Video: Marian Anderson

In 1939 Marian Anderson was at the peak of her career as an opera singer, yet she was denied the opportunity to present a concert at the DAR’s Constitution Hall in Washington, D.C.—not because of anything she had done, but because she was black. That … [Read more...]

Video: Marilyn Monroe

A photograph of a dreamy-eyed Marilyn Monroe among a group of Hollywood starlets captures vividly the description of herself in My Story, the autobiography she collaborated on with screenwriter Ben Hecht. The true dimensions of Monroe’s ambitions … [Read more...]

Video: Arthur Ashe

Tennis great Arthur Ashe transcended his victories on the court to become one of the iconic figures in the history of American sports. Born in 1943, Ashe grew up in segregated Richmond, Virginia, where he learned to play tennis. As a student at … [Read more...]

Video: Houdini

“Don’t insult me by calling me a magician,” Harry Houdini once told reporters. “I am an escape artist.” Much has been written describing his extraordinary feats: how he freed himself from cunningly designed handcuffs and leg-irons; how he escaped … [Read more...]

Video: Lawrence of Arabia

Springing from a somewhat unorthodox and never legalized union between an Anglo-Irish petty lord and his governess, Thomas Edward Lawrence combined an elite Oxford education, wartime opportunity, and an impressive knack for self-promotion to emerge … [Read more...]

Video: Brigham Young

Brigham Young at age forty lived in western Illinois, was a faithful disciple of the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith, and had but one wife. He was known for his spiritual fire, collegial leadership, and tireless missionary service. Within ten years, much … [Read more...]

Video: Cleopatra

Cleopatra VII of Egypt (69-30 BC) was the last of a dynasty that went back 300 years and is arguably one of the most famous women in history. Although best known for her relationship with the Roman commander Mark Antony and her eventual suicide that … [Read more...]

Video: Julius Caesar

More than two thousand years after his death, Julius Caesar is still one of the great figures of history. He is best known as the general who conquered the Gauls and overthrew the Roman Republic, but he was also a brilliant orator, accomplished … [Read more...]

Video: James I. Robertson’s “The Untold Civil War”

Professor Robertson spoke previously as part of the Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series on Stonewall Jackson. He returns to UMW to discuss the daily lives of the Civil War soldiers.  That topic is treated in the latest of his numerous books, The … [Read more...]

Video: Humbug— The Art of P.T. Barnum

Contrary to legend, he never said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Phineas Taylor Barnum was a businessman, hoaxer, and impresario who provided entertainment to a nation hungry for it. “I am a showman by profession . . . and all the gilding … [Read more...]