Courtroom battles often produce sensational scenes resulting in curious spectators and endless news coverage. From ancient to modern times, trials attract significant attention. This collection explores some of the most-fascinating.

Trials Chapters

James Donovan selected the Glienicke Bridge, connecting West Berlin with Potsdam (in East Germany) as the place to exchange Abel for Powers. It become...

Oliver Powers, father of the downed U-2 pilot, first conceives the idea that his son could be exchanged for Rudolf Abel. In other words: Exchange a sp...

Although Rudolf Abel's wife lives in Russia, James Donovan starts receiving letters from someone calling herself Abel's wife.

After his U-2 plane is shot-down over Soviet territory, Francis Gary Powers must stand trial in Moscow as a spy. Before that, he faces numerous interr...

James Donovan represents Rudolf Abel, an accused Soviet spy, at his trial which takes place in Brooklyn during the fall of 1957.

Trials Learning Tasks

Analyze How the Author Develops Key Concepts

Analyze Key Concepts or Characters

Identifty Key Ideas or Concepts

Determine and Analyze in Detail the Theme Development

Determine and Analyze a Theme from Details in the Text

Trials Audios

Jean Valjean is the central character of Victor Hugo's ever-popular Les Miserables, but we don't really "meet him" until "Book Second" of Volume I.

In the third episode of Orson Welles' adaptation of Les Miserable, Jean Valjean is mayor of a French town.

CBS IS THERE (later, YOU ARE THERE) was an "old-time radio" program where CBS "reporters" and "correspondents" dramatized important historical events ...

Trials Audio Narrations

What does it take to become a Judge? What does it take to be a good one?

Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton did not like each other. Listen to a story about the deadly, and illegal, duel between the two men.

Audio narration of "Trial of Rudolf Abel," a chapter in "Bridge of Spies."

Audio narration of "James Donovan and Rudolf Abe," a chapter in "Bridge of Spies."

Audio narration of "Arrest of Rudolf Abel," a chapter in "Bridge of Spies."

Trials Documents

How did his contemporaries view the job performed by Judge Isaac Parker (sometimes known as "The Haning Judge" of Ft. Smith, Arkansas? Take a look at ...

James Forrestal, Secretary of the Navy, disagreed with the Naval Court of Inquiry's opinion.  He issued his own assessment in two differing forma...

A Naval Court of Inquiry was convened to determine whether the United States Navy, or any of its members, were responsible for America's failure to pr...

The following is the Opinion of the Naval Court of Inquiry which examined whether Rear Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and General Walter C. Short were in d...

PROCEEDINGS OF NAVY COURT OF INQUIRY 341A witness called by the judge advocate entered. was duly sworn, and was informed of the subject matter of the ...

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