Jacqueline Kennedy photo: Abbie Rowe, 1961/U.S. National Archives and Records Administration

Journalism professor Andrew Cohen was the special online guest of the Washington, D.C.-based White House Historical Association on June 9, engaging in a live-streamed, richly illustrated Q-and-A session with the director of the association’s history centre, Dr. Colleen Shogan.

The “White House History Live” event, which had been viewed 14,000 times within days, explored Prof. Cohen’s widely acclaimed Two Days in June: John F. Kennedy and the 48 Hours That Made History. The book examines the two days in June 1963 when U.S. president John F. Kennedy, in two landmark speeches, pivoted dramatically on the two greatest issues of the era: nuclear arms and civil rights.

The Zoom-style exchange between Prof. Cohen and Dr. Shogan — an adjunct professor of government at Georgetown University and author of The Moral Rhetoric of American Presidents — probed the origins of Two Days in June and the enduring impact of Kennedy’s presidency.

Asked by Dr. Shogan why those two days in June became the focus of his book, Prof. Cohen said: “I saw an opportunity to explain, illuminate the presidency hour by hour, in a granular, atmospheric way, that would try to give a reader who did not know much about JFK – like the students I teach, for example, who are of another generation — what it was like to be JFK, what it was like to be president of the United States, and what it was like to make the decisions he did.”

Founded in 1961 by First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, the White House Historical Association has a dual mission to educate citizens in the U.S. and beyond about the history of the White House and its occupants, and to preserve the history and heritage of America’s Executive Mansion.

Monday, June 15, 2020 in ,
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