By: Valarie Zayszly
CCC Journalism Program
BLACKWOOD – An event at Camden County College on April 25 used the TV series “Mad Men” to examine the 1960s in America.
The host, John Pesda, covered the decade in the United States with the popular AMC television program. Pesda is a history professor who has been working at the college for more than 30 years.
“Anyone can attend the event, but it’s primarily for people out of school,” says Pesda.
“Mad Men” was shown in clips of the 1960 Nixon/Kennedy election episode, and discussions followed shortly after each clip. Pesda, who is knowledgeable about the campaign, encouraged the attenders to participate and allowed for any questions related to the topic.
“The Center for Civic Leadership and Responsibility coordinates these types of events for the public,” says Pesda.
In Room 210 in Madison Hall, attenders had to sign in at the front and collect handouts, which noted each clip. The second handout was given as a survey on the event and the information the professor provided for feedback to the school. Attenders arrived with snacks and beverages, prepared for the featured show, which took place from 1 to 3:30 p.m. The ages of the attendees were between 45 and 70 years.
Many of the attendees had personal stories to tell about the 1960s. Pesda provided the class with personal stories of his and of a relative who worked at the National Institute of Health during the 1960 election.
“The purpose of the event is out of interest, it’s simply a public program,” Pesda says.