Submitted by (inactive)

1902 Oct 25Born in Pittsburgh, Penn. to James Williams Commager and Anna Elizabeth Dan
1923 Completes Ph.B. at the University of Chicago
1924Completes M.A. at the University of Chicago
1928 Completes Ph.D. at the University of Chicago: Struensee and the Reform Movement in Denmark
1924-25Student at University of Copenhagen on an American-Scandanavian Foundation fellowship, travels in Germany
1927 article/dissertation? Published in Oregon Historical Quarterly
1926-38 Teaches at New York University
 1926-29 Instructor
 1929-30 Assistant
 1930-31 Associate
 1931-38 Professor
1928 Completes Ph.D. at the University of Chicago
1928 Marries Evan Carroll. They have three children: Henry Steele, Nellie Thomas McColl, and Elizabeth Carroll
1928begins working with Samuel Eliot Morrison on Growth of Am Rep
1929Receives American Historical Association’s Herbert Baxter Adams Prize for most distinguished first book (PhD thesis)
1930 Growth of the American Republic
1932Reviews Allen Nevins Grover Cleveland
1934Documents of American History
1936 The Great American Preacher: Theodore Parker
1939-56Teaches at Columbia University
 1939-56 Professor
 1956-59 Adjunct Faculty
1939Writes series of NYTM articles advocating interventionist role in Europe
1940Becomes involved with Committee to Defend American by Defending the Allies
1941Bacon Lecturer at Boston University
1942?-?Writes regular column for Scholastic Publications with its middle and high school readers
1942Co-authors, with Alan Nevins, The Pocket History of the United States
1942Richards Lecturer at University of Virginia
1942Inaugurates American Studies at Cambridge University
1942Appointed to editorial board of The American Scholar
1942-43Lectures at Cambridge University, Peterhouse College
1943 Majority Rule and Minority Rights
1943 Takes role in negotiating Frederick Bancroft’s gift of his library to Columbia University.
1943 Appointed special representative to the Office of War Information “to fulfill lecture arrangements scheduled by the British Ministry of Information”
1943 Appointed to the War Department’s Historical Branch Advisory Committee "to organize a system of writing a history of our military operations that will provide a first narrative and a proper documentation of source material, and that an appropriate organization be provided in Military Intelligence, OPD, or the Office of the Secretary of War to direct the historical program.”
Arthur Schlesinger Jr., Archibald MacLeish, Allan Nevins, Guy Stanton Ford, Conyers Read,
1943 Oct – 1944 JanMember of the nine historian panel to assess Nazi military power for the Army Air Force: Major Frank Monaghan, Carl Becker, Arthur Cole, Louis Gottschalk, Elias Lowe, Dumas Malone, Bernadotte Schmidt, J. Duane Squires, HSC
####War Department Committee on the History of the War
194?Records “nonpolitical talks” for the Office of War Information on American electoral process to be broadcast to Europeans on shortwave radio
194? Agrees to write section of Literary History of the United States
1945 The Pocket History of the United States is released under the title A Short History of the United States
1945Speaks at the Institute for Religious and Social Studies at the Jewish Theological Seminary
1947-48Is the Pitt Professor at Cambridge University
1947 article “Who is Loyal to America?” published in Harper’s
1947 Receives M.A. Cantab (??) Cambridge University
1948Compiles The St. Nicholas Anthology with Evan Commager
1950 The Blue and Grey
1950 Addresses Columbia College Forum on Democracy
1950 The Great American Mind published
1951Summer Faculty member of the Salzburg Seminar in American Studies
1951Appointed to the Foreign Policy Association Editorial Advisory Committee
1952Elected to the National Institute of Arts and Letters
1952Attends the Fulbright Conference on American Studies at Cambridge
1952-53 Holds the first Harmsworth Professorship at Oxford University
1953 Lectures at Royal University Uppsala as Gottesman Professor
1953“Guilt – and Innocence – By Association” is published in the New York Times
1954Europe and America Since 1942 co-authored with Geoffrey Bruun
1954Freedom, Loyalty, Dissent
1954Freedom, Loyalty, Dissent earns Sidney Hillman Foundation Award
1954 Nov 24Interviewed on CBS Chronoscope
1955-56Fulbright Professor of American History at the University of Copenhagen
1956Joins faculty of Amherst College as the Smith Professor of History
 1957-61 Amherst College Professor of American History and American Studies
 1961  On leave for first semester from Amherst College
 1963 On leave for 1960-61 academic year from Amherst College
