Jan 22, 2023

Eisenhower’s decision concerning execution of the Rosenbergs to be discussed

Posted Jan 22, 2023 3:19 PM


ABILENE - The public is invited to attend the January Lunch & Learn at the Eisenhower Presidential Library, Abilene, scheduled for Thursday, January 26 at noon central time, either in person or online. The program will be held in the library building courtyardand will begin promptly at noon. Guests are encouraged to arrive by 11:45 a.m. A light box-lunch will be served on a first come, first served basis.

Joining us remotely as our guest speaker is Dr. Lori Clune, Associate Professor of History at California State University, Fresno. She is author of "Executing the Rosenbergs: Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World" (Oxford University Press, 2016).

In 1950, Truman administration officials arrested Julius and Ethel Rosenberg for conspiracy to commit espionage. Specifically, the serious charges concerned passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union and thereby causing the Korean War.

Upon his inauguration in January 1953, Dwight Eisenhower inherited both the unpopular war and the problematic case. While he managed to bring the war to a close, the president struggled to manage the global image of the United States concerning the Rosenbergs. He had two opportunities to weigh in on whether Julius and Ethel would live or die. 

How he grappled with this case provides a fascinating lens into Eisenhower’s presidential decision-making process.

Clune has written numerous articles and book chapters concerning propaganda, communism, and the 1950s. She has also written for Made By History at theWashington Post, History News Network, Passport, and H-Diplo. She has given numerous interviews and invited talks, including at the Department of Justice, International Spy Museum, and Tamiment Library.

She is a member of the OAH and SHAFR, where she is also the Director of Secondary Education. Clune earned her doctorate at University of California at Davis, and her master’s degree from New York University. She is working on a project that explores the American experience during the Korean War.

These programs are all made possible courtesy of the Eisenhower Foundationwith generous support from the Jeffcoat Memorial Foundation.

Join us in person:

  1. Library building courtyard
  2. Arrive by 11:45 a.m.
  3. Box lunch provided on a first come, first served basis
  4. Park in the south parking lot nearest the library building

Join us online: 

  1. Stream on YouTube Live

The 2023 Lunch & Learn series is made possible courtesy of the Eisenhower Foundation with generous support from the Jeffcoat Memorial Foundation.