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Dr. Blair is in Australia!

Well, not really.

He is featured in a story on the commemoration of the Civil War in Australia's "The Age" news magazine, however.

Risley article in New York Times

The South’s Capitol Dilemma

Ford Risley is professor of communications and head of the Department of Journalism at Penn State. He is the author of Abolition and the Press: The Moral Struggle Against Slavery (Northwestern University Press, 2008). His article is on the relocation of the Confederate capitol from Montgomery, Alabama to Richmond, Virginia for the New York Times on-line series "Disunion," a blog marking the Civil War sesquicentennial by reconsidering the war using contemporary accounts, diaries, images and historical assessments.

PSU Alumni Association City Lights

"The Battle of Gettysburg’s Courage, Carnage, and Commemoration" by Carol Reardon, George Winfree Professor of American History.
When May 21, 2011
from 09:00 AM to 03:30 PM
Where Gettysburg National Park, Gettysburg, PA
Contact Name PSU Alumni Association
Contact Phone 800-548-LION (5466), option 0
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In November 1863, as a late autumn breeze swept through the new Soldiers' National Cemetery, President Abraham Lincoln delivered his Gettysburg Address. In this immortal two-minute speech, he bestowed enduring honor on the Union soldiers buried there, men who gave their "last full measure of devotion" in the bloody three-day Battle of Gettysburg in July 1863 to secure a "new birth of freedom" for the United States. Join us for a special program at the National Park Service's Visitor Center and for a tour of the Gettysburg battlefield--the farms and fields and hills that inspired a president and became a major landmark in American military history.

Carol Reardon teaches courses at Penn State on the American military experience, the Civil War, the Vietnam conflict, the American home front in wartime, and antiwar activism in American history. Her research centers on the evolution of American military theory and professionalism as well as the cultural impact of American wars. Dr. Reardon has been an invited visiting professor at West Point and the Army War College and has received the Secretary of the Navy's appointment to the Marine Corps University Board of Visitors on three separate occasions. She is also the faculty chair of the Alumni Association’s Civil War Battlefield Study Tour, now in its 19th year. Her most recent books are: Launch the Intruders: A Naval Attack Squadron in the Vietnam War, 1972 and Pickett’s Charge in History and Memory.


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19th Annual Penn State Battlefield Study Tour

Gettysburg, The Field of Courage and Carnage
When Sep 22, 2011 12:00 AM to
Sep 25, 2011 12:00 AM
Where Gettysburg, PA
Contact Name Penn State Alumni Association
Contact Phone 800–548-LION (5466), option 0
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Join us in Gettysburg, Pa., for three days of instruction in the classroom and on the battlefield of the Civil War's bloodiest clash of arms, with more than 51,000 casualties. Walk Pickett’s Charge and visit Little Round Top, Devils Den, the Peach Orchard, Cemetery Ridge and other excursions by motorcoach guided by leading historians of the era. Due to recent terrain restoration efforts, we now can see the battlefield the way Generals Lee and Meade saw it during the intense fighting.

This Civil War battlefield Tour is led by Carol Reardon, Penn State’s George Winfree Professor of American History, a scholar-in-residence of the George and Ann Richards Civil War Era Center, and author of the award-winning book, Pickett’s Charge in History and Memory.


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Blair Recognized

William A. Blair, research professor of American history in the College of the Liberal Arts, has been awarded the 2011 President's Award for Excellence in Academic Integration.

The award is given to a full-time faculty member who has exhibited extraordinary achievement in the integration of teaching, research or creative accomplishment, and service.

A renowned scholar of the Civil War and the Civil War era, Blair has served since 1998 as director of the Richards Civil War Era Center at Penn State, leading it to the forefront of Civil War studies in the country.

Among the initiatives that have made the Center a leader in the field are the biennial Society for Civil War Historians conferences, the Brose Lecture Series, which Blair edits for the University of North Carolina Press, an annual student conference that recruits participants from schools around the nation, and various educational tours for alumnae. A Summer Institute for Public School Teachers has been held annually by the Center since 2000.

In the classroom, Blair consistently receives high marks from both undergraduate and graduate students. They cite his "passion" for the subject and "the great job he does in fostering discussion." Students attest that he makes the material interesting even to those who aren't history buffs. "The class was much better than any history class I have taken," one student said.

Author of two books on the Civil War, he currently is at work on a third, With Malice toward Some, a study of the use of treason during the Civil War era. He served for 10 years as editor of Civil War History and currently is editor of the recently launched title The Journal of the Civil War Era, which focuses on the war and its impact on American history.

Penn State Live, The University's Official News Source

Thursday, March 17, 2011

PSU Alumni Purchase Cannon

Penn State Civil War Battlefield Study Tour
Participants of Penn State’s annual battlefield study tour recently purchased a cannon for placement at the Raymond Battlefield Park, just southwest of Jackson, Mississippi. The Raymond battlefield was the site of tough fighting between Union and Confederate forces during Ulysses S. Grant’s famed Vicksburg campaign in the spring and summer of 1863. Vicksburg, which overlooks the Mississippi River, was the key to the Confederacy’s control of the vital river. Grant had to defeat Confederate forces in and around Jackson before finally surrounding and laying siege to Vicksburg itself. The roughly two-month long siege ended with Vicksburg’s surrender on 4 July 1863. Brigadier General Parker Hills guided the alumni tour group around the Raymond battlefield. Carol Reardon, George Winfree Professor of American History at Penn State, was so impressed by General Hills’ passion for the battlefield’s preservation and rehabilitation that she asked the tour group to raise a contribution for the Raymond Battlefield Park. Reardon told us, “It was amazing just to put out the suggestion--I just said (loudly) ‘I want a cannon!’--and the group rose to the challenge!” The group raised enough money to commission a reproduction cannon that will be placed on the site of the Union artillery line at the battlefield. The park (which is supporting federal legislation to designate it a national military park) strives for the utmost accuracy in re-creating the lines and order of battle from the clash at Raymond, and the cannon provided by the alumni tour group will enhance that mission.