Best of WWII Public Programs: The 2019 Eisenhower Symposium

The Museum hosted a symposium on "Eisenhower: The Monumental Man" in November 2019, focusing on his early years and his WWII experiences, including as Supreme Commander.

During this time of home quarantines and social distancing, many of us have more to spend watching television and streaming services. Therefore, it seems an appropriate time to bring forward selections from the Museum’s online public programs archive.

By way of introduction, The International Conference on World War II  has been the Museum’s marquee adult public educational program since it first launched in 2006. Beginning in 2014, we have kicked-off each conference with a themed pre-conference symposium.

The 2019 pre-International Conference symposium theme was on Dwight D. Eisenhower. It covered his background, his early war experiences, and his time as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces.

Playing the Game: Ike and his Mentors

The first session has Steve Rabalais discussing one of Ike’s most positive influences, General Fox Conner. Rabalais is followed by General Ty Seidule who discusses the informative, though acrimonious, relationship between Ike and General Douglas MacArthur. The session is roughly 75 minutes.


In the Crucible: Ike in the Mediterranean

The next session focused on Ike’s time in North Africa, presented by Christopher Rein, PhD, and then the Museum’s Samuel Zemurray Stone Senior Historian, Rob Citino, PhD, discussing Ike in Sicily and Italy. The session is roughly 75 minutes.


Ike and the Great Crusade

The third session is presented by Michael Neiberg, PhD. Dr. Neiberg discussed one of Ike’s biggest challenges in all of World War II—his relationship with the French, specifically French General Charles de Gaulle. The session is just under an hour.



The Symposium concluded with a roundtable discussion of all of the day’s great speakers, where they fielded questions from the audience members and themselves. This session is roughly 75 minutes.


We hope you enjoy all of the great commentary provided by our illustrious panelists and get an educational reprieve from the often stressful news reports coming out at this time.

Stay tuned as we package more of our “greatest hits” from past programs! Should you want to dive deeper into these subjects, links to the books on the Museum Store are below. Your purchase helps support the Museum’s educational mission.


General Fox Conner: Pershing's Chief of Operations and Eisenhower's Mentor 

Winner of the 2016 Army Historical Foundation Distinguished Writing Award, Steven Rabalais presents the portrait of the quintessential man behind the scenes in US military history. 


The North African Air Campaign: U.S. Army Forces from El Alamein to Salerno 

In the summer of 1942, Axis forces controlled almost the entire southern shore of the Mediterranean. Less than a year later, they had been swept from the African continent—thanks in no small part to efforts of the fledgling US Army Air Force. 


Robert M. Citino

Dr. Citino is an award-winning military historian and scholar who has published ten books. He speaks widely and contributes regularly to general readership magazines such as World War II


The Blood of Free Men

As the Allies struggled inland from Normandy in August of 1944, the fate of Paris hung in the balance. Other jewels of Europe—sites like Warsaw, Antwerp, and Monte Cassino—were, or would soon be, reduced to rubble during attempts to liberate them. 


Jeremy Collins

Jeremy Collins joined The National WWII Museum in 2001 as an intern, and now oversees the institution’s public programming initiatives.

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