Margaret Anne Tockarshewsky, Executive Director, New Haven Museum

203-562-4183, ext. 120,

Julie Winkel, Media Specialist,                                                                                                             



CT Senator George P. McLean and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act 

at New Haven Museum

New Haven, Conn. (March 25, 2024) – Connecticut’s Senator George P. McLean helped establish lasting legal protections for birds, overseeing passage of the 1918 Migratory Bird Treaty Act (MBTA), landmark environmental protection legislation that is still in effect today. Will McLean Greeley, McLean’s great, great nephew, will discuss that vital victory during a time of widespread corruption and political instability in a Zoom lecture, “Birdman of the Senate: Senator George P. McLean and the Migratory Bird Treaty Act,” for the New Haven Museum on Thursday, May 2, 2024. at 6 p.m. Register here.

Conservationists estimate that the Migratory Bird Treaty Act has saved millions if not billions of birds and likely prevented the extinction of many bird species. Greeley says the MBTA also ushered in the watchdog role of the federal government over the environment, adding, “Its passage was a victory for bipartisanship in Congress, something most Americans long for today.”

Greeley will base his presentation on his book, “A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington: Senator George P. McLean, Birdman of the Senate,” putting McLean’s victory for birds in the context of  the senator’s distinguished 45-year career. Greeley grew up with a deep interest in his ancestor’s life, especially his years in the Senate. “McLean’s name was in the headlines on the 100th anniversary of the MBTA in 2018,” Greeley says.  “I decided then to learn more about him and embarked on four-year research and writing journey culminating in my book.”

Greeley hopes that attendees gain a deeper appreciation for McLean’s role as an important conservationist who persevered for seven years in the U.S. Senate to get the milestone legislation passed, despite opposition from hunting groups, business interests, and states-rights advocates.  He says, “It is also a reminder how difficult it is to lead change, and how courageous leaders like Senator McLean are needed to protect our environment for future generations.”

About Will McLean Greeley

Greeley grew up in West Michigan with a passion for American history, politics, and birds. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Michigan and then a master’s degree from Michigan in archives administration. After retiring from a 35-year career in government and corporate market research, he embarked upon three-year research and writing journey to learn about his great-great-uncle George P. McLean and his legacy. “A Connecticut Yankee Goes to Washington” is his first book.

About the New Haven Museum

The New Haven Museum has been collecting, preserving and interpreting the history and heritage of Greater New Haven since its inception as the New Haven Colony Historical Society in 1862. Located in downtown New Haven at 114 Whitney Avenue, the Museum brings more than 375 years of New Haven history to life through its collections, exhibitions, programs and outreach. As a Blue Star Museum, the New Haven Museum offers the nation’s active-duty military personnel and their families, including National Guard and Reserve, free admission all year. For more information visit  or @NewHavenMuseum or call 203-562-4183.


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