Press/Journalists
Press Release
January 6, 2003
National Archives Hosts Symposium on "Through the Perilous Night: The American President and the Coming of War"

Washington, DC. . .On Wednesday, February 12, 2003, the National Archives will host a special symposium gathering well-known authors, archivists, and historians to discuss "Through the Perilous Night: The American President and the Coming of War". The symposium will be held from noon to 7p.m. at the U.S. Navy Memorial Theater at 701 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, with a reception to follow in Room 105 of the National Archives Building, 700 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Reservations are strongly recommended, call (202) 501-5000.

During February, the National Archives will hold four lectures in its American Presidency series pulling together documents and histories from U.S. Presidents who have had to exercise their powers as Commander-in-Chief at the outbreak of war.

Past Presidents who have filled that role are James Madison, James Polk, Abraham Lincoln, William McKinley, Woodrow Wilson, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman, and George W. Bush. Their duties and powers changed and expanded as they acted as Commander-in-Chief, and they all had to make a case for war to the Congress and to the American people.

Guest speakers will include:

  • Allen Weinstein, President of the Center for Democracy and co-author of The Story of America: Freedom and Crisis from Settlement to Superpower
  • Michael Barone, editor at U.S. News and World Report and author of The New Americans
  • John Milton Cooper, Professor of History at the University of Wisconsin and author of The Warrior and the Priest: Woodrow Wilson and Theodore Roosevelt as well as Breaking the Heart of the World
  • Robert Dallek, author of Hail to the Chief: The Making and Unmaking of American Presidents
  • George Elsey, President Emeritus of the White House Historical Association
  • Robert H. Ferrell, Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Indiana University and author of Woodrow Wilson and World War I: 19171921 and The Dying President: Franklin D. Roosevelt 19441945
  • Louis Fisher, Senior Specialist at the Congressional Research Service and author of Presidential War Power
  • Robin Gerber, Senior Fellow, Academy of Leadership at the University of Maryland and author of Leadership the Eleanor Roosevelt Way: Timeless Strategies from the First Lady of Courage
  • Jeffrey Kimball, Professor at the University of Miami at Ohio and author of Nixon's Vietnam War
  • John Robert (Bob) Greene, Paul J. Schupf Professor, History and Humanities Chair, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Cazenovia College, and author of The Presidency of George Bush and The Presidency of Gerald Ford
  • Mike Meier, NARA Archivist, National Historic Publications and Records Commission
  • Richard Myers, NARA Archivist and member of the Nazi War Crimes and Japanese Imperial Government Interagency Working Group
  • Tim Nenninger, Branch Chief, Modern Military Records, NARA
  • David Rubel, co-author of The Story of America: Freedom and Crisis from Settlement to Superpower and To the Best of My Ability: The American Presidency
  • Lawrence Suid, author of Guts and Glory: The Making of the American Military Image in Film
  • Mitchell Yockelson, Reference Archivist, Modern Military Records, NARA

For additional PRESS information, please contact the National Archives Public Affairs staff at (301) 837-1700 or by e-mail.

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