexander von Humboldt’s visit to Washington 

By Dr. Sandra Rebok, a historian with over twenty years of experience in Humboldt scholarship, and the author of several books on Humboldt.
Sponsored by the Office of Historic Alexandria and the Alexandria Association
Originally presented via Zoom on December 6, 2020

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. (Read more about the lecture and Dr. Rebok).

The Alexandria Story of the Syphax Family: an African American Genealogy

By Steve Hammond, genealogist and family historian. Nancy Syphax, once enslaved by tavern keeper John Gadsby, is Mr. Hammond’s third great-grandmother.
Originally presented via Zoom on November  19, 2020

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

By Dr. Ryan Reft, a historian of the modern U.S. in the Manuscript Division at the Library of Congress.
Originally presented via Zoom on October 28, 2020

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.

The Riches of this Land

By Jim Tanksersley
Originally presented via Zoom on October 14, 2020

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.

The Election of 1800

By Dr. Peter Henriques
Originally presented via Zoom on October 8, 2020

Dr. Henriques delves into this pivotal election, the first modern political campaign in U.S. history, and its parallels to politics today.

Cartography of a Port City

By City Archaeologist Dr. Benjamin Skolnik
Originally presented via Zoom on September 24, 2020

Dr. Skolnik presents the history of Alexandria through 15 seldom-seen maps. This lecture was presented in partnership with the Alexandria Historical Society


The Cabinet: George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution

By Dr. Lindsay M. Chervinsky
Originally presented via Zoom on September 17, 2020

Dr. Chervinsky explores the creation of the Cabinet and its legacy.

The Battle of Guilford Courthouse: A Most Desperate Engagement

By local author Dr. John Maass
Originally presented via Zoom on July 23, 2020

Dr. Maass recounts the bloody Battle of Guilford Courthouse and the grueling campaign in the South that led up to it, a crucial event on the road to American independence.