Washington, D.C. (Feb. 3, 2003) - Historian Robert V. Remini will deliver the first annual Heroes of History Lecture on Feb. 18 in Washington, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) announced today.
[Note: Due to a major snowstorm in the mid-Atlantic region, the lecture was postponed to a later date.]
Remini, prize-winning biographer of Andrew Jackson, will speak on "Ordinary Heroes: Founders of Our Republic." The event will include the awarding of medals and cash prizes to six high school juniors for their essays on "The Idea of America." The grand prize will be $5,000; runners-up will receive $1,000 apiece.
The Heroes of History lecture is part of an NEH initiative called We the People, which is designed to strengthen the teaching, study and understanding of American history and civics. The lecture will be an annual event and carry a $10,000 honorarium. This nationally published lecture by a noted scholar will provide an opportunity for the public to learn about the lives and deeds of our nation's heroes.
"A knowledge of history is essential to understanding our present condition," says NEH Chairman Bruce Cole. "Understanding why our nation exists and what it stands for is vital to the state of our union."
Under the NEH initiative, which was announced by President Bush in a White House Rose Garden ceremony last September, grant programs will support projects that help schools and universities improve their teaching of American history, government, and civics. The Summer Seminar and Institutes program will be expanded to offer teachers more opportunities to study significant texts. The papers of American Presidents and other important Americans will be made available, electronically, to all Americans.
Remini, professor emeritus of history and the humanities at the University of Illinois at Chicago, is currently at work on a narrative history of the U.S. House of Representatives. He has been teaching history for more than 50 years and writing books about American history for nearly as long. In addition to his three-volume biography of Jackson, he is the author of biographies of Henry Clay and Daniel Webster, as well as a dozen other books on Jacksonian America. He was educated at Fordham University (B.S., 1943) and Columbia University (M.A., 1947, Ph.D., 1951).
Among his many honors are the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation Award, the Carl Sandburg Award for Nonfiction, the University Scholar Award of the University of Illinois, the American Historical Association's Award for Scholarly Distinction, and the National Book Award. Active in the national history community, Remini has served as a review panel member for the National Endowment for the Humanities since 1974. In 1991, he delivered a Presidential Lecture at the White House.
For more information on We the People, visit the initiative's website.