Jan 23, 2008    #001
Contact: Angela Turner

Speechwriter Ken Hechler next speaker in Truman Center’s “First Tuesdays Series”

The second program in the Truman Center’s “First Tuesdays Series” will feature Ken Hechler, who from 1949 to 1953 was special assistant and research director of President Harry S Truman’s speechwriting team.

The “First Tuesdays Series” takes a retrospective look at topics and issues that arose during Truman’s tenure and that continue to persist in some fashion as the 60th anniversary of his 1948 election is celebrated.

On Monday, Feb. 4, 2008, at 6:30 p.m., Hechler will speak and answer questions on “Staffing the White House: Issues from Truman’s Day to the Present” at the Plaza Branch of the Kansas City Public Library. A reception at 6 p.m. will precede the talk, and a book-signing will follow. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended by calling 816-701-3407.

On Tuesday, Feb. 5, Hechler will speak at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Education Building, Room 115, at 11:30 a.m. about “Harry Truman and Civil Rights.”

Hechler has had a long and distinguished career in public service. After earning his doctorate from Columbia University and starting a teaching career, he was drafted in 1942 into the U.S. Army where he rose to the rank of major. He later assisted President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the preparation of the collection of his papers, taught at Princeton and then went to work for Truman.

After Truman left office, Hechler again taught and also worked in the 1956 presidential campaign of Adlai Stevenson. In 1958, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he served eighteen years. In 1985, he was elected Secretary of State for the State of West Virginia and he served in that office until 2001. He is the author of a number of books including “Working with Truman;” “The Bridge at Remagen,” which was made into a movie; and his newest book, “Super Marine!”

This program is jointly sponsored by the Bernardin-Haskell Fund of the UMKC College of Arts and Sciences, The Harry S. Truman Presidential Museum and Library and the Kansas City Public Library.

For more information, contact Dale Neuman, transition coordinator of the Harry S Truman Center for Governmental Affairs at UMKC, at either or or by phone at 816-235-2787.

The University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC), one of four University of Missouri campuses, is a public university serving more than 14,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional students. UMKC engages with the community and economy based on a three-part mission: visual and performing arts, health sciences and urban affairs. # # #

This information is available to people with speech or hearing impairments by calling Relay Missouri at (800) 735-2966 (TT) or (800) 735-2466 (voice).


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