Play Video

For the third session in our series on History, Memory and Public Space, we invite our viewers to consider how place figures in methods of historical inquiry. Raffi and his guests discuss public and historic sites where major historical events occurred and why their preservation is valuable for the understanding of history. With a Civil War scholar and a renowned Los Alamos physicist, this session explores the ways in which a physical place provides context and community perspectives that help us deepen our relationship to history, all so that we might learn even more from it.

History, Memory and Public Space is a series that addresses how differing historical perspectives shape our present and future.


Raffi E. Andonian This series is facilitated by  who is a best-selling author of 3 books. He has previously worked guiding visitors at the Gettysburg battlefield, the Civil War sites around Richmond, the Martin Luther King birth home in Atlanta, and the history museum in Los Alamos NM. He has a master’s degree in history and another master’s degree in historic preservation.

Dr. Dennis J. (Denny) Erickson is a physicist retired from the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Northern New Mexico. His Lab roles included those of scientific leader, senior-level manager, and institutional executive with accomplishments spanning basic and applied science, large mission-based R&D programs, hazardous operations, and protective programs for safety, health, and environment. Denny, born and raised in Minnesota, holds an undergraduate degree in Physics and Mathematics from Augsburg University in Minneapolis and a Ph.D. in Physics from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. In his years of retirement, he has pursued public service initiatives with concentrations on Los Alamos history, community-based economic revitalization, and higher education. He is a past president and board member of the Los Alamos Historical Society, served as a citizen advisor to Los Alamos County, and, acting on a lifetime commitment to liberal arts as an academic foundation, recently completed service as a proactive member of the California Lutheran University Board of Regents. Among his recognitions, Denny Erickson was named a 2019 Living Treasure of Los Alamos for his long-running leadership and collaboration in strategy-driven projects that promote the wellbeing of people and community.

Dr. Jennifer Murray is a military historian, with a specialization in the American Civil War, in the Department of History at Oklahoma State University. Murray is the author of On A Great Battlefield: The Making, Management, and Memory of Gettysburg National Military Park, 1933-2013, published by the University of Tennessee Press in 2014. She is currently working on a full-length biography of George Gordon Meade, tentatively titled Meade at War. Murray is a veteran faculty member at Gettysburg College’s Civil War Institute and a coveted speaker at Civil War symposiums and roundtables. In addition, Murray worked as a seasonal interpretive park ranger at Gettysburg National Military Park for nine summers (2002-2010).