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NJ Daily

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Former Presidents Kennedy and Eisenhower will be honored this week in separate events.(AFP/Getty Images)

Fond Farewell

On January 17, 1961, President Dwight D. Eisenhower delivered his last speech as president. Today, the Newseum and the Eisenhower Institute will pay tribute to this memorable speech on its 50th anniversary with the program, “The Farewell Address: 50 Years Later.”

The program will begin with opening remarks by the late president’s granddaughter, Susan Eisenhower, followed by a screening of the original farewell address. Finally, a panel of journalists including The Atlantic correspondent James Fallows, Washington Post reporter Dana Priest, and Evan Thomas (most recently of Newsweek) will have a discussion moderated by CNN’s David Gergen. The whole event will conclude with a reception catered by Wolfgang Puck.

 

The event starts at 7:30 p.m. at the Newseum, 555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, and will be simulcast at the Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum. The program is open to the public, but registration is required as seating is limited. For more information, contact Jane Kratovil at 202-628-4444.

Celebrating Kennedy

Looking for a star-studded way to end your week? The stars will be out at the Kennedy Center’s Concert Hall, 2700 F St., NW, on Thursday night for the celebration of the 50th anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s inauguration.

The event, hosted by Diane Sawyer and Mike Nichols, will feature the National Symphony Orchestra’s premiere performance of the composition Remembering JFK: An American Elegy, by Peter Lieberson with narration by Morgan Freeman. The piece, commissioned by the Kennedy Center, includes text taken from Kennedy’s speeches and writings.

 

The music will continue with appearances and performances by Herbie Hancock, Yo-Yo Ma, The Manzari Brothers, Lorne Michaels, and Paul Simon, as well as other special guests. To round out the celebration of the fine arts, the American Ballet Theatre will perform the classic ballet The Dying Swan.

The concert paying tribute to the artistic legacy of the 35th president starts at 7 p.m. Tickets run $49-$150 and are sold out, but you can always check the box office for last minute availability. For more information, visit kennedy-center.org or call the box office at 202-467-4600.

The Vino Life

Wine lovers rejoice! Thursday marks the opening night of the annual Capital Wine Festival. Festivities kick off at 7 p.m. with a grand opening reception at the Fairfax Hotel at Embassy Row, 2100 Massachusetts Ave., NW.

The vino will be flowing freely with more than 45 wines from featured wineries on hand. There will also be a fully stocked buffet to complement the wines and make sure you don’t walk away with an empty stomach (or too tipsy).

 

The reception is only the beginning of the festival. Serious wine lovers can plan on attending a series of eight winemaker dinners, hosted by either the honored winemaker or the proprietor, which continue through March.

All events are open to the public with tickets ranging from $85-$155. Tickets to the opening night reception are $85 and can be purchased at capitalwinefestival.com. For more information, call 202-736-1453.

Rock Star Reporters?

The National Press Club will be rocking on Friday night with journalists-turned-musicians battling it out for the “Journopalooza III” title of “DC’s Best Media Band.”

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The doors—and five cash bars with lots of Flying Dog beer on hand—open at 6:30 p.m. at the National Press Club, 529 14th St., NW, with the first of seven musical acts taking the stage at 7:30 p.m. For many of the performers this won’t be their first time competing for the title. In fact, four of the acts—Charm Offensive, Dirty Bomb, Nobody’s Business, and Suspicious Package—will be making return appearances. They will be joined by newbies The Stepping Stones (a Monkees cover band fronted by two Washington Post reporters), the eclectic Rebecca Christie & Peter Fields, and classic rockers NRBK.

The event is more than just a party for journos. In fact, proceeds from the annual event will benefit media causes The Committee to Protect Journalists’ Journalist Assistance Program, The Eric Friedheim National Journalism Library, and Reporters Without Borders.

If you haven’t already grabbed your tickets, it’s not too late. Tickets are $25 if you buy them in advance, $30 at the door. There’s also a VIP package with an open bar and a meet-and-greet with the “rock stars.” For more information, visit journopalooza.com.

This article appears in the January 18, 2011 edition of NJ Daily.

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