In 1963, courts often addressed white witnesses by their honorifics but used black witnesses’ first names. When Mary Hamilton refused to answer questions until addressed by her surname, she was jailed for contempt of court. A year later, the Supreme Court vacated her conviction. Explore the story behind Hamilton v. Alabama and its broader significance within the struggle for racial equality.
Author Gail Lumet Buckley, daughter of superstar and activist Lena Horne, explores the remarkable history of her family’s experience in America from the Civil War to the civil rights movement. Join her for a story that spans vital moments in American history from the Jim Crow South to the Harlem Renaissance and plays host to leaders and icons from W. E. B. Du Bois to Robert Kennedy.
9–9:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30–11 am: Program
Following the Friday night screening of the 1949 Oscar-winning classic All the King’s Men—a story based on the real-life 1930s populist Governor of Louisiana, Huey Long—leading legal scholars return to discuss issues related to democracy, corruption, free press, and the law.
A preeminent public intellectual, the late Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. served as Special Assistant to President John F. Kennedy and famously popularized the term “imperial presidency” to describe the Nixon administration. Discover how the renowned historian redefined presidential biography and forged an unparalleled legacy by simultaneously writing—and shaping—history.
During the Second World War, as the Nazi blitzkrieg rolled over continental Europe and began to occupy nations throughout the region, both government officials and armed forces alike—determined to continue the fight against fascist forces—fled to Britain, considered the “last hope island” holding out against Hitler. Discover how the tide of World War II was forever altered by the collaboration of Europeans exiled in Britain.
As heads of the world’s largest military and economy, American presidents in the modern, globalized age tackle a near impossible task of leading the free world. Historians chart the executive’s rise from the limited role envisioned by the Founding Fathers to its current status as the most powerful job in the world.
In the decades following the Civil War, America expanded quickly—growing larger, richer, and more diverse, but the chasm between rich and poor grew with equal rapidity. Noted historians discuss the dynamic period of the late 19th century, a time when American society was divided on ethnic, racial, religious, economic, and political lines.
Historians often discuss the lives of noteworthy individuals—kings, emperors, presidents—but in reality the history of the world has been determined by collective action of the people, not by figureheads. Renowned historian Niall Ferguson explores how networks—guilds and families, clans and cabals—have cooperated throughout history to shape the ever-changing world.
Niall Ferguson is a senior fellow of the Hoover Institution, Stanford, and the author of The Square and the Tower: Networks and Power, from the Freemasons to Facebook.
Renowned music historian Leon Botstein and acclaimed curator and art historian Barbara Haskell return to the New-York Historical Society’s stage for a unique experience as they discuss how the unimaginable tragedy of the Second World War influenced American art, culture, and music. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Arthur Szyk: Soldier in Art.
Throughout her prolific career, #1 New York Times-bestselling author Elizabeth Strout—described by the Boston Globe as one of “our most grace-filled, and graceful, writers”—has showcased a diverse cast of characters and settings that emulate the rich tapestry of America. Providing a window into the personal struggles, tensions, and triumphs that shape how families and communities rally and evolve, her body of work underscores the anxieties that impact the greater national mood.