Miller Center

Riding The Tiger

“I discovered that being a President is like riding a tiger. A man has to keep on riding or be swallowed.” Harry S. Truman

Is the 2016 Election Shaping Up Like 1828?

It is often said that “history repeats itself.” Here at the Miller Center, we agree more with Mark Twain’s famous statement that, “history never repeats itself. But it often rhymes.”  Although this election cycle has certainly shattered precedents and paradigms of the presidency, we still hear some rhymes of past elections, in particular, the contest of 1828.

Oral History: George H.W. Bush’s Speech on LA Riot

On May 1, 1992, George H.W. Bush addressed the nation about the L.A. riots that started two days ago. This riot was to become one of the worst in the 20th century. This speech proves to be a window into White House communication...

1976 Republican Convention Through Oral History

As the 2016 Republican nomination continues to take strange paths with Ted Cruz naming Carly Fiorina as his VP and leading to a possible contested convention, we wanted to share our Reagan Oral History transcripts on the contested 1976 Republican convention with Gerald Ford vs. Ronald Reagan.

Richard Nixon’s Greatest Hits

Nixon in Belgium, 1974. Courtesy of AP

Nixon in Belgium, 1974. Courtesy of AP

Richard Nixon died from complications of a stroke on April 22, 1994, and his funeral drew luminaries from around the globe, including every living President. When you put him under the microscope of the Presidential Recordings, you will find some fascinating audio.

Oral History: Oklahoma City Bombing

Oklahoma Federal Building weeks after explosion

Domestic terror  today? Yes, and it has happened before. In response to the FBI stand-off at Waco, Texas and Ruby Ridge, Idaho, Timonty McVeigh and Terry Nicols, denonated a truck-bomb at the Oklahoma City Federal Building on April 19,1995. We peek into the Clinton Presidential History Project to get the inside view.

U.S. Embassy in Lebanon Bombed

On this day in 1983, 63 people were killed when a car bomb struck the U.S. Embassy in Lebanon. The U.S. just entered a much bigger war than it expected.

Anita Hill & Clarence Thomas Seen Through Oral History

Anita Hill

Anita Hill

With HBO's launch of Confirmation, what did the insiders think about Clarence Thomas' nomination?

1986 Libya Bombing

Ronald Reagan meets with Congressional leaders about the bombing strike, 1986

Ronald Reagan meets with Congressional leaders about the bombing strike, 1986

Middle East terrorism is nothing new. In 2011, Obama and NATO forces intervened in Libya. Did you know that it was not the first time we bombed Gaddafi?

Miller Center Fellow Fredrickson Earns “Double Hoo” Award

Leif Fredrickson, recipient of the Miller Center’s 2016-2017 Ambrose Monell Foundation Funded Fellowship in Technology and Democracy, has teamed with Virginia undergraduate Vijay Edupuganti to win a 2016 Double Hoo Research Grant. The tandem will investigate “Environmental Justice and Lead Gas Pollution During Baltimore's Golden Age of Suburbanization.”

Blackmon Earns Major NEH Grant for Documentary on School Desegregation

The Miller Center’s Douglas Blackmon has received a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities for his documentary film project, The Harvest, a look at the history and legacy of school integration in his native Leland, Mississippi. The grant was one of the eleven largest of 248 grants announced today. Blackmon is the Miller Center’s Director of Public Programs and the Host and Executive Producer of our nationally syndicated PBS television program, American Forum.

The Harvest is based on a simple premise: Many of the children born in Mississippi in 1964—the year of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1964—became the first Mississippi children to experience a fully integrated grades one through twelve. This group included Blackmon himself, and the film, along with an accompanying book, will explore the consequences of school desegregation for Blackmon and his classmates, as well as their community and America as a whole.

Listen to Blackmon describe the project on Inside Charlottesville.

Blackmon has a long history of exploring issues of race in America. He earned a Pulitzer Prize for his book Slavery by Another Name, and he produced an accompanying documentary, which you can watch in full online. An American Forum series of dialogues on race in America is also available online

Part Two: Republican Party’s Search for its Soul: 2016 vs. 1952

The 1952 Republican Convention

Here at the Miller Center, we always hear political echoes and the 2016 election cycle has a lot them.  One in particular deals with the soul of the Republican Party.

American Forum: Risa Goluboff on Vagrancy Laws

No domestic issue has been more dramatically at the center of American public discussion in recent years than the interplay between police practices, civil rights and racial unrest. At its heart is an age-old tension over just how much discretion the police should have over who they can stop for questioning, and under what circumstances citizens can be detained.

Reflections on Nancy Reagan from the Miller Center Oral Histories

Ronald and Nancy Reagan in 1981

In honor of the passing of Nancy Reagan, we have mined selected quotes from the Ronald Reagan Oral History Project.

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Richard V. Allen (Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs)
Martin Anderson (Assistant to the President for Policy Development)
Aram Bakshian, Jr. (Director of Speechwriting)
Joanne Drake (Chief of Staff, Office of Ronald Reagan)
Max Friedersdorf (Assistant to the President for Legislative Affairs)
Kenneth Khachigian (Chief Speechwriter)
James Kuhn (Personal aide to the President)
Paul Laxalt (U.S. Senator)
James C. Miller (Director Office of Management and Budget)
Lyn Nofziger (Assistant to the President for Political Affairs)
Kathleen Osborne (Personal Assistant)
Frederick J. Ryan Jr. (Director of Presidential Appointments and Scheduling; Chief of Staff, Office of Ronald Reagan)
Stuart Spencer (Campaign Strategist)
Robert H. Tuttle (Director of Presidential Personnel)
Caspar Weinberger (Secretary of Defense)
Charles Z. Wick (Director, United States Information Agency)

American Forum: Peter Bergen on the Threat of Homegrown Terrorists

In this American Forum episode, we have Peter Bergen, CNN’s national security analyst, and a longtime expert on global terror groups to assess the potential threat posed by homegrown terrorists.

American Forum: John Kasich

Tune in this week as Gov. John Kasich joins American Forum host Douglas Blackmon to make the case for why he should win the Republican nomination for President of the United States.