The 14th International Congress of Historical Sciences took place in San Francisco on 22-29 August 1975. The US Organising Committee was presided over by Donald Treadgold. Boyd C. Shafer was Chairman of the Congress and Richard Schlatter its Executive Director. Among the participants there were many luminaries of historical sciences at that time, among others Bernard Bailyn (USA), Karl Dietrich Erdmann (FRG), Aleksander Gieysztor (Poland), Georges Michel Duby (France), and Yevgeniy Zhukov (USSR).

The San Francisco Congress received favourable reviews in the US press. It was pointed out that it was the first international initiative of this kind in the United States, gathering over a thousand historians, mainly American, but also British, Soviet, German, Korean, and African.

The atmosphere was relaxed. The debate on the nature of the American revolution that broke out between American and Soviet historians enlivened the sessions even more. This issue set the tone for the entire Congress and attracted the most attention. 1975 marked the bicentennial of the American Revolution. This gave rise to the discussion of human rights. The Congress moreover raised the issue of non-European historical research, as well as the development of the press and other media during World War II.

Boyd C. Shafer stressed that organizing a congress of historians for the first time outside Europe gave it exceptional significance. In addition, for the first time ever, the Congress hosted historians from Africa, although James Okete Shiroyak from Kenya observed that only one session was dedicated to Africa and Asia.



  1. Program of the Fourteenth International Congress of Historical Sciences, Hotel Fairmont, San Francisco 1975.
  2. Moritz Frederic A., World Historians in Hot Debate: U.S., Soviets Duel on American Revolution; Third-World Studies Urged at ‘Mini-United Nations’, Monitor, 27.8.1975.