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Arts and Entertainment

"A Tree Grows in Washington" shares John Seiberling's political philosophy in a less partisan time
The documentary premiers at the Cuyahoga Valley National Park's Happy Days Lodge tonight at 7

Mark Urycki
Congressman John Seiberling when it covered all of Summit County.
Courtesy of National Park Service
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Several movies have made their world premieres at the Cleveland International Film Festival. But there’s a documentary premiering tonight in Peninsula that’s not part of the film fest.  “A Tree Grows in Washington” is the story of longtime Akron Congressman John Seiberling.   WKSU’s Mark Urycki has details.

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It makes sense that a film on the late John Seiberling would premier in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. The congressman was instrumental in getting the park established back in 1974.

Besides helping to create the park in Northeast Ohio, Seiberling helped protect large swaths of Alaskan wilderness. He served on the House Judiciary committee that recommended impeachment of President Nixon. And he used House hearings to hold up a hostile takeover of Akron-based Goodyear.

Film maker and Akron native Paul Jacoway said the Democrat was no ideologue, choosing instead to work in a bipartisan way.

“He was a smart enough attorney that he became a great legislator and would try to help everybody.” 

Seiberling’s grandfather started Goodyear and his mother helped create Alcoholics Anonymous.

Jacoway explored his past to explain how the congressman developed the principles he carried through life. Jacoway made the documentary using 10 hours of tape recorded interviews Seiberling made with his staffer Loretta Neuman in the 1990’s.

He expects members of the Seiberling family to attend tonight's premiere at the Happy Days Lodge.  It's part of the Cuyahoga National park's Lyceum series


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