We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.

Tom Wolfe needed a whole book to describe what the right stuff was. In his autobiography, Brig. Gen. Chuck Yeager sums it up in two words, “experience” and “luck.” Says Yeager, “To make his mark on history, Christopher Columbus had to be born at a time when the world was believed to be flat. To make mine, people still had to think the sound barrier was a brick wall in the sky.” In his annual Smithsonian lecture, “The Other Side of the Sound Barrier,” Yeager reminisces on his career in aviation. At 7:30 p.m. at the National Air & Space Museum’s Langley Theater, 6th & Independence Ave. SW. FREE. (202) 357-2700. (Greg Kitsock)