Programs & Events

6-Day, June 14-19: Presidents at War: McKinley to Obama

Due to the growing health crisis and restrictions on in-person gatherings, the Gilder Lehrman Institute will not be able to offer in-person Teacher Seminars this summer. We are working on an alternative offering for the summer. Please visit for updates.

In partnership with the Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University


Jeffrey Engel, Director of the Center for Presidential History, Southern Methodist University


“War is the health of the state,” Randolph Bourne suggested amidst World War I. It is certainly a sad but omnipresent aspect of modern American life, in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries in particular, yet also a key lens through which we view and evaluate our commanders in chief. From William McKinley to Barack Obama, this course explores the way American presidents have waged war and led during wartime, and their policies at home and abroad, in order to understand better their role as leaders, and the nation’s role in the world.

Travel & Accommodations

Participants are responsible for making their own travel arrangements; the Institute will provide a travel stipend of $350. Read the policy here.

Workshop participants will stay in an on-campus dormitory in single bedrooms, but may share bathrooms and common space. The university provides basic bedding and towels only. Participants should bring alarm clocks, shampoo, hangers, irons, hair dryers, etc. Participants should bring laptops as computer access on campus will be limited.


Meals will be served in a university cafeteria in space shared by other programs. All on-campus meals will be paid for by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.


Please be sure to review the Institute’s policies on independent school teacher participation and travel stipends before applying.


E-mail the Teacher Seminars department or call 646-366-9666.

Seminar Year: 2019-2020