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Reviving the History of the Midwest

Matthew Grapengieser

Members of the newly-created Midwestern History Association believe the history and culture of this region has been neglected, and there’s a price to pay for that neglect.

"The history of New England and the east coast and the eastern seaboard is something we all know, very well, because that's all part of our early American history that we're supposed to study in grade school. But the Midwest gets left out of that equation," says historian John Lauk.

The Midwestern History Association has organized what they say is an unprecedented gathering to call more attention to the greater significance of the Midwest. The first-ever summit, called "Finding the Lost Region," will play out today and tomorrow in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The summit brings together journalists, scholars and others specializing in the growing field of “Midwestern studies.”

"The history of the Midwest needs to be revived and we need a greater voice, a stronger voice, not only in the historical profession, but just in the broader American culture," says Lauck.

Jon Lauck is an attorney, author and historian, and organizer of the conference. He explains the summit is a reaction to a trend that’s been underway for a while: