Bethesda Historical Society

January 23, 2024 - Bethesda's 153rd birthday!

About us

The Bethesda Historical Society, established in 2019, is an organization of volunteers dedicated to sharing and reflecting on the history of the Bethesda, Maryland area and its diverse residents. 

The Society develops events and educational programs focusing on significant locations and important moments in our history. 

We are now a 501(c)(3) organization, so donations are tax-deductible!

Click here to become a Society member

The Bethesda Historical Society

Play Video

The story of the Bethesda Historical Society with Society President Wendy Kaufman.

A 6-minute video from Montgomery Municipal Cable.

Our Wonderful Volunteers

President – Wendy Kaufman
Wendy has lived in Bethesda since 1989 and has volunteered with area historical societies in DC and Montgomery County. She has an undergraduate degree in political science, and master’s degrees in legislative affairs and special education. She was formerly a U.S. House of Representatives legislative aide, then a Montgomery County Public Schools history and special education teacher. Wendy was a fall 2023 student in The George Washington University’s Museum Collections Management and Care graduate certificate program in an effort to bolster BHS collection preservation work.

Vice-President – David Schardt
David is a retired scientist, history buff, and Bethesda resident since 1986. He also serves on the Board of the Maryland Senior Olympics, the Maryland Citizens Review Board for Children, on the Montgomery County Sports Advisory Committee, and is a Red Cross volunteer. David has been umpiring high school and men’s baseball games in Montgomery County since 2003.

Secretary – Hank Levine
Hank heads up the Heritage Trail and Tour committee. For the past six years he has been a docent at the Library of Congress, leading tours of the largest library in the world. He has lived in the DMV for 43 years ( 38 of them in Bethesda), where he has been active in community organizations ranging from the Edgemoor Civic Association to Washington Hebrew Congregation (of which he is a Past President and Historian). Hank is a graduate of Yale College (where he was a history minor and led tours for prospective students) and Harvard Law School. He retired from private practice in 2018 after 40 years as a telecommunications/technology lawyer.

Membership Director – Karen Philipps
Karen moved to Bethesda as a five-year-old. She attended Seven Locks Elementary School and Holton-Arms School before graduating from Williams College and then earning a master’s degree in English at Boston College. She returned to Bethesda as a newlywed in 1999. Karen taught middle school English for 18 years before retiring and starting her own tutoring company. In addition to volunteering with the Bethesda Historical Society, Karen enjoys researching the history of her neighborhood and house. She serves on the board of directors of the Children’s Chorus of Washington as well.