Video from the Newton D. Baker Symposium (April 19, 2015)

Lectures by John Grabowski, Tom Suddes, Marian Morton, Ken Ledsford and Richard Baznik

▶ Newton D. Baker and the Progressive Era  Defining a Man and an Era – John Grabowski – YouTube

▶ Cleveland’s Newton D. Baker and John H. Clarke  Two Gold Democrats – Tom Suddes – YouTube

▶ The Making of a Political Activist  Belle Sherwin and Woman Suffrage – Marion Morton – YouTube

▶ Newton D. Baker and the Zimmerman Telegram  From Neutrality to Intervention – Ken Ledford – YouTube

▶ Newton D. Baker and the Creation of Cleveland College – Richard Baznik – YouTube



Photograph of Newton D. Baker, c. 1910
Sunday, April 19
1:30–5 p.m.
Tinkham Veale University Center
Cost: $45

The community is invited for a day of lectures and discussion with faculty experts to examine and celebrate the life and times
of Newton D. Baker, addressing his impact on the intellectual and political life of Northeast Ohio and beyond.
This event is co-sponsored by The City Club of Cleveland, the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Teaching Cleveland Digital, and the League of Women Voters of Greater Cleveland.






PictureJohn Grabowski

1:30–2:00 p.m.“Newton D. Baker and the Progressive Era: Defining a Man and an Era”

with John Grabowski
An introduction to a formative period in American political and civic life.  Baker’s legacy is intimately connected to this pivotal movement in United States history.Read Dr. Grabowski’s essay about “Cleveland in 1912”

PictureTom Suddes

2–2:45 p.m.“Cleveland’s Newton D. Baker and John H. Clarke: Two ‘Gold Democrats’ and the New Freedom—and New Deal”

with Tom Suddes

In 1896 Baker and Clarke both split from Democrat William Jennings “Cross of Gold” Bryan. Both went on to attain great distinction, first in Northeast Ohio, then under President Wilson’s New Freedom. Baker and Clarke eventually diverged, however, in their assessment of the New Deal. How and why—that is the question.

Read Dr. Suddes essay: “Newton D. Baker: Cleveland’s Greatest Mayor”

PictureMarian Morton

2:45–3:30 p.m.“The Making of a Political Activist:  Belle Sherwin and Woman Suffrage”

with Marian Morton

Newton Baker was a proud supporter of woman suffrage, but for Clevelander Belle Sherwin, the movement was a transforming experience.  Born to privilege and propriety, Sherwin overcame her “natural shrinking from publicity” by joining, and then leading, the campaign for votes for women that changed their lives and American politics forever.

Read Dr. Morton’s essay: “How Cleveland Women Got the Vote – And What They Did With It”

3:30–3:45 p.m.


PictureKen Ledford

3:45–4:30 p.m.“Newton D. Baker and the Zimmermann Telegram: From Neutrality to Interventionism”

with Ken Ledford
The ham-handed efforts by Arthur Zimmermann of the Imperial German Foreign Office to deter U.S. entry into World War I by conspiring with Mexico helped Newton D. Baker navigate a path from his neutrality in the European war while mayor of Cleveland to a commitment to interventionism in January 1917 after he had become Secretary of War.  The impact of the Zimmermann Telegram on Baker and U.S. policy highlight the perils of insulated and insular strategic thinking in an age of modern communications technology and surveillance.Read this wonderful story about Newton D. Baker as Secretary of War: “Recollections of Secretary Newton D. Baker” by FQC Gardner

PictureRichard Baznik

4:30–5:15 p.m.“Newton D. Baker and the Creation of Cleveland College”

with Dick Baznik

As a progressive leader in regional and national affairs, Baker was dedicated to the cause of adult education and seized the opportunity to help launch a remarkable model in Cleveland.

