Events at the Gerald R. Ford Library and Museum, 2017

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Martin and Walsh

The New Cold War
December 5

ANN ARBOR -- The Library, in partnership with the Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation, presented a talk by CBS News national security correspondent David Martin and producer Mary Walsh, winners of the Gerald R. Ford Journalism Prize for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense for their 60 Minutes segment on The New Cold War.

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Hank Meijer

Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century
November 15

ANN ARBOR -- The Library, in partnership with the University of Michigan's Bentley Historical Library and the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, presented a fireside chat with Hank Meijer, Vice Chair of the Ford Presidential Foundation and author of Arthur Vandenberg: The Man in the Middle of the American Century. The book examines life and career of Senator Vandenberg as he evolved from a young politician drawn toward isolationism to become an important proponent of internationalism and an enduring role for America on the world stage.

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Ken Walsh

Ultimate Insiders: White House Photographers and How They Shape History
October 25 and November 1

GRAND RAPIDS AND ANN ARBOR -- Kenneth Walsh, one of the longest serving White House correspondents in history and author of White House Photographers and How They Shape History, delighted crowds totaling 340 attendees with presentations at both the Museum and Library. He shared fascinating stories of how official White House photographers have evolved into the ultimate insiders and used that access and friendship to create fundamental impressions and public images of presidents through the art of photography.

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Burns and Novick

National Archives Simulcast: Conversation with Ken Burns and Lynn Novick on the Making of the Vietnam War Documentary Series
October 17

ANN ARBOR AND GRAND RAPIDS-- The Library and Museum presented a live simulcast of a program from the National Archives in Washington, DC, featuring a 90-minute conversation with documentary filmmakers Ken Burns and Lynn Novick regarding their PBS documentary series The Vietnam War. National Public Radios Cokie Roberts moderated the discussion, which included many references to the research process and decisionmaking regarding what to include in the series, interspersed with striking video clips from the documentary. The interview was broadcast across the country at eight presidential libraries. Audiences in Ann Arbor and Grand Rapids enjoyed a most interesting and informative evening and kept the conversation going at receptions following the program at each site.

Tony England

From Earth to Space and Back Again: NASA's Human Spaceflight Program - A Political Perspective
October 11

ANN ARBOR--Dr. Tony England, former NASA astronaut with the Apollo 13 and 16 Missions and Spacelab 2, and now dean of the College of Engineering at U-M Dearborn, presented a fascinating overview of the past, present, and future of the US Space Program to an overflow audience at the Library.

Adrian Miller

The President's Kitchen Cabinet: The Story of African Americans Who Have Fed Our First Families From Washingtons to the Obamas
September 19

ANN ARBOR--James Beard awardwinning author Adrian Miller entertained an overflow audience with stories of the African Americans who worked in the presidential food service as chefs, personal cooks, butlers, stewards, and servers for every First Family since George and Martha Washington. With slides of historic photos and audio clips, Miller brought together the names and words of the black men and women who were celebrated culinary artists, First Family confidantes, and civil rights advocates.

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Chris Whipple

The Gatekeepers: How the White House Chiefs of Staff Define Every Presidency
May 24 and June 6

GRAND RAPIDS AND ANN ARBOR--Acclaimed author, and award-winning journalist and producer, Chris Whipple, discussed the role the White House Chief of Staff plays in the modern presidency. The White House's Chiefs of Staff, often referred to as "gatekeepers," wield tremendous power in Washington D.C. and beyond; they decide who is allowed to see the president, negotiate with Congress to push the president's agenda, and enjoy unparalleled access to the leader of the free world.

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Joel Goldstein

The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran
May 16

ANN ARBOR--Andrew Scott Cooper, historian and author of The Fall of Heaven: The Pahlavis and the Final Days of Imperial Iran, spoke before a capacity audience at the Library about the rise and fall of one of the 20th century's most complicated personalities, the Shah of Iran.

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Luke Nichter

Inside the Private World of the White House: From the Staffers who Serve the Families to the First Ladies Who Run the White House
April 5

ANN ARBOR--Kate Andersen Brower, best-selling author of The Residence: Inside the Private World of the White House and First Women: The Grace and the Power, captivated an overflow audience as she pulled back the curtain on the private lives of First Families through the experiences of the permanent White House residence staff, including butlers, maids, chefs, florists, plumbers, painters, and other staff, who make the White House run every day and serve at the whim of the President and their families.

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DMark CLague

Banner Ballads: The Many Lyrics of the "The Star-Spangled Banner"
March 7

ANN ARBOR-- Dr. Mark Clague, a University of Michigan musicologist and renowned expert on the Star-Spangled Banner, presented a program at the Library exploring more than 100 different sets of words sung to the tune we recognize today as The Star-Spangled Banner.

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Paul Brandus

Under This Roof: A History of the White House
February 15 and February 16

ANN ARBOR AND GRAND RAPIDS --Paul Brandus, author of Under This Roof: The White House and the Presidency, addressed overflow audiences at both the Library and Museum in February. He traced the history of the White House since its construction in 1800, noting that it is older than many other historic residences of world leaders, such as Buckingham Palace, the Imperial Palace in Japan, and the Kremlin. He described the architectural and decorative additions made by various presidents, as well as specific events that took place during certain administrations.

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