by Jon Parrish Peede, Acting Chairman of the National Endowment for the Humanities
Fresh out of graduate school, Jon Parrish Peede embraced the chance to travel, arriving in Eastern Europe during the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. A last-minute decision to see the opera Don Giovanni
in Vienna—and a startling conversation with a local ticket-taker—opened his eyes to the double-edged legacy of American military intervention. During that same trip, a somber pilgrimage to the former German Nazi Auschwitz extermination camp and museum in Poland offered yet another perspective on World War II.
by Stephen Kidd, Executive Director, National Humanities Alliance
Stephen Kidd, Executive Director of the National Humanities Alliance, recalls a trip to Kent State University that he made as a high school student while growing up in Ohio. This visit to the site of the 1970 Kent State shootings provided a greater historical context to an event that had cleaved his home state several years prior. For Kidd, the campus tour crystallized the connection between physical spaces and the stories that surround them.