Historians for Peace and Democracy (H-PAD) was among the sponsors of a memorial service for historian Jesse Lemisch on December 6, 2018. Jesse passed away on August 24. He was a co-founder of our predecessor, Historians Against the War, in 2003. The memorial service was held at New York University’s Tamiment Library. The organizers of the memorial have compiled a list of Jesse’s writings, with links to materials that are available on-line.
Threats To Democracy and Dangers of War
In April 2017, the Historians for Peace and Democracy (H-PAD) initiated a year-long national campaign to engage students, faculty, and members of the broader community in discussions about different forms of authoritarian and anti-democratic governance especially in relation to war and militarism. The campaign generated a number of campus and community-based educational events, the development of a national speakers bureau, and the publication of a hard-hitting series of “Broadsides for the Trump Era” focusing on the history of repression and resistance in modern America.
In the fall of 2018, H-PAD sent out seven “Voting Rights Alerts,” focusing especially on campuses (see blog posts), to help prepare for the midterm elections on November 6.
Vietnam War commemoration
The Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) is looking to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the national mobilizations in 1969 and invites representatives of organizations and others to consider plans for this important anniversary in the history of the peace movement. Contact Terry Provance through the VPCC website email: http://www.vietnampeace.org/contact.
H-PAD joined with the Vietnam Peace Commemoration Committee (VPCC) and the Veterans for Peace is cosponsoring and publicizing events and conferences related to the 50th anniversary of the My Lai massacre in March 1968. The VPCC is challenging the Pentagon’s mandate to present the history of the Vietnam War to the public. Contributing to this effort is peace history website essay on the Vietnam War and the antiwar movement. Two H-PAD Steering Committee members, Ellen Schrecker and James Swarts, traveled to Vietnam with a Veterans for Peace delegation and attended the Memorial Observation in My Lai on March 16. (See March 2018 blog posts.)
Korea Peace Campaign
In early 2018, H-PAD joined a large coalition of national peace and justice organizations in calling for a multi-faceted campaign of teach-ins, forums, debates, round-tables, film showings, and political actions — on campus and in the community — to raise consciousness about the danger of war and the options for peace in Korea. A separate speakers bureau was enlisted for this purpose.
General David Petraeus – featured speaker at diplomatic historians meeting
In May 2018, H-PAD assisted in the distribution of a letter protesting the selection of U.S. Army General David Petraeus as keynote speaker at the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations (SHAFR) conference in June. Initiated by New York University professor Hannah Gurman, the latter garnered 277 signatures from scholars. The letter did not question the general’s right to speak but challenged the special honor accorded him, especially in light of his claims to “success” in the counterinsurgency wars he led in Afghanistan and Iraq. Among the notable historians signing the letter were Andrew Bacevich, Greg Grandin, Alfred McCoy, Lloyd Gardner, Carol Anderson, and Christian Appy. See The Nation article, July 5, 2018.