Iconic legislator Joe Neal subject of museum lecture

As the 80th session of the Nevada Legislature nears its end, an iconic and history making former legislator is the focus of this month’s Frances Humphrey Lecture Series at the Nevada State Museum in Carson City.

“Westside Slugger: Joe Neal’s Lifelong Fight for Social Justice,” is the presentation by Hall of Fame Nevada journalist John L. Smith, based on his book of the same name. It takes place Thursday, May 23, at 6:30 p.m. at the museum’s South Gallery.

Admission is $8 for adults; free for museum members and children 17 and younger.

Neal rose from humble beginnings in Mound, Louisiana during the great depression to become the first African American to serve in the Nevada State Senate. As he climbed through the political ranks, he used his position in the state senate to speak and act on behalf of the powerless for more than 30 years.

His successes include improved rights for convicted felons and greater services for public education, mental health, and the state’s libraries.

He also played an integral role in improving hotel fire safety in the wake of the deadly MGM Grand fire and preserving the pristine waters of Lake Tahoe, which brought him national attention.

Lecturer John L. Smith is a longtime journalist and the author of more than a dozen books on some of the most significant characters in Las Vegas history. In three decades as a daily columnist with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, he garnered many state and national awards for his work. In 2016, Smith was named to the Nevada Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Doors for the lecture open at 6 p.m. Seating is limited; reserve your seat by going to http://nvculture.org/nevadastatemuseumcarsoncity/events/

The Nevada State Museum is located at 600 N. Carson Street, Carson City.

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