The National Archives will present an author talk with book signing titled Congress at War: How Republican Reformers Fought the Civil War, Defied Lincoln, Ended Slavery, and Remade America by Fergus Bordewich on February 25. Historian Fergus Bordewich shows how a newly empowered Republican party “shaped one of the most dynamic and consequential periods in American history. From reinventing the nation's financial system to pushing President Lincoln to emancipate the slaves to the planning for Reconstruction, Congress undertook drastic measures to defeat the Confederacy, in the process laying the foundation for a strong central government that came fully into being in the twentieth century.”
The National Archives will present Richard J. Lazarus in a talk about his book titled The Rule of Five: Making Climate History at the Supreme Court on March 20. Attorney Joe Mendelson delivered a petition in October 1999 to the Environmental Protection Agency asking it to restrict greenhouse gas emissions from new cars. Lazarus’s book tells the story of “how an unlikely team of lawyers and activists overcame opposition―and their own divisions―to win the most important environmental case ever brought before the Supreme Court.”
Bethesda's annual Local Writer's Showcase will take place April 16 & 17, including award ceremonies and readings open to the public. The annual Essay and Short Story contest - in partnership with Bethesda Magazine, The Writer's Center and The Trawick Foundation - and the Bethesda Poetry Contest - honor local writers.
Planet Word - a language arts museum- is scheduled to open in the historic Franklin School building on Franklin Square at 13th & K in D.C. on May 31, 2020. The red brick building was designed by Adolf Cluss in 1869 and has been used for many purposes, including as a public school, a homeless shelter, a place for Alexander Graham Bell to test out his inventions, a teacher’s college and more. Cluss also designed other historic red brick buildings, including the Smithsonian’s Arts and Industries Building and the Eastern Market. The Franklin School was one of the first public school buildings in the city, and became a model for age-graded classrooms and curricula. Both the interior and the exterior of the building have historic preservation status. CEO and founder Ann B. Friedman, a philanthropist and former reading teacher who is married to New York Times opinion columnist Tom Friedman, is creating the new museum. D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser selected a firm to spearhead the project in 2015. Planet Word will not have a collection – rather its exhibits will all be experiential or technology-based. Friedman has commented that “Instead of artwork or historic objects, the exhibits will center around “nouns, verbs, adjectives, puns, questions and quotations.” There will be no charge for admission to the $50 million museum.
The Folger Shakespeare Library building, which dates back to 1932, will undergo a major renovation beginning on March 1, 2020 to expand public space, improve accessibility, and enhance the experience for all who visit the Folger. Construction will conclude in 2022, and the building will reopen. During the multi-year renovation, public access to the building will be restricted, but Folger programs and events will continue at other locations in DC, and around the country. Image below: A rendering of the building after renovation.