Weekly Events Digest

Monday, April 28

The Washington History Seminar

4 p.m.

James Graham Wilson on “The Triumph of Improvisation: Gorbachev’s Adaptation, Reagan’s Engagement, and the End of the Cold War”

Woodrow Wilson Center, 5th Floor Conference Room, Ronald Reagan Building, Federal Triangle Metro Stop

In The Triumph of Improvisation, James Graham Wilson takes a long view of the end of the Cold War, from the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan to Operation Desert Storm. Wilson argues that adaptation, improvisation, and engagement by individuals in positions of power ended the specter of a nuclear holocaust. Eschewing the notion of a coherent grand strategy to end the Cold War, Wilson illuminates how leaders made choices and reacted to events they did not foresee. 

Reservations requested because of limited seating: WHS@wilsoncenter.org

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 www.nationalhistorycenter.org for more information. The seminar thanks the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations for its support.

Wednesday, April 30

War of 1812 Bicentennial Lecture

7:30 to 8:30 p.m. at The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street, Alexandria  

Historian and author Patrick O’Neill presents The Battle of the White House: Bringing the Seat of War to the Potomac River near Mount Vernon in September 1814 on Wednesday, April 30 from This lecture, co-sponsored by the Alexandria Historical Society and the Lyceum, Alexandria’s History Museum, explores the impact of the battles that waged in and around Washington, DC in 1814.  The Battle of the White House near Belvoir and Indian head will be emphasized.  This battle, which lasted five days as Americans attacked the British ships from bluffs above the Potomac, was one of the longest engagements of the War of 1812.  This lecture is part of a larger War of 1812 lecture series.  For more information, please go to visitalexandriava.com/1812

 Thursday, May 1

Researcher Talk: Why We Fight

Noon, Archives I, Research Center, G-25

Nancy Beck Young, Professor of History at the University of Houston, will discuss her book, Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II

Presented by the Center for Legislative Archives.  For more information, please call 202-357-5350.

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“The French Revolution and the Coming of the Terror: Reflections on the Revolutionary Process”

The Georgetown University History Department is pleased to announce that Timothy Tackett, one of the leading specialists on the French Revolution, will be giving a special presentation on Thursday, 1 May 2014, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

ICC (Intercultural Center) 462

Among his several books, Prof. Tackett is the author of classic works on the deputies to the National Constituent Assembly of 1789-91, Becoming a Revolutionary: The Deputies of the French National Assembly and the Emergence of a Revolutionary Culture (1789-1790), (Princeton UP, 1997), and on Louis XVI’s attempt to flee Paris in June 1791, When the King Took Flight. (Harvard UP, 2003).

Friday, May 2

Symposium on Congress at the End of the Civil War

9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m.

“A Just and Lasting Peace”: Ending the Civil War

Presented by the U.S. Capitol Historical Society

Dirksen Senate Office Building, Room G50. C and 1st Streets, NE. 

Seven leading scholars will present papers on a variety of topics, from the congressional debate over the 13th amendment to the trial in the Capitol of Capt. Henry Wirz of Andersonville as a war criminal. Speaker biographies, talk titles, and the day’s schedule are available at www.uschs.org.

Free and open to the public. Attend all or part of the day. Pre-registration requested: visit www.uschs.org, email your contact information touschs@uschs.org, or leave a message at (202) 543-8919 x38.

 Saturday, May 3

Serving Up Local Food History

The Lyceum, 201 S. Washington Street, Alexandria   Alexandria, Virginia

1:30 to 5 p.m.

The Lyceum’s second Food History Symposium will bring together local scholars, chefs, historians, and entrepreneurs to examine some of the foods and food topics that make up Alexandria’s culinary past.  The program will take place on Saturday, May 3rd, from 1:30 to 5 PM, in the Lecture Hall of The Lyceum — Alexandria’s History Museum.  The $50 registration fee includes four presentations by local food historians and business people, a post-symposium book signing, and a tasting of Shuman’s famous Jelly Cake.  Advance registration is highly encouraged.  For more information and to make a reservation, please visit the Historic Alexandria Museum Store site . . . https://shop.alexandriava.gov/EventPurchase.aspx . . . and look for “Food History Symposium” or order over the phone by calling The Lyceum at (703) 746-4994.

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DC-Area African American Studies Works-In-Progress Seminar

The next meeting will be on Saturday, 3 May 2014 from 2-5 pm. 

Location: George Washington University, Phillips Hall, Room 328.  

We will be discussing the following two papers:

“The Freedwoman’s Tale: Reconstruction Remembered in the Federal Writer’s Project Ex-Slave Narratives” by Carole Emberton (SUNY – Buffalo)

“Vanguard/Periphery: Lorraine Hansberry and the Risks of Black Feminism at Mid-Century,” by Erin Chapman (George Washington University)

Papers for the seminar are circulated and should be read in advance.  If you would like a copy of the papers, please email Jay Driskell at driskell@hood.edu

Mark Your Calendars

Monday, May 5

Researcher Talk: American Tax Resisters

Noon, Archives I, Research Center, G-25

Dr. Romain Huret, Associate Professor of American History at the University of Lyon (France) will discuss his new book, American Tax Resisters

Presented by the Center for Legislative Archives.  For more information, please call 202-357-5350.