LANSING - When Michigan Supreme Court Justice John D. Voelker, writing as
Robert Traver, penned Anatomy of a Murder, it became a national bestseller and
then a movie starring Jimmy Stewart as a character based on Voelker's
experience as a defense attorney in an Upper Peninsula murder trial. This fall,
the Library of Michigan and organizations around the state will celebrate the
50th anniversary of Voelker's book, as well as his legacy as an attorney,
author and angler.
A series of free events celebrating Voelker and his literary and legal
contributions will take place Friday, Sept. 26 and Saturday, Sept. 27 in
downtown Lansing. An Upper Peninsula celebration kicks off Sept. 18 in Ishpeming
with an exhibit of Voelker memorabilia and personal items. Movie screenings, a
concert and other events in Marquette will honor Voelker through Oct. 20.
"Writing as Robert Traver, Justice Voelker flourished, becoming one of our
great Michigan storytellers," said State Librarian Nancy Robertson.
"As the author of 11 well-loved books, a passionate fly fisherman and a
champion of the law, Justice Voelker gained admiration and respect from his
readers, his fellow sportsmen and his peers in the legal system. These events
celebrate his literary and legal legacy, and his place in Michigan
Anniversary events in Lansing include:
-The opening of the exhibit "Justice John D. Voelker: Bard of
Frenchman's Pond" at the Michigan Supreme Court Hall of Justice, 925 W.
Ottawa St, with a reception starting at 3 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 26.
-A reception and presentation of the Jimmy Stewart stamp issued by the United
States Postal Service in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the publishing
of Anatomy of a Murder will follow the exhibit opening, from 4 to 6 p.m. on
Sept. 26 at Cooley Law School, Cooley Center Lobby, 300 S. Capitol Ave.
-A daylong event at the Library of Michigan, 702 W. Kalamazoo St., on Saturday,
Sept. 27 will feature screenings of the films Trout Madness and Anatomy of an
Author, along with discussions with the filmmakers; a look at Voelker's
courtroom drama Laughing Whitefish; a panel discussion of Anatomy of a Murder
and more. The event will run from 9 a.m. to 3:15 p.m.
All the events are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.
Participants may purchase a boxed lunch on Sept. 27 at the Library of Michigan
for $7.50. For more information about the anniversary celebration and a complete
statewide schedule of events, visit www.nmu.edu/Anatomy50 or contact the Library
of Michigan at (517) 373-1300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.