Great Americans Day

Cynthia Izuno Macri, MD CAPT MC USN (Ret.) will be keynote speaker at the 21st Annual Great Americans Day Forum at Pitt-Johnstown on Tuesday, November 7, at 11 a.m., in Heritage Hall at the Living-Learning Center.

Dr. Macri is a 1979 graduate of Lehigh University, who went on to attend Temple University School of Medicine on a Navy Scholarship,and graduated with an MD in 1983. She continued her medical training at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, MD, completing a residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1987.

Dr. Macri has devoted her entire military career to education at the pre-college, undergraduate, graduate and post-graduate levels. She is a nationally recognized speaker on health, gender and educational disparities in college and career preparation, cultural intelligence, leveraging cultural differences, professional development, health literacy, race and economic prosperity, and technology in the context of cultural preservation.

This year, the forum will discuss the life of Sen. Daniel Inouye, the internment of Japanese-Americans and the role and heroism of the Nisei Soldiers during WWII.

Daniel Inouye was a highly decorated World War II veteran and one of the most influential politicians of the late 20th Century.  He had an unparalleled 50-year career in the United States Senate representing his home state of Hawaii.  He was also the first Japanese American to serve in the US House of Representatives and later the first in the US Senate.

Inouye died in 2012 at age 88, was born to working-class parents of Japanese ancestry. Following the attacks on Pearl Harbor, he joined the 442nd Regimental Combat Team of the U.S. Army, a unit composed solely of Nisei (second-generation Japanese Americans), and he eventually attained the rank of second lieutenant. Inouye was seriously wounded in Italy in 1945, and his injuries necessitated the amputation of his right arm.

After nearly two years in an army hospital in Michigan, Inouye resumed his studies at the University of Hawaii, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in government and economics (1950). He then attended George Washington University in Washington, DC, receiving a law degree in 1952. In 1954 he was elected to the Hawaii Territorial House of Representatives, where he served as the Democratic majority leader (1954–58). After Hawaii’s accession to statehood in 1959, he was elected to the US House of Representatives. Inouye was elected to the US Senate in 1962 and continued to win reelection into the 21st century.

The program is presented by the Pitt-Johnstown History Department, Phi Alpha Theta International History Honor Society, and Sodexo. 

Funding for this event is provided by the Howard M. and Adelle C. Picking Great Americans Day Forum Fund.

About Great Americans Day

Since 1998, Pitt-Johnstown's annual Great Americans Day Citizenship Forum has celebrated the lives of a wide range of citizens, from Presidents and First Ladies to authors and professional athletes. Pieces of their lives provide models of civic virtue — the sacrifice of self-interest for the public good — that the founders intended to be the glue of our Republic.

This series is intended to promote the American ideal of civic virtue central to citizenship and to remind us that the continued success of our society depends upon both individual and collective contributions.

Prior programs focused on the lives of Abraham Lincoln, Alexander Hamilton, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Will Rogers to name a few.