The year is 1908, and even the vacuum cleaner is a newfangled gizmo, a technological marvel that rendered housewives no longer dependent on brooms, dustpans, and sweat. But that’s just the beginning of Jim Rasenberger’s story of America 100 years ago, when Henry Ford introduced the Model T, the Wright brothers took flight, Robert Peary began his trek toward the North Pole, and the nation’s future seemed impossibly proud and bright. Rasenberger, a former Vanity Fair contributing editor, depicts the epic year in America, 1908: The Dawn of Flight, the Race to the Pole, the Invention of the Model T, and the Making of a Nation. 1908 was a leap year, a year of progress, a year marked by optimism and pride. Rasenberger, who last wrote about the American century in High Steel: The Daring Men Who Built the World’s Greatest Skyline, 1881 to the Present portrays 366 days when technology and historical feats made everything seem possible. Rasenberger discusses and signs copies of his work at 7 p.m. at Olsson’s Books & Records, 1307 19th St. NW. Free. (202) 785-1133.