George McGovern At Williams06:45PM / Saturday, April 07, 2007
Williamstown - Former U.S. Senator and presidential candidate George McGovern will give a talk, "How Vietnam Changed America and Me," Tues., April 10, at 8 p.m., in Chapin Hall on the Williams campus. The talk is free and open to the public.
|Former U.S. Senator George McGovern|
One of the first U.S. Congressmen to openly oppose American participation in the Vietnam War, McGovern served as a two-term member of the House of Representatives and Senator of South Dakota for 18 years. He was the 1972 Democratic presidential nominee.
A World War II hero, McGovern flew 35 missions in Europe and received the Distinguished Service Flying Cross.
After the service, he earned his Ph.D. at Northwestern University and returned to South Dakota, where he became a college history professor before launching into politics.
In 1960, President Kennedy appointed him as the first director of the widely successful Food for Peace Program. McGovern went on to serve on the Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry Committees as well as the Senate Foreign Regulations Committee throughout the 1970s and was appointed as a United Nations delegate by Presidents Carter and Ford.
In 1982, he founded Americans for Common Sense, an alternative political voice to negative extremist elements in American politics. He served for six years as the president of the Middle East Policy Council in Washington, D.C., promoting peace in the Middle East through educational programs. McGovern was also the U.S. director of the U.N. Agencies on Food and Culture, an ambassadorial post in Rome, Italy and, in 2001, was appointed the U.N. Special Ambassador on Hunger.
McGovern holds the nation's highest honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and was admitted to the French Legion of Honor by the French government for his service in World War II. The Council of Former Ambassadors also awarded him the Ben Franklin trophy.
He is the author of many books, including "Agricultural Thought in the 20th Century" and his autobiography "Grassroots," an insight into the turbulent years in American history with regard to the Vietnam War. His book "The Third Freedom: Ending Hunger in Our Time" outlines the ongoing worldwide problem with hunger and the great moral imperative that humanity has to feed the world, given the tools and knowledge we now have available to us, while "Terry: My Daughter's Life-And-Death Struggle with Alcoholism" is a chronicle of his daughter's struggle to overcome alcohol addiction. He is most recently the author of "The Essential America: Our Founders and the Liberal Tradition" and "Out of Iraq: A Practical Plan for Withdrawal Now," which details an exit strategy for the war in Iraq.
This event is sponsored by the Stanley Kaplan Program in American Foreign Policy and the W. Ford Schumann '50 Program in Democratic Studies.