TAUNTON, VIRGINIA— The Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum today announced that University of Virginia Professor Edward G. Lengel, a noted military historian, will be the 2010 Annual Luncheon Speaker on Friday, November 12, at 11:30 a.m. at the Stonewall Jackson Hotel and Conference Center in Staunton. Dr. Lengel will discuss World War I, including the Presidential Library’s recent tour of World War I battlefields in France. The luncheon is sponsored by Bankers Insurance and the law firm of Wharton, Aldhizer and Weaver.
This year’s luncheon marks the 50th anniversary of the Foundation’s first Annual Luncheon, at which President Dwight E. Eisenhower spoke. The luncheon program was started by Emily Pancake Smith, a founding Trustee and long-time President of the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace Foundation. Mrs. Lee Cochran, a friend and colleague of Mrs. Smith, will offer a tribute to her at this year’s luncheon. In addition, the Ovation Singers will perform several World War I songs.
A noted military historian and Editor of the Papers of President George Washington at the University of Virginia, Dr. Lengel is the author of To Conquer Hell: The Meuse-Argonne 1918, an award-winning book on the Meuse-Argonne Offensive, the last battle of World War I. This battle involved 1.2 million American soldiers and still stands as the nation’s largest battle. The book won a major award from the Western Front Association, a group that sponsors interest in the war that shaped 20th-century America. Dr. Lengel has authored several other books, including General George Washington: A Military Life, which was a finalist for the George Washington Book Prize. He has made frequent appearances on television documentaries.
Dr. Lengel’s talk and the recent tour of World War I battlefields in France are the latest in a series of initiatives launched by the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library to build recognition of the central role of the 28th President in the Great War. With the one-hundredth anniversary of the conflict rapidly approaching, the Presidential Library is building relationships with a number of national and international groups, including the government of the French Department of the Meuse and other World War I groups and museums.
Individual tickets to the event are $40.00 for members of the WWPL’s League of Friends and $50.00 for non-members. Those interested in attending or with questions about the event should contact Robin von Seldeneck, Administrative Officer, at email@example.com at (540) 885-0897, ext. 114.