Sunday, April 21, 2019
Frank Church-Behind the Headlines
Sen. Frank Church was an Idaho boy through and through. PHOTO: Boise State University Special Collections Archives
Tuesday, February 12, 2019


When Idahoans think of the late Senator Frank Church, they think of his role in creating protected wilderness areas—a legacy for which the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness was named for him.

But it was national security and foreign policy where the Boise-born statesman made his mark on the worldwide stage.

He was an early critic of the Johnson administration’s Vietnam War policies and in 1971 co-authored an amendment to stop funding for the war in southeast Asia. And he chaired a 16-month investigation of national intelligence agencies, looking into such abuses as assassination plots in foreign countries and the surveillance and harassment of political activists and public figures in the United States.

He fought for aging seniors, supporting automatic cost of living adjustments for Social Security recipients. 

And he even sought the Democratic nomination for U.S. president in 1976, announcing his candidacy from the steps of a historic building in Idaho City. After winning primaries in Nebraska, Idaho, Oregon and Montana, he withdrew in favor of Jimmy Carter who went on to win the presidency.

Learn some of the stories behind all this when Garry Wenske, executive director of the Frank Church institute, provides an evening of storytelling focused on Church.

Wenske, executive director of the Frank Church institute and adjunct professor at Boise State University, will provide a free lecture called “Fighting the Odds: Frank Church,” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 13, at Ketchum’s Community Library.


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