Marquette University
Press Release

New Deal Projects topic of Klement Lecture at Marquette University

Brechin will present “Recovering from the Great Depression: The Living New Deal Project Uncovers a Lost Civilization Built 80 Years Ago, and What We Can Learn From It Today.”

By - Oct 13th, 2015 03:27 pm

MILWAUKEE – Gray Brechin, founder of a nationwide effort to inventory, map and interpret the legacy left by President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “alphabet soup” agencies, will deliver the 2015 Frank L. Klement Lecture Wednesday Oct. 28, at 4 p.m. in the Raynor Memorial Libraries Beaumier Suites, 1355 W. Wisconsin Ave.

Brechin will present “Recovering from the Great Depression: The Living New Deal Project Uncovers a Lost Civilization Built 80 Years Ago, and What We Can Learn From It Today.”

Roosevelt’s New Deal helped extricate the United States from the Great Depression by putting millions of Americans back to work, building much of the physical and cultural infrastructure that is still used today. Brechin will interpret the lost ethical language of public works that rescued individuals and families from despair and improved the lives of generations in Wisconsin and elsewhere in the United States.

During his speech, Brechin will bring particular focus to the New Deal projects that were accomplished in the Milwaukee area. Some of these projects include Lincoln Memorial Drive, the South Shore Park Pavilion, Honey Creek Parkway, Parklawn Housing Development, the Shorewood Post Office and improvements to Estabrook Park and Brown Deer Park.

Brechin is a historical geographer and author. His chief interests are New Deal public works, the state of California and the environmental impact of cities upon their hinterlands. He received a bachelor’s of arts degree in history and geography, a master’s of arts in art history, and a doctorate in geography from the University of California – Berkeley. He has been associated with the university for more than 40 years, and also worked in the 1980s as a journalist and TV producer in San Francisco.

About the Frank L. Klement Lecture

The Frank L. Klement Lecture commemorates distinguished scholars in American history. Klement joined the Department of History at Marquette University in 1948 and retired 27 years later as professor emeritus. He was department chair from 1956-1958, and received the Teaching Excellence Award in 1965. He served as president of Phi Alpha Theta and the Lincoln Fellowship of Wisconsin. Additionally, Klement was involved in the International Honor Society for History and the Civil War Round Table of Milwaukee and was appointed to numerous editorial boards and national committees.

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