Historic Moments? Wait Till You See '33

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By Lavanya Ramanathan
Saturday, January 10, 2009

If you're bracing for the throngs of tourists flowing into your home town in just over a week, remember that Washingtonians have contended with inaugural crowds (and the logistical nightmares) for ages. Better yet, see for yourself.

Next week, the National Archives kicks off a series of events on presidential transitions, beginning with five days of screenings of archival films from bygone inaugurations. The screenings, which run 80 minutes to two hours, provide a chance to see how new presidents -- Democrats and Republicans -- are welcomed.

It starts Tuesday with clips from the inauguration of Herbert Hoover in 1929, Franklin D. Roosevelt's first inauguration in 1933 and Harry S. Truman's in 1949 (after he had already served nearly four years). The series continues Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, ending Jan. 19 with the inaugurations of George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. The catch: Screenings are at noon on weekdays.

If you can't make it, Thursday's must-do event is an evening discussion about presidential transitions. Panelists are well equipped to talk about the subject: They include Ann Stock, Clinton administration social secretary; Gary Walters, longtime White House chief usher; and Roger Porter, who was economic adviser to Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

All events are free. Screenings are at noon; the panel discussion is at 7 p.m. Thursday. All events are at the National Archives, William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW. 202-357-5000 or visit http://www.archives.gov/dc-metro/events.

This Week & Next

The District

Today

Closing "The Panza Collection" The Hirshhorn's latest "Ways of Seeing" exhibition gathers works from the collection of Italian Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo and his wife, Giovanna -- early, esoteric pieces by Donald Judd, Joseph Kosuth, Mark Rothko and dozens of other important artists from the 1960s and '70s. Don't expect paintings on walls at this exhibition -- expect large and unusual installations, and sometimes, bare walls altogether. The show closes tomorrow. Free. 10 a.m-5:30 p.m. today and tomorrow. Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Seventh Street and Independence Avenue SW. 202-633-1000.

The Scene Yoga Rave: Getting You High . . . on Life The Art of Living Foundation throws this nighttime yog-travaganza tonight at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington as a positive way to spend your Saturday night (and if you work on getting a bangin' yoga body while you're at it, well, good for you). "Yoga Rave 2009" features yoga and breathing techniques, guided meditation, all-you-can-eat vegetarian buffet, a DJ and live music by the Bhakti band. The deal: It's all substance-free. $35. 7:30-11:30 p.m. 18 and older only. Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Washington, 2500 14th St. NW. 877-964-2728 or http://www.yogarave.info.

Tomorrow

Concert Choral Tribute to Martin Luther King Jr. The Choral Arts Society of Washington's 21st annual tribute, with a 250-voice choir, returns to the Kennedy Center tomorrow. "The Wire" actor Jermaine Crawford (who is just 17) is the event's emcee, and a special humanitarian award will be presented to John Doar, the lead prosecutor in the "Mississippi Burning" civil rights slayings in 1964. 7 p.m. $20. Kennedy Center Concert Hall, 2700 F St. NW. For tickets call 202-244-3669 or visit http://www.choralarts.org.

Monday

For Kids Nikki Giovanni on "Hip Hop Speaks to Children" The renowned poet returns to Politics and Prose to read from her children's book, a companion to her "Poetry Speaks to Children" book that features a CD of readings by guests including Queen Latifah. Free. 10:30 a.m. Recommended for ages 7 to 12. Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW. 202-364-1919.

Thursday

The Scene New Year's Happy Hour The Alliance Francaise marks the year (yes, a little late) with a bash featuring jazz, real Kir Royal champagne cocktails and DJs. (Though the event is in honor of Alliance members, it's open to the public.) $5; free for members. 6:30-9:30 p.m. Thursday. 2142 Wyoming Ave. NW. Reserve a spot at http://www.francedc.orgor call 202-234-7911.


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