Lectures and Webinars: Scholar Series 2021

November 18, 2021

Book Talk: Robert P. Watson on "George Washington's Final Battle"

George Washington is remembered for leading the Continental Army to victory, presiding over the Constitution, and forging a new nation, but few know the story of his involvement in the establishment of a capital city and how it nearly tore the United States apart. In “George Washington’s Final Battle,” Robert P. Watson brings this tale to life, telling how the country’s first president tirelessly advocated for a capital on the shores of the Potomac. Washington envisioned and had a direct role in planning many aspects of the city that would house the young republic. In doing so, he created a landmark that gave the fledgling democracy credibility, united a fractious country, and created a sense of American identity.

November 16, 2021

The History and Mythology of the "First Thanksgiving"

In advance of Thanksgiving and the holiday season, the United States Capitol Historical Society talked with George Washington University Professor David J. Silverman, the author of one of the most highly cited books on U.S. history: “This Land is Their Land: The Wampanoag Indians, Plymouth Colony, and the Troubled History of Thanksgiving.”

July 7, 2021

Book Talk: Joseph J. Ellis on "American Dialogue"

In his latest book, Joseph Ellis once again looks back to the American founding for wisdom from Jefferson, Adams, Madison, and Washington. What did the words “the pursuit of happiness” and “we the people” mean then, and what do they mean now? How can the Founders help us frame the arguments we need to have about race, economic inequality, jurisprudence, and foreign policy? As the title suggests, and the Founders knew, argument itself is the answer.

June 1, 2021

Book Talk: "The Ever-Changing Past" with James M. Banner, Jr.

Renowned historian James M. Banner, Jr. discusses his latest book – The Ever-Changing Past: Why All History is Revisionist History – and makes the case that any examination of the past is subject to interpretation and reinterpretation. Taking readers from Thucydides to the origin of the French Revolution to the Civil War and beyond, Banner explores what historians do and why they do it.

May 27, 2021

Toward a More Better Union: Immigration in the 20th and 21st Centuries

The beginning of both the 20th and the 21st centuries saw extreme increases in immigration to the United States. Joining us to discuss this subject was Professor Carrie L. Rosenbaum, immigration attorney in private practice, law professor, and scholar.

May 13, 2021

Toward a More Better Union: Immigration in the 18th & 19th Centuries

Immigration in the 18th and 19th centuries saw millions of Europeans travel to this continent in order to settle land that is now part of the United States of America. This time is also marked by forced immigration in the form of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade. The vastly different experiences of the two flows of immigration still resonates today. Discussing this topic was Dr. Alan Kraut, University Professor of History at American University and a non-resident fellow of the Migration Policy Institute.

April 29, 2021

Toward a More Better Union: Economic Empowerment

The pandemic has magnified the growing economic inequality that disproportionately impacts people of color. We were joined by scholar, Dr. Jessica Gordon-Nembhard, Professor of Community Justice and Social Economic Development in the Department of Africana Studies at John Jay College; and former Congressional staff member Shay Hawkins who now leads the Opportunity Zone Fund Association for a discussion on how Congress addresses economic empowerment and access to capital.

February 4, 2021

Toward A More Perfect Union: The Lasting Impact of Slavery

Featuring: Dr. Manisha Sinha

January 28, 2021

Toward A More Perfect Union: Voting Rights Then and Now

Featuring: Dr. Hasan Jeffries, Rev. Dr. Jay Augustine