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 Facebook and then posted here for a week (below).

Upcoming Lectures:

History Conversations REWIND
“Clara Barton at Antietam”
with Susan Rosenvold
Premieres Monday, September 13 @ 10:00 a.m.

In commemoration of the 159th anniversary of the Battle of Antietam, hear the story of someone who experienced it firsthand: Clara Barton.

Discover Clara Barton’s first foray on the field of battle, from the meeting that gained her permission to take supplies to and travel with the Army through Maryland, to her experiences at the Battle of Antietam and her return to Washington, D.C. Despite the horrors and challenges she faced, it solidified her determination to become a dedicated humanitarian and led to the establishment of the American Red Cross.

This is not a live talk and there is no registration link. The video will be posted here on our website at 10:00 a.m. Monday, September 13 and will be available through Sunday, September 19.

“Unwritten Law”: A Symposium on the Lynchings in Rockville
with Ralph Buglass, Sarah Hedlund, Tony Cohen, and partners
Saturday, September 25, 9:00 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. 

Join Montgomery History as three Montgomery County historians provide accounts of the lynchings of Mr. John Diggs-Dorsey (d. 1880) and Mr. Sidney Randolph (d. 1896). This historical analysis will provide background on the economic, social, and political context of Montgomery County in the final decades of the 19th century and explore how elements of these murders were replicated in other parts of Maryland and the United States.

Part 1: Retrospective on Race in Post-Civil War Montgomery County, Ralph Buglass
Part 2: Two Rockville Lynchings: The Truth Uncovered, Sarah Hedlund
Part 3: Anatomy of a LynchingTony Cohen

This event is part of a Remembrance Weekend held in conjunction with the Montgomery County Lynching Memorial Project and the Remembrance and Reconciliation Commission. Find out more about all the weekend’s events on our website.

Register here!

“Rehab Reflections: The Journey of 417 N. Jonathan Street”
with Laura Houston
Tuesday, September 28 @ 2:00 p.m.

The journey of the cabin that now sits at 417 N. Jonathan Street in Hagerstown, Maryland began nearly 300 years ago. In its lifetime it has seen the birth and expansion of a nation, a people’s fight for freedom and the end of slavery, two World Wars, trailblazing movements for equal rights, and the rapid growth of the region surrounding it, all the while serving as a home to families and individuals with their own unique lives and stories to tell (likely including that of the town’s namesake, Jonathan Hager). Today, despite prior threat of disrepair and imminent demolition, with the help of Preservation Maryland and the generosity of numerous donors, the humble dwelling in the heart of the historic Jonathan Street community stands revived and resolute, ready to hold the stories of many more generations of homeowners. 

Register here!

“Montgomery County Schools’ Coming of Age: Bethesda as the Textbook Example”
with Ralph Buglass
Tuesday, October 5 @ 7:00 p.m.

This richly-illustrated talk, in partnership with Bethesda Historical Society, will detail the ways that Bethesda schools set the pace for education in Montgomery County public schools beginning in the early 1900s.

Register here!

“Fort Frederick: Three Centuries of History”
with Ranger Robert Ambrose 
Tuesday, October 12 @ 2:00 p.m.

Fort Frederick was built during the French and Indian War to protect Maryland from attack, but would play an active part of American history over the course of three centuries. The fort would see service in the 1750’s, again during the American War of Independence and Civil War. It would be owned by a former enslaved man, and redeveloped into a part by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression of the 1930’s.

Register here!

“In Search of Ghosts: Montgomery County, Maryland”
with Karen Yaffe Lottes
Tuesday, October 19 @ 2:00 p.m.

This story-telling lecture explores haunted places of Montgomery County and its surrounding area through ghostly tales. Learn about the many ghosts, apparitions, and supernatural occurrences that can’t be explained logically, including: The Headless Horseman that continues to terrorize visitors to the old railroad bridge; the poltergeist that haunts the Madison House; the Tommyknocker at the Maryland Mine; and the farmer who keeps searching for his buried treasure. Take this haunted journey back in time!

Register here!

Recent Lecture(s):

“Benjamin Banneker: Man of Many Accomplishments” with Breena Doyle


View a complete list of past History Conversations: Complete-List-of-Past-History-Conversations-210412

History Conferences

Our annual history conference has brought together historians, students, teachers, residents, and lifelong learners since 2007. With such a wide breadth of topics covered, you’re sure to find something that suits your interests. We’ll be rotating out different videos to feature, but you can also find links to all the past videos on our History Conference page.


Featured Video:
“By Hands of Parties Unknown: Remembrance and Reconciliation of Three Lynchings in Montgomery County” 
Speaker: Anthony Cohen


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.