Revisiting Three Iconic American Speeches: The Words of FDR, JFK, & MLK

College of the Holy Cross

Stephanie Yuhl is the W. Arthur Garrity, Sr. Professor in Human Nature, Ethics and Society and Professor of History at the College of the Holy Cross, as well as Associate Faculty at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design in the Critical Conservation Program.  An expert in 20th-century U.S. cultural and social history who specializes in historical memory, social movements, gender and sexuality, Southern history, and the built environment, Professor Yuhl is also a consultant and curator of historical museum exhibits and oral history projects. A popular teacher who was awarded the inaugural Burns Career Teaching Medal for Outstanding Teaching, Yuhl is the author of the award-winning book, A Golden Haze of Memory: The Making of Historic Charleston, and the co-author of LGBTQ+ Worcester for The Record.



The 3 Greatest American Speeches of the 20th Century

We live in a time of competing soundbites, media highlights, and “fake news” claims that urge us to examine more carefully what we believe is true about the US political landscape.  Sometimes, we react to the current tumult by assuming that this discord is a new situation and that things were simpler and more direct back in the so-called “good old days.”


Three Stirring American Speeches

In this class, we will explore this impulse by revisiting three stirring 20th-century American speeches: by Franklin Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Martin Luther King, Jr.  We will examine moments that we all think we know well because they constitute the foundation of our popular sense of America — as a nation and a people. But as we dig deeper beyond the surface of simple soundbites and into the lesser-known context and controversies surrounding these iconic historical moments, we may be surprised to find that our understanding of the past and present may not be as clear as we have assumed, after all.


Learn More About Great American Speeches

Learn more about the greatest speeches in American history and other fascinating topics by checking out our online video lectures library. Access to all online video lectures comes standard with OneDayU membership, click here to learn more.



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