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Monuments Men protected treasures in WWII, now will receive congressional gold

This 1945 handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows the evacuating of artwork from Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Photographs, maps and records from the real corps of soldiers known as “Monuments Men” who were tasked with protecting European cultural sites and recovering looted art during World War II are going on display in Washington, many for the first time.
This 1945 handout photo provided by the Smithsonian Institution shows the evacuating of artwork from Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria. Photographs, maps and records from the real corps of soldiers known as “Monuments Men” who were tasked with protecting European cultural sites and recovering looted art during World War II are going on display in Washington, many for the first time. AP

U.S. Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, who was the driving force in getting Congress to honor the Monuments Men, will be a part of the Congressional Gold Medal ceremony honoring the World War II band of experts who saved art and protected cultural artifacts from Nazi destruction.

The Oct. 22 ceremony, in the U.S. Capitol’s Emancipation Hall, will feature House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

Dallas-based author Robert Edsel, whose book, Monuments Men brought attention to the little known coterie of art experts who became a special military unit, will also speak. Monuments Men was made into a movie released in 2014 starring George Clooney.

The cast of the Monuments Men movie has been invited.

Changing jobs?

University of North Carolina needs a new president and officials are talking with Margaret Spellings — the former U.S. education secretary in former President George W. Bush’s administration who now serves as president of Bush’s presidential center in Dallas — about the job.

The college’s fractured board of governors met late last week, discussing the post with its leading candidate, Spellings, even as Republican leaders there charged that the efforts to talk to only one candidate would go against the will of the General Assembly.

Green Party

Republicans aren’t the only presidential candidates making their way around Texas lately.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has been touring Texas during the past week, talking to residents across the state about issues ranging from police brutality to fracking concerns.

Her stops included time in Fort Worth, Dallas, Houston, McAllen, Laredo, Karnes City and San Antonio.

Stein, one of five candidates seeking the Green Party’s 2016 nomination, was the party’s presidential nominee in 2012. The others are Sedinam Kinamo, Christin Moyowasifza Curry, Darryl Cherney, Kent Mesplay and William Kreml.

New neighborhood leader

Aubrey D. Thagard has been picked to lead Fort Worth’s new Neighborhood Services Department.

Thagard, who worked for years in Maryland city and county posts, plans to start work Nov. 30. He will head the new neighborhood services department, which oversees community development and human services programs geared to improve local neighborhoods as well as administer grant-based housing.

Upcoming local political events

Oct. 18Prestonwood Baptist Church and the Faith & Freedom Coalition are hosting a “North Texas Presidential Forum” at 3 p.m. at the Plano church. So far, a half-dozen Republican candidates have confirmed: Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Jeb Bush, Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum. Tickets to the event are free but they all have already been claimed.

Oct. 20 Carson is scheduled to hold an 11:30 a.m. book signing at Barnes & Noble’s Hulen Shopping Center, 4801 Overton Ridge Blvd.

Maria Recio, 202-383-6103

Twitter: @maria_e_recio

Anna Tinsley, 817-390-7610

Twitter: @annatinsley

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