History Conversations
Enjoy our History Conversations, a program featuring weekly virtual lectures from our talented corps of speakers covering a wide variety of local history topics. Each lecture is live-streamed via Zoom and then posted here for a week.


This week:

REWIND – Gibson Grove: Gone but not Forgotten

With Dr. Alexandra Jones

Available starting November 21. Rewinds are pre-recorded and available for one week. No registration is required. Don’t miss these great talks!

The historic African American community of Gibson Grove was built on self-reliance, education, faith, and mutual support in a time when African Americans were discriminated against and prevented from attending schools, obtaining insurance, and being buried in the same cemeteries as their European American counterparts. This community has all but faded in the memories of many in Montgomery County, and today the few remaining historical sites are being threatened by the expansion of the Beltway. However, a new community of advocates has stepped in to save these sacred spots. This talk will explore the history of Gibson Grove and the actions being taken to save the two sites associated with this community.


Next week:
The Hero of Two Worlds: The Story of the Marquis de Lafayette and the 2024 – 2025 Bicentennial of his American Farewell Tour
With Patricia L. Maclay, MD
Tuesday, November 29 at 2:00 p.m.
Lafayette’s Farewell Tour saw the French 67-year old last surviving major general of the American Revolution triumphantly return to the country he loved. From August 15, 1824 to September 9, 1825, Lafayette covered over 6,000 miles by carriage, stagecoach, canal barge, and steamboat, traveling to all 24 exiting states and “Washington City.” This presentation will cover the details of Lafayette’s Farewell Tour of America, how it will be celebrated in 2024 – 2025, and how everyone will have the opportunity to get involved. Get ready to celebrate Lafayette, the Hero of Two Worlds.
Register for free here.
Last Week: Unstitching the Truth About Crazy Quilts
With Elizabeth Lay

Crazy Quilts probably derived their name from the irregular shapes of the fabric pieces and the lack of a defined pattern. They were bold and random, and the name “crazy” has prevented them from being taken seriously by our 21st century eyes. The truth is: these quilts were meant to showcase highly skilled needlework and painting skills on luxury fabrics. Rather than hidden in bedrooms, they were displayed in the parlor for visitors to admire. Join Curator Elizabeth Lay for an exploration of the extraordinary “Crazy Quilts” in the Montgomery History textile collection. She will provide close-up images of the embroidery and other decorations, look at both the front and the back of the quilts, and examine the history of these late 19th century objects of desire.



Paths to the Present

Paths to the Present: Montgomery County Stories, a cable television show created by County Cable Montgomery and Montgomery History from 2000-2014, explores the often overlooked history found right in our own backyards. Produced by Emmy-winner Barbara Grunbaum and hosted by Gail Street, Paths to the Present covers a wide variety of topics highlighting this county’s past. You can watch all 86 of the episodes here.