Professor teaches local students

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COLUMBIA — All across the country televisions were set to the presidential inauguration to see Donald Trump take office. Craig Bruce Smith, an assistant history professor at William Woods University, took the opportunity as a chance to educate young voters.

“A knowledge of history is necessary to properly engage in democracy,” he said.

The lecture, called “My Country’s Honor: George Washington and Ethical Leadership,” was designed to provide perspective on what the change in power means to the country.

“Inauguration Day is something that is central, it is essential, integral to the fabric of American culture,” Smith said.

The balance of power and the peaceful transition of power are overall lasting legacies that we see play out on Inauguration Day, Smith said.

“The fact that we change and it has been peaceful, is something that has been the envy of many nations throughout history, again, the easiest comparison is the French Revolution where you end up with chopped off heads and blood in the streets," Smith said. "You don’t have that here because of the central ideals of the peaceful transfer which has continued wince Washington.”

Smith said he hopes the lecture can involve young students and voters in the democratic process in a positive way.

The event was the first of three in a series focused on the relationship between presidents and the people.

The next is set to take place Monday Jan. 30 by Jay Sexton of the University of Missouri.