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History Happy Hour: Beyond The White House Gates

February 22, 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m.

Beyond The White House Gates: An Inside Look into the Presidential Retreats and Homes that Influenced U.S. History

February 22, 2018  | 6:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. | The Willard Room at the Willard InterContinental Washington, D.C. 

For over two centuries, U.S. presidents have found refuge from the daily pressures of the Oval Office at various residences throughout the nation. Often referred to as the summer or winter White House, these homes have afforded our nation’s commander-in-chief, much-needed reprieve from The White House.

From Jefferson’s Monticello to Lincoln’s Cottage, to Grant’s seaside community in Long Branch, NJ, to Teddy Roosevelt’s Sagamore Hill, and Wilson’s Harlakenden House in Cornish, NH, to the Kennedy compound on Cape Cod, Lyndon Johnson’s “Texas White House”, and Nixon’s “La Casa Pacifica”, to Camp David and even the Willard Hotel, these are just a few of the residences that presidents retreated to throughout the years.

Join us for History Happy Hour: Beyond the White House Gates for a discussion on presidential manors that influenced U.S. history, including a deep dive into Lincoln's Cottage and its impact on the political discourse on the Civil War, as well as Wilson’s time at Harlakenden House and its influence as he navigated the complexities of the Great War.  We will also explore the history of the presidency and the Willard Hotel, shedding light on how the iconic property acquired its presidential nickname, “The Residence of Presidents”.

In Conversation with:

Jim Hewes,
Bartender at the Round Robin Bar
Jim Hewes is a venerable mixologist at the Round Robin Bar at the historic Willard InterContinental. Throughout his 30 years of working at the famed Round Robin Bar, Jim has established an internationally acclaimed reputation for not only his cocktails but for the history lessons he provides to patrons of the bar. “Jim Hewes is a walking DC History Channel and he makes a great Mint Julep,” says a frequent bar-goer. “Come for the drinks, stay for the history lesson.” Google Jim Hewes, Round Robin Bar, and nearly 11k search results appear. 90% of those search results speak to the famed mixologist that he is and the strong command of U.S. history that he possesses. A winner of DC Craft Bartender’s Guild Lifetime Achievement Award, Jim has become as synonymous with the Round Robin Bar as the bar is with the Willard InterContinental.

Erin Carlson Mast, CEO & Executive Director, President Lincoln's Cottage
Erin was a member of the original team leading to the Cottage’s grand opening in 2008. Since 2010, Mast has led the organization through growth, groundbreaking programming, and significant recognition, including a Presidential Medal and being named one of Washington, D.C.’s 50 Best Places to work and the Best Museum off the Mall. In 2016, she led the organization through its transition to an independent 501(c)(3). Mast has written for such publications as History News and The Public Historian and was a contributing author to Museums of Ideas: Commitment and Conflict. She was recognized with the EXCEL Chief Executive Leadership Award in 2017. She holds an MA in Museum Studies from The George Washington University and a BA in History from the Ohio University Honors Tutorial College.

Susan G. Berning, Interim Executive Director, Director of Strategic Planning and Development, Woodrow Wilson House
Susan works for the National Trust for Historic Preservation as the Director of Strategic Planning and Development for Historic Sites, and is the Executive Director for the President WoodrowWilson.  Susan plays a key role in the implementation of the National Trust’s vision for its historic sites by working collaboratively with the executive directors, advisory councils, and boards of directors across the portfolio of 27 National Trust Historic Sites to support sustainability and the implementation of new ventures and initiatives.  Currently at the Wilson House, Susan leads the development of exciting new programs around the 100-year anniversaries of Wilson’s international impact, around African American Cultural Heritage with the site’s partners, and around women’s suffrage in Wilson’s time, and how the women’s movement has changed in the past 100 years. Previous to her work at the Trust, Susan directed national initiatives in the fields of higher education reform, catastrophic disaster, and public policy for agencies such as FEMA, Departments of Education and Labor, and a variety of non-profits.

Tickets: $49 per person (21 years of age +)  Admission includes (3) cocktails and light appetizers. Tickets for this event are required.

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About History Happy Hour


Held monthly at the Willard InterContinental, this two-hour event distills American history through cocktails, while also providing attendees a hands-on class on the art of cocktail making. Led by Jim Hewes, a venerable mixologist and legendary bartender at The Willard's iconic Round Robin Bar, and featuring rotating historians, authors and journalists, History Happy Hour offers a mixology lesson "straight up" with history "served long", a perfect pairing for cocktail aficionados and history buffs.