16

WEDNESDAY

One of the ironies of Saving Private Ryan is that its intellectual point man is a fictionalized Gen. George C. Marshall, who in real life was no Spielbergian Schindler: He fought against allowing Jewish refugees into the U.S. and opposed the recognition of Israel. Nonetheless, the film has its Marshall justify “saving” Ryan by reading the stirring letter that Abraham Lincoln sent to a woman who lost five sons in the Civil War. In his lecture, “Abraham Lincoln, John Hay, and the Bixby Letter, or the Real Hero of Saving Private Ryan,” Connecticut College history professor Michael Burlingame discusses his newfound evidence that the letter, long credited to Lincoln, was in fact written by John Hay, the president’s assistant private secretary. At noon at the National Archives Theater, 7th & Pennsylvania Ave. NW. Free. (202) 501-5000. (Mark Jenkins)