Remembering Dr. Alan Merten

There was a buzz around George Mason University’s Fairfax Campus on Monday, April 15, 1996. The Mason community was about to meet the university’s new president-elect in a press conference later that afternoon. Dr. Alan Merten, Mason’s fifth president, was set to officially assume the presidency on July 1, and Continue Reading

Dr. Darius Lee Swann, 1925-2020: A Real Mason Hero

Last week we sadly found out that Dr. Darius Swann, a civil rights advocate and lifelong Presbyterian minister died at his home in nearby Burke, Virginia on March 25. Dr. Swann had been a popular and respected member of the George Mason University Faculty from 1971 to 1984. He is Continue Reading

History from the Ground Up: Voices of Virginia

It is fascinating how oral history has a way of describing a social, political, or environmental situation by putting the listener right there in the middle of the action. An interviewee has nothing to lose or gain by recalling events as they saw them, but a listener can get tremendous Continue Reading

The Federal Theatre Project: The Collection That Started It All

In 1974 George Mason University faculty members Lorraine Brown and John O’Connor discovered the archives of the Federal Theater Project (FTP) in an aircraft hangar near Baltimore, Maryland after a lengthy search. Included were scripts for over 800 plays and radio programs, official FTP photographs, 1930s-era silk-screened posters, hand drawn Continue Reading

A War of Contradictions: The Vietnam Conflict 1945-1975

“It became necessary to destroy the town in order to save it.” This quote, attributed to a U.S. Army officer in February 1968, illustrates the contradictions inherent in the Vietnam Conflict. Seen by some as a noble fight to stop Communism and help a developing country establish democracy, and others Continue Reading