The National History Center of the American Historical Association provides a venue in the nation's capital for all who care about the human past to make history an essential part of public conversations about current events and the shared futures of the United States and the wider world.

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News & Events

Decolonization Seminar

March 26th, 2015

International Seminar on Decolonization 2015 Participants

The National History Seminar is pleased to announce the participants in its tenth and final International Seminar on Decolonization. Each summer the National History Center’s Decolonization seminar brings fifteen historians near the beginning of their careers to Washington, DC for four weeks to research, discuss, and write about the phenomenon of decolonization, or the dissolution […]

Washington History Seminar

March 24th, 2015

March 30: Bruce Kuklick on “Murdering Patrice Lumumba”

When Belgium relinquished control of the Belgian Congo in June 1960, a charismatic Patrice Lumumba became prime minister of the new Republic. Stability immediately broke down. The army mutinied, while Katanga Province seceded. Six months later Lumumba was murdered in Katanga; his undisputed rule as Congo’s first democratically elected leader had lasted ten weeks. Over […]

Washington History Seminar

March 17th, 2015

March 23: Martha Hodes on “Mourning Lincoln”

Public responses to Lincoln’s assassination have been well chronicled, but Martha Hodes is the first to delve into personal and private responses—of African Americans and whites, Yankees and Confederates, soldiers and civilians—investigating the story of the nation’s first presidential assassination on a human scale. Black freedom, the fate of former Confederates, and the future of […]

Washington History Seminar

March 11th, 2015

March 16: William LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh on “Back Channel to Cuba: The Hidden History of Negotiations Between Washington and Havana”

Authors William M. LeoGrande and Peter Kornbluh will talk about their new book chronicling the untold history of attempts at reconciliation between the United States and Cuba. From John F. Kennedy’s offering of an olive branch to Fidel Castro after the missile crisis, to Henry Kissinger’s top secret quest for normalization, to Barack Obama’s promise […]

Washington History Seminar

March 3rd, 2015

March 9: Carol Anderson on “The Danger of the Single Story: African Americans’ Anticolonialism in the Early Cold War”

We know the story. Historians have told it for more than forty years. After the onset of the Cold War, fierce anticolonialism emanated solely out of the black left, which paid dearly for opposing U.S. imperial policy. Paul and Eslanda Robeson, W.E.B. Du Bois, W. Alphaeus Hunton, and even, in his own twisted way, Max […]