Montgomery County History: Then and Now

 

Request one of the following Speakers Bureau topics through our online form!

Questions? Contact Matthew Gagle or call 301-340-2825. 


*NEW* “Periodical Cicadas in 2021: An Intersection of Natural History and Human History”

Speaker: Clarence “Corky” Hickey

Montgomery County has some lesser known, yet very numerous, native residents: the 17-year periodical cicadas that visited us with great gusto in 1987 and 2004. The reappearance of the periodicals every 17 years suggests a certain measure of stability in our local environment, a natural sign for us. As these cicadas offer a unique opportunity for observing and studying nature in our own backyards, this presentation will demonstrate the intersection of cicada natural history and human history as we look ahead to the spring of 2021, when we expect to welcome these native Montgomery Countians back to our neighborhoods.

 

 

The 1950s Housing Boom in Montgomery County 

Speaker: Robert Bachman

The 1950’s housing boom almost doubled the number of single-family homes in Montgomery County in one decade. This presentation will focus on the national-level & county-level factors that fueled the housing boom, the federal programs that helped builders & buyers, where the new homes were built in the county, the styles of these new homes, the developers who built them, the architects who designed them, and the role of the National-Capital Park & Planning Commission and the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission in preparing the infrastructure and establishing the procedures to respond to the rapid population growth and housing boom of the 1950’s.

 

 

 

Off-the-Beaten Path in Montgomery County

Speaker: Ralph Buglass

An illustrated presentation on the “Top 10”  lesser-known spots in Montgomery County with historical importance, amazing natural beauty, or superlative in some other way. Learn about some famous residents’ homes and houses designed by famous architects, spots with connections to events of national significance, oases of natural beauty, museums every bit as good as those on the Mall, still-standing relics of our past, and more. 

 

 

 

Marriotts and Motor Cars:  Made for Each Other

Speaker: Katie Dishman

A lecture and PowerPoint presentation focusing on a now a well-known hotel company, Marriott International, which actually started as an A&W Root Beer stand in Washington, D.C. in 1927.  Marriott’s corporate archivist will explore the history of the company and its integral connection with cars. Not only did the stands, named Hot Shoppes, expand because of their drive-ins, but the lodging business began as motor hotels at the advent of the Interstate Highway System.  Highlights from the history of the company and its growth, including its move to Bethesda in 1955, will be featured. 

 

 

 

 

BOOM!: How Montgomery County Developed in the 1950s

Speaker: Bob Bachman

A lecture and PowerPoint presentation summarizing the rapid development of lower Montgomery County in the 1950s as a suburb of Washington, DC.  The focus is on demographics, housing & subdivisions, shopping centers, schools, parks & recreation, & libraries.  This program was offered at the 2018 Montgomery County History Conference. 

 

 
 
 
 

Still Standing: One- and Two-Room Schoolhouses in Montgomery County and the Stories They Tell About the Early Days of Public Education

Speaker: Ralph Buglass

The one-room schoolhouse symbolizes the earliest days of public education. In Montgomery County a surprising number of one- and two-room schoolhouses still exist—in one form or another. With photos of them all, this presentation tells the early history of public education in the county, including the nearly century-long practice of school segregation dubbed “separate but equal” that was very unequal in practice. Can be combined with a visit to a restored one-room schoolhouse to experience what school was like more than 100 years ago.

 

 

Montgomery County’s Prehistory: A 12,000 Year Story

Speaker: Don Housley

After discussing the various theories for the peopling of North America, this PowerPoint presentation centers on describing the environment, social structure, and tool development of Montgomery County’s prehistory through the Paleo-Indian, Archaic, and Woodland time periods prior to European contact.

 

Archaeological Sites in Montgomery County, Maryland

Speaker: Don Housley

This PowerPoint presentation provides an introduction to both prehistoric and historical archaeological sites located on park land in Montgomery County and the techniques used by county archaeologists to unearth the past. A list of upcoming public archaeology programs and tours will be provided.

 

The following talks are temporarily unavailable: 

The New Face of Montgomery County 

Speaker: Steve Roberts

Montgomery County today is a global community of a million people with one-third of its residents born outside the United States. The dramatic growth of immigrant populations from all regions of the world has profoundly changed the community’s social, cultural and economic dynamic. This program will discuss the modern history of immigration in Montgomery County for different communities, including countries of origins and reasons for migration, settlement patterns, professions of choice, community organizing, cultural identities, and ties with home countries. The speaker will draw on some of his Bethesda Magazine columns to tell stories that flesh out the statistical trends of this recent history.

 

 
The Home Front During World War II
 
Speaker: William Offutt
 
This lecture and slide presentation is an overview of life in the D.C. area during World War II, with an emphasis on rationing, volunteering, air raid and blackout drills, shortages, victory gardens, and everyday life.

 

Montgomery County: A Rich History

Speaker: William Offutt

This slide lecture provides an overview of the county’s past and its people from the era of Indian settlements to today’s urban-suburban development. The lecture is illustrated with slides which evoke the past and indicate the vast changes in the county.