Lecture series good for Tri-State Area

Tri-State Area residents will have the chance to learn about the art of disguise and to hear firsthand about the rescue dramatized in the Academy Award-winning film “Argo” Tuesday night.

That’s when Antonio and Jonna Mendez, both of whom served as chiefs of disguise at the Central Intelligence Agency, speak at 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Steubenville High School.

The presentation will be the next installment in the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, Herald-Star Concert and Lecture Series. Their appearance figures to be a blend of discussion and videos that illustrate the kind of work the two did during their careers in the CIA.

Among the topics will be the film “Argo” and the book “Argo: How the CIA and Hollywood Pulled Off the Most Audacious Rescue in History.” In the book, Mendez offers a detailed look at the operation which rescued six American diplomats who had escaped from the U.S. embassy in Tehran when it was overrun by Iranian militants on Nov. 4, 1979. The rescue, which was pulled off in January 1980, is dramatized in the film “Argo,” in which Ben Affleck portrayed Mendez.

Tuesday’s appearance will continue the series’ lecture component, which began last November when Clint Hill and Lisa McCubbin spoke in Steubenville.

Announced in May 2011, the series also has featured successful concerts in Harding Stadium headlined by Little Big Town in 2011 and the Clarks in 2012. Part of the city’s annual Independence Day celebration, this year’s concert has been tentatively scheduled for June 30.

The lecture portion of the series, meanwhile, will continue with another presentation in the fall.

Sponsors for Tuesday’s event include the Franciscan University of Steubenville and Eastern Gateway Community College. Area businesses providing support include Bayberry House Bed and Breakfast, Apollo Pro Cleaning, Piergallini Catering, Newbrough Photo, Thrifty Car Rental, Dave D’Anniballe of D’Annibale and Co. CPAs and Steubenville City Schools.

We welcome Antonio and Jonna Mendez to town and thank everyone involved for ensuring that our local speaker series can continue. These events help improve the quality of life for all members of our community.