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Profs & Pints DC: Spies Everywhere! (Matinee)

November 21, 2021 @ 3:00 pm - 5:30 pm UTC+0

$2 – $12.

Profs and Pints DC presents: “Spies Everywhere!” a look at Washington D.C.’s World War I spy panic, with Mark Benbow, associate professor of history at Marymount University.

[Under current District of Columbia regulations attendees will be required to wear a mask except while eating or drinking. The Bier Baron will be requiring proof of Covid-19 vaccination or a negative Covid-19 test from the previous 72 hours for entry. It also will be requiring ticketed event attendees to purchase a minimum of two items, which can be food or beverages, including soft drinks.]

As America got pulled into World War I, fears arose that the Germans wouldn’t wait for us to come to them and instead would seek to threaten us on our own shores. A period of anti-German hysteria arose, and we entered a period of see-something say-something in which Americans thought they saw spies and saboteurs everywhere.

Reports from concerned citizens came pouring in: A car with an unusual hood was seen cruising through the area! Someone was taking photos of the Great Falls from the Virginia side! Men and women were seen walking into the woods carrying a wooden box! A man kept bottles of chemicals!

The Bureau of Investigation–the forerunner of the FBI–took the reports seriously and investigated each one to make sure the Imperial German government was not operating agents in our nation’s capital. Its files from 1917-1919 are filled with reports ranging from the serious to the ludicrous. It never found any real spies or saboteurs in the District of Columbia, although it did actually let a genuine one slip past. It did, however, uncover a burglary ring, disrupt a lover’s lane, and reveal a secret marriage.

Join local historian Mark Benbow for a fascinating look at DC’s great spy panic. He’ll discuss some of the juiciest, funniest, and most aggravating cases handled by at authorities at that time. It’s a great glimpse of local history and what can happen when fear gets the better of us. (Advance tickets: $12. Doors: $15, or $13 with a student ID. Listed time is for doors. Talk starts 30 minutes later. Please allow yourself time to place any orders and get seated and settled in.)


November 21, 2021
3:00 pm - 5:30 pm UTC+0
$2 – $12.
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The Bier Baron Tavern
1523 22nd Street Northwest
Washington, DC 20037 United States
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202 293-1888
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