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What it Means to be Franco: An Exploration of Themes in “First Franco: Albert Beliveau in Law, Politics and Love”


The Franco-American Collection, University of Southern Maine Libraries &

Learning at Lewiston-Auburn Campus presents: What it Means to be Franco: An Exploration of Themes in “First Franco: Albert Beliveau in Law, Politics and Love”

A Panel Presentation and Discussion

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

All are invited on March 20, 6 p.m. to celebrate the Franco-American

Collection’s archival holdings with author and journalist Douglas Rooks,

writer and teacher Denis Ledoux, and Severin Beliveau, founding partner of

one of Maine’s largest law firms.

This event is also available online by following this link to register for Zoom access to this event. Here’s the link to register:


The three will host a presentation and discussion of “What Does It Mean to Be Franco-American” in Maine, tracing changes and transformations of identity from the 19th to the 21st century among the state’s largest ethnic group, representing one-quarter of its population. Rooks will offer highlights from his recent biography, “First Franco: Albert Beliveau in Law, Politics and Love,” focusing on Beliveau’s experiences as a member of the American Expeditionary Force in France during World War I and the rest of his long life, culminating in service on the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. Beliveau, born in Lewiston, spent most of his life in Rumford, serving during the administration of fellow townsman Ed Muskie, Governor and later U.S. Senator.

Ledoux will pick up the story in the post-World War II period, speaking about growing up in Lewiston in the 1950s, with excerpts from his recent memoir, “French Boy.”

Beliveau will join for a question-and-answer session with the authors bringing the discussion up to the present, followed by dialogue with the audience. Refreshments will be served.

The Collection will also mark the recent donation by the Beliveau family of the World War I-era letters written to Beliveau by his parents, sisters, friends and lovers, which will be archived and added to its extensive Beliveau papers.

Ledoux is the author of several books, including the short story collection “What Became of Them.” He is a writing coach and is a 2024 inductee to the Maine Franco-American Hall of Fame.

Beliveau, who is Albert’s son, served in the Maine House and Senate and has been a gubernatorial candidate in addition to an extensive law practice in Portland and Augusta at Preti, Flaherty, Beliveau & Pachios. A former Maine Democratic Party chair with Washington connections, he has advised both presidents and governors.

“First Franco” is available from the University of Maine Press. “French Boy” can be ordered through Amazon.

For more information or to register for this event, contact the FAC archivist, Anna Faherty at anna.faherty@maine.edu or by phone (207) 753-6545.

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