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The Seventh Millennium 
Evening at the White House

Event Transcript

The President and First Lady hosted the seventh Millennium Evening at the White House on Monday, April 12, 1999 at 7:30 pm EST.

The speaker for the evening, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Boston University Professor Elie Wiesel, has used his talents as an author, teacher and storyteller to defend human rights and peace throughout the world.

Millennium Evenings at the White House are a series of lectures and cultural showcases hosted by the President and First Lady that highlight the creativity and inventiveness of the American people through our ideas, art and scientific discoveries. These Evenings are part of the national efforts of the White House Millennium Council to commemorate the turn of the millennium by "Honoring the Past--Imagining the Future."

Video Biography
(5.3 MB Quicktime)
Wiesel's efforts on behalf of human rights have earned him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the United States Congressional Gold Medal and the rank of Grand Officer in the French Legion of Honor. He has received more than ninety honorary degrees from institutions of higher learning. In 1978, President Jimmy Carter appointed him Chairman of the President's Commission on the Holocaust. In 1980 he became Founding Chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council.

A native of Sighet, Transylvania (Romania), Wiesel and his family were deported by the Nazis to Auschwitz when he was fifteen years old. His mother and younger sister perished there, his two older sisters survived. Wiesel and his father were later transported to Buchenwald, where his father died. He subsequently wrote La Nuit (Night). Since its publication in 1958, La Nuit has been translated into twenty-five languages and millions of copies have been sold.

Three months after he received the Nobel Peace Prize, Marion and Elie Wiesel established The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. Its mission is to advance the cause of human rights and peace throughout the world by creating a new forum for the discussion of urgent ethical issues confronting humanity.

Since 1976, he has been the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in the Humanities at Boston University where he also holds the title of University Professor. He is a member of the faculty in the Department of Religion as well as the Department of Philosophy.

An American citizen since 1963, Elie Wiesel lives in New York with his wife and son.

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