So many history conferences, so little time!
No complaints here. On the heels of Fairfax County’s last weekend, it’s fun to anticipate attending some of the 40th Annual D.C. History Conference. John Kelly has a nice preview, although we were a bit perplexed of the couching of Washington as some kind of outpost during the Civil War??
Anyway, the theme will focus on the confluence of several anniversaries, including the 50th anniversary of the 1963 Civil Rights March on Washington, the 40th anniversary of the initiation of modern Home Rule in 1973, the centennial of the 1913 Woman Suffrage Procession, and the sesquicentennial of the Emancipation Proclamation. The War of 1812 and the Civil War will also keep attendees busy.
As an Alexandrian, I was hopeful someone would be talking about the seaport city during its District days. Tabbing down the schedule, I was thrilled to see:
Alexandrian Retrocession and Regional Progress
The causes of Alexandria’s retrocession to Virginia are examined in light of contemporary economic, agrarian and human rights issues.
The conventional wisdom on Alexandria’s retrocession has focused on the needs of Alexandria's business community. Glen Crothers (“In the Shadow of Freedom”) updated things by looking at impacts retrocession had on enslaved African Americans living in the city.
This aspect of area history is a nuanced one that marked a pivot point for the direction Alexandria would take in the coming years. We thank the conference planners for lining up these new perspectives.