Past Programs
The First Shot: 1861
James M. McPherson, Craig L. Symonds, Adam Goodheart, Harold Holzer
Thu, April 7th, 2011 | 7:30 pm
(Members $10)

A century and a half after Confederate forces fired on Fort Sumter to ignite the Civil War, leading historians ask and answer the crucial questions: What really caused the conflict? Could the Civil War have been avoided? Did Lincoln invite the first shot—or did the Union “get lucky?” This program marks the start of an ongoing New-York Historical Society focus on the great American tragedy with the first of several discussions and lectures.

James M. McPherson
is the George Henry Davis 1886 Professor of American History Emeritus at Princeton University. He is the best-selling author of numerous books on the Civil War, including Battle Cry of Freedom, which won the Pulitzer Prize in 1989.

Craig L. Symonds
is a leading Civil War and naval historian and Professor Emeritus at the United States Naval Academy. He won the Lincoln Prize for his 2008 book, Lincoln and his Admirals.

Adam Goodheart
is an historian, journalist, and travel writer and the author of 1861: The Civil War Awakening. He also writes a regular blog on the Civil War for The New York Times online.

Harold Holzer
(moderator) is Chairman of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation and served as co-chair of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission for nine years. He is the author, co-author, or editor of 36 books on Lincoln and the Civil War era.

Creative: Tronvig Group