GOV. JOHN PATTERSON, WARREN TREST TO SPEAK AT UNA DISTINGUISHED EVENTS SERIES NOV. 17
November 7, 2008
FLORENCE, Ala. — The University of North Alabama and the Florence Public Library will host former Alabama Gov. John Patterson and noted author and Patterson biographer Warren Trest for the Distinguished Events Series Nov. 17. The event will begin at 7 p.m. in the UNA Guillot University Center Performance Center. Admission is free to the public.
Patterson was thrust into Alabama politics after the assassination of his father, Attorney General-elect Albert L. Patterson, in June 1954. John Patterson was elected Attorney General to carry out his father’s plans for cleaning up the vice and illegal gambling that ran rampant in Phenix City. The young attorney soon gained a political following that carried him to the governor’s office in January 1959. He was the state’s youngest elected governor and the only candidate to ever defeat George Wallace in the gubernatorial campaign.
As governor, Patterson was a staunch supporter of Alabama’s segregationist stance, leading the state’s resistance to federally ordered desegregation. He later expressed regret for having not done more to help the state’s African American citizens gain equal rights.
Patterson also led Alabama to notable advancements in public education, highway construction, industrial growth, law enforcement, government reform, increased old-age benefits and other areas.
Trest, former senior historian for the U.S. Air Force, has authored and coauthored more than 50 military histories and studies. In 2000, his book “Air Commando One: Heinie Aderholt and America’s Secret Air Wars” was nominated for the Bancroft Prize for distinguished works in American history. Another work, “Air Force Roles and Missions: A History,” was on the U.S. Air Force chief of staff’s reading list for 2007. Other recent books by Trest include “Wings of Denial: The Alabama Air Guard’s Role at the Bay of Pigs,” coauthored with Don Dodd, and “Missing in Paradise.”
For more information on UNA’s Distinguished Events Series, call 256-765-4208.