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The Four Presidential Assassinations
Ralph Nurnberger

COURSE DESCRIPTION: Political assassinations have often altered the course of history: Julius Caesar; Czar Alexander II; Archduke Franz Ferdinand; Gandhi; Yitzak Rabin. Four American Presidents have been assassinated. Each of these murders, in their own way, dramatically changed the course of American history. While totally different, every one of these acts of murder is a fascinating story, including mysteries, conspiracy theories and unanswered questions. The course will examine why and how John Wilkes Booth murdered Abraham Lincoln; Charles Guiteau shot James Garfield; Leon Czolgosz assassinated William McKinley; and Lee Harvey Oswald shot John Kennedy. We will discuss Booth's original plans to kidnap Lincoln and then how he and his fellow-conspirators sought to murder Lincoln and other national leaders. Did Booth head the conspiracy to kill Lincoln or were "higher-ups" involved? How did he evade his pursuers for 12 days? How did Lincoln's death change the projected course of post-Civil War Reconstruction and then undermine race relations in the US for more than a century? Garfield was the youngest man, to date, elected as President. He was one of our most brilliant Presidents, a Civil War hero, and a renowned Congressman who had hoped to challenge the nation's corrupt political establishment. He died months after being shot raising serious questions about his medical treatment. How did Theodore Roosevelt's assumption of power after the death of McKinley truly thrust the nation into the 20th century? What has been learned about Kennedy's assassination in 50 years since JFK? How was Lyndon Johnson able to accomplish so many of the goals that eluded Kennedy as President?
1. The Lincoln Assassination: Was John Wilkes Booth the Mastermind?
2. The Garfield Assassination: Why was this brilliant, young Civil War hero murdered and did poor medical treatment contribute to his demise?
3. The McKinley Assassination: How did this event thrust the United States into the 20th century?
4. The Kennedy Assassination: How did this event change the course of American history?
BIOGRAPHICAL INFORMATION: Dr. Ralph Nurnberger is a Professor of International Relations at Georgetown University, where he has taught since 1975. He received the "Excellence in Teaching" award from the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003. His most recent course at Georgetown was a graduate seminar on the Arab-Israel conflict. He has lectured on numerous occasions for Florida Atlantic University's (FAU) Lifelong Learning Program.

Dr. Nurnberger has served on the professional staff of the Senate Foreign Relations committee, as a Senior Fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), Legislative Liaison for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC); and Director of Congressional Relations for the Bureau of Export Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce. He was the first Director of “Builders for Peace” which was established to assist the Middle East Peace Process through economic development. He has also advised numerous congressional, senatorial and presidential campaigns on foreign policy issues, especially those related to the Middle East.  He received his BA from Queens College, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa and was captain of the Varsity Tennis Team.  He holds an MA from Columbia University and a Ph.D. from Georgetown University.

Time: 12:45 pm - 2:30 pm
Date: Tuesdays, November 4, 18, 25; December 2
Location: Barry and Florence Friedberg Auditorium, Boca Raton Campus
Fees: $34 member / $54 non-member

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