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Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A Century of Honor, 1921-2021

unknown soldier lecture photo

Harris & Ewing, photographer. Tomb of Unknown Soldier. United States Arlington Virginia, 1938. Photograph. Library of Congress.

Lecture presented by Philip Bigler
November 11, 2021, 2 p.m. ET

On November 11, 1921, the United States buried an Unknown Soldier on the plaza of the Memorial Amphitheater at Arlington National Cemetery. For 100 years, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has served as the nation’s most sacred and recognized military shrine—a place of national pilgrimage and somber reflection. Over the ensuing years, this magnificent monument has been enhanced and expanded with the addition of unknowns from World War II and Korea (1958) as well as a Vietnam Unknown (1984). At the site, a perpetual military guard is rigorously maintained regardless of weather conditions, terrorist attack, or even a global pandemic.

Philip BiglerPhilip Bigler, author of Tomb of the Unknown Soldier: A Century of Honor, 1921-2021, is a former Arlington National Cemetery Historian and the 1998 National Teacher of the Year. 




And Yet They Persisted: How American Women Won the Right to Vote

2020 08 Special Lecture Book And Yet They Persisted

by Johanna Neuman, Author
August 18, 2020, 3 p.m. ET

2020 08 Special Lecture Speaker Womens SuffrageChronicling the history of the 19th Amendment whose centennial we celebrated on August 18, 2020, Dr. Johanna Neuman spoke about the importance of the states in securing the right to vote for women, shedding light on why it took two centuries for most women in this country to earn the right to vote. And Yet They Persisted: How American Women Won the Right to Vote is a gripping story of female activism. Most historians begin the suffrage story in 1848, when Elizabeth Cady Stanton first stood in public at a women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. and demanded the right to vote, and end the story on August 18, 1920, when Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment. And Yet They Persisted expands our understanding of that history, positioning its origins with the revolutionary fervor in the 1770s and its final triumph two centuries later, when African-American women in the South had to fight Jim Crow laws to win their constitutionally mandated right to vote.

For two centuries, in petitions and parades, with warring tactics and diverse motives, women fought for and won this precious badge of equal citizenship. They voted in the 1770s, launched petition drives in the 1830s, attended suffrage conventions in the 1850s, and strategized to win victories in the states beginning in the 1870s. They lobbied Congress in the 1910s to enact the 19th Amendment and galvanized public opinion around a Voting Rights Act in 1965. No one handed them victory. They won the vote, against all odds, when they convinced men that it was in male political interests to share power.

About the author: Dr. Neuman is one of the nation’s leading historians of women’s suffrage. An award-winning author, her new book, And Yet They Persisted: How American Women Won the Right to Vote, traces the history of women’s suffrage over two centuries, expanding our understanding of the depth of this movement and restoring African American women to the suffrage narrative. An earlier book, Gilded Suffragists: The New York Socialites Who Fought for Women’s Right to Vote, documents the role of the celebrity endorsements in galvanizing social change. Choice Magazine, the review publication of the American Library Association, called the book “highly entertaining and gravely important … a wonderfully written history [that] details the relentless efforts required to make lasting change.” A former journalist, Dr. Neuman covered the White House, State Department and Congress for USA Today and the Los Angeles Times. During her career as a journalist, she received a Nieman Fellowship at Harvard University and served as president of the White House Correspondents’ Association. After earning her Ph.D. in history, she became a scholar in residence at American University in Washington, D.C.