Category Archives: Congressional Briefings

The National History Center’s Congressional Briefings are designed to provide historical context and perspective on current issues for policy makers and members of their staff. The speakers reflect upon historical events and developments that have influenced the evolution of current policies and provide knowledge pertinent to the consideration of policy alternatives.

Congressional Briefing: Zika: Historic Parallels and Policy Responses

The National History Center of the American Historical Association will hold a Congressional briefing on the Zika virus: historic parallels, and policy responses.  J.R. McNeill of Georgetown University and Margaret Humphreys of Duke University will discuss  the history of Zika’s mosquito vectors and the complexity of planning public health programs to counter disease-bearing mosquitoes.  Alan Kraut of American University will moderate.

The briefing will be held on Monday, September 12, from 9:30 a.m to 10:30 a.m. in the Rayburn House Office Building, Room 2103, Washington, DC.

For more information, visit the briefing website.

RSVPs are requested.  To RSVP, please email Amanda Perry at

5/9: Congressional briefing on the history of American drug policy & drug addiction epidemics

The  National History Center of the American Historical Association is pleased to announce our upcoming Congressional briefing on American drug policy and drug addiction epidemics in historical perspective.  David Courtwright of the University of North Florida and Keith Wailoo of Princeton University will discuss drug policy reform and the drug market since the Progressive era.  Alan Kraut of American University will moderate the discussion.

The briefing will be held on Monday, May 9th, from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Cannon House Office Building, Room 121, Washington, DC.

For more information, please see the briefing webpage.

RSVPs are requested.  To RSVP, please email Amanda Perry at

2/22: Jonathan Schneer on “Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and the War Cabinet”

It seems impossible now to imagine Great Britain during World War Two being led by anyone other than Winston Churchill. It was not impossible at the time, however, as Jonathan Schneer will show in this presentation. Moreover, despite a legend to the contrary that has been burnished over many years, Churchill had to manage a War Cabinet most of whose members never ceased to snipe at one another and at him, even as they faced the common foe.

Jonathan Schneer is the modern British historian at Georgia Tech. He has written seven books, including London 1900: the Imperial Metropolis, The Thames: England’s River, and The Balfour Declaration: the Origins of Arab Israeli Conflict (which won a 2010 National Jewish Book Award and was declared a book of the year by the New Statesman and the Irish Times), as well as many articles, essays and reviews in scholarly and popular publications. His presentation at the Washington History Seminar will be based upon his most recent book, Ministers at War: Winston Churchill and his War Cabinet.

The seminar meets at 4:00 p.m. at the Woodrow Wilson Center, 6th Floor Moynihan Board Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop.

The seminar is sponsored jointly by the National History Center of the American Historical Association and the Wilson Center. It meets weekly during the academic year. See for the schedule, speakers, topics, and dates as well as webcasts and podcasts. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations and the George Washington University History Department for their support. Reservations requested because of limited seating.