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Henry Kissinger visits West Michigan

Posted on February 28, 2005

Dr. Henry A. Kissinger is credited with easing tensions in the Middle East during the 1970s and negotiating the end of America's direct involvement in Vietnam. He is largely responsible for the detente that existed between the U.S. and the Soviet Union during the Nixon, Ford and Carter administrations, and for opening relations with China. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1973.

Kissinger joined President Richard M. Nixon's administration as national security adviser in 1969, and he became secretary of state in 1973. He held that position through the end of President Gerald R. Ford's administration. The German native will bring his insight from years in the diplomatic trenches to Grand Rapids on March 8 for a presentation on China and American Foreign Policy.

His visit is co-sponsored by Grand Valley State University's Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies, the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum and the Gerald R. Ford Foundation.

"Henry Kissinger was one of the most important people in the world during the 1970s, said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center for Presidential Studies at Grand Valley State University. "He remains important because he knows so many foreign leaders and understands the challenges we face as a nation. We always learn from him."

Kissinger will speak in the Ambassador Ballroom of the Amway Grand Plaza Hotel in downtown Grand Rapids on March 8 at 8 p.m. Admission is $20 ($10 for Friends of Ford members). Seating is limited. People can either pay at the door or send a check made payable to:

Gerald R. Ford Foundation 303 Pearl Street NW
Grand Rapids, MI 49504

This program is the latest in the 1000 Day Lecture Series. It is in conjunction with the Ford Museum's exhibit, "Opening an Empire: U.S. Relations with China." From the ancient Shang dynasty to the raising of the Bamboo Curtain -- in which Kissinger played a vital part -- the exhibit explores China's increasingly important role in the world.

There will be a special viewing of the Ford Museum's exhibit, "Opening an Empire: U.S. Relations with China," March 8, from 5-7:30 p.m.

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