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Help Us Celebrate the Legacy of Lowell Native John Jacob Rogers - Lecture & Cake Reception - Tuesday, May 20th at 7:00PM


John Jacob Rogers (R) Lowell.
US Representative (1913-1925)
Father of the US Foreign Service

Our library has teamed with Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell, founder of the Franklin-Rogers MA Public Commission on American Diplomacy and the U.S. Foreign Service (“The MA Commission on American Diplomacy”), to host a celebration honoring the life and legacy of Lowell native son, John Jacob Rogers. Rogers, a Republican congressman who served from 1913 to 1925, is a co-author and lead congressional advocate of the 1924 Foreign Service Act which created the US Foreign Service. This special celebration, commemorating the 90th anniversary of the U.S. Foreign Service, will be held at the Library on Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 7:00 pm.

The MA Commission on American Diplomacy is a public service commission and civic collaborative initiative. The Commission promotes the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as the birth state of American diplomacy and of the U.S. Foreign Service. Benjamin Franklin (our nation’s first diplomat), William Palfrey (our nation’s first consular official), and Rep. John Jacob Rogers (author of the U.S. Foreign Service Act) all hailed from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The event also pays ceremonial tribute to our current U.S. Secretary of State John F. Kerry, who is a former Massachusetts senator, and head of the US Foreign Service.

While serving in Congress, Rep. Rogers worked with Wilbur Carr of the Department of State to draft the 1924 U.S. Foreign Service Act. It was Rogers’ tireless advocacy on behalf of the Act that caused it to be called The Rogers Act.  Subsequently, Rogers and Carr together came to be known as “the Fathers of the Foreign Service.” This year marks the 90th anniversary of the Rogers Act being signed into law on Saturday, May 24, 1924 by former MA Governor, President Calvin Coolidge.

This will be the first major public event held in the City of Lowell to honor Lowell native son, Rep. Rogers, the Rogers Act and the U.S. Foreign Service.  The Commission has submitted a draft proclamation to Governor Deval Patrick to honor Rogers, and Mayor Rodney Elliott is also planning to sign a proclamation honoring Rogers’ contribution to American diplomatic and Foreign Service history later this month. Rogers’ historic achievement is an accomplishment of legislative leadership and political public service on behalf of American diplomacy in which the City of Lowell and the whole Commonwealth may take great civic pride.

In celebration of Lowell’s and the Commonwealth’s distinctive contribution to our nation’s diplomatic history and heritage, the Pollard Memorial Library will host a special lecture on the life and legacy of John Jacob Rogers. The lecture will be presented by the founder of the MA Commission on American Diplomacy, Oxford-trained diplomatic scholar, and member of the American Foreign Service Association, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell.

A former USAF military intelligence officer, Dna. Maria St. Catherine McConnell also formerly worked as a Diplomatic Affairs Specialist for The American Academy of Diplomacy and for the Vatican/Holy See’s Mission to the United Nations; and shared her diplomatic experience as a guest speaker for the AcademyWomen’s Leadership Conference held at the Women in Military Service to America Memorial (WIMSA) located in Arlington National Cemetery.

Also a former U.S. Air Force Officer and a veterans affairs advocacy professional, McConnell drafted the 2012 Proclamation that was signed by Governor Deval Patrick declaring June 30, 2012 as “Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers Day.” “Congresswoman Edith Nourse Rogers Day” was commemorated on June 30, 2012, with a ceremonial reading of the Proclamation at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. Rep. Rogers was the spouse of Rep. John Jacob Rogers who upon his death in office in 1925, ran for her husband’s seat and won. Rep. Rogers commenced her term of service on June 30, 1925. During her term of service she was a life-long advocate of American military veterans. Rep. Rogers died in 1960 in Boston. In September 2012, the Edith Nourse Rogers Proclamation was entrusted to the Lowell Library by former Mayor Patrick Murphy for preservation.

The Library’s events will also feature a special exhibit on Rep. John Jacob Rogers. The lecture will be followed by a cake reception. Events will be held in the Library’s Ground Floor Meeting Room at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 20th. All are welcome to attend.

For more information, contact the Community Planning Department of the Pollard Memorial Library at (978) 674-1542 or e-mail