President Eisenhower’s Decision Concerning the Execution of the Rosenbergs
Eisenhower Presidential Library
Guest speaker: Dr. Lori Clune
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.
Lori Clune is 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). Clune has written numerous articles and book chapters concerning propaganda, communism, and the 1950s. She has also written for Made By History at the Washington 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 Foundation with generous support from the Jeffcoat Memorial Foundation.
All events listed in the calendar are free unless noted.