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Dallas One Day U: The Rise and Decline of the American Presidency

October 01, 2016 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM

The presidential race of 2016 has been unlike any other in our nation's history. In a period where issues are overshadowed by personalities, understanding the importance of democracy and the power of your vote is more important than ever. Join One Day University and The Dallas Morning News as we present our fall Full-Day event October 1st, "The American Presidency: Past, Present, Future." We'll explore the foundation, legacy and current state of the presidency.
Students will have a 1 hour and 20 minute lunch break. Lunch will be available for purchase at the Omni Hotel.
*Please note, all professors and courses are subject to change.


9:30 AM - 10:45 AM
Abraham Lincoln: Expanding the Presidency

Harold Holzer / Hunter College

Abraham Lincoln arrived in the White House in 1861 with one of the smallest popular vote pluralities in the history of presidential elections: less than 40% of the total, with no support from the South. Yet armed with much less than a mandate, and enjoying no "honeymoon" period in the wake of Southern secession and aggression, Lincoln not only went on to preserve the Union, but marched the country along the difficult road to black freedom. Along the way, ironically, he sacrificed many of the constitutionally protected guarantees he fought to save, including freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and long-established limits on presidential powers.

How a self-educated western lawyer and one-term congressman managed to revolutionize the presidency and save the Republic is the subject of this new lecture. In the crucible of civil war, Lincoln used the strong arm of military authority coupled with a rare gift for image-making, press mastery, and personal appeal to became nothing less than a national icon—a potent symbol of equal opportunity and the limitless possibilities of the American dream.

Harold Holzer / Hunter College
Harold Holzer is the winner of The 2015 Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize, and one of the country's leading authorities on Abraham Lincoln and the political culture of the Civil War era. A prolific writer and lecturer, and frequent guest on television, Holzer serves as Chairman of The Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, to which he was appointed by President Clinton in 2000, and co-chaired from 2001-2010. President Bush, in turn, awarded Holzer the National Humanities Medal in 2008. And in 2013, Holzer wrote an essay on Lincoln for the official program at the re-inauguration of President Barack Obama.

11:05 AM - 12:20 PM
FDR's Political Genius: The Making of The Modern Presidency

Jeremi Suri / University of Texas

How do domestic policy and foreign policy collide? What impact does presidential policy have in international order and fascism? The lecture will investigate the transformational presidency of Franklin Roosevelt.

How did this scion of America’s elite inspire hope in millions of suffering citizens during the Great Depression? How did he re-design the purposes and expectations of American government through the New Deal? Join us to explore his ideas, leadership style, and legacies for contemporary American domestic and foreign policy.

Jeremi Suri / University of Texas
Jeremi Suri holds the Mack Brown Distinguished Chair for Leadership in Global Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin. He is a professor in the University's Department of History and the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs. Professor Suri is the author of six books on contemporary politics and foreign policy. His research and teaching have received numerous prizes, and in 2007 Smithsonian Magazine named him one of America's "Top Young Innovators" in the Arts and Sciences.

12:20 PM - 1:40 PM
Lunch Break

1 Hour and 20 minute lunch break / Lunch for purchase

Students will have a 1 hour and 20 minute lunch break. Lunch will be available for purchase at The Omni Hotel.

1 Hour and 20 minute lunch break / Lunch for purchase

1:40 PM - 2:55 PM
Ronald Reagan and Reduced Government: The Man and the Myth

Jeffrey Engel / Southern Methodist University

Ronald Reagan's legacy lives on. Republicans remain the Party of Lincoln, but Reagan's name is most often heard at their political rallies, especially when evoking the virtues of small rather than big government. Democrats too invoke his memory, especially when praising his hallmark eloquence and optimism. There can be no doubt that a generation after he left the Oval Office, American politics remains more conservative, more idealistic, more religious and more enthralled by hard power than when he took office. This is, in large measure, the country Reagan made.

Yet memories of the Gipper often don't jive with his actual record in office. A self-described conservative, he oversaw a massive expansion of the federal budget, national debt, and overall size of government. An avowed opponent of tax cuts, he nonetheless signed more than a dozen while president. Unyielding in his beliefs, today's celebrants of Reagan's legacy often times cite his refusal to compromise his values, even though Reagan in his own day willingly touted the virtues of reaching across the aisle, and ultimately cut deals with Democrats, foreign despots, and even anti-American regimes and terrorists when he thought the country's best interest at stake. The Reagan we remember is not always the Reagan who governed, begging the question not only of why our national memory remains so out of step with the real facts of the past, but why this dissonance matters. Indeed, which matters more for today: Reagan the man, or Reagan the myth? The Reagan who was, or the Reagan who lives on?

Jeffrey Engel / Southern Methodist University
Jeffrey Engel is founding director of the Center for Presidential History at Southern Methodist University. He has taught at Yale University, the University of Pennsylvania, Haverford College, and taught history and public policy at Texas A&M University. He has authored or edited eight books on American foreign policy, most recently, "When the World Seemed New: George H.Bush and the Surprisingly Peaceful End of the Cold War."

3:15 PM - 4:30 PM
Presidential Election 2016: What to Expect Next

Wendy Schiller / Brown University

In this course, Professor Schiller will discuss the candidates for president in the 2016 election. She will assess each potential candidate's strengths and weaknesses in the context of the party convention and platform, personality, organization, and fundraising. She will explain the strategies that candidates will have to employ to win key states and ensure turnout among their own party's base, as well as independent voters, in order to win the the general election.

Professor Schiller will also place the 2016 election in historic, demographic, and political context as it compares to the 2000, 2008, and 2012 elections. How has the electorate changed in terms of age, gender, income, education and race? What are the key issues likely to be in this election that are the same or different from prior elections? How will social media change the fundamentals of campaigning? Professor Schiller will also cover the ways in which the congressional elections for the U.S. House and U.S. Senate will interact with the presidential elections.

Wendy Schiller / Brown University
Wendy Schiller is a the Chair of the Brown Political Science Department at Brown University. She is an expert in the field of the U.S. Congress and political representation, and the recent recipient of a National Science Foundation grant to study party conflict and factionalism in the U.S. Senate. Professor Schiller has been a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution and a six-time recipient of the Undergraduate Teaching and Research Award at Brown.


Sorry this event is sold out.

Please call 1-800-300-3438 to be added to the waiting list.