For 4/23 – Presidents on Trial

by Tona H - April 15th, 2012

We have some rich, complicated cases to consider in rapid succession as three presidents face serious Constitutional crises during their terms in office: Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush.

Reading: MP Chapter 15, 531-536 (US v. Nixon). Yes, that’s all the reading there is – you have your papers to turn in, so this session will be more lecture-like than usual and less reading-heavy. The presenters are: J. Fails, M. Lynch, and S. Boosahda – if you need a suggestion, each of you could take one of the three presidential cases and provide either a quick overview of the episode and the Constitutional issues involved, or perhaps a discussion of a useful resource for studying that president’s moment of crisis and its resolution.

We will also have a very special opportunity during our class time. Our campus Women’s Studies program is hosting historian Brigid O’Farrell on Monday the 23rd, author of Eleanor Roosevelt: She Was One of Us. A sociologist by training, O’Farrell uses labor history to better understand the issues and barriers confronting today‚Äôs workers and their unions. She is currently a lecturer and project director at Mills College and affiliated with the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, George Washington University.

Earlier in the day she will be speaking about the content of her work on Eleanor Roosevelt, but in the evening she’s giving a special session for history graduate students and the general public about archival research, titled “The Challenge of Archives and Audiences, Unions and Universities.” We will all attend her talk (along with Dr. Haller’s research methods class) from 6-7 in the Student Center’s Blue Lounge, and then stroll back to our regular classroom to ponder presidential travesties.

Here’s a campus map – I marked our classroom location, and the location of the Blue Lounge. It’s in the ground floor of the Student Center in the corner closest to the landscaping pond and athletic fields.


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