From the Executive Director

Washington Notes, February 1992

Samuel R. Gammon, February 1992

A belated Happy 1992 to all our members and other readers, in this second issue of the calendar year. At the time this issue is prepared, your headquarters staff is still busy digging out from the avalanche of papers and administrative details generated by the very successful annual meeting in Chicago, December 27–30. We are pleased to report that the total registration for the meeting was 3,324—247 more than at our last Chicago meeting in 1986.

The meeting had both highlights and lowlights! The presidential address, the awarding of prizes, and the conferral of honors made for an exciting evening, while the session that included movie star Charlton Heston paying heartfelt tribute to the importance of history provided another high point. On the other hand, the efforts on the sidewalk in front of the Chicago Hilton by "holocaust-never-happened" nuts to distribute their literature to historians achieved one of their presumed objectives in irritating our attendees. A circulating petition to the Council during the three days accumulated hundreds of signatures and elicited the Council's succinct statement reported elsewhere.

The Association in its long history has always been careful to avoid endorsing "correct" interpretations of history and has rarely had to assert the facticity of amply documented events. In a matter of such grave import, however, the Council responded quickly and unanimously. It was all the more eager to act, since a Chronicle of Higher Education article December 11 could be read as suggesting that the Council's call last May for observances of and teaching about the upcoming fiftieth anniversary of the end of the Holocaust and of the Nazi regime was in some way an evasion of the issue raised by the irrational right.