 1969 On leave for whole year from Amherst College
 1972-92 Became John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer in History at Amherst College
 1993-98 John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer, Emeritus
1956Gives lecture series at Port of Spain, Trinidad
1957-61Amherst College Professor of American History and American Studies
1956Gives lecture series at Port of Spain, Trinidad
1958Visits Israel
1958 The Spirit of Seventy Six
1959 The American Mind: An Interpretation of American Thought and Character Since the 1880s
1959 Serves on screening committee for the Fulbright Scholarship
1959 May 12University of Pittsburgh 200 Anniversary (speaker)
1959 Serves on screening committee for the Fulbright Scholarship
1959 May 12University of Pittsburgh 200 Anniversary (speaker)
1960-61Receives Guggenheim Fellowship to study American nationalism
1960Appointed Gino Speranza Lecturer on American Traditions and Ideals at Columbia University
1960Supports Senator John F. Kennedy as an Intellectual for Kennedy
1960Editorial advisory committee to the Woodrow Wilson Papers
1961 On leave for the 1960-61 academic year from Amherst College
1961Historical consultant to NBC television series The Americans
1961Appears on ABC television show Meet the Professor
1962-65Winthrop H. Smith Professor of American History and American Studies
1962Appointed to the United States National Commission for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
1962Crusaders for Freedom
1962The American Character
1963On leave for first semester from Amherst College
1963Detached retina
1963Becomes Advisory Editor of History to Charles H. Merrill Books College Division
1963 Jul 31The Dialogues of Allan Nevins and Henry Steele Commager broadcast on CBS Television Network
1965Evan breaks ankle
1966Elected to the National Academy of Arts & Letters
1966-71“Television the Medium” in TV Guide
1967Leaves American Studies Department to become the Winthrop H. Smith Professor of American History – On leave first semester
1967Freedom and Reform published to honor HSC
1967Chairs the Massachusetts Dissenting Democrats
1967 Feb 20Appears before Senate Foreign Relations Committee to discuss foreign policy
1968The Commonwealth of Learning
1967Active with the National Committee for Effective Congress (NCEC)
1968 Mar 28Evan (Carroll) Commager dies
b. 1904 Feb 4
m. 1928 Jul 3
1968Active with Citizens for Eugene McCarthy
1969On leave for whole year from Amherst College
1970Donates nearly 6,000 volumes to Hampshire College Library, a gift valued at more than $39,000
1971Takes the John Woodruff Simpson Chair, previously held by Robert Frost and Archibald MacLeish; becomes Emeritus Professor
1971Serves Library of Congress as Honorary Consultant in American History
1971 Mar 8Appears before Senate Foreign Relations Committee on War Powers Act
1972-92Becomes John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer in History at Amherst College
1972 Mar 1Addresses the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Practice and Procedure on issue of Amnesty for Vietnam draft resister
1972 May 17Receives American Academy of Arts & Letters Gold Medal for History
1972 Participates in the filming of “GODSPELL Goes to Plymoth Plantation for Thanksgiving with Henry Steele Commager,” produced by WGBH-TV.
1973Receives Sarah Joseph Hale Award for distinction in writing by a New Englander
1973 OctNYT headlines: Commager Urges Nixon Impeachment
1974Britain Through American Eyes
1974 Appears on Bill Moyer’s Journal
1974 Jun “Five Grounds for Impeaching the President” published in NYT
1977Empire of Reason
1977 SpringHolds Patten Lectureship at Indiana University
1979Marries Mary Powlesland
1980 Feb 20Appears on the Dick Cavett television show
1981 Bullitt Visiting Professor of American History at the University of Washington in Seattle for the winter and spring quarters
1982 Oct 13Addresses Vassar College symposium “The Issues of Nuclear War”
1984 Oct ?Salem State College Convocation speaker
1987Serves as Advisor to PBS Childhood series
1988Appears on Bill Moyer’s World of Ideas television series (WNET)
1990 May 2Receives the Bruce Catton Prize for Lifetime Achievement from the Society of American Historians
1993-98John Woodruff Simpson Lecturer, Emeritus
Honorary degrees
 1958 Ohio Wesleyan
 1959 Monmouth College
 1965 Alfred University
 1960 Brandeis University
 1960 Michigan State University
 1962 Franklin & Marshall College
 1962 Marymount College
 1962 Cambridge University
 1962 University of Hartford
 1963 University of Puget Sound
 1966 Carleton College
 and many more

