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It didn’t win them any advantage in the long run, but British troops had a moment of revenge on the seditious Yanks on Aug. 14, 1814, when they burned most of Washington’s few public buildings, including the Capitol and the President’s House (later whitewashed and known as the White House). Drawing on the previously unpublished diaries, journals, and letters that inform his new book, The Burning of Washington: The British Invasion of 1814, historian Anthony S. Pitch re-creates the scene in two lectures this week. Today at 6 p.m. at the Ripley Center Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Dr. SW. $13. (202) 357-3030; and Thursday at noon at Decatur House, 748 Jackson Pl. NW. Free, but reservations are required. (202) 842-0920. (MJ)