The Civil Rights Movement was a time of turbulence and transition, and those resistant to racial equality at times resorted to acts of violence—and even murder. In 1965, President Lyndon B. Johnson signed into law a monumental piece of federal legislation to reinforce the voting rights guaranteed in the 14th and 15th amendments and combat the disenfranchisement of racial minorities. Commemorating its 50th anniversary, Harvard law professor Randall Kennedy examines the origins, designs, and consequences of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Annie Leibovitz’s Pilgrimage project took her in a new direction. Leibovitz is primarily a portraitist, but for Pilgrimage she chose historical subjects—Emily Dickinson, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Louisa May Alcott, Georgia O’Keeffe, Ansel Adams, Elvis Presley, among others—who she evoked through landscapes, interiors of houses, and objects. Leibovitz discusses how the project came about and how it evolved.
It was a “slaughter pen,” Robert E. Lee remarked about his repulse of the Union attack on the heights above Fredericksburg, Virginia, in December 1862. Indeed, the Union defeat nearly changed history. Robert E. Lee’s successful defense of Fredericksburg crushed Union morale, humiliated federal commander Ambrose Burnside, almost upended plans for Emancipation—and undoubtedly prolonged the bloody Civil War. Three experts on this neglected battle re-imagine its power and impact.
On a quarter-mile strip of land in the bustling city of Canton, China, merchants from China and the Eastern seaboard of America conducted trade from 1784 to the Opium Wars of the 1840s. One of the Chinese merchants was Houqua, considered the wealthiest man in the world when he died, and long a favorite of American merchants. Life and commerce and the personalities involved—both East and West—will be explored through the Chinese export art that recorded this moment in history.
Program support provided in memory of Mary Mayer Tanenbaum.
Two renowned foreign policy experts return to New-York Historical to discuss the nation’s complicated involvement in contemporary world affairs and the major issues the president and other world leaders are currently tackling.
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Between 1830 and 1860, Underground Railroad operatives in New York City helped more than 3,000 fugitive slaves reach freedom at the hands of three unsung historical figures: Sydney Howard Gay, an abolitionist newspaper editor; Louis Napoleon, a furniture polisher; and Charles B. Ray, a black minister. Distinguished scholars shed new light on the Underground Railroad, elevating it from folklore to sweeping history.
9–9:30 am: Registration and Continental Breakfast
9:30–11 am: Program
A descendant of Fong See—a Chinese immigrant who overcame adversity and became the godfather of Los Angeles’s Chinatown—author Lisa See draws inspiration from her heritage and provides a vivid portrait of Chinese culture and American idealism in her writing. In an intimate talk, she discusses her work and shares her family’s unique journey to attain the “American Dream.”
As the youngest person in United States history to assume the presidency, Theodore Roosevelt hit the ground running, infusing the nation’s highest office with vigor and purpose. Whether it was protecting the nation’s natural resources or boldly guiding the country onto the world stage, Roosevelt attacked issues head on, his penchant for action at times concealing his brilliant tactical mind. An accomplished Roosevelt historian sheds light on this visionary leader.