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America Under Fire Symposium
David M. Rubenstein National Center for White House History at Decatur House 1610 H Street, NW DC U.S.A.
$50: Two-day admission to the Symposium program, Anniversary Dinner (Wednesday evening), and the Closing Reception (Thursday evening).Included in the attendance fee is a complimentary copy of White House History, distributed at the Symposium, and the Symposium proceedings. Proceedings will be published and shipped to participants after the event.

The White House Historical Association (WHHA), The United States Capitol Historical Society (USCHS), and James Madison's Montpelier will commemorate the bicentennial of the August 24, 1814, invasion and burning of the White House and United States Capitol with a two-day symposium. Renowned scholars will describe and discuss the geopolitics and causes of the War of 1812, the British capture of the national capital and burning of the public buildings on August 24, 1814, President James Madison's interpretation of the Constitution in a time of war and crisis, Dolley Madison as a political partner and heroine, the impact of the war on African Americans and Native Americans, and the aftermath of the war on the future of the nation.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Opening Session, 1:15 p.m., featuring:

  • Andrew Lambert, author of Challenge: Britain Against America in the Naval War of 1812
  • Catherine Allgor, Ph.D., Director of Education, Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, and author of A Perfect Union: Dolley Madison and the Creation of the American Nation
  • Alan Taylor, Ph.D., Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation Chair, University of Virginia, and Pulitzer Prize and Bancroft prize-winning author of The Civil War of 1812
  • John A. Stagg, Ph.D., Professor of History, University of Virginia, and Editor of the James Madison Papers at the University of Virginia

Followed by the Anniversary Gala Dinner in the Courtyard, 5:30 p.m.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Morning Session, 8:30 a.m., featuring:

  • Donald R. Hickey, Ph.D., Professor of History, Wayne State College, and author of The War of 1812: A Forgotten Conflict
  • Steve Vogel, former journalist for The Washington Post and author of Through the Perilous Fight: Six Weeks that Saved the Nation
  • Holly C. Shulman, Ph.D., Editor of the Dolley Madison Project, University of Virginia
  • Ralph Eshelman, Ph.D., historical consultant to the National Park Service, Star-Spangled National Historic Trail, and author of five publications about the war on the Chesapeake

Lunch: Symposium attendees have a wide selection of local restaurants within walking distance. A list of suggestions will be provided.

Afternoon Session, 1:15 p.m., featuring:

  • Kenneth Bowling, Ph.D., co-editor, 1st Federal Congress Project and author of The Creation of Washington, D.C.: The Idea and Location of the American Capital
  • Pamela Scott, independent architectural historian and author of Buildings of the District of Columbia and Fortress of Finance: The U.S. Treasury Department Building
  • William Seale, Ph.D., White House Historian and author of The President's House, The White House: The History of an American Idea, and editor of White House History
  • Andrew Burstein, Ph.D., and Nancy Isenberg, Ph.D., authors of Madison and Jefferson

Followed by the Closing Reception, 5:00 p.m.

The White House Historical Association thanks the ChemArt company for their generous sponsorship of the Anniversary Gala Dinner. Since 1981, ChemArt has been our American manufacturing partner for the annual White House Christmas Ornament.

Additional Information

Nearby Parking Garages: 1625 I Street NW / 1750 H Street NW / 1050 Connecticut Avenue NWNearest Metro Stops: Farragut West and McPherson Square on the Blue/Orange Line, and Farragut North on the Red Line