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Richard Norton Smith returns to Grand Rapids

Posted on November 08, 2006

Richard Norton Smith, award-winning presidential historian and former director of five presidential libraries, will visit Grand Rapids as a Hauenstein Center Scholar in Residence. He will deliver seven talks on American presidents from November 12-15.

Norton Smith was director of the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum for more than five years from 1996-2001. His lively accounts of presidential and other history have made him a familiar face to viewers of C-SPAN, as well as The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. As founding director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Illinois, and before that as director of the Hoover, Eisenhower, Reagan and Ford libraries, Smith has introduced millions of visitors to a history rarely glimpsed in textbooks.

"The Hauenstein Center is proud to host the West Michigan homecoming of Richard Norton Smith," said Gleaves Whitney, director of the Hauenstein Center. "He has a great following here and around the nation because his books and talks make history come alive."

The Norton Smith lecture series is as follows:

  • Sunday, November 12, 4 p.m.
    "Does Character Count"
    Gerald R. Ford Museum

  • November 13, 11 a.m.
    "The Surprising George Washington"
    250 Kirkhof, GVSU Allendale Campus

  • November 13, 2 p.m.
    "The Fiery Trial of Abraham Lincoln"
    250 Kirkhof, GVSU Allendale Campus

  • November 14, 1 p.m.
    "The Gold in the Gilded Age"
    215 Kirkhof, GVSU Allendale Campus

  • November 14, 4 p.m.
    "TR in the Bully Pulpit"
    215 Kirkhof, GVSU Allendale Campus

  • November 15, 11 a.m.
    "Woodrow Wilson and the Law of Unintended Consequences"
    Cook-DeWitt, GVSU Allendale Campus

  • November 15, 7:30 p.m.
    "Roosevelt and Reagan: Eternal Optimists"
    Loosemore Auditorium
    GVSU Pew Grand Rapids Campus

For more information, contact the Hauenstein Center at (616) 331-2770 or visit

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