The Library frequently hosts a variety of dynamic events, welcoming established scholars, leaders, and experts from numerous fields.



Upcoming Events

Ford Evening Book Talk: George Washington and the Irish

George Washington Presidential Library

Hear from Niall O'Dowd, author of George Washington and the Irish: Incredible Stories of the Irish, Spies, Soldiers, and Workers Who Helped Free America. This new book is the untold story of the vital role the Irish played in the American Revolution –not just on the battlefield but also in the field hospitals and in the framing of the Declaration of Independence. O'Dowd takes readers on a journey to explore the personal relationships between some of these men and women with the first president of the United States.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and have their books signed.

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The Revolutionary: Author Lecture with Stacy Schiff

Samuel Adams was the man with high-minded ideals and bare-knuckle tactics, who led what could be called the greatest campaign of civil resistance in American history. This is the revelatory biography from a Pulitzer Prize-winner about the most essential Founding Father—the one who stood behind the change in thinking that produced the American Revolution.

A book signing and reception with complimentary beer, wine, and hors-d'oeuvres will take place after the lecture. 

This event is part of the 2023 Michelle Smith Lecture Series. Tickets are available only as a three-lecture package.

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The Michelle Smith Lecture Series is supported by an endowment established by a generous grant from the late Robert H. and Clarice Smith.
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Pretty Young Rebel: Author Lecture with Flora Fraser

In this probing, evocative portrait of a tumultuous life, master historian Flora Fraser peels away the layers of misinformation, legend, and myth to reveal a fascinating picture of this headstrong and irrepressible woman named Flora Macdonald. This is the captivating biography of the remarkable young Scotswoman whose bold decision to help “Bonnie” Prince Charlie—the Stuart claimant to the British throne—evade capture and flee the country has become the stuff of legend.

A book signing and reception with complimentary beer, wine, and hors-d'oeuvres will take place after the lecture. 

This event is part of the 2023 Michelle Smith Lecture Series. Tickets are available only as a three-lecture package.

Member Tickets

In PersonVirtual

General Public Tickets

In PersonVirtual

The Michelle Smith Lecture Series is supported by an endowment established by a generous grant from the late Robert H. and Clarice Smith.
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Ford Evening Book Talk: The Great New York Fire of 1776

George Washington Presidential Library

Hear from Benjamin L. Carp, author of The Great New York Fire of 1776: A Lost Story of the American Revolution. This exciting new book tells the untold story of who set the mysterious fire that burned down much of New York City shortly after the British took the city during the Revolutionary War. Carp takes readers on thorough investigation of the dramatic and catastrophic event, as well as its consequences for the city’s people and the Revolutionary cause.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and have their books signed.

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Ford Evening Book Talk: Beauty and the Brain

George Washington Presidential Library

Hear from Rachel E. Walker, author of Beauty and the Brain: The Science of Human Nature in Early America. 

This fascinating new book examines the history of phrenology and physiognomy, proposing a bold new way of understanding the connection between science, politics, and popular culture in early America. Walker provides an important history of how people tried to read facial features as a mark of character for both conservative and radical purposes.

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and have their books signed.

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Rebels at Sea: Author Lecture with Eric Jay Dolin

Rebels at Sea presents an entirely new pantheon of Revolutionary heroes whose exploits and sacrifices were at the very center of the conflict. Abounding in tales of daring maneuvers and deadly encounters, this exciting new book depicts this nation’s first war as we have rarely seen it before.

A book signing and reception with complimentary beer, wine, and hors-d'oeuvres will take place after the lecture. 

This event is part of the 2023 Michelle Smith Lecture Series. Tickets are available only as a three-lecture package.

Member Tickets

In PersonVirtual

General Public Tickets

In PersonVirtual

The Michelle Smith Lecture Series is supported by an endowment established by a generous grant from the late Robert H. and Clarice Smith.
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The 2023 Mount Vernon Symposium

George Washington Presidential Library

After the American Revolution, George Washington resolved that he would no longer “send to England (from whence I formerly had all my goods) for anything I can get upon tolerable terms elsewhere.” He instead turned to the United States’ greatest ally, France, where he found the furniture, ceramics, textiles, and decorative objects to be “very elegant” and “much admired.”  

This symposium will examine George and Martha Washington’s adoption of the French taste, as a catalyst to further explore the complex interchange of culture, decorative styles, and objects in the French-Atlantic World. 

Join leading curators and historians as they examine the diffusion of French style, from the Ancien Régime through the French Revolution and French Empire, and from Paris to London, Philadelphia, Port-au-Prince, and New Orleans, to 20th-century Los Angeles.  

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The Mount Vernon Symposium is endowed by the generous support of The Robert H. Smith Family Foundation, Lucy S. Rhame, The Felicia Fund, The Sachem Foundation, and Mr. and Mrs. Frank Mauran IV.
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2023 Annual Martha Washington Lecture

Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium

Martha Washington actively supported the American Revolution and regularly visited her husband’s winter encampment. Hear how women took part in and contributed to the conflict which won the nation’s independence.

This event features historians Holly A. Mayer, Karen Cook-Bell, and Lorri Glover, contributors to the new book, Women Waging War in the American Revolution.

Following the lecture, guests will enjoy a reception that includes wine and beer, and a book signing.

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This annual event was created to share new scholarship and insights into the life and times of Martha Washington and is made possible through a generous grant from the Richard S. Reynolds Foundation of Richmond, Virginia.
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Ford Evening Book Talk: Alexandra Petri's US History

Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium

Hear from Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri, author of Alexandra Petri’s US History. 

This witty, absurdist satire of the last 500 years is the fake textbook you never knew you needed! This side-splitting work of historical humor shows why Petri has been hailed as a “genius,” a “national treasure,” and “one of the funniest writers alive.”

Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions and have their books signed.

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