September 5, 2007
Michelin, university to bring renowned historian to campus for lecture on Lafayette
Historian and writer Harlow Giles Unger will present a public lecture on the Marquis de Lafayette at the University of South Carolina at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 19, in the Campus Room of Capstone House.
Unger's talk, "Lafayette: The Young French Hero Who Saved America," is free and open to the public. The event is presented by Michelin North America, headquartered in Greenville and the university's history department. This year marks the 250th anniversary of the birth of Lafayette, who was a central figure in the American and French revolutions.
"Many Americans do not realize the tremendous contribution that Lafayette made to the success of this country's struggle for independence," said Unger, author of the authoritative biography of Lafayette. "There is little doubt that, without Lafayette, we would not have won our independence when we did. I can think of no better occasion to celebrate Lafayette's legacy than the 250th anniversary of his birth, and I can think of no better place to assemble for such a celebration than here in South Carolina, Lafayette's original landing place in 1777."
After the lecture, Unger will sign copies of his biography on Lafayette, which will be for sale at the event.
A veteran journalist, broadcaster, educator and historian, Unger has written 15 books, including four biographies of American's Founding fathers: "Noah Webster: The Life and Times of an American Patriot," "John Hancock: Merchant King and American Patriot," "Lafayette" and "The Unexpected George Washington: His Private Life." Cited by Florence King of the National Review as "America's most readable historian," Unger is frequently interviewed by national media and is a featured speaker at most notable early American historic sites, including Mount Vernon, Valley Forge, Yorktown and Williamsburg.
He is a graduate of Yale University and earned a master's degree from California State University. As a journalist, Unger served as a foreign correspondent and analyst of American affairs in the overseas news service for "The New York Herald Tribune," "The Times," "The Sunday Times" in London and for the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. He has written many books on American education, including the award-winning, three-volume "Encyclopedia of American Education," a standard reference in academic and reference libraries.
"The department of history at the University of South Carolina is excited to partner with Michelin to bring a popular speaker like Harlow Unger to campus," department chairman Dr. Lacy Ford said. "We welcome opportunities like this one to work with the state's leading corporate citizens to enrich the dialogue between university and community that is so important to the quality of life in 21st-century America."
Lafayette played a pivotal role in the success of the American Revolution. As a junior officer in the French army, he defied both family and King Louis XVI when he sailed to the American colonies in 1777 to enlist in the American army. He earned military distinction for his successes and the admiration of George Washington. He persuaded the French to commit additional military aid and soldiers, a critical component to the colonies' success. In 1781, he returned to France and to military duty there as a hero of two worlds. In 2002, the U.S. Congress voted to make Lafayette an honorary citizen of the United States.
For more information about Unger's lecture, contact Dr. Lacy Ford at 803-777-5195 or via e-mail at email@example.com.