Spent today finalizing our winter discussion series. I hope you live close enough to attend! It is going to be a great one. We will be meeting on Sunday afternoons, 2-5 p.m. on January 14, February 18, March 18, and April 15.
“World War 1 and America” is designed to bring veterans and their families together with the general public to explore the continuing relevance of the war by reading, discussing, and sharing insights into the writings of Americans who experienced it firsthand.
We are able to host the series because a two-year initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with The Gilder Lehman Institute of American History, the National World War i Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from The National Endowment for the Humanities. Additional funding comes from the Kansas Humanities Council, a non profit cultural organization promoting understanding of the history, tradition, and ideas that shape our lived and build community.
You can see/print a series flyer and register for the series by visiting the Kinsley Library website: www.kinsleylibrary.info . Her are some of the highlights.
Larry Burke is our scholar who will be leading a series of interesting talks and discussions every month. He is retired from teaching history for 43 years at Dodge City Community College. He is also a decorated Vietnam War veteran. He has received numerous academic awards, published book reviews in the Journal of Military History, wrote a short story entitled Quon Loi which won him recognition and was published by Vietnam Generation Journal and Kansas Voices.
Each month we also have what I call PLUS features. If you watched Ken Burns’ documentary, The Vietnam War, you would have seen, John Musgrave, a native Kansan, prominently featured. Since the documentary, he is in national demand to speak, but he has graciously agreed to join us in March to tell us about his experiences during and after the war. He was gravely wounded and not expected to make it off the battlefield. However, he did survive to return home to a government which considered Vietnam Veterans as “expendable”, to the World War II generation who considered them “losers”, and to war protesters who called them “baby killers”. He became an anti-war activist and member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War. Today he actively counsels those who fight in American wars.
In February, we have Mike and LaVetta Stephens of LaCrosse bringing a collection of World War I artifacts from their “Museum of the Common Soldier”. These will be items that soldiers carried, guns, uniforms, and other military items.
In April we will have a panel of veterans on board to compare and contrast their experiences in the more recent wars with World War i.
This is the seventh year we have hosted a series. They have always been popular and this one looks to be even more so. Again, hope you live close enough to drive to the Kinsley Library. And please tell others, especially veterans, about “World War I and America”.