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What did James Garfield look like? Like this.(Library of Congress)

Not Just for Kids

Ever wonder how people knew what the president looked like before the invention of the TV and its 24/7 news cycle? On Monday, former White House webmaster Jane Hampton Cook will take on this question and many others in her new children’s book, What Does the President Look Like?

Out just in time for Presidents Day, Hampton Cook’s book examines how technology has changed how well Americans know their presidents. The book includes facts like which president was first plagued by the paparazzi and which president was first featured in a political cartoon.


Need even more reason to attend? How about free food! In honor of President Abraham Lincoln, cherry pie—his favorite dessert—will be served.

The event starts at 12:30 p.m. at the National Press Club’s McClendon Room, 529 14th St., NW. To RSVP, contact

Honoring Service

President Obama has made a point to call the nation to service, and he isn’t the first. Whether new to public service or an old pro, many choose to get involved in different ways. Some people answer the call by volunteering at the local food bank. Others choose to get involved in their community through elected office.


On Tuesday, Voices for National Service will host its eighth annual Friends of National Service Awards Reception to pay tribute to those elected officials and private citizens who make efforts to expand and protect national service.

The reception will feature a long list of awards that reads like a who’s who of Congress.  Among those to be honored is Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who will be presented with the Edward M. Kennedy National Service Lifetime Leadership Award. Earning the Career Service Award are New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former Sen. Christopher Dodd, D-Conn. Other honorees include Reps. Charles Boustany, R-La., John Lewis, D-Ga., Rosa DeLauro, D-Conn., Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., and David Cicilline, D-R.I.

The reception starts at 6:30 p.m. at Union Station’s East Hall, 50 Massachusetts Ave., NE, with the awards presentation starting at 7. To get more information or to RSVP, call 202-742-7374.

Pro-Life Party

Looking for a reason to wear that new dress or suit? Put it on this Wednesday and party at the annual Campaign for Life Gala hosted by the Susan B. Anthony List.


While this year’s gala isn’t surrounded by controversy (former Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich., was to receive an award last year only to have it rescinded after the health care overhaul vote), Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., and his wife, Karen, will be on hand to serve as honorary co-chairs.

The gala begins at 6:30 p.m. with a reception, followed by dinner at 7, all at the historic Willard Intercontinental Hotel, 1401 Pennsylvania Ave, NW. Tickets start at $250. To RSVP, contact

Sipping Soiree

Sometimes at the end of the week we just need a stiff drink. Luckily, Alliance Française de Washington is hosting a Cognac Tasting on Friday to help make that happen.

Guillaume Lamy, director of education for Cognac Ferrand, will lead participants on a journey through the often mystical land of cognacs. Many of the artisanal variety will be on hand, many made from small batches and bottled on the property where the grapes are grown. Expect to learn about how these cognacs are made, bottled, aged (usually for 10 to 45 years!), and distinct in taste.

The tasting starts at 6:30 p.m. at Alliance Française, 2142 Wyoming Ave., NW. Tickets are $35 for members and $45 for nonmembers. For more information and to RSVP visit

A History Lesson

The history of blacks at the White House doesn’t begin and end with President Obama. In fact, black laborers built the White House piece by piece.

In his book The Black History of the White House, author Clarence Lusane examines the rich history of blacks and their influence on making the White House what it is today.

Interested in the topic? Listen to Lusane discuss his book and blacks in Washington at 7 p.m. on Saturday at Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave, NW. The event is free and open to the public. For more information, visit

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This article appears in the February 14, 2011 edition of NJ Daily.

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