Lectures in American History Series kicks off Jan. 17 in Freeport

Staff Report

FREEPORT, Ill. — A diverse range of topics from America’s past will be covered in this year’s Lectures in American History Series. Each lecture is held at 7 p.m. at the Freeport Public Library and is open to the public, free of charge. The series is co-sponsored by the Stephenson County Historical Society and the Freeport Public Library Foundation.

The race relations in early Illinois history will be discussed by Mike Banghart Tuesday, Jan. 17. Banghart teaches social studies at Freeport High School.

An examination of how the United States Constitution’s Second Amendment — right to bear arms — has been interpreted over the past 200 years will be the topic of Eric Welch’s presentation Monday, Jan. 23. Welch was the long-time library director at Highland Community College and is now retired.

In honor of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War, Dr. Edward Finch will cover the Civil War at sea Tuesday, Jan. 31. Dr. Finch, who is director of the Stephenson County Museum, has presented this program across Illinois and is scheduled to present it in April at the Great Lakes Naval Museum.

Dr. Andy Dvorak of Highland Community College will discuss the changing role of collective bargaining since the passage of the Wagner Act Wednesday, Feb. 8.

A history of Mormons in Illinois will be presented by Jim Phillips Thursday, Feb. 16. Phillips is an instructor of history at Highland Community College.

The famous sculptor Leonard Wells Volk is the topic of a program by George Buss Thursday, Feb. 23. Volk was a cousin of Stephen A. Douglas and widely known for his live mask of Abraham Lincoln.

The series wraps up Tuesday, Feb. 28, with a presentation of American relations with countries in Africa from 1800 to 1945. Dr. Martin Quirk, chairman of the History Department at Rock Valley College, will be the presenter.

All programs will offer time for audience questions and answers. Coffee, tea and cookies will be available before each program. Freeport Public Library is at 100 E. Douglas St., Freeport, Ill. Stephenson County Historical Society Museum is at 1440 S. Carroll Ave., Freeport, Ill., and can be reached at (815) 232-8419.

From the Jan. 11-17, 2012, issue

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