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Civic education

Fall 2016

The long view

“I do not believe that any man can adequately appreciate the world of to-day unless he has some knowledge of … the history of the world of the past.” —Theodore Roosevelt, 1911

A hundred years ago, Theodore Roosevelt’s vision of conservation came to fruition with the establishment of the National Park Service. Although President Woodrow Wilson established the NPS, Roosevelt had doubled the number of national parks and passed the Antiquities Act in 1906 when he was in the Oval Office. Roosevelt believed that we must have a deeper and longer-term view of our country’s natural and historical heritage.

In the spirit of Roosevelt’s aims, … » More …

Fall 2016

Spirit of ’25

When the United States formally became a nation in 1787, everyone involved, from George Washington down, knew there was a piece missing. The nation might be bound together by a Constitution, but it actually remained a conglomeration of states, religions, ethnicities, regions and cultures. The lack of national unity was a serious threat, as the Civil War would demonstrate.

But how do you create national feeling?  As twentieth-century philosopher Allen Bloom put it: “How do you get from individuals to a people, that is, from persons who care only for their particular good to a community of citizens who subordinate their good to the common … » More …

Speaker of the House Tom Foley
Winter 2015

The lasting impact of Tom Foley

Thomas S. Foley was a political gentleman. The Speaker of the House lived and worked from principles that defined his political career: civility, honesty, and integrity. Even though he lost his seat in Congress, Foley’s legacy continues to encourage many others to follow his path, through his namesake institute at Washington State University.

No one on the reelection team was emotionally prepared for Foley’s defeat in 1994. A sitting Speaker had not been defeated since the Civil War era. John Pierce remembers Foley as “sad, stunned about the election results, but not vindictive.” Pierce had been a congressional fellow with Foley before beginning a 24-year … » More …

Spring 2011

George Nethercutt Jr. ’67—Knowing our nation

George Nethercutt Jr. ’67 may not be in Congress anymore, but he still yearns to shorten the distance between Washington, D.C., and his home state of Washington.

The effort has kept the Spokane native busy since he left the House of Representatives in 2005, when he transformed a project from his office into the George Nethercutt Foundation, a nonprofit organization to promote civic literacy and foster leadership qualities.

“We as Americans just don’t know the story of our country. And it troubles me. As a citizen, it bothers me,” says Nethercutt as we meet one afternoon last fall in Seattle, where he’s visiting on business. … » More …