Publication Date

September 10, 2008

Tomorrow, Thursday September 11, 2008 a press briefing will be held at The George Washington University Gelman Library (2130 H Street NW, Washington, DC 20052 Room 207) on the release of the grand jury testimony from the trial of Ethel and Julius Rosenberg.

The AHA was part of the petition, in January of this year, to have these files released, along with the National Security Archive, the American Society for Legal History, the Organization of American Historians, the Society of American Archivists, and New York Times reporter Sam Roberts.

From the National Security Archive press release:

Historians have long speculated that the grand jury records may settle the debate over whether the government had evidence that directly linked Ethel Rosenberg to the conspiracy to steal atomic or other secrets, or whether she was indicted and prosecuted just to pressure Julius Rosenberg to confess.  Historians also believe that, because only a handful of the 46 grand jury witnesses testified at trial, many of the witnesses discussed espionage activities that related to conventional, not atomic, weapons. Some historians believe that Julius Rosenberg helped orchestrate the theft of military secrets that caused substantial harm to the United States, but have not been fully revealed.

Read the full press release here.

The press briefing tomorrow is open to the public, but requires the presentation of a photo ID. Speakers will include Thomas Blanton, Director of the National Security Archive; David Vladeck, Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center; Bruce Craig, former Executive Director of the National Coalition for History; Ronald Radosh, Hudson Institute Fellow, co- author of the Rosenberg File, and author of Commies; and Steve Usdin, author of Engineering Communism, and Senior Editor at BioCentury Publications.

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

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