We were lucky to survive the Berlin Wall’s fall

Dallas Morning News Originally Posted: Nov. 9, 2019 Thirty years ago this week the impossible happened: the Berlin Wall fell. More accurately it was crushed by Berliners both East and West who’d had enough of the scar across their cityscape. Like crowds before them, in Leipzig and Dresden in East Germany, in Budapest and Warsaw too, demonstrators demanding change stared down soldiers and police, and won. We were lucky to survive. Crowds can be dangerous. Call that same group a mob and one immediately understands why. They spasm often without coordination or regard for their organizer’s peaceful intent, easily undone by a single protester who breaks rank to toss a brick, or by a trembling young recruit gripped by fear and too tightly gripping his [...]

By | 2019-11-11T09:31:03-08:00 November 11th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on We were lucky to survive the Berlin Wall’s fall

Trump’s State of the Union Address: Touchy Topics and Words to Own

SMU News Originally Posted: February 5, 2019 This is an excerpt from an SMU news release. To read the full article click here. SMU experts are available to analyze political landmines and presidential goals in the runup to the Feb. 5 State of the Union address. Ignore the Talk of Impeachment? Jeffrey Engel, director, SMU Center for Presidential History 979-450-9437, jaengel@smu.edu “Our last two presidents to face such open talk of impeachment chose different tacks in addressing the issue during their State of the Union,” Engel said. “Richard Nixon mentioned it, seven months before he was forced from office one step ahead of the impeachment posse: It was time to bring the Watergate investigations to an end, he said. Bill Clinton addressed the nation during his [...]

By | 2019-02-05T11:09:44-08:00 February 5th, 2019|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History, Political Science|Comments Off on Trump’s State of the Union Address: Touchy Topics and Words to Own

Listen: Historian Remembers George H.W. Bush’s Legacy

NPR Originally Posted: December 6, 2018 Rachel Martin talks to presidential historian Jeffrey Engel, who remembers former President George H.W. Bush as a globalist, and as a president who felt entitled to power. LISTEN

By | 2018-12-11T11:10:39-08:00 December 21st, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Events, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Listen: Historian Remembers George H.W. Bush’s Legacy

Listen: How pardons hang over the Mueller investigation

Politico Originally Posted: November 26, 2018 Jeffrey Engel, Director of the Center for Presidential History and Department of History professor, joined POLITICO's Nerdcast to talk about the history of presidential pardons--and perhaps their implication for today. This week on POLITICO's Nerdcast we're taking a break from our usual routine to take a look at presidential pardons. Pardons are one of the most absolute powers a president has — they can really just say the word, and criminal convictions are wiped out. A lot more than just saying the word goes into presidential pardons — usually. But things have been different under the current administration. Straying from the decorum of the past is part of the reason Trump’s pardons have gotten so much attention. Not to mention [...]

By | 2018-11-27T09:13:43-08:00 November 27th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Listen: How pardons hang over the Mueller investigation

Trump presidency inspires wave of books on impeachment

AP Originally Posted: October 23, 2018 More than 40 years after working on the impeachment of Richard Nixon, former Rep. Elizabeth Holtzman is back on the case. This time, it’s with a book: “The Case for Impeaching Trump.” “The book really forced me to think this through,” Holtzman, a New York Democrat and member of the House Judiciary Committee in 1974, said during a recent telephone interview. “There’s so much news every day being thrown at you that it’s hard to separate it all out. When I did, it became clear there was a basis for proclaiming the president had committed high crimes and misdemeanors.” “The Case for Impeaching Trump” is part of a wave of new books and reissues of older works that is [...]

By | 2018-10-31T07:05:18-08:00 October 30th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Trump presidency inspires wave of books on impeachment

Jeff Engel, Center for Presidential History, President Trump heads to Texas to campaign for Senator Ted Cruz

USA Today Originally Posted: October 22, 2018 Jeff Engel, Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History lends expertise for this Oct. 22 USA Today article. One of the political world's most fractious couples gets together again Monday in Texas. President Donald Trump heads to Houston to stump for embattled incumbent Sen. Ted Cruz, the latest phase in a political relationship that has gone from warm to bad to tolerable. "Ted Cruz has become a friend of mine," Trump said during a political rally over the weekend in Missoula, Montana – never mind that Trump once nicknamed him "Lyin' Ted," insulted his wife, and suggested his rival's father was somehow involved in the John F. Kennedy assassination. For his part, Cruz has expressed his support for the [...]

