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Profs & Pints: Spies Everywhere!
The Bier Baron Tavern
Washington, DC
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Profs & Pints: Spies Everywhere!
Profs and Pints presents: Spies Everywhere! a look at Washington's World War I spy panic, with Mark Benbow, associate professor of history at Marymount University.

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 Dr. Benbow, a local historian who previously gave a fascinating Profs and Pints talk on the Heurich Brewing company, 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. (Talks begin a half hour after the door time listed above. Please allow yourself plenty of time to place a food or drink order and get seated and settled.)


The Bier Baron Tavern (View)
1523 22nd St NW
Washington, DC 20037
United States


Education > Classes
Other > Political

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: No
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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