Parker History Lecture
THE 27TH ANNUAL DAVIS R. PARKER MEMORIAL HISTORY LECTURE Will FEATURE Writer and Political Activist Daniel Ellsberg ON April 12, 2017 AT 7:30 P.M. IN BALL AUDITORIUM. THE EVENT IS FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC, AND WILL INCLUDE A Lecture, Q&A SESSION, AND BOOK SIGNING.
Daniel Ellsberg is a lecturer, writer, and activist on the dangers of the nuclear era, wrongful U.S. interventions, and the urgent need for patriotic whistleblowing.
Ellsberg began his career as a strategic analyst at the RAND Corporation and consultant to the Department of Defense and the White House, specializing in problems of the command and control of nuclear weapons, nuclear war plans, and crisis decision-making. He joined the Defense Department in 1964 as Special Assistant to Assistant Secretary of Defense John McNaughton, working on the escalation of the war in Vietnam. He transferred to the State Department in 1965 to serve two years at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, evaluating pacification in the field.
On return to the RAND Corporation in 1967, Ellsberg worked on the top-secret McNamara study of U.S. decision-making in Vietnam, 1945-68, which later came to be known as the Pentagon Papers. In 1969, he photocopied the 7,000-page study and gave it to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee; in 1971 he gave it to The New York Times, The Washington Post, and 17 other newspapers. His trial, on 12 felony counts posing a possible sentence of 115 years, was dismissed in 1973 on grounds of governmental misconduct against him, which led to the convictions of several White House aides and figured in the impeachment proceedings against President Nixon.
Ellsberg’s 1961 article, “Risk, Ambiguity and the Savage Axioms,” is widely considered a landmark in decision theory and behavioral economics. He has authored Papers on the War (1971), Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers (2002), and Risk, Ambiguity and Decision (2001).
Ellsberg holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University. He studied for a year at King’s College, University of Cambridge, on a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship, and spent three years in the U.S. Marine Corps.
After Headmaster Davis R. Parker’s death in 1989, his predecessor, Leslie R. Severinghaus, proposed the establishment of an annual lecture dedicated to Mr. Parker’s memory and recognizing his passion for American history.
The initial funding for this endowed lecture series was provided by Dr. Severinghaus and by a bequest directed from Mr. Parker’s estate established by his wife, Jane. The Parker Memorial Fund supports the lecture program and has been sustained by gifts from alumni, faculty, and friends of Mr. Parker.
2016: Joanne B. Freeman, Yale University professor
2015: Frank J. Williams, retired Chief Justice, Rhode Island Supreme Court
2014: Kimberly Dozier, AP Intelligence Writer
2013: Dr. John Nagl, Headmaster
2012: Joe Watkins, TV Political Analyst
2011: Jeff Shaara, Best-selling Author
2010: Ann Compton, White House Correspondent
2009: Paul Kennedy, Yale University professor
2008: Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton Jr. (Ret.), FEMA Director & President of Prairie View A&M University
2007: Gen. Eric K. Shinseki, 34th Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army
2006: Aaron David Miller, Author & Public Policy Scholar
2005: Christopher Buckley, Author & Editor, Forbes
2003: Donald Miller, Author & Professor of History, Lafayette College
2002: Dr. David Abshire, President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency
2001: Al Hunt ’60, Executive Washington Editor of The Wall Street Journal
2001: Philip Caputo, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist & Foreign Correspondent
2000: David Halberstam, Pulitzer Prize-winning Journalist, Author, & Historian
1999: Dr. James M. McPherson, Princeton University Professor
1998: Michael C. Dorf, Columbia University School of Law Professor
1997: Dr. Drew Gilpin Faust, Annenberg Professor of History, University of Pennsylvania
1996: Dr. William H. Chafe, Professor of History & Dean of Faculty, Duke University
1995: Dr. Alan Brinkley, Professor of History, Columbia University
1994: David Eisenhower, Historian & Author
1993: Dr. Sharon Ullman, Assistant Professor of History, Bryn Mawr College
1992: David Barry Gaspar, Professor of History, Duke University