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



Upcoming Events

2021 Founding Debates: Civic Education in America: Origins, Aspirations, Challenges

Ford Orientation Center - Smith Theater

This year’s exciting program will explore why civic education was so important to America's Founding generation and what we are learning in the twenty-first century about how we should prepare students for a lifetime of citizenship.

This event will be followed by a reception.

Virtual Attendance

In-Person Attendance

The Founding Debates are sponsored by The Ammerman Family Foundation, Dr. Denis Franks and Joy Ammerman Franks, Michael and Stephanie Franks to honor former Mount Vernon President and CEO James C. Rees, whose vision lives on with the Washington Library.

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Lunch and Fellowship: Maurizio Valsania

Fred W. Smith National Library

Join us for lunch and compelling discussion with a member of our 2020-21 class of research fellows as he discusses his research topic, George Washington: Portrait of the First American Male. A boxed lunch will be provided.

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The Situation Room: Washington's Cabinet

Take an active role in deciding history, while enjoying a night out with your friends or colleagues.

In this immersive experience similar to Model UN, you'll navigate international and domestic crises in 18th century America; the decisions made by the group influences the outcome of the simulation.

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George Washington and the Age of Discovery: The 2021 USC George Washington Leadership Lecture

Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium

The annual George Washington Leadership Lecture explores the Father of our Country's lifelong accomplishments, providing a better understanding of him as a person, as well as his remarkable leadership, professional achievements, and lasting legacy.

This year's event will feature NASA’s Chief Scientist, Dr. James Green, in a discussion that will parallel George Washington’s age of exploration and discovery with our own time.

A reception will follow the lecture.

In-Person Attendance Virtual Attendance

This lecture series was established through a generous gift by Maribeth Borthwick '73, who also serves as the Vice Regent for California of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association.

This event is presented by the USC Sol Price School of Public Policy and the Fred W. Smith National Library for the Study of George Washington.

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Ford Evening Book Talk: Carolyn Eastman

Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium

Mount Vernon welcomes author Carolyn Eastman to the Smith Auditorium to discuss her new book The Strange Genius of Mr. O: The World of the United States' First Forgotten Celebrity on Wednesday, October 27, 2021.

Register

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Becoming George Washington: The 2021 George Washington Symposium

Robert H. and Clarice Smith Auditorium

Join us for an enlightening look at the personal interests and exploits of George Washington prior to the American Revolution. We will also examine the broader world of the British Empire in North America in the mid-eighteenth century.

During this symposium:

  • Hear from Mount Vernon staff and leading historians
  • Tour the Mansion
  • View historic documents and objects

Register

The annual George Washington Symposium is supported by a generous endowment established by the Barra Foundation.

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An Evening with Gordon Wood

Ford Orientation Center - Smith Theater

Join us for a special evening honoring renowned scholar Dr. Gordon S. Wood. Mount Vernon's President and CEO, Dr. Douglas Brandburn, will lead a robust conversation focused on Wood's remarkable career and transformational scholarship. They will also discuss Dr. Wood's new book, Power and Liberty: Constitutionalism in the American Revolution

The in-person event includes a reception and book signing with the author. You can also attend virtually and receive a signed copy of the book by mail.

An Evening with Gordon Wood is sponsored by a generous gift from Kay and Clark Musser.

In-Person Tickets

1 Ticket + Book    2 Tickets + 1 Book

For 2 tickets and 1 book, choose "2" as your quantity during checkout.

Virtual Tickets

Virtual Ticket + Book

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Lunch and Fellowship: Charles S. Clark

Fred W. Smith National Library

Join us for lunch and compelling discussion with Charles S. Clark, a member of our 2020-21 class of research fellows, as he discusses his research topic and new book, George Washington Parke Custis: A Rarefied Life in America's First Family. A boxed lunch will be provided.

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The 2022 Mount Vernon Symposium

Fred W. Smith National Library

The 2022 Mount Vernon Symposium will take place on June 3-5

Join leading gardeners, historians, horticulturists, archaeologists, and preservationists as they reconsider the importance of gardening, landscapes, and design in early America. Learn how Washington and his contemporaries shaped the natural world to achieve beauty through gardening, profited through agriculture, and conveyed civic values through landscape design—and how these historic methods remain relevant in today’s world. Revisit long-lost gardens, explore contemporary creations inspired by the past, and come face-to-face with the most authentic 18th-century plantation landscape in the United States. 

The Mount Vernon Symposium is endowed by the generous support of The Robert H. Smith Family Foundation and Lucy S. Rhame.

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