Studying The Founding Fathers | KCUR

Studying The Founding Fathers

Feb 11, 2013

When it comes to the first presidents, everyone knows George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but what about John Adams?

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we’ll talk with presidential historian Richard Norton Smith about what made these men so different but effective in building the nation.

HEAR MORE:  Richard Norton Smith will speak in the Kansas City area several times over the next week. He will present two free lectures at the Dole Institute, 2350 Petefish Dr. in Lawrence: tonight at 7:30 p.m. on John Adams and Feb. 18 at 7:30 p.m. on Thomas Jefferson. He will also speak Feb. 19 at 7:30 p.m. at Regnier Hall at the University of Kansas Edwards Campus, 12600 Quivira Road in Overland Park, with Dole Institute Director Bill Lacy about George Washington. A public reception precedes at event a 6:30 p.m.

Richard Norton Smith is a nationally-recognized authority on the American presidency. Smith graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University in 1975 with a degree in government. Following graduation he worked as a White House intern and as a freelance writer for The Washington Post. In 1977, he became a speech writer for Massachusetts Sen. Edward Brooke.

Between 1987 and 2001, Smith served as director of the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, Iowa, the Dwight D. Eisenhower Center in Abilene, Kan., the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and the Ronald Reagan Presidential Foundation and the Reagan Center for Public Affairs in Simi Valley, Calif., the Gerald R. Ford Museum and Library in Grand Rapids and Ann Arbor, Mich., respectively, director of the new Robert J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas and executive director of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.

His published works include An Uncommon Man: The Triumph of Herbert Hoover, The Harvard Century: The Making of a University to a Nation, Patriarch: George Washington and the New American Nation and The Colonel: The Life and Legend of Robert R. McCormick.