Reserve Now for March Overbeck Lecture: ‘Razzle-Dazzle’

Hear About Mary Shiner Almarolia's Fast Life on Capitol Hill

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Oh, lovers of strong women who make history and the Hill they called home while they did so –you’ll want to go to the March Overbeck Lecture.

You won’t want to miss the ‘Razzle Dazzle’ of the March 11th Ruth Overbeck Lecture, when Dr. Mark Herlong will discuss the incredible the life and adventures of little-known Capitol Hill resident Mary Ann Shiner Almarolia (1833-1904).

Shiner Almarolia was the daughter of Michael Shiner, the black Navy Yard worker and politician whose famous diary is housed at the Library of Congress.  As an infant, she was kidnapped by slave traders and freed by her father’s heroic efforts.

In an era when mixed marriages and opportunities for blacks were rare, Mary married an Italian and ran a string of successful businesses on Capitol Hill, including hotels, restaurants, a bawdy house, a nursery and a dance hall called the Razzle-Dazzle (a.k.a. The Burning Rag).  In the late 19th century she was considered one of the most influential women in Washington, a confidant of politicians and diplomats – and a possible murderer.

The lecture takes place at 7:30 p.m., Monday, March 11, at the Hill Center (921 Pennsylvania Avenue, SE).Admission to the lecture is free, but a reservation is required as there is limited seating. To register, go to http://www.hillcenterdc.org/event/overbeck-lecture-mary-shiner-almarolia-and-the-fast-life-on-capitol-hill/  or call 202-549-4172.

All guests should arrive at least 20 minutes prior to the event. The doors will open at 7:00 p.m. for reservation holders. Available seats will be released to guests on the wait list beginning at 7:15. If you hold a reservation and find that you cannot attend, please send a message to: OverbeckLecture@CapitolHillHistory.org.