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.
Paul Revere and his midnight ride—immortalized as the harbinger of the dramatic escalation of the American colonial rebellion against the British Empire—has been celebrated in tales and songs throughout the centuries. But what really happened on April 18, 1775? Experts shed light on the legendary ride and the man behind it, revealing the fascinating life of a fabled national hero who witnessed the birth of a nation.
The Founders articulated a vision for a new republic—first in the Declaration of Independence and then carried out in the Constitution—that reflected their beliefs in natural rights, limited government, and religious freedom. But today, the careful framework that ushered in two centuries of American prosperity is eroding. One of America’s most celebrated political writers discusses how the nation can reaffirm its foundational tenets.