By | 2018-10-24T08:04:32-08:00 October 24th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Jeff Engel, Center for Presidential History, President Trump heads to Texas to campaign for Senator Ted Cruz

Meet SMU presidential historian Dr. Jeffrey Engel

SMU Daily Campus Originally Posted: October 11, 2018 Most days, you can find Dr. Jeffrey Engel in his office surrounded by history tomes. The Director of the SMU Center for Presidential History at SMU has filled his office with the work presidential historians, including his own. Dr. Engel was attracted to this area of study because he believes in the concept of narrative history. That is, an idea that history should be told in a form where it is accessible to people from all walks of life. “I remember feeling a profound sense of shame because a proper human should know events from the past,” Dr. Engel said, while reflecting on a moment from his childhood that reinforced his desire to study and make a [...]

By | 2018-10-11T08:29:12-08:00 October 11th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Meet SMU presidential historian Dr. Jeffrey Engel

CPH Postdoctoral Fellow Paul Renfro offers historical perspective on the crisis at the border for the Washington Post

Washington Post Originally Posted: June 19, 2019 The real reason we’re locking children in cages We don't think nonwhite children deserve the same protections as “innocent” white ones. By Paul M. Renfro. Renfro is a postdoctoral fellow at Southern Methodist University, and beginning in August 2018, he will be a Dean’s Postdoctoral Scholar in the department of history at Florida State University. Americans are horrified by images and stories coming from the southern border. The U.S. government is brutalizing children and families — keeping children in cages, separated from their parents — purportedly in the name of border security. As outrage has increased, the spotlight has heated up, spurring politicians to speak out and contemplate action. As shocking and aberrant as this saga might seem — [...]

By | 2018-06-19T10:39:43-08:00 June 19th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Graduate News, History|Comments Off on CPH Postdoctoral Fellow Paul Renfro offers historical perspective on the crisis at the border for the Washington Post

Brian Franklin, History, pens article for Washington Post on the historic perils of pastors courting politicians

Washington Post Originally Posted: June 15, 2018 Evangelicals need less politicking, more soul-searching Partisan politics are costing evangelical churches their souls. Brian Franklin works at Southern Methodist University, where he is the associate director of the Center for Presidential History and adjunct lecturer in the department of history. The Southern Baptist Convention held its annual meeting in Dallas this week. The two-day conference featured religious speakers from across the country, but the two that elicited the largest response were not pastors but politicians: Vice President Pence and Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Tex.). Both Abbott and Pence used their time to their political advantage. Abbott began Tuesday morning with stories of faith and service, only to transition to culture-wars rhetoric: an invective against the secularist “onslaught against religious liberty” by “sacrilegious” [...]

By | 2018-06-15T10:37:22-08:00 June 15th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on Brian Franklin, History, pens article for Washington Post on the historic perils of pastors courting politicians

George H.W. Bush makes history by celebrating his 94th birthday

Washington Post Originally Posted: June 12, 2018 Jeff Engle, Center for Presidential History was interviewed for this article. After Barbara Bush died in April, there were fears that her husband, former president George H.W. Bush, might die, too. He was hospitalized with a blood infection the day after Barbara’s funeral. But on Tuesday, Bush made history by becoming the first former president to reach the age of 94. Gerald Ford died at 93 years and 165 days. Ronald Reagan lived for 93 years and 120 days. Jimmy Carter, born four months after Bush, will turn 94 on Oct. 1. Bush will mark his birthday with his family in Kennebunkport, Maine, though it’s unlikely he will be able to jump out of a plane, as he did on [...]

By | 2018-06-13T08:25:55-08:00 June 12th, 2018|Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Dedman College Research, Faculty News, History|Comments Off on George H.W. Bush makes history by celebrating his 94th birthday
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