Smithsonian Events Week of 2/17-20: Lady Day and Civil Rights Heroes

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Tuesday, February 17: Reel Portraits: Billie Holiday and Lady Sings the Blues

After leaving the Supremes, Diana Ross not only launched a solo career, but she also tried her hand as an actress. Lady Sings the Blues, a slightly true biopic about jazz legend Billie Holiday, featured Ross and Billy Dee Williams and snagged The Boss an Oscar nomination. (She was beat out by Liza Minelli, who played the "divinely decadent" Sally Bowles in Cabaret.) A popular presentation of Holiday's life with fine vocal performances from Miss Ross—even if her vocals lack the gritty, bluesy quality of Holiday's. And if you're not familiar with Lady Day's work, listen to the Lady in Satin album. It'll change your life. Free. National Portrait Gallery, 7 PM.

Wednesday, February 18: How Old is a Hero?

Learn about the Civil Rights Movement's youngest activists in this dramatic presentation highlighted by archival recordings. Tickets are required. Rates are: $6 for adults; $5 for children (ages 2-16); $4 for Resident Members. Call 202-633-8700 to reserve your seat. Discovery Theater, 10:15 and 11;30 AM. Repeats February 19.

Thursday, February 19: Annual Day of Remembrance

The signing of Executive Order 9066 led to the imprisonment of over 120,000 Americans of Japanese descent during World War II. To commemorate the 67th anniversary of this event, three scholars will talk about the Japanese American experience during World War II. Free. National Museum of the American Indian, 6:30 PM.

Friday, February 20: Santouri: The Music Man

Not to be confused with the Music Man of "76 Trombones" notoriety, this Iranian film tells the story of a young musician whose life falls apart just as he reaches the height of fame and is left to pick up the pieces. In Persian with English subtitles. Free. Freer Gallery, 7:00 PM. Repeats February 22.

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