The Interior Library is proud to present a series of programs on the background and history of sites of interest in the Washington, D.C. region, as well as subjects highlighting the history of the United States. The 45-minute programs, presented by National Park Service Rangers, are held in the Stewart L. Udall Department of the Interior Building To register for a future Park Ranger Speaker Series program, please click here. For more information about our Park Ranger Speaker Series programs, please contact the Interior Library by phone at (202) 208-5815 or e-mail at email@example.com.
Additional Park Ranger Speaker Series programs will be posted as they are scheduled. Please check this page regularly for changes or updates.
All programs scheduled through 2015 will be held in the John Muir Room, which is located on the ground level of the Main Interior Building.
Lincoln Conspirators Trial & Execution
Tuesday, June 23, 2015, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
The death of John Wilkes Booth at the hands of federal troops on April 26, 1865, was not the end of the Lincoln assassination tragedy. In the chaotic days immediately following Lincoln’s death, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton led the charge to arrest anyone who had any connection, real or tangential, to the assassin Booth. Scores were imprisoned and most were eventually released. In the process, the web of intrigue that Booth had created around him came into focus to show that his plan had extended beyond President Lincoln to also include the assassinations of Vice President Andrew Johnson and Secretary of State William Seward, who barely escaped with his life the night Lincoln was shot. Eight alleged co-conspirators were put on trial and all were found guilty. Four were given prison sentences but the other four were sent to the gallows, including Mary Surratt who became the first woman to be executed by the federal government.
Please join Park Ranger Heidi Dietze for the story of the trial and execution of the Lincoln assassination conspirators, an event that even today is still a source of much debate and controversy.
VE Day: The End of World War II in Europe
Tuesday, July 21, 2015, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Seventy years ago the guns finally fell silent in Europe. After six years of horrific warfare and unimaginable atrocities, the people of Europe could begin to look forward to peace. Upon the defeat of Nazi Germany, celebrations erupted throughout the world. In London, crowds massed in Trafalgar Square and up The Mall to Buckingham Palace, where King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, accompanied by Prime Minister Winston Churchill, appeared on the balcony of the Palace before cheering crowds. In the United States, the victory happened on President Harry Truman's 61st birthday. He dedicated the victory to the memory of his predecessor, Franklin D. Roosevelt, who had died of a cerebral hemorrhage less than a month earlier. Massive celebrations also took place in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, and New York’s Times Square.
Please join Park Ranger Paul O’Brian as he takes a look back at VE Day, the day that World War II ended in Europe. Ranger O’Brian will not only examine the end of the conflict and how it was celebrated, but will also look into how the end of the war in Europe led to a new era of confrontation called the Cold War.
The Latin American Monuments on Virginia Avenue
Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm
Washington, DC’s Virginia Avenue, NW has also become known as the "Avenue of the Liberators." Grand memorials celebrate those who freed Latin America from Spanish colonial rule as well as others who continued the fight for liberty long after independence. Monuments along Virginia Avenue honor men like Simon Bolivar of Venezuela, Jose de San Martin of Argentina, and Jose Gervasio Artigas of Uruguay, who each led revolts that toppled Spain over the first three decades of the 19th century. From these struggles emerged a number of new nations in the Americas and a new call for freedom that would affect world history in significant ways. Some of these impacts include the acceleration of the onset of the American Civil War and the emergence of the decolonization movement around the world.
We invite you to join Park Ranger Michael Balis as he discusses the Latin American Monuments found along Virginia Avenue. He will examine the impact of the men these monuments were built to honor and look at why they were erected along this particular corridor in Washington, DC.