Presenting Controversial Presidential History
Sharon Fawcett discussed the presidential libraries and the challenges of presenting controversial issues in an objective way. She… read more
Sharon Fawcett discussed the presidential libraries and the challenges of presenting controversial issues in an objective way. She showed slides as she talked about the shifting balances between preserving a president’s legacy and presenting political history. She discussed the background of bringing the private Nixon Library and Museum into the National Archives Presidential Library system. Then Tim Naftali described how the Nixon museum undertook to create an impartial presentation about Watergate through the use of oral histories. Excerpts of oral history videos by Paul O’Neill, George Shultz, Robert Bork, Bob Dole, Trent Lott, and D. Todd Christofferson were played as examples. Both panelists responded to questions from members of the audience.
“Engaging Controversial Topics: The Watergate Exhibit at the Nixon Presidential Library” was part of the fifth Presidential Sites and Libraries Conference, “Renewing Ideals and Engaging the Public,” which was hosted by The University of Virginia’s Miller Center of Public Affairs. The other sponsors were the American Association for State and Local History; James Madison’s Montpelier; Monticello; the National Park Service; the National Archives and Records Administration; President Lincoln’s Cottage, a National Trust Historic Site; and the White House Historical Association. close
*The transcript for this program was compiled from uncorrected Closed Captioning.
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