This compelling collection centers around the eventful tenure of Dr. John Gregory Smith as the second superintendent of the Ladd School. Taking up the mantle from Dr. Ladd in 1956, Dr. Smith navigated a complex and, at times, tumultuous period at the institution.
Among the collection's highlights are a series of photos that capture Dr. Smith's public persona and his engagement with the community. These include a photograph with RI Senator John Fogarty at a nurses station in the newly constructed hospital, Dr. Smith breaking ground for a new building, and him cutting the ribbon on the school's new education building. We also see him in an informal setting with unidentified gentlemen around a record player and microphone.
One poignant piece is an unpublished photo of an aged Dr. Ladd delivering a speech at a podium, a stark reminder of the institution's past as Dr. Smith navigated its future.
This collection encapsulates a significant period in the Ladd School's history. Dr. Smith, often seen in the media spotlight, faced both successes and controversies. His public dismissal by Governor John Garrahy in 1978 marks a key point in Rhode Island's human services history.
An intriguing piece is a stamped and signed letter of appreciation on official State letterhead from Governor Garrahy to Dr. Smith, dated 1977. The accompanying autographed photo of the Governor serves as a testament to the political and personal dynamics at play during Dr. Smith's tenure.
Engaging with this collection, we gain a richer understanding of the complex realities of institutional leadership, the political and public relations challenges of the era, and the personal narratives within these broader historical events.
Twenty-three black-and-white press photographs from the Ladd School.