War History Advisory Committee
James Phinney Baxter, President of Williams College (five votes), William L. Langer, Professor of History at Harvard (four votes), and Allan Nevins, Professor of History at Columbia (four votes). Other nominees were Pendleton Herring (three votes), Edward M. Earle (three votes), Charles Seymour (three votes), Henry Steele Commager (two votes), and Arthur M. Schlesinger, Sr. (two votes)

On 23 May 1943, McCloy briefed Baxter and his associates on the results desired of the historical program. These included: a good system for the preservation of records; up-to-date monographs that would be useful in the Army schools and worthy of publication; a good popular history to be published soon after the close of hostilities; and necessary measures during the war for eventual publication of an authoritative official history. During the month following, the committee surveyed historical activities then in progress, made inquiries concerning the records of various agencies and commands, and held consultations with staff officers and scholars whose positions, attainments, or interests made their advice especially desirable.18 [McCloy nixed Earle]
On the basis of the information thus obtained, the committee on 16 June 1943 made a report to the Assistant Secretary of War.

New recruits joined Col. Kemper at Historical Branch in August. These included Maj. Charles H. Taylor, peacetime medieval history professor at Harvard; former news reporter, Lt.Col. S.L.A Marshall; Maj. Jesse S. Douglas, previously with the National Archives; Capt. Roy Lamson, peacetime teacher of English at Williams College; and Dr. George S. Auxier, previously head of the Engineers' historical office.

In September, Dr. Walter Livingston Wright (formerly President of Roberts College and the American College for Women in Istanbul, currently consultant for the Library of Congress) was chosen as the Army's first Chief Histori

Boston University – Bacon lectureship
Brandeis University – Ziskind Professorship
Cambridge University – Pitt Professor of American History
Oxford University – Harmsworth Professorship
University of Virginia – Richards Lecturer
Uppsala University – Gottsman lecturer

Visiting, Adjunct Professor
Duke University
Harvard University
University of Chicago
Columbia University 1960-62
Speranza Lecturer 1960

Frequent reviewer for New York Tribune

Frequent articles to Saturday Review, Atlantic, the New Republic, the Nation, Harper's, and the Senior Scholastic

The Growth of the American Republic (with Samuel Eliot Morison). London: Oxford UP, 1931.
Theodore Parker, 1936
The Heritage of America (with A. Nevins), 1939
Building of Our Nation (with E.C. Barker), 1937?
America, The Story of a Free People (with A. Nevins), 1942
Majority Rule and Minority Rights. London: Oxford UP, 1943.
The Blue and the Gray
The American Mind, 1951
Living Ideas in America, 1952
Freedom, Loyalty, Dissent. London: Oxford UP, 1954.
Joseph Story, 1954
The Era of Reform, 1960
The Great Proclamation, 1960
Theodore Parker, an Anthology, 1960
Crusaders for Freedom, 1962
Nature and Study of History 1965
The Study of History. New York: C.E. Merrill, 1966.
Freedom and Order, 1966
The Search for a Useable Past, 1967
Lester Ward and the Welfare State, 1967
The Commonwealth of Learning, 1968
Jefferson, Nationalism, and the Enlightenment. New York: Braziller, 1974.
Commager on Tocqueville. Columbia: U of Missouri P, 1993.
Edited Volumes
Henry Steele Commager, ed.,
Immigration and American History: Essays in Honor of Theodore C. Blegen. (Minneapolis, 1961),
The Defeat of the Confederacy: A Documentary Survey. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1964.
Fifty Basic Civil War Documents. Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1965. Young Adult Books:
(With Lynd Ward) America's Robert E. Lee. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1951.
The Great Proclamation: A Book for Young Americans. Indianapolis: Bobbs Merrill, 1960.
Documents of American History, 1934, 1940, 1950
The Rise of the American Nation 50 vols.
The Struggle for Racial Equality

Commager was here [DC] three times for Great issues:
Jan, 16-17, 1950; Jan, 21-22, 1951; and Sept. 30-Oct.1, 1963.
The first two visits were while he was at Columbia, not Amherst.


A.B.C.A. bulletin 1945 (England?)

State Department
Amerika Illustrated [publication for Soviet]