Chestertown, MD, January 17, 2006 — Washington College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience will host retired Senator Birch Bayh, one of the nation's most respected elder statesmen, speaking on "Church and State: 18th-Century Principles, 21st-Century Politics," Monday, January 30, 2006, at 4:30 p.m. in the College's Tawes Theatre, Gibson Performing Arts Center.
The event is free and open to the public. A question-and-answer session will follow the talk.
During the spring semester of 2006, the C.V. Starr Center is honored to host Sen. Bayh as a visiting fellow who will teach a Senatorial Colloquy on American History and Politics for Washington College students. As U.S. Senator from Indiana between 1963 and 1981, Sen. Bayh won renown as a passionate champion of civil rights and a master of constitutional law, helping to draft the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act and 1965 Voting Rights Act. Civil rights leaders hailed his singular effort, as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee, in defeating President Nixon's Supreme Court nominations of Judges Clement Haynesworth and G. Harrold Carswell, both having strong segregationist records. Sen. Bayh also authored two successful amendments to the U.S. Constitution—the 25th and the 26th—as well as the Equal Rights Amendment, which was not ratified. No other lawmaker since the Founders has authored two constitutional amendments.
In this, his first appearance at Washington College, Sen. Bayh will address a topic with both historic resonance and contemporary importance: the separation of church and state. From the principle's articulation by the Founders two centuries ago to its oft-contentious political role today, what was once a widely shared ideal has become a perennial battleground in America's local and national public square.
Sen. Bayh's talk is sponsored by the College's C.V. Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience. Drawing on the special historical strengths of Washington College and Chestertown, the C.V. Starr Center is dedicated to exploring the early republic, the rise of democracy, and the manifold ways in which the founding era continues to shape American culture.
News about upcoming events sponsored by the Center is available online athttp://starrcenter.washcoll.edu.