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Posted: May 22, 2018 Woodbury Public Library chosen for Founding Era Public Programming grant

The Woodbury Public Library has been awarded a Revisiting the Founding Era Grant to implement public programming and community conversations that explore America's founding and its enduring themes. 

Revisiting the Founding Era is a three-year national initiative of The Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, presented in partnership with the American Library Association and the National Constitution Center, with support from the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Posted: May 22, 2018 Uncle Dave Macon – Dixie Dewdrop revealed
Bluegrass Today

One of early Country music’s most flamboyant characters was Uncle Dave Macon, born David Harrison Macon, but better-known as “The Dixie Dewdrop.”

Known for his chin whiskers, plug hat, gold teeth and gates-ajar collar – old-time banjo player, singer, songwriter and comedian –  Uncle Dave Macon was a natural showman. He was the first real star of WSM’s Grand Ole Opry, albeit that he didn’t perform professionally until he was turned 50 years of age.  All this said, Uncle Dave is more than a very suitable candidate for a biography and nobody is more appropriate to document his life than family member Michael D Doubler, already the author of six books. 

In Dixie Dewdrop: The Uncle Dave Macon Story (University of Illinois Press) Doubler looks at (a) his love for music, which began at the age of 13 and continued until his death, aged 81; (b) his love for family, especially his wife, Miss Tildy; (c) his struggle with an addiction to alcohol; (d) and his faith in God.

Publication of this book is supported by the Dragan Plamenac Endowment of the American Musicological Society, funded in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities; the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; and by the Judith McCulloh Endowment for American Music.

Posted: May 22, 2018 The Iroquois County Historical Society will present a program on women during Civil War
The Iroquois Times-Republic

The Iroquois County Historical Society is proud to announce Betty Kay, a noted historical actor, will present the program “Three Illinois Women During the Civil War.”  Kay will begin her presentation as Jenny Hodgers, of Belvidere, also known as Albert Cashier, a woman who passed as a man to fight in the Civil War. She will also portray Mother Bickerdyke of Galesburg, who established 300 field hospitals, and Julie Dent Grant, wife of the commanding General Ulysses Grant.

Hodgers/Cashier fought in the Civil War three years while hiding her true identity. She continued living as a man for years after the war, even voting years before women were legally allowed to do so. Bickerdyke assisted wounded soldiers on 19 battlefields, and Grant participated in the victory parade on Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC in May, 1865.

The event is being produced in part by Illinois Humanities Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program which provides organizations statewide with affordable, entertaining and thought-provoking humanities events for their communities. A roster of speakers, hailing from 20 towns and cities across the state, present topics in history, culture, literature, music, politics, law, science and many more. Illinois Humanities is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities.

Posted: May 21, 2018 Bernard Lewis, Prolific Mideast Scholar, Dies at 101
New York Times

National Endowment for the Humanities 2006 National Humanities Medalist

Bernard Lewis, a prolific Middle East scholar whose insights on Islam illuminated debates on the region's conflicts, has died. He was 101.

Lewis died Saturday at an assisted living facility in Vorhees Township, New Jersey. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called him "one of the great scholars of Islam and the Middle East in our time."

"I will always feel privileged to have witnessed firsthand his extraordinary erudition and I gleaned invaluable insights from our many meetings over the years," Netanyahu said in a statement Monday. "Professor Lewis's wisdom will continue to guide us for years to come."

In hundreds of articles and more than 30 books, Lewis established himself as one of the world's foremost experts on Islam, bringing a dose of antiquity to discussions of jihadism, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the nuclear threat of Iran, and expanding consciousness of the historical roots of those problems.

Posted: May 18, 2018 World War I Memories Sought for Free Digitization Day at Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center
HamletHub, Ridgefield, CT

Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center (KTM&HC), 132 Main Street, Ridgefield, is the venue for a free World War One (WWI) Digitization Day offered by the Connecticut State Library (CSL) on Sunday, June 10.  On that day, area residents are invited to bring in their photographs, diaries, letters and other keepsakes from WWI for digitization by a CSL-trained team equipped to capture images of objects as well as oral histories. The digital images and stories collected will be added to the Connecticut State Library’s online archive and made freely accessible for public use.

“We are thrilled to be the venue for this,” says board president Hilary Micalizzi. “Cass Gilbert and his wife Julia, who lived here at Keeler Tavern during the war years, were intensely concerned about the war in Europe and supported U.S. involvement in what they certainly hoped would be ‘the war to end all wars.’” Digitization Day is being offered by Keeler Tavern Museum & History Center and Ridgefield Historical Society as part of Ridgefield Remembers WWI, a town-wide commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I.

Funded by a Common Heritage grant given to Connecticut State Library by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Digitization Day aims to create a repository of the stories of ordinary men and women who served on the front or at home during the war.