The Willard InterContinental Announces 2018 line-up of History Happy Hour

The Willard InterContinental Announces 2018 line-up of History Happy Hour

To celebrate the iconic Willard InterContinental’s 200th anniversary, the historic hotel announces its 2018 History Happy Hour line-up. The exclusive monthly event where “every drink tells a story” will welcome a stellar line-up of political experts, journalists, authors and historians to join The Willard’s legendary bartender Jim Hewes in a dynamic session combining education and entertainment. The two-hour program will provide attendees with a few of the nation’s most intriguing stories of yesteryear along with a hands-on experience in the art of mixology. History buffs and cocktail aficionados alike can kick back, enraptured by tales of female espionage while sampling signature concoctions like the Henry Clay Mint Julep.

History Happy Hour runs from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. at $49 per person (21 years of age and older only) and includes three cocktails and light appetizers. Tickets are required and can be purchased on The Willard’s event page. The first half of the 2018 schedule is as follows:

Thursday, March 22, 2018
Sisterhood of Spies: History of Women Espionage

Calling all feminists and girl power gurus, this fascinating session will explore the untold stories and harrowing accounts of history’s most famous female spies. The conversation will delve into the covert intelligence operations of female agents during the Civil War, including Antonia Ford, Elizabeth Van Lew and Harriet Tubman before retelling the scintillating tales of World War I femme fatale Mata Hari and World War II’s Josephine Baker or America-chef Julia Child. Ohlke will conclude with the thrilling, heroic description of how one female analyst helped capture the Osama Bin Laden. Like a real-life James Bond film, these captivating chronicles of female espionage are not to be missed.

Friday, April 13, 2018
Flowers of Friendship: Unearthing the Story of the National Cherry Blossom

Examining one of Washington D.C.’s most beloved traditions, this enchanting narrative gives the history of how one idea to beautify Potomac Park evolved into a complex initiative spearheaded by First Lady Helen Taft. The discussion will examine Helen Taft’s desire to have the first Japanese cherry trees planted along the Tidal Basin to create an enjoyable public space later led to a symbol of peace and friendship between the nations of Japan and America. After hearing about the First Lady’s efforts, Tokyo gifted the U.S. with 2,000 Yoshino cherry trees only to be destroyed upon entering inspections due to disease but thankfully later replaced by an additional 3,000 trees in 1913, drawing over 1 million visitors and becoming former First LadyTaft’s greatest legacy, as well as the start of one of the city’s most cherished traditions.

Thursday, May 24, 2018
The Press & the Presidency: A Complicated History

This event will investigate the complex relationship between the U.S. Presidents and the ever-changing media landscape over the past two centuries. We will take guests on a journey from the proliferation of newspapers and the rise of a more informative and less partisan press in the 1800s to the introduction of social media in the 2000s, with a look at everything in between including the popularity of yellow journalism, the first radio broadcast of the 1920s and the first TV broadcast of the 1950s. We will touch upon the tumultuous relationships between the Presidents and the press, like Richard Nixon referring to the press as “enemies” or Thomas Jefferson calling newspapers a “polluted vehicle,” as well as highlighting the more positive ones including Truman’s addition of an auditorium for press briefings or Jimmy Carter’s bi-monthly meetings with out-of-town journalists.

Thursday, June 21, 2018 
Presidents & their Speechwriters: The Untold Stories Behind the Most Illustrious Speeches in American History

June’s History Happy Hour will explore the evolution of the presidential speechwriter’s job. We will share untold stories behind some of the most iconic presidential phrases in U.S. history, including Abraham Lincoln’s “Four scores and seven years ago,” Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself,” and John F. Kennedy’s “Ask not what your country can do for you.”

To view complete details on each scheduled program for History Happy Hour, visit

For more information on The Willard, visit or call (800) 424-6835.