Did you know that prior to the current presidential administration, 31 out of 45 U.S. presidents served in the military as officers? Join this fascinating look into American military culture as Dr. Lee McDowell describes the activities of former presidents and the important decisions they made as presidents including important war campaigns. The talk includes humorous anecdotes associated with these past “commander-in-chiefs.”

Lee R. McDowell is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Florida, Gainesville. He has published over 1500 scientific articles and has authored eight books—the last two books focusing on U.S. presidents including Presidents as Military Officers.

Note: Due to security requirements at the Washington Navy Yard, you will need to be escorted onto the base then to the museum building. If taking Metro, exit the Navy Yard/Ballpark stop. Exit the metro then walk to the base entrance at 6th and M Street SE (about 10 minutes). Plan to arrive at the entrance one hour before the start of the program. Please be prompt. A museum educator will be there to bring you onto the base. If you need to contact the museum on the day of the program, call our front desk at 202.685.0589.

Parking Option: If driving, we recommend you use the nearby Harris Teeters underground parking garage (401 M Street SE). Parking is free for 90 minutes. Once you park, you will need to go into the store and validate your ticket. Keep your ticket since you will need it to exit the garage. After validating your ticket, exit the store and walk to the 6th and M Street entrance of the Navy Yard. Be at the entrance by 10am and wait on the sidewalk outside the entrance gate. Have your driver’s license or other form of government issued I.D. with you.

A museum educator will be at the gate to escort you onto the base and to the museum. A second and final pick-up from the gate will made at 10:20am.

Mask Guidelines: A mask is required for all visitors while inside the museum or while attending any programs. A mask is not required (if you are fully vaccinated) anywhere outside on the Washington Navy Yard grounds. Social distancing will be observed for all inside seated public programs.

Register through Eventbrite or email David Barker at david.a.barker16.civ@us.navy.mil.


Dr. Lee R. McDowell, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida

Dr. Lee R. McDowell, Professor Emeritus, University of Florida