Chautauqua Lecture Series 2024 - Aug 15, 2024 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ St. Simons Presbyterian Church


American elections have always been harbingers of change—not just of elected officials, but of policies, attitudes, and how we as a nation conduct elections themselves. Coastal Georgia Historical Society’s 2024 Chautauqua Lecture Series will explore changemaking elections that had a significant impact, both in Georgia and for the U.S. Presidency.

On August 8, Scott Buchanan, Ph.D., will deliver a lecture titled, “Georgia’s Gubernatorial Election of 1946: The Triumph of Rural Georgia.”  The elected candidate in 1946, Eugene Talmadge, died before taking the oath of office. Three politicians, including Talmadge’s son, Herman, claimed the office, causing three months of tension and uncertainty. Dr. Buchanan is a professor of political science and Department Chair of Government and Sociology at Georgia College and State University. He is the co-author of The Three Governors Controversy: Skullduggery, Machinations, and the Decline of Georgia’s Progressive Politics. His previous works include Some of the People Who Ate My Barbecue Didn’t Vote for Me: The Life of Georgia Governor Marvin Griffin.

At the program on August 15, Laurence Jurdem, Ph.D., will present “A Parting of the Ways: Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge and the Presidential Election of 1912.”  During this controversial contest, Roosevelt launched a third-party bid, in opposition to his own party and incumbent William Taft. Ultimately, this threw the election to Woodrow Wilson. Roosevelt’s actions will be examined through the lens of his friendship with political colleague Henry Cabot Lodge, who refused to support Roosevelt’s independent bid for a third term. Dr. Jurdem is an Adjunct Professor of History at Fairfield University and Fordham College’s Lincoln Center campus. A frequent writer on American politics, his articles have appeared in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the San Francisco Chronicle. His most recent book is The Rough Rider and the Professor: Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and the Friendship that Changed American History.

The lecture on August 22 will feature award-winning historian Harold Holzer who will deliver “Electing and Re-electing Lincoln: The Immigrant Impact in 1860 and 1864.”  The program will be based on his new book, Brought Forth on This Continent: Abraham Lincoln and American Immigration, which describes the effect of the influx of foreign-born people on the political landscape of an increasingly divided nation. One of the nation’s leading authorities on Lincoln, Mr. Holzer serves as the director of Hunter College’s Roosevelt House Public Policy Institute and is chairman of the Lincoln Forum. He has written numerous books on Lincoln and has appeared in specials for C-SPAN, PBS, CNN, and other networks. He is a recipient of the National Humanities Medal and the Gilder-Lehrman Lincoln Prize.

Richard Brookhiser, also a National Humanities Medal winner, will present the final program in the series on September 5, “1800 – America’s First Two-Party System Goes to the Polls.”  In this third contest for the presidency, Thomas Jefferson and his own vice presidential running mate, Aaron Burr, tied for electoral college votes, and it took 36 ballots for the House of Representatives to elect Jefferson. This election also featured the first peaceful transfer of power to the non-incumbent party. Mr. Brookhiser, a journalist and biographer, has written extensively about the Early Republic and the Founders, including books on George Washington, James Madison, John Marshall, and Alexander Hamilton. He also wrote and hosted the PBS documentary “Rediscovering George Washington.” His latest work is Glorious Lessons: John Trumbull, Painter of the American Revolution.

The programs will be presented on Thursday evenings, August 8, 15, 22, and September 5, at 6 p.m. at the St. Simons Presbyterian Church. They will be available via live stream and recorded. Please note the schedule skips August 29. The cost for the series is $50 for Society members and $95 for non-members. To register, visit

Thank you to generous sponsors: Gilbert Harrell, Lokey Asset Management of Raymond James, and SeaPak.

Chautauqua Lecture Series 2024 - Aug 15, 2024 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM @ St. Simons Presbyterian Church originally posted on by Elegant Island Living magazine.


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