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Former director of National Museum of American History to visit Pierre, sign new book on July 24

Former director of National Museum of American History to visit Pierre, sign new book on July 24

Brent Glass, former director of the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, is making three appearances in Pierre on Monday, July 24, to promote his new book, “50 Great American Places: Essential Historic Sites Across the U.S.”

“As an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, we are delighted to bring Mr. Glass to South Dakota,” said Jay Smith, director of the Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society at the Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. “He brings with him a message about the value of saving, preserving and visiting historic places which is an important aspect of the mission of the South Dakota State Historical Society. We will be discussing some of our future plans with him as well, so this is an exciting opportunity for our museum.”

Glass’s 7 p.m. CDT presentation at the Capitol Lake Visitor Center will be the primary opportunity for the public to interact with him. The evening will include a presentation by Glass as well as questions and answers with the audience, followed by a book signing. Books will be available for purchase.

Glass will also be the featured speaker at the Pierre-Fort Pierre Rotary Club at noon on July 24.

From 1:30-2:30 p.m. on the 24th, Glass will be signing his book at the Cultural Heritage Center. There is no admission fee to come to the book signing, and no formal presentation is planned at the afternoon event.

“50 Great American Places” is published by Simon & Schuster. Glass, a historian and the director emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of History, leads readers on a journey through 50 of the most important cultural and historic sites in the United States. Featuring a foreword from bestselling author David McCullough, this book is part travelogue and part collection of historical essays.

Additional information about the events will be available on the South Dakota State Historical Society’s Website at The Museum of the South Dakota State Historical Society has been a Smithsonian Affiliate since January of 2013.

About the State Historical Society
The South Dakota State Historical Society is a division of the Department of Education. The State Historical Society, an Affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, is headquartered at the South Dakota Cultural Heritage Center in Pierre. The center houses the society’s world-class museum, the archives, and the historic preservation, publishing and administrative/development offices. Call (605) 773-3458 or visit for more information. The society also has an archaeology office in Rapid City; call (605) 394-1936 for more information.

About the Author
Brent D. Glass is Director Emeritus of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. A national leader in the preservation, interpretation and promotion of history, Glass is a public historian who pioneered influential oral history and material culture studies, an author, media presence and international speaker on public memory and museum management. Glass travels frequently as a featured speaker and participant in U.S. State Department cultural diplomacy programs and currently serves as a consultant and advisor to cultural and educational organizations including The Presidio in San Francisco, the DeVos Institute at the University of Maryland and Drexel University in Philadelphia. Before joining the Smithsonian, Glass served from 1987-2002 as executive director of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, managing the largest and most comprehensive state history program in the country. Glass earned his doctorate in history from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, a master’s degree in American Studies from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Lafayette College. He lives in Washington, D.C.

About Smithsonian Affiliations
Established in 1996, Smithsonian Affiliations is a national outreach program that develops long-term collaborative partnerships with museums, educational and cultural organizations to enrich communities with Smithsonian resources. The long-term goal of Smithsonian Affiliations is to facilitate a two-way relationship among Affiliate organizations and the Smithsonian Institution to increase discovery and inspire lifelong learning in communities across America. More information about the Smithsonian Affiliations program and Affiliate activity is available at

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