Smithsonian Institution Archives

Smithsonian Memories Project, Festival of American Folklife Oral History Interviews, 1996

2 results in SIA.FARU9594 for "Lemay, Brian"
Peggy Langrall was interviewed by Brian LeMay on July 3, 1996. Born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1930, Langrall received her degree in art education at the age of 50 and came to work for the Smithsonian in 1980. She did clerical work, first in the Parking Department and then for Jay Chambers in the Protection Division. She then moved to the Office of Public Affairs (OPA )where she worked at the front desk for three years. She was eventually promoted to writer/editor in that office and retired from the Smithsonian in June 1995. She is now involved in yoga, volunteer work at the Smithsonian, and writing her memoirs. This interview discusses the course of Langrall's career at the Smithsonian, Al Rosenthal and the OPA under his direction, the types of writing she did, changes in the focus of the OPA, Madeleine Jacobs and her management of the OPA, OPA publications, and the Smithsonian during the Ripley administration. The interview also covers how the Smithsonian affects her life now, memories of India at the Folklife Festival, comments on the Working at the Smithsonian exhibit at the 1996 Festival of American Folklife, changes in the public's perception and involvement with the Smithsonian, and the Enola Gay exhibit controversy. The interview concludes with a discussion of her current writing projects; colleagues Vicki Moeser, John Barrat, Mary Cohen, Inc Mendelson, Bill Schulz, David Maxfield, Rachel Sears, and Paul Perrot; the writing and editing process at OPA; Langrall's personal methods of work; the loss of the news service; and stories from her years of working at the Smithsonian.