Montgomery County History Conference 2020




The 14th annual Montgomery County History Conference was held Saturday, January 25, 2020. Recorded sessions can be viewed below and photos from the event can be viewed here. For more content, view select sessions from the 2019 conference and highlights from 2018 and 2017.


Morning General Session
“Looking Backward: A Future History of the Montgomery County Agricultural Reserve (c. 2080)”
Speaker: Royce Hanson


Morning Concurrent Session
“How Montgomery County Changed in the 1960s”
Speaker: Robert Bachman


Morning Concurrent Session
“Historias de Pioneros hispanos construyendo comunidad en el condado de Montgomery (1960s-1970s)”
Cuentistas: Leonor Guillén, Lourdes Gutiérrez, Maria Helena Malagón, Beatriz Weiss, Ken Wess, Teresa Wright
Moderadora: Karla Silvestre

(This session is currently only available in Spanish. English subtitles can be turned on through YouTube’s auto-generate subtitles feature.)



Afternoon Concurrent Session
“By Hands of Parties Unknown: Remembrance and Reconciliation of Three Lynchings in Montgomery County” 
Speaker: Anthony Cohen



Afternoon Concurrent Session
The Montgomery County Sentinel: The Evolution of Local Journalism Since 1855” 
Speaker: Paul Schwartz



Afternoon General Session
“Byline: Ernie Pyle” 
Actor: Steve LaRocque


“Byline: Ernie Pyle” is now available through our Speakers Bureau program. To request this topic, please use this Google form




Since 2007, the Montgomery County History Conference has been a venue for people of all ages and backgrounds—civic leaders, students, lifelong learners, museum professionals and volunteers, history buffs, genealogists, and the general public—to explore and celebrate the many facets of our past that shape our community to this day. Hosted annually by Montgomery History in partnership with Montgomery College, this day-long gathering is recognized for its challenging and thought-provoking presentations, workshops, performances, and panel discussions covering a wide range of local history topics.


The 2020 Conference kicked off with County Councilmember Evan Glass presenting the rainbow Pride flag that flew over the Executive Office Building during Pride Month in June to Montgomery History for accession into its permanent collection. The opening session featured Royce Hanson, the former Chair of the Montgomery County Planning Commission, delivering a talk on the history of the Agricultural Reserve (one of the most requested topics every year). This was followed by breakout sessions featuring wide-ranging topics such as recent archaeological findings from the site of the Seneca Store, suburban growth in the 1960s, the historically African American community of Lyttonsville, and local Prohibition. We were also pleased to offer for the first time a session in Spanish to look at Latino immigration into the county in the late 20th century.


Afternoon breakout sessions featured topics such as Marriott’s growth from Hot Shoppes to hotels, a history of the Montgomery County Sentinel, stories from the Aspin Hill Pet Cemetery, a look at 19th century medicine, and the legacy of three lynchings that took place in the county in the late 19th century. The conference’s closing session was a captivating performance of WWII correspondent Ernie Pyle by actor Steve LaRocque. Once again, the conference culminated in a networking reception for presenters, sponsors, and attendees.


A downloadable PDF of the day’s schedule is available here.

Montgomery History would like to thank our sponsors for making this event possible:




Additional support provided by: 



We are grateful to the following for sponsoring individual sessions:



Mary Kay Harper Center for Suburban Studies

Nancy & Dan Balz