Smithsonian Events Week of 3/30-4/03: Spartacus, Walt Disney and Duke Ellington

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Monday, March 30: 2009 National Sciences Bowl Competition

Come see high school students show off their oceanographic know how in this Jeopardy-style trivia challenge. Free. National Museum of Natural History, 10:45 AM

Tuesday, March 31: Spartacus: The True Story

Yeah, we all know of Spartacus. At some point or another I'm sure you or someone you know have rattled off "I am Spartacus" (or some deviation thereon). But how much do you know about the historical character, the slave-turned gladiator who sparked a massive revolt against the Roman Empire? Historial Barry Strauss, professor of history and classics at Cornell University, uses recent archaeological discoveries and his own on-site investigations to explore this timeless folk hero. Tickets are required. Rates are: $25 general admission; $15 members. Call 202-633-3030 to reserve your ticket today. S. Dillon Ripley Center, 6:45 PM

Wednesday, April 1: Selling Space in the 1950s: The Disney/Von Braun Space Station Model

In the late 1950s, physicist Werner Von Braun wanted to pique the American public's interest in space exploration. So, he wished upon a star and teamed up with Walt Disney and their collaboration resulted in products like the "Man in Space" episode of the "Disneyland" television series as well as a model for a space station. This latter artifact will be discussed by Michael Neufeld of the Space History Division in a lunchtime lecture. Free. National Air and Space Museum, 12:00 PM

Thursday, April 2: Anatomy of a Murder: An Ellington Classic Reconsidered

April is Jazz Appreciation Month and Archives Center curator Reuben Jackson discusses Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn's Academy Award-winning score to Otto Preminger's Anatomy of a Murder. Free. American History Museum, 12:00 PM

Friday, April 3: Jazz Appreciation Month Special Tour

A docent will lead you around the American Art Museum on a tour that highlights the jazz-related works in the collection. Free. American Art Museum, 2:00 PM

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