Events Commemorating Albert Schweitzer's Visit to America


Albert Schweitzer made only a single trip to the United States. It was sixty years ago, in 1949. He and his wife Helene arrived in Hoboken, New Jersey, and traveled by train to Aspen, Colorado. There he gave a speech at a festival celebrating the bicentennial of Goethe's birth. Schweitzer then returned to the east coast, with stops in Chicago, Cleveland, Boston, and New York. He left the US after a 25-day visit. For more on his visit, see Albert Schweitzer's Only Trip to America.

Many groups are commemorating Schweitzer's visit by hosting Celebrations of Service. The events take many forms, but are united by a common desire to promote Schweitzer's ethics of direct service and reverence for life. The following list of events is incomplete; if you know of others please let me know.

  1. Global Youth Service Days (April 24-26)
    The largest annual worldwide celebration of youth service, Global Youth Service Days will include celebrations of Schweitzer-spirited service, in collaboration with Youth Service America.

  2. Boston (May 9, 2009)
  3. Chicago
  4. Aspen, Colorado (July 2009)
    60th anniversary celebrations of Dr. Schweitzer's visit to Aspen, at the Aspen Institute and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

  5. National (Fall 2009)
    Release of the commercial film Schweitzer in theaters across the U.S. This film stars Jeroen Krabbe, with Barbara Hershey as Schweitzer's wife Helene, and will have associated events and web-based resources that engage youth and others in reflection about how to find meaning in their own lives through Schweitzer-spirited service.

  6. North Carolina (September 22, 2009)
    Schweitzer Conference at Wake Forest University

  7. New York City (December 2009)
    NYC Premiere of Albert Schweitzer Portrait with the Children's Orchestra Society


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    For more on Schweitzer, see The Albert Schweitzer Page.  Send comments to: jnf@pcisys.net