What Would Frederick Douglas Do?

March 26, 2015, in the Presidents’ Lounge.  Delivered James Brewer Stewart, the James Wallace Professor of History, Emeritus, at Macalester College and the founder of Historians Against Slavery.  Many people describe today’s opposition to slavery and human trafficking as a “new abolitionist movement.” So the question to be addressed is: “What can we learn from the original American abolitionists?” How did their situation compare to what we face? What can historical figures such as Frederick Douglass, Sojourner Truth and William Lloyd Garrison teach us about how to make ourselves better abolitionists?

Surviving the Holocaust & Defeating Nazi Germany: Two Men’s Testimonials

November 7, 2014, in the North Lounge.  The Holocaust testimony of two men: Holocaust Survivor:  Ernie Gross – In April 1944 at the age of 15 years old, Ernie and his family were deported to Auschwitz.  The Nazis forced Ernie and thousands of other inmates on a death march west towards Dachau.  On April 29, 1945 the American army liberated the camp. Holocaust Liberator:  Don Greenbaum – IN 1943, Don graduated from a military school and joined the American Army when he was 18 years old.  Don fought in the Battle of the Bulge.  He was under the direction of General George Patton’s Third Army, which rapidly advanced through Germany.  On April 29, 1945, Don and other troops from the Third Army were on their way to seize a German army supply depot but stumbled across the Dachau concentration camp.  That horrific day forever changed his life.

The Fall of the Berlin Wall: 1989 in Historical and Contemporary Perspective

November 2014.  The Berlin Wall was a tangible symbol of the Cold War that divided Europe, and especially Germany. On November 9, 1989—25 years ago—the gates opened and the Wall came down. Within a year, East and West Germany were reunited. This panel of four Saint Joseph’s University professors will commemorate this significant event. It will examine how and why the wall fell, as well as analyze the state of Eastern Europe then and now. Panel by Professors Lisa Baglione (Political Science Department), Thomas Buckley (Modern and Classical Languages Department), Melissa Chakars (History Department), Erik Huneke (History Department)

The Civil Rights Act: A Fifty-Year Assessment, A Panel Discussion

September 10, 2014, The panel discussion, which included opportunities for audience members to ask questions, focused on the background and intentions of the Act when it was passed fifty years ago and various ways the legislation has affected matters of racial and gender equality, economic opportunity, social conscience, and politics thereafter. Panelists include Dr. Laura Crispin (economics), Dr. Francis Graham Lee (political science), Dr. Robert Moore (sociology) and Dr. Katherine Sibley (history), Dr. Randall Miller (history) served as moderator.

Traitors, Burglars, Whistle-blowers, Patriots?

April 2, 2014, in Barbelin 254 Lecture Hall.  Presented by John and Bonnie Raines, members of the Citizens Commission to Investigate the FBI. Many of us have heard of Edward Snowden’s effort to expose NSA spying on Americans, but more than forty years ago, Philadelphians John and Bonnie Raines joined six other in the Citizens Commission To Investigate the FBI to expose another story of widespread domestic surveillance.  The Raines talked on a topic which continues to preoccupy us all today and we wrestle with the apparatus of the surveillance state and the dilemmas occasioned by our sometimes competing priorities of security and civil liberties.