Arguably the most well-known and adored of the Founding Fathers, George Washington remains one of the most venerable personalities of the Founding Era. Already in his 40s when appointed Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in 1775, how did the character of Washington influence the early foundations of the United States? Experts on the Revolution uncover the man behind the legend, whose leadership in a time of insurmountable need is still felt in America today.
In commemoration of the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, constitutional scholar Randall Kennedy will revisit the landmark case that is often seen as one of the major victories of the civil rights movement. Professor Kennedy reveals where the historical decision succeeded in dismantling segregation, but also the many ways in which it failed to move society forward as a whole.
In the wake of World War II, a new menace in the form of communist authoritarianism cast a shadow on the healing European continent. Under the leadership of Secretary of State George C. Marshall, the U.S. spearheaded the reconstruction of Western Europe and reinforced alliances to prevent the region from falling under Soviet domination. Discover how these efforts inspired the creation of NATO and the European Union and how the conflicts that emerged during the Cold War continue to resonate to this day.
9–9:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30–11 am: Program
“Remember Pearl Harbor” was the rallying cry that galvanized a nation during World War II. Historian John H. Maurer unfolds the story of America’s entrance into one of history’s bloodiest wars on December 7, 1941—described by President Franklin D. Roosevelt as “a date which will live in infamy.”
U.S. Ambassador William vanden Heuvel, a soldier, lawyer, political activist, diplomat, and second-generation American, witnessed some of the most pivotal moments of the 20th and 21st centuries as a public servant on the front lines of American politics and foreign policy. From the founding of the UN to desegregation, the Vietnam War, and the war in Iraq, Ambassador vanden Heuvel shares memories and wisdom drawn from decades of public service.
Pulitzer Prize-winning cultural critic and author Margo Jefferson writes extensively on American arts and culture: she has been a staff writer for the New York Times and Newsweek, and her reviews and essays have appeared in publications such as New York Magazine, Vogue, and Harper’s. Join her and writer/director Antonio Monda for an illuminating conversation on her career and influences.
Discover the rich architectural history of early New York and trace the city’s transformation from the pre-Revolutionary years through the birth of the American republic. In the colonial era, the city was shaped by its Dutch and English settlers with homesteads such as the Dyckman Farmhouse, the Wyckoff House, and the Morris-Jumel Mansion. In the wake of the American Revolution, people throughout the young nation began adopting lighter and more open design, dubbed “Federal” in honor of the new national government.
In March 1621, the very survival of Plymouth colony was at stake, less than a year after its founding. An agreement between the Wampanoag sachem and Plymouth’s governor established a friendship between their peoples, affirmed their commitment to mutual defense, and helped ensure the colony’s survival. In anticipation of the 400th anniversary of the first Thanksgiving in November 1621, historians explore the tenuous alliance that lasted for another five decades and its violent dissolution.
Across the globe, liberal democracy is threatened by a corrosive mixture of corruption, nationalism, and xenophobia. Experts explore how we got here and the strategies that advocates for democracy can use to restore and defend the fundamental democratic principles that have been under attack, such as freedom of speech, a free press, and the rule of law.