Ralph Nurnberger, Ph.D.


History and Political Science

Ralph Nurnberger, Ph.D., is a widely acclaimed speaker who brings humor, current political insights, and historical background to his presentations. In addition to giving talks nationally and at The Smithsonian Institute, Professor Nurnberger has appeared as an analyst on television and radio programs. He has also spoken internationally and on a number of cruises. He has given presentations on a wide range of historical and political topics at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at FAU. Professor Nurnberger taught at Georgetown University for 38 years and was named Professor of the Year by the Graduate School of Liberal Studies in 2003.

Does “Hamilton” Get Hamilton Right? (Recording)

Lecture recorded in winter 2020 term

“Hamilton fever” has swept America. The show’s detailed presentation of the founding period’s complicated politics with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s dazzling rap lyrics appeals to audiences of all ages. Remarkably, it has led many grandparents to appreciate rap, while their grandchildren have developed an interest in history. It depicts the concerns of the 18th century in terms that mirror similar contemporary issues in a way that helps theatergoers to better understand the past as well as the present. The show focuses on incredibly volatile partisan politics and such issues as race, gender, multiculturalism, immigration and the foundations of our government. It succeeds because it emphasizes the human side of history by portraying characters as multifaceted as well as flawed. Although Miranda makes absolutely no claim for this show to be a work of scholarly history, he still wrote, “I want historians to take this seriously. I felt an enormous responsibility to be as historically accurate as possible, while still telling the most dramatic story possible.” This presentation will analyze the accuracy of the musical as well as how it deals with past and contemporary issues, in an effort to determine if “Hamilton” gets Hamilton right.

Click here for a video preview.

Video link will be in class' lecture notes. Click here to learn how to access lecture notes for registered classes.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # W1R3V — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Monday, August 31 2020
Time:9 - 10:30 PM
Fee:$30 / member; $35 / non-member

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Nine Elections that Changed America - And One that Might (Video-on-Demand)

Presidential elections are inherently bitterly contested political struggles between candidates with differing views on what is best for the country. This lecture series will focus on nine of the most significant previous elections and will conclude with an overview of the ongoing controversies concerning how the nation will select its leaders in 2020.

Click here for a video preview.

Video link will be in class' lecture notes. Click here to learn how to access lecture notes for registered classes.
Four Lectures
  1. 1800, 1824, 1860 - 1800 - President John Adams ran against his Vice President, Thomas Jefferson, who then ended in a tie with his Vice Presidential running mate, Aaron Burr
    1824 - Although Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, John Quincy Adams was elected President
    1860 - Abraham Lincoln ran against three nationally recognized candidates
  2. 1876, 1896, 1912 - 1876 - Samuel Tilden won the popular vote, but Rutherford Hayes received one more electoral vote
    1896 - William McKinley campaigned from his front porch, while William Jennings Bryan raced around the country seeking votes
    1912 - Three men who ultimately served as President ran against each other
  3. 1932, 1948, 2000 - 1932 - Franklin Roosevelt's victory set the stage for the New Deal
    1948 - Harry Truman faced three serious challengers in a race most thought he would lose
    2000 - Bush vs. Gore — an "insider's" view
  4. 2020 - A discussion with Justin Gray on the issues and candidates in this year’s election

Course # S4T1V — First 4 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Mondays, August 3, 10, 17, 24 2020
Time:9:30 - 11 AM
Fee:$50 / member; $65 / non-member

