Senator Donald E. Williams Jr., President Pro Tempore of the Connecticut State Senate and author of the new book Prudence Crandall's Legacy, surprised many when he announced his retirement from politics earlier this year. Having served in the Senate since 1993, he rose to the rank of President Pro Tempore, the highest rank for a General Assembly legislator, in just eleven years. Since assuming the position, he served under Republican and Democratic administrations and became the longest-serving president of Connecticut's Senate chamber since the position's inception in 1845.
Join us Tuesday, June 17th for our next installment of Conversations at Noon where Senator Williams will explore his new book about Prudence Crandall's unique role in the fight for civil rights and her influence on legal arguments for equality in America. After his talk, he will reflect on his career as lawmaker, his future after the Senate and what he thinks about the future of politics within the state of Connecticut during a one-on-one interview with the Connecticut Network's Diane Smith.
Coincidently, Prudence Crandall, the subject of Senator Williams' book, has a historical connection with Connecticut's Old State House. It was within the Old State House that the Black Law of 1833 was passed, making it illegal in Connecticut to teach African-American students from out of state without the written consent of the town. After disregarding the law and continuing to teach, Crandall was arrested and her trial eventually ended up at the Old State House. She was later found not guilty on a technicality by the State Supreme Court of Errors, however her school was closed.
Bring your lunch and enjoy this free event, which lasts from noon until 1 p.m. Major funding for Conversations at Noon is provided by Connecticut Humanities. Conversations at Noon is taped in front of a live audience by the Connecticut Network (CT-N).
Located in Hartford just minutes from the Connecticut Science Center, Wadsworth Atheneum and the Connecticut Riverfront, Connecticut's Old State House invites visitors of all ages to discover that their voices matter, and that words, ideas, persuasion and debate really can change minds – and, quite possibly, the world. The building served as the Constitution State's original seat of government from 1796 to 1878. For more information on admission process, upcoming events and parking discounts nearby, become a fan of Connecticut's Old State House on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit us online at www.ctoldstatehouse.org.