SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 16, 2018 /PRNewswire/ — Joined by nearly 250 guests at the historic Old U.S. Mint, the California Historical Society, the state’s official non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting the history of the Golden State, hosted a Gala dinner celebrating The Honorable George P. Shultz on January 11, 2018.
The California Historical Society celebrates The Honorable George P. Shultz during a Gala at the historic Old U.S. Mint in San Francisco. Executive Director Anthea Hartig presents a beautifully framed photograph of the U.S. Mint under construction in 1873 to Shultz for his leadership in preserving the Old Mint from sale and destruction. Pictured L to R: Hartig, Shultz, Colonel Timothy G. Burton, US Marine Corps; Michael Sangiacomo, president, Board of Trustees, California Historical Society.
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“Secretary Shultz has had a distinguished career serving five presidents, holding four key Cabinet positions, and overseeing some of the nation’s most historic, pivotal moments,” said Dr. Anthea Hartig, Executive Director of the California Historical Society, “Dr. Shultz is a man of integrity, leadership, and loyalty – a true statesman who has dedicated his life to serving our nation and advancing important causes. His wide-ranging and long-standing contributions have been acknowledged with a truly remarkable array of awards and honorary degrees, their very variety a testimony to the rich diversity of his contributions.”
The black-tie event took place on the 263rd birthday of Alexander Hamilton, the first U.S. Treasury Secretary. In 1972, as America’s 62nd Treasury Secretary, George Shultz helped save the 1874 Old U.S. Mint – now a National Historical Landmark – from sale and destruction, ensuring the powerful legacy of the Treasury in the western United States.
A distinguished group of leaders in business, education, government, and philanthropy came together to plan and support the Gala in celebrating one of California’s and the Nation’s true civic legends, in one of the West’s most significant historic buildings.
The Honorary co-chairs for the event were Mr. Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr., Governor Edmund G. Brown, Jr., the Honorable Dr. Condoleezza Rice, and Mrs. Charlotte Mailliard Shultz. The Chair of the Host Committee was CHS Trustee Linda Elliott.
“I know and highly respect George for his keen intellect, integrity, wisdom, and commitment to serve when and where needed, which he has demonstrated time and time again,” said Lauren Bechtel Dachs on behalf of her father, Stephen D. Bechtel, Jr. “The impact he has had on the United States and the entire world as he served important positions over the years reflects a truly remarkable human being. The list of his service, accomplishments, and honors are second to none.”
“George P. Shultz is a statesman whose life in public service compares to any of the greatest public servants in our nation’s history,” said Governor Brown. “It is fitting that the California Historical Society celebrate him tonight, not only for his contributions to historic preservation in San Francisco, but because he himself has made so much history that his presence among us enriches both our sense of the past and our ability to plan for the future.”
“Tonight, the California Historical Society’s gala celebrates the ideals that have bound us together through our history,” said Secretary Rice. “The two great Americans honored this evening – Alexander Hamilton and my dear friend George Shultz – have both lived up to our noblest aspirations, and they have both contributed to incredible feats, from the founding of a new free nation to helping to win the Cold War without a shot. The U.S. Mint in San Francisco stands as a testament to George’s foresight, as well as his understanding of history’s role in our society. Tonight’s celebration offers a chance to honor his lifetime of service, near and far, and to support the important work being done to keep our history alive.”
Charlotte Mailliard Shultz added, “While difficult to remain unbiased, I cannot help but add my adoration and admiration for my remarkable husband. As a diplomat, as a statesman, as an academic, as a business leader, and as a thought leader, his star outshines most in the pantheon of powerful leaders of this republic – from Washington to Hamilton through to the present day. We are so fortunate to have so many dear friends, and of course we mourn the loss of those gone too soon. We’re so grateful that many joined us to support the California Historical Society, to learn more about this remarkable landmark, and to help us bring it back to life.”
Secretary Shultz was introduced by his wife, Charlotte, and greeted with a standing ovation. A tribute video honoring his life achievements included photos of his family, military service, positions in government, the private sector, and important milestones. One photo in the video showed then Treasury Secretary Shultz with the official John Trumbull portrait of Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton. In the photo, Secretary Shultz had held up his arm up, as if to shake the hand of Hamilton.
With his sharp wit and age-old wisdom, Secretary Shultz used that photo to share extemporaneously, and in amazingly historical context, what it would be like to have a conversation with Alexander Hamilton today – Secretary to Secretary – and touched upon issues the nation has faced throughout its history. He offered his own solutions to some of the nation’s current challenges, including the deficit, health care, and entitlement programs, among others.
Proceeds from the Gala support California Historical Society programming and youth history education. The Gala coincides with the organization’s current exhibition on view through March 18, 2018, featuring Alexander Hamilton and highlighting events the occurred in Spanish Colonial California while Hamilton was shaping the foundation of the modern United States on the East Coast.
A portion of the exhibition is dedicated to the history of the Old U.S. Mint in San Francisco, once part of the Treasury Department that Hamilton founded. In partnership with the City and County of San Francisco, the California Historical Society is currently exploring the 1874 Old U.S. Mint as its future home. During the Gala, the Society unveiled a permanent public exhibition at the Old Mint that tells the story of the Mint building completed in 1874 and its life as a foundry, fortress, and public bank.
Founded as the Mint was under construction in 1871, the California Historical Society is a non-profit organization with a mission to inspire and empower people to make California’s richly diverse past a meaningful part of their contemporary lives – and to promote a more just and informed future. The Society enacts its mission with a wide range of library, exhibition, publication, education, and public outreach programs that explore the complex and continuing history of the State.
The Society’s collection comprises a diverse body of materials including approximately: 50,000 volumes of culturally significant books and pamphlets; 4,000 manuscript collections; well over 500,000 photographs; printed ephemera, periodicals, posters, broadsides, maps, and newspapers; the Kemble Collection on Western Printing and Publishing; 5,000 works of art, including paintings, drawings, and lithographs; and samples of historically relevant artifacts and costumes.
Rare and historic items were on display during the Gala from the Society’s collections, including compelling artifacts from the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire; some of the earliest examples of printing in the state; treasures from the Gold Rush; and a rare collection of coins, among them coins minted at the Old Mint and the first prototype coin minted in the United States in 1783.
For more information about the California Historical Society, the Old Mint Restoration Project, current exhibitions and the Gala, its host committee and sponsors, please visit www.californiahistoricalsociety.org.
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SOURCE California Historical Society
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