U.S. History | Wilson Center

U.S. History

"Dorothea Lange: Life, Politics, and Work": A lecture by Dr. Linda Gordon

Please join us for the third lecture in  “The Past, Present, and Future of U.S. Women’s History” lecture series, a joint venture between the The National Women’s History Museum (NWHM) and the Woodrow Wilson Center. This series is aimed at promoting the need for a national museum to focus on women’s lives  over the course of United States history. Our goal is to cover diverse topics in women’s history, explore leading scholarship and address the question, “Why women’s history?”

Could the War in Vietnam Have Ended Earlier?

The Vietnam War cost the lives of more than 58,000 Americans (and millions of Vietnamese) and convulsed U.S. politics and culture in the 1960s. Could it have ended years earlier, and with a far smaller toll? Evidence from long-hidden communist sources sheds new light on one of the war's most controversial and enduring mysteries: it suggests–contrary to conventional wisdom–that a chance for direct discussions between Washington and Hanoi existed in 1966, years before the Paris talks.

Nuclear Boot Camp Participant Earns Ph.D. with Distinction

NPIHP is pleased to announce that 2011 Nuclear Boot Camp participant Mara Drogan has defended her dissertation, and will receive her Ph.D. with distinction from the University at Albany.

Making Homes, Building Bases: The Politics of Domesticity in the U.S. Occupation of Okinawa


Since the 1995 rape incident in Okinawa involving a 12-year-old girl and three American servicemen, the trope of masculine domination and feminine subjugation has shaped much of the discussion concerning the U.S. military presence there. However, as Wilson Center Japan Scholar Mire Koikari noted at an Asia Program event on November 28, gender has played a far more complex role in the relationship between the United States and Okinawa.

“Trust, but Verify” Confidence and Distrust from Détente to the End of the Cold War

The History and Public Policy Program co-hosted “Trust, but Verify” -- Confidence and Distrust from Détente to the End of the Cold War with the German Historical Institute (GHI) on November 7-9, 2011. The conference was convened by Martin Klimke (GHI), Reinhild Kreis (University of Augsburg), Sonya Michel (Wilson Center) and Christian Ostermann (Wilson Center).

Black Leaders and Leadership

“Black Leaders and Leadership” is a presentation based on the ten-year oral history project co-directed by Julian Bond and Phyllis Leffler. It relates the views of fifty Black leaders on such topics as family, education, and the inspiration of the Civil Rights movement. The lessons learned are significant and relevant for contemporary America, not least because of their focus on experiences that fuelled Black success.

The Economics of the Civil Rights Revolution in the South

The Civil Rights revolution has been an inspiration to oppressed minorities around the world and is now an essential component of both national and regional civic culture. But was it also a revolution in economic life?  Contrary to many pessimistic accounts, economic gains for black southerners were real and substantial, sufficient to reverse a fifty-year pattern of black outmigration from the South. With few exceptions, southern whites did not lose economically from desegregation; instead they also gained.