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JMU News



HARRISONBURG — James Madison University will commemorate the 254th birthday of President James Madison Wednesday, March 16, with a constitutional address by former U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenbach and a debate on a military draft by college teams vying for the Madison Cup.

Katzenbach, who helped in the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, will deliver the annual Madison Day Address at 2:30 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium. His topic is "The Constitution in Times of Peril with Emphasis on Brown v. Board of Education."

Appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson, Katzenbach served as attorney general from Feb. 11, 1965, until Oct. 2, 1966, when he resigned after clashing with J. Edgar Hoover over the FBI director's policy of ordering unauthorized wiretaps. In 1962, then-Deputy Attorney General Katzenbach helped secure the release of prisoners captured in the Bay of Pigs operation on Cuba and oversaw the Justice Department's efforts in desegregating the University of Mississippi. The following year he directed the Justice Department's field operations in desegregating the University of Alabama, personally delivering the federal government's order to Alabama Gov. George C. Wallace in Birmingham.

Also at the Madison Day program, retiring JMU faculty, Madison Scholars and the recipients of the Samuel Page Duke Award for the Outstanding Juniors, the Faculty Award for the Valedictorian and distinguished teaching and service awards will be recognized.

General seating will be available and guests are asked to be in their seats by 2:15 p.m.

All day Wednesday, 14 college debate teams will compete for the Madison Cup when they consider the resolution: "Resolved: That the time has come for the United States to reinstate 'a draft' for compulsive military service."

The teams competing with JMU include defending champion Towson State University, Yale, Wake Forest and Georgetown universities and the universities of Pittsburgh and Virginia.

The final round of the James Madison Commemorative Debate and Citizen Forum begins at 6 p.m. in Wilson Hall Auditorium, showcasing the debating skills of the winners of preliminary debates held earlier (8:30 and 11 a.m., Taylor Hall). JMU President Linwood H. Rose will present the Madison Cup to the winning team at approximately 7:30 p.m.

At 11 a.m. Wednesday, university officials will lay a wreath at the James Madison statue near Varner House on the JMU campus. Participating in the ceremony are Mark J. Warner, vice president for student affairs; Tom Culligan, president of the Student Government Association; and a James Madison portrayer. Birthday cake will be served to attendees.

Related to Madison Day, presidential historian Stanley Klos will present "President Who? Forgotten Founders" Tuesday, March 15, at 11 a.m. in Room 404, Taylor Hall. The lecture, based on his book of the same title, will focus on the 10 men who served as president under the nation's first "constitution," the Articles of Confederation, in effect from March 1, 1781, until the U.S. Constitution went into effect March 4, 1789.

Klos, who has more than 20 years of experience in historical document acquisition, also will exhibit numerous primary source documents during his JMU visit.

James Madison Day at JMU celebrates the birth of Madison, the fourth U.S. president and "Father of the U.S. Constitution," in 1751.

Admission to all James Madison birthday events is free and open to the public.