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History Lecture Series offered again this year at the Old Manassas Courthouse

The Prince William County Historic Preservation is once again offering our Annual History Lecture Series at the Old Manassas Courthouse located at 9248 Lee Avenue, in Manassas on the 4th Thursday of each month beginning in January through April.  The lectures will be held in the upstairs ballroom at 7:00 p.m. and are free to the public.  Donations will be thankfully accepted.

The first lecture of this season will be on Thursday, January 25th and will use one of Virginias most colorful Civil War heroes John S. Mosby and his command as the topic In 1863, John S. Mosby formed a command of Partisan Rangers with the blessing of Generals R.E. Lee & J.E.B. Stuart.  Author and speaker Eric W. Buckland will lead us as we explore some of these men who attended Virginia Military Institute.  Lt. Col. Buckland has offered to research men of the command who hailed from Prince William County as well.  Copies of Buckland’s book “Mosby’s Keydet Rangers” will be available for purchase.

Because 2018 puts us squarely in the 100th  Anniversary of the World War I, two of the lectures will focus on contributions made at this time. On February 22 the Historic Preservation Division will host Anna E. Keifer for Sowing the Seeds of Victory: The Women’s Land Army of America in Virginia and Washington D.C.

In 1917, the Women’s Land Army of America (WLAA) began recruiting the first of more than 20,000 women who would work the land while America’s farmers were called up to serve in the Great War.  The girls and women of the WLAA, also known as the Farmettes, shocked American society as they were paid equally with male farm laborers, worked eight hour days and wore pants.  Eventually, Farmettes would work on family farms and orchards in 25 states including Virginia.

On March 22nd We will host The United States Marine Corps Historical Company for US Marines in the Great War.  In 1917, US General John ‘Black Jack’ Pershing ordered the US Marine Expeditionary Force and the US Army to serve as one force in France.  The Army and Marines were to look the same and fight together. However the Marines did everything possible to keep their identity by putting USMC buttons on their green army uniforms and using USMC insignia as well.  The US Marines performed above and beyond expectations. They were such a force that the Germans gave them the nickname “Teufelshunde” – Devil Dogs at the Battle of Belleau Woods in June 1918.

The final lecture of the 2018 season will be held on Thursday, April 26th .  Robert Szabo will present The History of Wet Plate Photography.  During the antebellum years and just prior to the American Civil War, a new technology known as collodion photography was coming into use and would forever change the way citizens saw their world.  These photographs printed on metal were extremely detailed and rivals any type of picture of today.  Robert Szabo, a wet plate Collodion Photographer has been working to keep this art alive, will be joining us and presenting on the history of this craft

The inclement weather policy is if Prince William County Public Schools are closed, or school activities are cancelled the lecture will be postponed as well.  Updates will be posted on the Prince William County Historic Preservation Foundation Facebook page (www.facebook.com/pwhistoric).  For additional information about the lectures contact David M. Born, Historic Programs Coordinator at 703-792-5618, or at dborn@pwcgov.org .       

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