Rowan celebrates Summit's 50th anniversary

Rowan celebrates Summit's 50th anniversary

Rowan celebrates Summit's 50th anniversary

For a brief moment in time – June 23-25, 1967 – Glassboro, N.J., was the center of the political world like never before, or since.

The Glassboro Summit, held in Hollybush Mansion at what was then Glassboro State College, brought together President Lyndon B. Johnson and Russian Premier Alexei Kosygin for a historic Cold War conference.

While the summit failed to produce a meaningful thaw between the nuclear powers, it signified an ability for the world leaders to communicate frankly and amicably during a period of great unrest – most notably the escalating Vietnam War (which had strong potential for a U.S./Soviet conflict) and the recent Six Day War between Israel and its neighbors, Egypt, Jordan, and Syria.

Then the official college president’s residence at Glassboro State, Hollybush became the site for an internationally watched tete-a-tete after Kosygin, in New York to address the United Nations, agreed to meet Johnson in Glassboro at the request of N.J. Gov. Richard J. Hughes.

Under a backdrop of 1960s history – the Bay of Pigs invasion, the Cuban Missile Crisis and the assassination of President Kennedy – Johnson and Kosygin spent more than 7 1/2 hours in the Hollybush library strategizing ways to avert a potential war.

Simultaneously, other high ranking U.S. and Soviet officials met in the Hollybush living room. These included Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei A. Gromyko, Ambassador Anatoly Dobrynin, U.S. Secretary of State Dean Rusk, Secretary of Defense Robert McNamara, former National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy and former U.S. Abassador to the Soviet Union W. Averell Harriman.

Johnson, reflecting on the summit, dubbed the promise of good future relations with the U.S.S.R., "the Spirit of Hollybush."

Celebrating the summit

In 2017 Rowan University is commemorating the historic summit with a series of special events and presentations that began with a Feb. 20 address by presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin.

Goodwin, a former staffer in the Johnson White House, reflected on "Lyndon Johnson and White House Leadership Fifty Years After the Hollybush Summit."

Learn more about historic Hollybush Mansion.

Other events scheduled to celebrate the historic summit include:


March 22

Panel Discussion

“Russia Confronts the World: What Does it Mean for Us?”

James Heinzen, Lawrence Markowitz, and Mark Schrad

11:00am-12:15pm, Campbell Student Center 221


March 29

Documentary and Panel Discussion

“Reflections on the 50th Anniversary of the Six Day War: 

Corinne Blake, William Carrigan, James Heinzen, Katrinka Somdahl-Sands

11:00 a.m.-12:15 p.m., Campbell Student Center 221A-B


April 1

Phi Alpha Theta Eastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey Annual Conference

9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. in Business Hall, featuring a keynote address by Julian Zelizer, a professor of history and public affairs at Princeton University, who will discuss, “Lyndon Johnson and the Political Crisis of Liberalism in 1967.”


June 25

Hollybush open house featuring speakers and guided tours of the historic property