Columbia State presents “Celebrating Our American Heritage” Series

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Sept. 25, 2017) - - - Columbia State Community College presents its thirty-first annual “Celebrating Our American Heritage” lecture series featuring professors from the college’s history and English departments. Lectures will start in October on Wednesdays from 4 – 5:15 p.m. in the Ledbetter Auditorium. 

Retired Professor of English, Dr. James Senefeld, will present “Social Issues in American Humor, 1830-1835” Oct. 4. From Major Jack Downing to Huckleberry Finn, Senefeld will discuss the use of humor by best-selling authors as they depicted issues of the time, including women’s rights, married life, temperance, slavery and political morality. In addition, he will examine the daily lives of children as portrayed in “Peck’s Bad Boy” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.”

On Oct. 11, Dr. Thomas Flagel, Columbia State associate professor of history, will present “War, Peace and Typhoid: Union Occupation of Franklin during the Civil War.” During the Civil War, the Battle of Franklin lasted five hours; however, federal occupation of Williamson County lasted nearly three years. At one point, a Union garrison outnumbered the local population by more than ten to one – the result being unforeseen devastation and liberation. Flagel presents a multimedia view of an event largely forgotten, but one that impacted the trajectory of the war itself.

On Oct. 25, Dr. Barry Gidcomb, Columbia State professor of history, will present “The Bell Witch of Tennessee” just in time for Halloween.  Two hundred years after the Bell’s “family trouble” began, accounts of the Bell Witch remain compelling – largely because the family allegedly haunted was real and the lives of those involved are documented in the records of the Red River community and Robertson County.

On Nov. 1, Dr. William X. Andrews, retired professor of history, will present “Return to Kings Mountain.” During the bicentennial observances of the birth of the United States, Andrews took students on a number of field trips to sites associated with the American Revolution. To him, one of the most compelling was Kings Mountain because of its remote location and the significance of the battle that took place there. Forty years later, Andrews made a return to Kings Mountain and will revisit the significance of the battle that took place there and the changes that the battlefield has undergone over the course of time.

Inaugurated in 1987, “Celebrating Our American Heritage” is an annual series of presentations sponsored by the Columbia State Department of History designed to illuminate the past and enhance understanding of the present.

The American Heritage series lectures are free and open to the public. The Ledbetter Auditorium is in the Frank G. Clement Building on the Columbia Campus located at 1665 Hampshire Pike.

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