Montgomery County History Conference 2018


Since 2007, the Montgomery County History Conference has been a venue for people of all ages and backgrounds—civic leaders, students, 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, this day-long gathering includes workshops, presentations, and panel discussions covering a wide range of topics within the realm of local history.


The 2018 History Conference was held on Saturday, January 27, 2018 at the Bioscience Education Center on Montgomery College’s Germantown Campus. 

Photos from this year’s conference can be found in our photo gallery.

Video recordings are now available at the bottom of this webpage, keep scrolling down to relive these incredible sessions!

Silver Spring Metro Station circa 1978


The 2018 History Conference opened with a history of Metro and the Red Line’s development in the county. It was followed by breakout sessions featuring such varied topics as Thurgood Marshall’s early civil rights victory in Montgomery County, the Spanish flu epidemic of 1918, free African American communities’ involvement in the Underground Railroad, the role of local leaders in launching the American Revolution in 1774, and an overview of local development during the explosive 1950s. An oral history training session for beginners and a panel discussion on Muslim experiences in the County was also offered. For the first time, Montgomery College students presented on postwar immigration in Montgomery County. The closing session featured world-renowned Smithsonian anthropologist Doug Owsley and his forensic excavation of the Chesapeake.


Thank you to our sponsors for their support of the History Conference:


mc        moco   arts-humanities  


Kiplinger Foundation


View sessions from the 2018 History Conference below, along with a few highlights from the 2017 and 2016 History Conferences:


The Envisioning of Metro: An Enduring Design with Transformational Impacts
by Charlie Scott, Washington Metropolitan Area and Transit Authority (WMATA)
This presentation explores Metro’s history with a special emphasis on the Red Line in Montgomery County.


The “Spanish Flu” Pandemic: Influenza in Montgomery County
by Alan Hawk, National Museum of Health and Medicine
This presentation will explore how the “Spanish Flu” spread through Montgomery County, Maryland in 1918,
and its effect on its population. 


A World Away: Postwar Migration to Montgomery County, 1945-1965
by Maria Sprehn-Malagón, Ph.D; Nance Mousa, and Lexie Werner, Montgomery College
This panel presentation will address patterns of migration in 1950s Montgomery County including those of stateless refugees, Chinese entrepreneurs, and Yiddish speakers.


Muslim Experiences in Montgomery County: A Panel Discussion
by Jim Johnston, Mimi Hassanein, Ahmed Achrati, Sam mak (Rina Hafitz), and Bano Makhdoom
Jim Johnston leads a panel of individuals from Egypt, Pakistan, the United States, Palestine, and Algeria in a conversation to discuss what it is like to be Muslim in Montgomery County today. 


Treason! How Local Leaders Helped Launch the Revolution on June 11, 1774
by Susan Cooke Soderberg
This presentation will describe what led the citizens of what is now Montgomery County into an armed revolt against
Great Britain and how they contributed to the newly forming independent government of the state of Maryland.



A World War I Soldier’s Story: A Local Hero and His Helmet 
by Ed and Nancy Bodmer
Ed and Nancy Bodmer recount Charles “Roszier” Bodmer’s heroic experiences in World War I with his uniform, helmet, letters, and pictures.


Jewish Developers and the Built Environment: A History of Early Jewish Community in Montgomery County (1930-1979) by Clare Lise Kelley 
This talk explores the emergence of Jewish community in Montgomery County, with a focus on the built environment. 


Location, Locale, and Belonging in Montgomery County: Latino Perspectives
by Maria Sprehn-Malagon, Ph.D.
Using oral histories, photographs, and historical documents this illustrated talk addresses Latino history in an increasingly diverse Montgomery County.


Feast Your Ears: The Story of WHFS 102.3 FM
by Jay Schlossberg, Weasel, Marc Elrich, Mark Segraves, and John Kelly
Join former WHFS deejay Weasel, WRC news correspondent Mark Segraves, Montgomery County Councilman-At-Large Marc Elrich and film director Jay Schlossberg as they discuss Jay’s feature documentary film, “Feast Your Ears: The Story of WHFS 102.3 FM”. This panel, moderated by Washington Post journalist John Kelly, shares the history of this one of a kind radio station that used to be “High Atop The Triangle Towers” in Bethesda. 



History Conference 2016 Recap by MC Today


All videos produced by Montgomery College Television.