A free historical pageant that will cover our nation's military history from the American Revolution to the Vietnam War is showing at the Capital Centre this weekend. The skirmishes start with the American militia's battle against the British Redcoats, the surrender of the British at Yorktown and the Treaty of Paris. The 21/2-hour production continues with scenes from the Battle of New Orleans, the winning of the West and the Civil War. Sponsored by the United States Army Military District, the show will also draw on World War II and recognize the role of the 29th Infantry Division made up of National Guards from D.C., Virginia and Maryland at the Normandy Invasion. From there, the historical path leads us to the Korean and Vietnam wars and a focus on the soldier of the '80s.

As an added attraction, the Old Guard and the Army Band will perform along with the Old Guard's Fife and Drum Corps, the Commander-in-Chief's Guard and the Army Chorus and Concert Orchestra. The Spirit of America pageant, with more than 500 cast members in 40 different acts, has been an annual theatrical happening for about 20 years. The show's hours are 8 on Friday; 2 and 8 on Saturday and Sunday. To get there take Beltway exit 15A or 17A and follow the signs to the Capital Centre. Call 484-6877.