Lectures & Conversations
One Day University – World War II History Event with the New-York Historical Society
Collaborative Programs
Richard M. Pious, Anne Nelson, Marc Lapadula
Sun, January 13th, 2013 | 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
(members $89)


Tickets to this program are sold through One Day University. To purchase tickets, please visit www.onedayu.com/events/detail/57 or call 1-800-300-3438. Members of the New-York Historical Society can purchase tickets for the discounted price of $89. If you are a member and would like to attend, please receive the special discount code in advance by contacting the New-York Historical Society call center at 212-485-9268 (open 9 am–5 pm daily). Advance purchase is required to guarantee seating. Programs and dates may be subject to change. Management reserves the right to refuse admission to latecomers.


In collaboration with the New-York Historical Society, One Day University presents three exciting lectures on World War II.

9 am: Registration


9:30–10:30 am: The Presidency of Harry Truman: What We Know Now That We Didn't Know Then
Speaker: Professor Richard M. Pious, Barnard/Columbia


When Harry S. Truman became President, he asked the press corps to pray for him. Public and pundits alike saw him as a machine politician unlikely to possess the vision or political skills necessary for success in the Oval Office. Yet within five years Truman had made decisions that ended World War II, established policies of reconstruction in Western Europe, created new American interests in the Middle East, and relied on military power to contain the expansion of communist regimes.

Truman evolved from an incumbent who was highly dependent on his national security advisers, to a Commander-in-Chief who sometimes acted contrary to the advice of the highest-ranking officials in his administration. Truman not only was “present at the creation” of the postwar international order, but he also laid the groundwork for the subsequent rise of an “imperial presidency” utilizing unprecedented war powers.

10:45–11:45 am: The Untold History of German Resistance in WWII
Speaker: Professor Anne Nelson, Columbia

Conventional wisdom has long suggested that the entire German nation succumbed to Nazi ideology. With the fall of the Berlin Wall, stunning new evidence, locked in the Stasi archives, became available to support a deeper understanding. German resistance movements existed through most of the Nazi period, and one of them, the Rote Kapelle, succeeded in infiltrating the Nazi regime in order to attack it from within. The group included U.S.-educated German academics, an Air Force intelligence officer, and a broad array of artists, academics, physicians, and workers. The movement combined conservatives and communists; Catholics, Lutherans, and Jews—and almost half of them were women.


12-1 pm: The WWII Films Every Movie Lover Should See
Speaker: Marc Lapadula, Yale

Nearly seventy years after World War II and its complicated aftermath, it continues to capture the attention and imaginations of filmmakers and audiences around the world. From classical directors like Alfred Hitchcock (Saboteur) to more modern, technically-stunning individuals like Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan), this devastating conflict between nations continues to inspire stories that find their way to the big screen and captivate mainstream audiences. Remaining a tantalizing subject for screenwriters and directors, the “how” and “why” of such an unfathomable event ever taking place still generates questions that have never been adequately answered. Clips from powerful films that reveal a stark, multi-faceted portrait of World War II and its effects on soldiers and civilians during and after the conflict will be screened, including The Best Years Of Our Lives, Julia, Patton, The Thin Red Line, The Great Escape, The Bridge on the River Kwai, and many others.

We invite program attendees to visit the exhibition WWII & NYC following the program.


Anne Nelson teaches at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs and consults for many leading U.S. foundations, including the Open Society Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and the Rockefeller Foundation, among others. Richard M. Pious is a professor of political science and Adolph S. and Effie Ochs Chair in History and American Studies at Barnard College. Marc Lapadula is an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. He teaches at Yale University, Johns Hopkins, the University of Pennsylvania, and the Columbia Graduate Film School and has led the Screenwriting Series at the Smithsonian Institution.


The Robert H. Smith Auditorium at the New-York Historical Society, 170 Central Park West, New York, NY 10024


This program is presented in collaboration with One Day University.

Creative: Tronvig Group