Annual Richard G. Hewlett Lecture

Each fall, the Society hosts a lecture or panel discussion honoring our founding member, Richard Hewlett. 

2018 Hewlett Lecture

Liza Mundy will discuss her book Code Girls: The Untold Story of the American Women Code Breakers of World War II

Thursday, October 25, 2018, at 6:00 PM
Woodrow Wilson Center for Scholars in Washington, D.C.


In Memorium

Richard G. Hewlett passed away on September 1, 2015, at the age of 92. Originally from Toledo, Ohio, he lived in the Washington area for 64 years. He served in the Army Air Force as an electronics-weather specialist in China during WWII. He then earned a Ph.D. in history the University of Chicago. He served as chief historian of the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) and its successor agencies from 1957 to 1980, co-authoring a 3-volume Atomic Energy Commission history and a history of the Nuclear Navy that remain important resources today. As a federal historian he recognized the importance of organizing public historians to promote the effectiveness of their work, and was instrumental in the founding of the National Council on Public History. In the late 1970s he led the AHA’s Federal Resource group and the National Coordinating Council in efforts to improve the federal employment standards of the 171 historian series.

Hewlett was centrally involved in the creation of the Society for History in the Federal Government (SHFG). He helped organize meetings of a small group of federal historians who met informally several times at the Department of Energy, encouraging younger members to become involved. The group soon organized as the SHFG. To further that community, he led the push for a federal directory of historians, championed the creation of more federal history offices, and drafted an influential set of “Principles and Standards” that were adopted over other proposed standards. He early on urged the independence of the National Archives. At the first SHFG dinner and lecture Richard Hewlett (1980) spoke about his 25-year career as a federal historian. In honor of his distinguished service to the cause of federal history, this annual lecture bears his name. Hewlett left the federal government in 1980 to become an historical consultant, helping to form History Associates Inc.


Society for History in the Federal Government
PO BOX 14139
Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044

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