Block party on Capitol Hill during hte 1960s. Photo: Kathryn Schneider Smith

Cauldron and Community: Joining the Hill in the 1960s

November 12, 2002
On the evening of November 12, 2002, husband-and-wife team Sam Smith and Kathryn Schneider Smith presented a look at Capitol Hill in the turbulent 1960s.

Sam and Kathy were prominent activists lived on the Hill during the 1960s. Their  lecture, "Cauldron and Community: Joining the Hill in the 1960s", looked back on a decade when Congress was consumed by issues of civil rights and the war on poverty while people living in the shadow of the dome struggled to save a neighborhood hit hard by neglect, misguided development, and middle class flight to the suburbs.

Kathy described her involvement with Friendship House and other community efforts. Sam, who was founder and editor of the Capitol East Gazette, provided a view of a community awakening to change, culminating in a gripping account of the 1968 riots. Their illustrated lectures were transcribed and are available here.

Kathy was executive director of the D.C. Heritage Tourism Coalition, which she helped start five years earlier to bring more of Washington's visitors into the city's downtown and residential areas. She's the author and editor of a number of books on the history of our city, including Washington at Home: Neighborhoods in the Nation's Capital, and is the founding editor of Washington History, the journal of the Historical Society of Washington, D.C., which she also served as president.

Sam, who helped to found the D.C. Statehood Party and the national Green Party, served as editor of The Progressive Review and a prominent critic and commentator on D.C. life and politics. The first of his four books, Captive Capital, which he wrote in 1974, is still one of the basic books about Washington.

Past Lectures