Earning M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in history at Kent State University, Ron Hatzenbuehler taught at Idaho State University from 1972 until his retirement in 2013. In addition to his teaching career, Ron also has written and lectured to the general public on Idaho migration and population trends and the legacies of presidents. Over the years, he has served on the advisory boards for Idaho State University Press, for ISU’s magazine Rendezvous, and for the Idaho State Historical Society magazine Idaho Yesterdays. In 2006, he published ‘I Tremble for My Country’: Thomas Jefferson and the Virginia Gentry to much critical praise. In 2008 he received the Outstanding Achievement in the Humanities Award, given annually by the IHC.
In her 2004 dissent in the case of Elk Grove School District v. Newdow, Justice Sandra Day O'Connor wrote that the phrase "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance was a statement of "civic religion" and, therefore, did not violate the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. Integral to her decision was the fact that presidents have frequently referred to God in their Inaugural Addresses or other public pronouncements. Speaking at the dedication of the national cemetery at Gettysburg in November 1863, for example, President Abraham Lincoln coined the phrase "under God" in expressing his hope that the United States "shall have a new birth of freedom, and that government of the people, by the people, for the people shall not perish from the earth." This presentation investigates the role of religion in the presidencies of Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln and whether they established precedence for the concept of "civic religion."
Migration is an important part of Idaho’s history. Based upon U.S. Census records, this slide presentation addresses when and how people have moved to Idaho (1800’s-2000), where they settled and why. In addition to presenting an overview of the topic, the lecture addresses the history of migration and settlement in specific communities or regions, depending on the sponsor’s wishes. (Requires an Overhead Projector)