Read the essay written by Rae Wahl Rohfeld about “Newton D. Baker and the Adult Education Movement” from the Ohio Historical Society/Ohio Historical Connection

Learn more about Newton D. Baker here


The Adult Education Tradition in Greater Cleveland by Tom Suddes

A native of Youngstown, Thomas Suddes joined The Cleveland Plain Dealer in 1982; the next year, he transferred to the newspaper’s Columbus bureau, where for 17 years he covered the Ohio General Assembly and the state budget. While at the Statehouse, Suddes was elected president of the century-old Ohio Legislative Correspondents Association. His Plain Dealer column on Ohio government and politics, which appears on Sundays, began in the 1980s. Late in 2000, Suddes left the newspaper’s staff for graduate study at Ohio University’s E.W. Scripps School of Journalism; he graduated in 2009 with a Ph.D. in mass communication. Suddes returned to The Plain Dealer in 2007 as a part-time editorial writer covering state affairs

The link is here

Newton D. Baker – The Civil Warrior (documentary)

The link is here

A Teaching Cleveland Documentary. Camera, production and editing by Jeremy Borison. Special thanks to Dr. John J. Grabowski, Tom Suddes, Greg Deegan and Brent Larkin. Also to the Cleveland Public Library, Cleveland State University Special Collections and the Western Reserve Historical Society.


Books We Suggest

Dr. John J. Grabowski
Dr. John J. Grabowski holds a joint position as the Krieger-Mueller Historian and Vice President for Collections at the Western Reserve Historical Society and the Krieger-Mueller Associate Professor of Applied History at Case Western Reserve University.

Cleveland: A Concise History (Cleveland: A Concise History, 1796-1996) Carol Poh Miller, Robert Wheeler

The Birth of Modern Cleveland 1865-1930 (Miggins and Campbell, eds.) (The Western Reserve Historical Society publication) 1988

Identity, Conflict, and Cooperation: Central Europeans in Cleveland, 1850-1930 David C. Hammack (Editor), Diane L. Grabowski (Editor), John J. Grabowski (Editor) 2002

Alabama North
AlabamaNorth: African-American Migrants, Community, and Working-Class Activism in Cleveland, 1915-1945 Kimberley L. Phillips 1999

Cleveland: A Tradition of Reform
by David D. Van Tassel and John Grabowski 1986

Greg Deegan – Teacher Beachwood High School and Director of Teaching Cleveland Institute

A Ghetto Takes Shape:  Black Cleveland, 1870 – 1930, by Kenneth L. Kusmer 1978

Cleveland: The Best Kept Secret, by George Condon 1967

Horse Trails to Regional Rails:  The Story of Public Transit in Greater Cleveland, by James A. Toman and Blaine S. Hayes 1996

Tom Suddes – Professor of Journalism Ohio University/Practicing Journalist

The Western Reserve; the Story of New Connecticut in Ohio. Hatcher, Harlan. (Indianapolis, 1949)

The Confessions of a Reformer. Howe, Frederic C. (New York, 1925) (Frederick Howe link is here) (Tom L. Johnson chapter is here)

Point of View [newsletter]. (Cleveland, 1968 –  ). Edited by Roldo Bartimole.

The Life of Mr. Justice Clarke: A Testament to the Power of Liberal Dissent in America. Warner, Hoyt L. (Cleveland, 1959)

Progressivism in Ohio, 1897-1917. Warner, Hoyt L.  (Columbus, 1964)

Roldo Bartimole – Journalist

My Story. Tom L. Johnson, edited by Elizabeth J. Hauser 1912 (Tom L. Johnson link is here)

Promises of Power. Carl Stokes 1973

The Confessions of a Reformer. Frederic C. Howe. 1925 Tom L. Johnson chapter is hereMarcus Hanna chapter is here.

Silent Syndicate. Hank Messick 1967

Mobbed Up. James Neff 1990

They Call it a Game. by Bernie Parrish, former Cleveland Browns football player and someone who is still fighting for old time players. (for sports fans a real inside look about pro football with a special look at Art Modell & Browns) 1971

More lists on the way

Teaching Cleveland Digital