Sources: UMass News and Media and Amherst Media
In 1971, Daniel Ellsberg leaked the Pentagon Papers to The New York Times and 18 other newspapers. On April 30 and May 1, 2021, UMass-Amherst and The GroundTruth Project presented a free online public conference on the legacies of Daniel Ellsberg and the Pentagon Papers.
Inspired by Daniel Ellsberg’s vast collection of personal papers, recently acquired by the UMass Special Collections and University Archives, the free online conference, “Truth Dissent and the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg” brought together more than two dozen distinguished historians, journalists, activists, whistleblowers, and former policymakers on the eve of the 50th anniversary of Ellsberg’s leak of the Pentagon Papers. The recordings of that conference are now available to the public online and are also being rebroadcast on Amherst Media.
In a keynote address by Daniel Ellsberg and seven roundtable discussions, presenters explored the major issues that have engaged Ellsberg’s life: the Vietnam War, nuclear weapons, antiwar resistance, the Pentagon Papers, Watergate, whistleblowing, and the wars of the 21st century.
This conference was the culmination of a year-long course taught by UMass Amherst historian Christian Appy and journalism professor Kathy Roberts Forde in collaboration with Charles Sennott, founder of The GroundTruth Project, and Special Collections and University Archives, UMass Amherst Libraries, which is the repository for Ellsberg’s papers. As a companion to this conference, Ellsberg Archive Project website showcases selections from the donated collection, conference materials and GroundTruth’s five-part podcast series called The Whistleblower: Truth, Dissent & the Legacy of Daniel Ellsberg.
Conference presentations included:
- Student Roundtable: Lessons from the Ellsberg Archive
- Keynote: Daniel Ellsberg
- Why Nuclear Weapons Remain an Existential Threat and What to Do About It
- The American War in Vietnam and Why It Still Matters
- Antiwar Movements Then and Now
- The Pentagon Papers and Watergate
- Whistleblowers: Plenary Panel with Daniel Ellsberg and Edward Snowden
- Lessons and Legacies in an Age of Endless War
Recordings of the conference can be found here.
Biographies of the speakers can be found here.
Amherst Media Rebroadcasts
Amherst Media is proud to announce that UMass Chancellor Subbaswamy has granted permission for the cablecasting of this historical conference to the Amherst Community via our Comcast Channel 12, which started May 27 and will have numerous repeats. Each of the eight segments will premiere on Thursdays at 9:00 a.m.