Beyond Montgomery County
Contact Director of Programs Matt Gagle or call 301-340-2825 to schedule a Speakers Bureau presentation.
*New* The Hero of Two Worlds: The Story of the Marquis de Lafayette and the 2024 – 2025 Bicentennial of his American Farewell Tour
Speaker: Patricia Maclay, MD
Lafayette’s Farewell Tour saw the last surviving major general of the American Revolution triumphantly return from his home country of France to the United States, the new nation 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 existing states and “Washington City.” Patricia Maclay 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.
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.
William Marbury: The Man Whose Lawsuit Made the Supreme Court, Supreme
Speaker: James H. Johnston
William Marbury was the son of an impoverished tobacco farmer and his wife in Prince Georges County. When the young Marbury became an accounting clerk for the state in Annapolis, he dreamed of fame and fortune. By 1800, he had acquired the wealth and a large house in Georgetown. So, when the impertinent new president, Thomas Jefferson, told Secretary of State James Madison not to deliver to Marbury his commission as justice of the peace, Marbury wanted to use his wealth to teach Jefferson a lesson. Today, Marbury’s and Madison’s portraits hang side by side in the private dining room of the Supreme Court. The portraits are graphic reminders that the case of Marbury v. Madison established the proposition that the Supreme Court reigns supreme on matters of constitutional interpretation.
Thurgood Marshall: A Trail-Blazing Civil Rights Victory in Montgomery County
Speaker: Ralph Buglass
Civil rights icon Thurgood Marshall delivered an early blow to school segregation right here in Montgomery County—gaining equal pay for the county’s African American teachers in 1937. This little-known legal case is often seen as the first step in Marshall’s successful drive to have separate schools for white and black children declared unconstitutional, as the Supreme Court did 17 years later in a landmark decision. This illustrated talk details this remarkable local story and its national significance. Spoiler alert: the victory came at a tremendous cost to the teacher bringing the case.
A Field Guide to Civil War Statues in Washington
Speaker: James H. Johnston
In recent years, America has commemorated valor by erecting monuments to entire wars, such as the World War II and the Vietnam Veteran’s Memorials. Civil War veterans did it differently. They remembered themselves in monuments through their generals. Jim Johnston uses the statues to tell the story of the Civil War and of the artistry that went into them.
Sugarloaf: The Singular History of a Singular Mountain
Speaker: Ralph Buglass
Sugarloaf Mountain, a private oasis of natural beauty and scenic vistas that is open to the public, nearly became Camp David and was almost topped with a modernistic structure designed by one of America’s most famous architects, Frank Lloyd Wright, that instead ended up as a New York City landmark. This extensively illustrated talk explores these and other historical oddities of this tiny mountain that sits all by itself just over the Montgomery County line in Frederick County.
Byline: Ernie Pyle
Speaker: Steve LaRocque with Kathie Mack
Byline Ernie Pyle is a one-man, one-hour show created by Steve LaRocque to showcase excerpts from the wartime columns of Ernie Pyle. The script consists entirely of excerpts from Pyle’s reports from the front, used by permission of the Scripps-Howard Foundation. One of the first “embedded” reporters, Ernie Pyle wrote a column that ran daily in Scripps-Howard newspapers during World War II. Byline: Ernie Pyle features actor Steve LaRocque as Ernie Pyle, recounting the major events of World War II in Pyle’s own words. The actor becomes the reporter, appalled at the tragic waste of war and the brutal conditions it imposes on the men who fight it, yet personally committed to going back to it, again and again.