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Park Ranger Speaker Series

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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

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.

The Matter of Peace: The Little Known Symbols of Peace on the National Mall
Tuesday, December 16, 2014, 1:00 pm – 1:45 pm

Celebrate the 200th anniversary of the December 24, 1814 signing of the Treaty of Ghent, ending the War of 1812, with a virtual tour of the many symbols of peace at the National Mall and Memorial Parks. Eclipsed by the Korean War Veterans Memorial, Vietnam Veterans Memorial and World War II Memorial are persistent reminders of Washington's fervent "first see the whole world in peace, and the Inhabitants of it as one band of brothers, striving who should contribute most to the happiness of mankind." Revisit Pierre L’Enfant’s vision for the National Mall to serve as a platform where, over time, we would build reminders of civic virtue, our goal of freedom and equality, and the justice requisite for peace.

We invite you to join Park Ranger Jan Bueger as she discusses and takes a virtual trip with you to the little known and often forgotten symbols of peace that can be found scattered across the National Mall.  


Japanese Imperialism and the Path to World War II
Tuesday, January 20, 2015, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

The origins of Japanese imperial ambitions in the Pacific can be traced to the beginning of the Meiji Restoration in the late 1860’s. Confidence in Japan’s military capabilities heightened after the Japanese successfully defeated Russia in the Russo-Japanese war during the first decade of the 20th century. By the time of the signing of the Treaty of Versailles ending the World War I in 1919, a war in which Japan found itself on the victorious side; many on the island nation already started turning their eyes towards other territories in Asia and the Pacific. Imperial Japan hoped to create a sphere of influence similar to that of Great Britain in Africa and Asia, one where the natural and human resources of these areas could be utilized to help build a modern and powerful Japanese Empire.

Please join Park Ranger Paul O’Brian as he examines the metamorphosis of Japan from a quiet island nation into an Imperial power in the 1930’s. Ranger O’Brian will attempt to answer two questions that still remain regarding Japan’s transformation; why imperialism and why this path to the Second World War?

Emporer Hirohito