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Historian to present free lecture on the C&O Canal’s African American Civilian Conservation Corps

Please note: The 12 p.m. lecture has sold out. Please email [email protected] if you would like to be placed on a waiting list. We hope you will join us at the open house, which does not require an RSVP.

Free open house at Lockhouse 10 to follow.
Potomac, MD – The C&O Canal Trust and the C&O Canal National Historical Park will host a lecture on Sunday, February 25 from 12-1 p.m. by historian Dr. Josh Howard about two African American Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) camps that existed along the C&O Canal from 1938-1942. Located near Cabin John and Carderock, Maryland, the camps were established as a part of the New Deal program and are a unique lens to examine the African American experience in the CCC, as most of the CCC’s history has been based on its white enrollees. Howard will present his research as a part of Black History Month. 

The lecture will take place at the Great Falls VFW Post 5633, 11511 Macarthur Blvd., Potomac, MD 20854, where Howard will speak on the research he has conducted over the past year on the two African American camps. The enrollees at the camps were responsible for much of the restoration work that rescued the historic canal from flood damage and preserved it for use as a recreational area today. Very little physical evidence remains of either camp, but Howard has mined CCC rolls and histories to piece together a compelling picture of the life of the African Americans who lived and worked along the canal.

The lecture is sold out; if you would like to be placed on a waiting list, email [email protected]. Only ticket holders will be allowed inside the lecture hall.

Dr. Josh Howard is a public historian whose broad expertise includes Civil Rights history, Appalachia, and twentieth century United States history. Dr. Howard has worked as a Public History Fellow at the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, New York and was an Assistant Professor of Public History and Founding Director of the Public History Program at Lamar University. Dr. Josh Howard earned a PhD in History from Middle Tennessee State University, a MA in history from West Virginia University, and a MA in statistics from Virginia Tech University.

The public is also invited to a free open house at Lockhouse 10 along Clara Barton Parkway for guided tours by Howard and other C&O Canal Trust staff from 1:30-4:30 p.m. Lockhouse 10 is part of the Canal Quarters program, which makes rehabilitated lockhouses available to guests for overnight stays. Lockhouse 10 is furnished in the 1930s style and tells the story of the CCC through interpretive materials in the house. During the tours, guests will learn about the lives of the canal’s African American CCC workers, their education, the work they completed along the canal, and more.

The open house is also free and does not require an RSVP.

About the C&O Canal Trust
The C&O Canal Trust, as the official non-profit partner of the Chesapeake & Ohio Canal National Historical Park, works in partnership with the National Park Service and local communities to raise funds to preserve the Park for future generations and to broaden support through programs that highlight the Park’s historical, natural and cultural heritage and recreational opportunities. It is a 501(c)(3) organizations. For more information about the Trust, visit www.canaltrust.org.

About the C&O Canal National Historical Park
The Chesapeake and Ohio Canal National Historical Park preserves and interprets the historical, natural and recreational resources of the C&O Canal. Nearly 5,000,000 visitors a year enjoy the opportunities for recreation and understanding that the Park has to offer. For more information, visit the Park’s website at www.nps.gov/choh