Professor: Former Sen. George McGovern a walking piece of American history

A long-time fixture in American politics will speak to political science students and faculty about his 50 years of experience in federal government when he visits campus Tuesday, a university official said.

Former Sen. George McGovern will be featured at the 2010 Jim Wright Symposium, which will take place in the Brown-Lupton University Union Ballroom today at noon. All seats available for the event are full.

“(McGovern) is a walking piece of American history,” said Jim Riddlesperger, a political science professor.

Riddlesperger said McGovern and former Speaker of the House Jim Wright, a part-time faculty member at the university and namesake of the symposium, have known each other for nearly half a century.

McGovern served two terms in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1957 to 1961 and served in the U.S. Senate from 1963 to 1981.

According to the McGovern Center Web site, McGovern ran as the Democratic candidate for president in 1972 and was appointed to the United Nations General Assembly in 1976.
In 1978, he moved on to become a delegate for the U.N. Special Session on Disarmament, according to the site.

During his time in the Senate, he served on committees involving agriculture, nutrition, forestry and foreign relations and the Joint Economic Committee, according to the site. He worked to improve nutrition programs while on those committees. McGovern continued his efforts against hunger as president of the Middle East Policy Council from 1991 to 1998, and was the U.N. global ambassador on hunger in 2001.

McGovern flew 35 combat missions as a B-24 bomber pilot in Europe during World War II, earning the Distinguished Flying Cross, according to the McGovern Center for Leadership and Public Service at Dakota Wesleyan University, McGovern’s alma mater. He was also a professor of history and political science at the university.

Riddlesperger said McGovern will speak about his 2008 Abraham Lincoln biography titled “Abraham Lincoln.” There will a book signing following the speech and copies of the book will be available on site, Riddlesperger said.

Abraham Lincoln (American Presidents Series)

p>List price: $22 (Barnes & Noble)

p>Publication date: December 2008

p>Pages: 208

p>About 150 copies of the book will be available at the event. The campus bookstore also has the book in stock.