American And Military History
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-George Washington - God's Man For America
(106 Slide .PDF - 14 MB)

-George Washington - God's Man For America

-Washington's Farewell Address To The People of The United States

Little recognition is paid anymore to the character development of our country’s foremost founding father,
George Washington.  Discover how Washington’s lack of formal training in French prevented him from fulfilling
his life-long dream, but led to his subsequent role as our nation’s first commander-in-chief.

-The Family Connection Between George Washington
And Robert E. Lee


General Henry Lee (1756-1818) delivered the eulogy for President George Washington (1732-1799) at his state funeral in December 1799.  His son, Robert E. Lee was born on his 51st birthday, just five miles from Washington’s birthplace, on the shores of the Potomac Estuary in the Great Neck of Virginia.  Like Washington, Robert E. Lee (1807-1870) lost his father at a tender age and served his widowed mother admirably the remainder of her life.  After graduating from West Point in 1829, Robert E. Lee married the daughter of George Washington Parke Custis (1781-1857), George Washington’s step-grandson, who was raised by Washington at Mt. Vernon.


Retracing Steps - Mountain Man - Joe Walker


In October 1833 Mountain Man Joe Walker led a party of 60 free trappers across the Great Basin along the Humboldt River, thence across the Sierra Nevada Mountains of Alta California, in vicinity of what is now Yosemite National Park. While making their crossing they lost 24 horses, but also described grand vistas, cliffs that appeared a mile high, waterfalls, and giant Sequoia trees. Walker was the only American to trek overland with a U.S. Passport and Mexican visa issued in Washington, DC. Find out why in “Re-examining the Route of Mountain Man Joseph Walker in October 1833.”

-Background And Review of The Film
Gods And Generals

The trilogy Gods and Generals, Killer Angels, and The Last Full Measure profile some of most intriguing
personalities of the American Civil War, which have been made into feature films.  This film review focuses
on Gods and Generals, the first in the series, but also summarizes the other two.  The stress of war inevitably
exposes the character and values of its leaders, some of whom fail miserably, while others shine forth, leaving
their mark on history.  Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson (1824-1863) rose from almost complete obscurity as
a teacher at Virginia Military Institute to become one of the great tacticians of military history in the brief span
of two years.  Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain (1828-1914) left his teaching job at Bowdoin College, never imagining
the impact his service will have on his country and on his subsequent career.

-Theodore Judah And The Blazing of The
First Transcontinental Railroad Over The Sierra Nevadas

The son of a New England Episcopal minister, Theodore Judah (1826-1863) conceived and laid out the
route of the First Transcontinental Railroad over the Sierra Nevada Mountains, but did not gain a single
penny from the enterprise.  This great civil engineer changed the course of American history by opening
the West and bringing fabulous fortunes to the Big Four that owned the Central Pacific Railroad.

-Abstract: Nine Ways The Titanic Might Have Been Saved

-Titanic Lecture Notes

RMS Titanic Captain Edward J. Smith (1850-1912) was the most experienced captain on the North Atlantic
and highest paid mariner in the world at the time of his untimely death in April 1912. Why didn’t he pay more
heed to the iceberg reports he received from other ships? How might all of the Titanic’s passengers have been
saved? The innumerable lessons of the Titanic disaster are as important today as they were almost a century ago.

-Development of the World's Fastest Battleships

The Iowa Class were the fastest battleships ever constructed, and the longest lived (1943-1992).
  Explore the political intrigue to lead to their timely development and learn how these vessels kept
re-emerging and soldiering on, long after most people had written them off as useless dinosaurs.


-Capture of the U-505

The U-505 was the only enemy warship captured by America on the high seas between the War of 1812 and present.
  Read Capture of the U-505 and learn how this unusual vessel came into American hands and why it is displayed at the
Chicago Museum of Science and Industry. 


-Navy Seabee Ops-World War II

The U.S. Navy went from 150 Civil Engineering Corps personnel in September 1939 to over 350,000 personnel by 1945. 

These are two in a series of lectures I give to my combat engineering students at nearby Fort Leonard Wood, to expose them to the remarkable heritage of the Navy Seebees.


-East Meets West at Pearl Harbor:
A Historical Perspective 50 Years Later

One of the most interesting facets of my military career was participating in the 50th anniversary symposium of
the attack on Pearl Harbor, convened over three days in the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu in December 1991.
Japanese and American participants described their roles in history, providing historians with much new information.
Of particular interest to me were the near-continuous misunderstandings in the interpretation of collected information and
intelligence gathered by either side in regards to the intentions and supposed reactions of the other.  The Pacific War
was a clash between two distinctly different cultures, who struggle to understand one another to this day.



How One Man Can Change History


The diligence of these four men aboard the battleship USS Nevada on December 7, 1941 impacted millions of people who might otherwise been killed during the Second World War. Find out how a modest engineer who raised seven sons in Abilene, Kansas around the turn of the last Century also changed the course of history in World War II.


-Doolittle, Black Monday, and Innovation

In January 1944 Jimmy Doolittle replaced Ira Eaker as commander of the U.S. 8th Air Force in England, the largest aerial
armada ever assembled.  Doolittle defeated the German Luftwaffe, but not by bombing their aircraft factories,
which the Germans smartly moved below ground.  Find out why successful leaders must be masters of innovation.

- Iwo Jima: The costliest battle in American history

It is the most storied image of the Second World War, taken by a near-sighted 31-year old Associated
Press photographer named Joe Rosenthal, who stood just 5 feet-5 inches tall.  The story behind the picture
and the world’s tallest cast bronze sculptures is one of intrigue, timing, and sacrifice.

-The Race To Build The Atomic Bomb

It was the greatest research enterprise in history, which almost no one knew about and even fewer
believed would bear fruit.  Its success brought a quick and unexpected end to the most deadly conflict in
human history, but left the specter of terror over mankind in the wake of its deployment.  The success of
Manhattan Project only came about because of the unprecedented marriage between scientists, politicians,
and the military.

-Sigma Xi Lecture: The Race To Build The Atomic Bomb

-The Conversion of Commander Rogers

A baby boomer who grows up believing that the dropping of the atomic bombs were unnecessary is challenged
by interviews he conducts with members of Emperor Hirohito’s cabinet 40 years later.  The generational
rift in America about the role of the atomic bombs in bringing about a premature end to World War II is
much the same in Japan.  The actual story of how the world’s bloodiest conflict was brought to an
unexpected end should never be forgotten.

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E-mail Dr. J David Rogers at