Park Ranger Speaker Series

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 and for more information about our Park Ranger Speaker Series programs, please use our registration form. If you have any questions or concerns, contact the Interior Library by phone at (202) 208-5815.

Additional Park Ranger Speaker Series programs will be posted as they are scheduled. Please check this page regularly for changes or updates.

Upcoming Programs

The Phillippines Campaign During World War II
Tuesday, November 21, 2017, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Soon after the evacuation of General Douglas MacArthur from the Philippines in March 1942, all of its islands fell into the hands of Japan. The Japanese occupation of this American territory was marked by numerous atrocities, which included large numbers of Filipinos being pressed into slave labor. From mid-1942 through mid-1944, the United States supplied and encouraged the Filipino guerrilla resistance by sneaking in supplies and ammunition. Soon, the guerrillas were able to harass the Japanese Army and take control of the rural jungle and mountainous areas. While remaining loyal to the United States, many of these freedom fighters hoped and believed that liberation from the Japanese would bring them their eventual freedom and independence.

Please join Park Ranger Michael Balis as he recounts the resistance of the people on the Philippine island of Mindanao to Japanese occupation during World War II. It is the story of three cultures courageously banding together to fight Japan - escaped American POWs, Muslim Filipinos, and Catholic Filipinos.

This program will be held in the Rachel Carson Room, which is located on the ground level of the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building.

Latin American Wars of Independence, 1799-1830 
Tuesday, December 12, 2017, 1:00 pm - 1:45 pm

Wars of Independence that took place in Latin America from 1799 to 1830 had their seeds in the American Revolution, the French Revolution, the Napoleonic Wars, and the Spanish military presence in its colonies. Most of these events had their genesis in the late 18th century and continued into the early years of the 19th century. As the United States secured its freedom in 1783 and the French Revolution ended in 1799, the fever of independence spread into Latin America. With the rise of Napoleon and his European campaigns and the War of 1812 in North America, Spain's power and influence around the globe began to erode. This created an opportunity for independence movements in their Latin American colonies to forcefully emerge.  

Please join Park Ranger Paul O’Brian as he discusses the Latin American Wars of Independence. Reminders of that struggle have been erected in along Washington, DC’s Virginia Avenue in the form of statues honoring leaders of that movement such as Simon Bolivar and Jose de San Martin. While these figures are very much part of this narrative, Ranger O’Brian will tell more of the story that is not often related in our history books.

This program will be held in the John Muir Room, which is located on the ground level of the Stewart Lee Udall Department of the Interior Building.