Register Now

Nine Elections that Changed America - And One that Might

Presidential elections are inherently bitterly contested political struggles between candidates with differing views on what is best for the country. This lecture series will focus on nine of the most significant previous elections and will conclude with an overview of the ongoing controversies concerning how the nation will select its leaders in 2020.
Four Lectures
  1. 1800, 1824, 1860 - 1800 - President John Adams ran against his Vice President, Thomas Jefferson, who then ended in a tie with his Vice Presidential running mate, Aaron Burr
    1824 - Although Andrew Jackson won the popular vote, John Quincy Adams was elected President
    1860 - Abraham Lincoln ran against three nationally recognized candidates
  2. 1876, 1896, 1912 - 1876 - Samuel Tilden won the popular vote, but Rutherford Hayes received one more electoral vote
    1896 - William McKinley campaigned from his front porch, while William Jennings Bryan raced around the country seeking votes
    1912 - Three men who ultimately served as President ran against each other
  3. 1932, 1948, 2000 - 1932 - Franklin Roosevelt's victory set the stage for the New Deal
    1948 - Harry Truman faced three serious challengers in a race most thought he would lose
    2000 - Bush vs. Gore — an "insider's" view
  4. 2020 - A discussion with Justin Gray on the issues and candidates in this year’s election

Course # S4T1 — First 4 Weeks
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Tuesdays, March 17, 24, 31; April 7 2020
Time:9:30 - 11 AM
Fee:$50 / member; $65 / non-member

Register Now

The Roosevelt Administration and the Holocaust (Video Recording)

Lecture recorded in Fall 2019 term

One of the most politically-charged questions in American history deals with how the administration of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt reacted to the Nazis. In this newly revised and updated presentation, Professor Nurnberger will review many of the specific examples of actions taken — and not taken — by the Roosevelt Administration, as well as the rationale behind these decisions.

In Roosevelt’s first two terms, the key issues revolved around immigration. The American response to those who sought to flee from Nazi oppression was shaped by domestic political factors, including the Depression, nativism and anti-Semitism. In addition to quotas and other impediments that made it difficult for Jewish refugees to come to the United States, this presentation will analyze a number of specific incidents, including why Cuba and then the United States turned away over 900 German Jewish refugees on the ocean liner S.S. St. Louis.

After the start of World War II, the German army moved throughout Europe. The lives of ever-increasing numbers of Jews were threatened and extinguished. This presentation will review how the United States responded, especially after the administration learned about the Holocaust.

Click here for a video preview.

Video link will be in class' lecture notes. Click here to learn how to access lecture notes for registered classes.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # F1TCV — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Friday, August 28 2020
Time:6 - 6:30 PM
Fee:$30 / member; $35 / non-member

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Congressional 2020 Elections: Examining Possible Results (Video-on-Demand)

Control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be determined by the outcome of the upcoming elections. All 435 seats in the House and 35 Senate seats will be contested in November. What is the likely composition of the next Congress? There are currently 232 Democrats and 198 Republicans in the House. Which Party is more likely to control the House after the November elections? Republicans now hold 53 of the 100 Senate seats. Which races are the most competitive? Will Republicans or Democrats have a majority in the next Senate? Dr. Ralph Nurnberger will provide a national update on House and Senate races to provide a preview of the next Congress.

This is a Live Zoom Class and will be available for OLLI On Demand. Register early! This class is limited to 100 participants.

Live Zoom link will be in class' lecture notes when made available. Click here to learn how to access lecture notes for registered classes.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # SUF5V — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Monday, August 31 2020
Time:2 - 3:30 AM
Fee:$30 / member; $35 / non-member

Register Now

Congressional 2020 Elections: Examining Possible Results

Control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate will be determined by the outcome of the upcoming elections. All 435 seats in the House and 35 Senate seats will be contested in November. What is the likely composition of the next Congress? There are currently 232 Democrats and 198 Republicans in the House. Which Party is more likely to control the House after the November elections? Republicans now hold 53 of the 100 Senate seats. Which races are the most competitive? Will Republicans or Democrats have a majority in the next Senate? Dr. Ralph Nurnberger will provide a national update on House and Senate races to provide a preview of the next Congress.

This is a Live Zoom Class and will be available for OLLI On Demand. Register early! This class is limited to 100 participants.

Live Zoom link will be in class' lecture notes when made available. Click here to learn how to access lecture notes for registered classes.
Register Early! There is a $5 charge for registering on the day of a one-time lecture or event.

Course # SUF5 — One Time Event
Place:Auditorium, Lifelong Learning Complex, Jupiter Campus
Dates:Friday, July 31 2020
Time:2 - 3:30 PM
Fee:$30 / member; $35 / non-member

Register Now
 Last Modified 2/12/15