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The Rosenberg Trial Using Federal Trials to Teach History Mabel McKinney-Browning, American Bar Association Division for Public Education Bruce Ragsdale,

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Presentation on theme: "The Rosenberg Trial Using Federal Trials to Teach History Mabel McKinney-Browning, American Bar Association Division for Public Education Bruce Ragsdale,"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Rosenberg Trial Using Federal Trials to Teach History Mabel McKinney-Browning, American Bar Association Division for Public Education Bruce Ragsdale, Federal Judicial Center

2 Rosenberg Trial Rosenberg Trial A Complicated Story of Espionage and Punishment

3 The Accused: Julius Rosenberg Born: May 12, 1918, New York, New York Education: Graduated Seward Park High School (Age 16) City College of New York, Electrical Engineering Married: Ethel Greenglass, 1939 Children: Michael (b. 1943), Robert (b. 1947) Employment: U.S. Army Signal Corp (1940) Memberships: Steinmetz Club – CCNY branch of Young Communist League Federation of Architects, Engineers, Chemists, and Technicians American Communist Party ( ) Accuser: David Greenglass (brother-in-law, business partner)

4 The Accused: Ethel Rosenberg Born: September 28, 1915, New York, New York Education: Graduated Seward Park High School (Age 15) Married: Julius Rosenberg, 1939 Children: Michael (b. 1943), Robert (b. 1947) Employment: Shipping company clerk, strike organizer Memberships: Young Communist League American Communist Party Accuser: Ruth Greenglass (sister-in-law )

5 The Accused: Morton Sobell Born: April 11, 1917, New York, New York Education: Graduated Seward Park High School (Age 16) City College of New York, Engineering Married: Helen Sobell, 1947 Children: 2 Employment: Navy Bureau of Ordnance ( ) General Electric (aircraft/marine engineering) Reeves Instrument Corporation (radar engineer) Memberships: Young Communist League American Communist Party Accuser: Max Elitcher

6 The Judge: Irving Kaufman Born: June 24, 1910, New York, New York Education: De Witt Clinton High School Fordham University Fordham University School of Law (1931) Married: Helen Rosenberg Children: 3 sons Resume: Appointed to U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York by President Truman (1949) Appointed to U.S. Court of Appeals (Second Circuit) by President Kennedy (1961) Chief Judge of the Manhattan Circuit Court ( ) Appointed Chairman of President’s Commission on Organized Crime (1983) by President Reagan Awarded Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Reagan (1987) Professional Reputation: Able, Conscientious, Demanding, Energetic, Prickly

7 Verdict & Sentence Conviction: Conspiracy to spy for the Soviet Union in violation of the Espionage Act of 1917 Sentence for Julius and Ethel Rosenberg: Death in the electric chair Executed: June 19, 1953 – the first American civilians to be put to death for espionage in the United States.

8 Verdict & Sentence Conviction: Co-conspirator, 1951 Sentence for Morton Sobell: 30 years in prison Released: 1969

9 The Aftermath Morton Sobell admits that he, Julius Rosenberg and two others provided aeronautical information to the Soviet Union in 1948 in an interview No evidence has been found that Ethel Rosenberg involved in any way.


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