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Henry Clay tribute: House Speakers
to honor ‘Great Compromiser’s’ legacy

Speaker of the House, John Boehner, and three former speakers — Nancy Pelosi, Jim Wright and Dennis Hastert — will pay a very special tribute to Kentucky’s own Henry Clay on June 24 at Transylvania University.


The Henry Clay Center on Statesmanship and the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation are offering an historic program called “The Role of the Speaker of the House: A Tribute to Henry Clay” in conjunction with the Henry Clay Center’s 4th annual Student Congress and Ashland’s Lawn Party.  All events are part of Lexington’s inaugural Henry Clay Week, which is intended to raise awareness about Henry Clay, his accomplishments and the legacy Lexington is charged with preserving and promoting.


The program is open to the public.  It will be held at Transy’s Haggin Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.  Tickets are $15 though students with IDs may purchase tickets for $7.50.


Proceeds benefit the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation and the Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship.


“In this day of increasing polarization, particularly in politics, Henry Clay’s principles of beneficial compromise, diplomacy and civility have never been more relevant” said Shaye Rabold, Executive Director of the Henry Clay Center.  “In partnership with the Henry Clay Memorial Foundation, we are honored to be hosting some of the most influential figures in our democracy on June 24th.  It is quite a testament to Henry Clay and his legacy that the current Speaker of the House and 3 of the 5 former, living Speakers are coming to Lexington in a bi-partisan spirit to pay tribute to “The Great Compromiser.”  The event will allow the audience to hear directly from these Speakers of the House about the office itself, their respective experiences and challenges while in the office and some observations about how we may be able to find beneficial compromises moving forward.”


Located in Henry Clay’s Law Office on Mill Street in Lexington, the Henry Clay Center is governed by a board of directors and a national advisory committee co-chaired by the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor and the Honorable Nancy Kassebaum Baker.


Lexington’s Henry Clay, the “Great Compromiser,” was a distinguished statesman known for his negotiating skills and his service to the country in the first half of the 19th century. He helped negotiate the Treaty of Ghent and played a key role in helping end the War of 1812.  Later, as Speaker of the House he changed the role of speaker, making it the powerful position it is today – and holding that office longer than anyone except Sam Rayburn.


The Henry Clay Center for Statesmanship promotes the principles and practices of statesmanship and celebrates Henry Clay’s ideals of debate, diplomacy and beneficial compromise. Its annual undergraduate, five-day short course brings top college juniors from every state and the District of Columbia to a Student Congress aimed at honing  skills in leadership and statesmanship. Students receive full scholarships to attend.


The Henry Clay Memorial Foundation is charged with preserving Ashland, the Henry Clay Estate.


Ticket availability for “The Role of the Speaker of the House: A Tribute to Henry Clay”:  Lexington Center Box Office, 859.233.3535, or online at Ticketmaster.com.  More information at HenryClayCS.org


John Boehner currently serves as Speaker of the United States House of Representatives. Boehner was elected to represent the Eighth Congressional District of Ohio for an 11th term in November 2010.


Nancy Pelosi has represented California’s 8th District in the House of Representatives since 1987. From 2007-2010 Pelosi served as Speaker of the House, having been elected as the first woman in American history to serve as Speaker.

Jim Wright is a former Democratic U.S. Congressman from Texas who served 34 years in the U.S. House of Representatives and was the Speaker of the House from 1987 to 1989.

Dennis Hastert was the 59th Speaker of the House serving from 1999 to 2007. He represented the Illinois’s 14th congressional district as a Republican from 1987 to 2007.


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