U.S. History Events

Seeking Historical Reconciliation: The U.S. Role in Fostering Relations Between Japan and South Korea

July 23, 2015 // 10:30am12:00pm
Asia Program
Democratic ideals and cultural exchanges among nations have been seen as effective tools to encourage reconciliation between former adversaries. But that seemingly has not been the case in relations between Japan and South Korea, even if democratic values are shared. Wilson Center Fellow and Waseda University professor Toyomi Asano notes that it is important to share memories of the United States-led process of decolonization after the Japanese Empire’s defeat.

The Reagan Era: From a "New Cold War" to the "Washington Consensus"

May 04, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
In "The Reagan Era," Doug Rossinow gives a full and rounded view of how the foreign policies of Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush took America—through a sometimes chaotic path, one marked with war scares, troop deployments, indirect warfare, scandal, and diplomatic triumphs—to the edge of a new era of American predominance.

To Make Men Free: A History of the Republican Party

March 02, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
How did the Republican Party—the progressive party of Abraham Lincoln, Theodore Roosevelt, and Dwight D. Eisenhower—become the reactionary party of today? Over the one hundred and sixty years of their history, Republicans have swung repeatedly from championing the middle class to protecting the rich. Their story reveals the tensions inherent in America’s peculiar brand of government: how can a democracy promote individual economic opportunity at the same time it protects property?

The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security

February 23, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
For four decades Brent Scowcroft has exerted a quiet, continued, and sometimes great influence over the conduct of US national security policy. Drawing on his new biography, The Strategist: Brent Scowcroft and the Call of National Security, Bartholomew Sparrow discusses how Scowcroft rose to become national security advisor under presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush.

Colonel House: A Biography of Woodrow Wilson's Silent Partner

February 09, 2015 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
In this seminar biography, Charles E. Neu details the life of "Colonel" House, a Texas landowner who rose to become one of the century's greatest political operators. In 191l House met Woodrow Wilson, and almost immediately the two formed one of the most famous friendships in American political history.

Waking from the Dream: the Struggle for Civil Rights in the Shadow of Martin Luther King

December 01, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Exaggerated accounts of urban violence after Martin Luther King’s assassination, David Chappell will argue, have long obscured national reactions of far greater significance. Most important was the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which had been hopelessly stalled in Congress since 1966.

A World More Concrete: Real Estate and the Remaking of Jim Crow South Florida

October 06, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
N. D. B. Connolly explores the history of real estate development and political power by offering an unprecedented look at the complexities of property ownership during the early and mid-twentieth century.

‘Take Your Choice!’: Historical Reflections on the Act of Voting

April 07, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
The secret ballot is now considered the gold standard for fair elections around the globe. However, in the aftermath of the American and French Revolutions, voting in secrecy held little immediate mass appeal in the US or Europe, and the secret ballot was used in combination with a wide variety of voting techniques. The history of the fraught introduction of the secret ballot on both sides of the Atlantic provides an opportunity to explore how conceptions of the business of choice-making have changed since the Age of Revolutions and also to reconsider how we vote today.

Why We Fight: The Politics of World War II

March 24, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
The conventional wisdom suggests that moderates matter little. In her new book, Why We Fight: Congress and the Politics of World War II, Nancy Beck Young proves otherwise. Franklin Roosevelt and Harry Truman faced a fractious Congress riven by hardcore ideologues, circumstances that empowered moderates—from both parties—to cut deals on economic but not social justice policies. The dominant patterns for postwar politics emerged with liberalism seeming less oriented toward the welfare state and more to the vital center warfare state.

CANCELLED - Waking from the Dream Part 1: Martin Luther King's Last Victory

March 17, 2014 // 4:00pm5:30pm
History and Public Policy Program
Most Americans have a distorted memory of the decline and fall of the Civil Rights Movement, David Chappell will argue. Press coverage at the time, and retrospective accounts from academia and mass media, blew the riots that followed the King assassination out of proportion.

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