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January 11, 2006

Ford's Theatre Presents - Panel Discussion - "Trying: Civil Liberties, FDR & Francis Biddle" - Monday, January 23, 7:00 p.m. - FREE TO PUBLIC

From: Ford's Theatre - Jan 11, 2006

January 11, 2006
Contact: Joyce M. Patterson

UPDATED: to add Judge Ferren

MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2006, 7:00 P.M.

WASHINGTON, DC—Ford’s Theatre, in conjunction with its production of Trying, will hold a panel discussion Monday, January 23, 7:00 p.m. regarding civil liberties and the FDR administration. Trying, by playwright Joanna McClelland Glass, deals with the last year of life of Judge Francis Biddle, FDR’s attorney general who oversaw the internment of Japanese Americans during World War II. The panel of experts will debate the internment and other issues faced by Biddle during the 1940s and consider civil liberties and national security matters of concern today.

Ford’s panel includes Bruce Fein, a former Reagan and Bush administration official; historian and author Peter Irons, University of California San Diego professor emeritus; D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge John M. Ferren, author of Salt of the Earth, Conscience of the Court: The Story of Justice Wiley B. Rutledge; Jonathan Turley, nationally recognized constitutional scholar and professor of law, George Washington University School of Law; and moderator Terence Smith, formerly with The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer.

About Trying
Theatre and film legend James Whitmore returns to Ford’s Theatre (January 20 – February 26, 2006) in the regional premiere of Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass. Karron Graves will co-star and Gus Kaikkonen will direct.

Biddle served as FDR’s first chairman of the National Labor Relations Board, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit, and as solicitor general and attorney general. At the end of World War II, President Truman sent Biddle to Germany as the chief U.S. judge at the International Military Tribunal at Nuremberg. As a private citizen, Biddle served as chair of the Americans for Democratic Action and as president of the American Civil Liberties Union. However, despite his accomplishments, Biddle’s reluctant involvement in the World War II internment of Japanese Americans troubled him throughout his life. The year before his death, to prepare his papers, Biddle hired a secretary (playwright Joanna Glass), who documented their brief relationship in Trying, a sensitive look at their struggle to work together, respect each other and put the final seal upon his life’s work.

The panel discussion is free of charge, however, to reserve seats or purchase tickets for Trying, please call (202) 347-6262 or rsvp to .

Ford’s Theatre Society is a not-for-profit corporation created to produce live entertainment on Ford’s historic stage. Paul R. Tetreault is Producing Director. It is the mission of the Ford’s Theatre Society to honor President Lincoln and his love for the theatre by producing plays and musicals that celebrate and explore the American experience as revealed by America’s greatest theatre artists.