We write to encourage you to attend Jefferson Day, a new lobbying event for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) organized around the annual, NEH-sponsored Jefferson Lecture on March 27 (in which distinguished Civil War historian James M. McPherson will deliver "'For a Vast Future Also': Lincoln and the Millennium"). The Jefferson Day Program seeks to enhance the Jefferson Lecture event, which provides an opportune time to convey a message of support to Congress for continued humanities funding.
The political weather for the NEH has been mixed. NEH critics have not been successful in eliminating the agency, but they have been able to fight off attempts to restore funding to the level it enjoyed before the draconian cuts of a few years ago. Bill Ferris, the Chair of the Endowment, has worked hard to increase Congressional support for federal programs in the humanities; so it is now very important that AHA members show their support for the endowment.
The Jefferson Day event is being coordinated by the National Humanities Alliance (NHA). For more information please visit the NHA web site at http://www.nhalliance.org/jeffersonday.html . If you would like to participate in the event, please contact Jessica Jones at NHA by phone, at (202) 296-4994, or via email at "firstname.lastname@example.org". If you would like to attend the Jefferson Lecture itself, it is especially important to let Jessica know as soon as possible, because seating is limited and demand for tickets is high. NHA asks that participants schedule meetings with their Congressional delegation directly, but urges you to contact the staff at NHA first so that advocacy efforts can be coordinated for each visit with members of Congress. NHA will provide guidance regarding scheduling to all participants.
The Jefferson Lecture coincides with the official opening of the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which will most likely cause hotels in Washington to fill up early, so you are encouraged to make arrangements for accommodations as soon as possible (see the NHA web site for hotel information).
In providing this opportunity for humanities advocates to carry their message to Congress, Jefferson Day is also intended to supplement Humanities on the Hill, the popular, annual advocacy event sponsored by the Federation of State Humanities Councils (FSHC). Jefferson Day has the full support of the FSHC, as well as other organizations regularly involved in planning Humanities on the Hill.
American Historical Association President
Executive Director of
the American Historical Association
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