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Ships of State: Presidents at Sea

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Ships of State: Presidents at Sea

Evening Lecture/Seminar

Thursday, July 11, 2024 - 6:45 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET
Code: 1D0056
This online program is presented on Zoom.
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President Kennedy at the wheel of the U.S. Coast Guard yacht Manitou (National Archives and Records Administration)

The allure of the sea has always captivated the hearts and minds of Americans, including some of our most notable leaders. Whether aboard naval vessels or exploring the untamed wilderness of coastal landscapes, Theodore Roosevelt found solace and inspiration in the vastness of the sea. Franklin D. Roosevelt, facing the tumultuous challenges of the Great Depression and World War II, often sought respite aboard his beloved presidential yacht, the USS Potomac.

John F. Kennedy, a seasoned sailor and keen strategist, embraced the sea as a recreational escape, a source of comfort and an incubator of his ideas and policies. And George H.W. Bush, a decorated Navy pilot and lifelong enthusiast of maritime pursuits, cherished moments spent sailing along the rugged coastlines of Maine.

Veteran White House correspondent and historian Ken Walsh provides an illustrated history of presidents and their relationships to the sea, as well as the maritime experiences that have left an indelible mark on the fabric of American leadership. What drew these leaders—and others including Harry S. Truman, Barack Obama, and Joe Biden—to the water, and how has the ocean served as a backdrop for presidential reflection and decision-making?

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