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Speakers Will Discuss the Growing Importance of the South in Presidential Elections and National Politics

SMU and The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza Present The Vital South and Presidential Elections, 1960 - 2012

To commemorate Presidents Day, The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza is collaborating with SMU's John G. Tower Center for Political Studies for a discussion titled The Vital South and Presidential Elections, 1960 - 2012. The program will take place Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at 7 PM at the Museum (411 Elm Street in downtown Dallas).

In 1960, John F. Kennedy was elected to the White House in one of the closest contests in American electoral history. The South was instrumental in this victory. Kennedy won the popular vote in seven states of the former Confederacy, including Texas. In this program, Professors Earl Black and Merle Black will discuss how Southern politics have changed since 1960 and the growing importance of the South in presidential elections and national politics.

Earl Black, Herbert S. Autrey Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Rice University, is one of the premier scholars of Southern politics in the United States. With brother Merle Black, he is the co-author of The Vital South: How Presidents are Elected and most recently Divided America: The Ferocious Power Struggle in American Politics. Merle Black is the Asa G. Chandler Professor of Politics and Government at Emory University and specializes in the study of American politics. He is a frequent media source on Southern politics.

The discussion will be moderated by Dennis Simon, Professor of Political Science at Southern Methodist University. His research interests include the American presidency, presidential-congressional relations, public opinion, electoral behavior and research methodology. This is the second consecutive year SMU and the Museum have partnered to present a panel discussion surrounding Presidents Day.

The program is free but reservations are requested. Please RSVP to 214.747.6660 ext. 6623 or email



Molly Fiden
Director of Institutional Advancement
214-747-6660 Ext. 5588