Thursday, December 31, 2009

Tellus Science Museum Passes 200,000 Visitors for 2009

/PRNewswire/ -- Tellus Science Museum welcomed its 200,000th visitor on Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2009, less than a year after the museum opened its doors.

Tellus was originally projecting 150,000 visitors in its first full year of operation, but the year has been full of milestones for the museum. Earlier this month Tellus' digital planetarium celebrated 100,000 visitors.

"I am so pleased to get this support from our members and visitors," said Tellus Executive Director Jose Santamaria. "It has exceeded all our expectations and I hope this means Tellus has something unique to offer to everyone."

Carey Merritt and her two children, Margaret Ann and Walker, were surprised to find they were the lucky visitors.

"We were joking about it walking up the door that it might be us," said 9-year-old Walker. "It's very exciting."

This was the Merritt's first visit to Tellus. The Marietta, Georgia family had heard plenty of good things about the museum and decided to check it out themselves.

"We had some friends who told us how great it was," Carey Merritt said. "We figured we would come and see it."

Tellus now sits in the location of the original Weinman Mineral Museum and spans 120,000 square feet on more than 40 acres. Tellus features four galleries: Weinman Mineral Gallery; Fossil Gallery; Science in Motion, a journey through the development of motorized transportation; Collins Family Big Backyard, a hands-on activity gallery for children; and the digital planetarium.

With 200,000 visitors already notched, the museum is looking forward to a great second year in 2010.

"We have more exciting exhibits, planetarium shows and events coming up next year, so our returning visitors will have many new things to see and do. I would like to thank our local community from all over the Southeast - we could not have done this without you," Santamaria said. "I hope to continue to earn everyone's support by keeping Tellus as a place worth coming back to."

For more information about Tellus Science Museum call 770-606-5700 or visit

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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Electric Lights on a Christmas Tree? The Tale of a Glowing History

Dec. 22, 1882: Looking at Christmas in a New Light

1882: An inventive New Yorker finds a brilliant application for electric lights and becomes the first person to use them as Christmas tree decorations.

Edward H. Johnson, who toiled for Thomas Edison’s Illumination Company and later became a company vice president, used 80 small red, white and blue electric bulbs, strung together along a single power cord, to light the Christmas tree in his New York home. Some sources credit Edison himself with being the first to use electric lights as Christmas decorations, when he strung them around his laboratory in 1880.

Sticking them on the tree was Johnson’s idea, though. It was a mere three years after Edison had demonstrated that light bulbs were practical at all.

The idea of replacing the Christmas tree’s traditional wax candles — which had been around since the mid-17th century — with electric lights didn’t, umm, catch fire right away......

By Terry Long

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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Piecing Together the Past

The award-winning Center for Public History at the University of West Georgia recently completed a project for the City of Bremen that will enhance the culture and quality of life for this small rural community.

Graduate students in the Introduction to Public History class worked together on projects for the city and presented their finished work to Bremen Mayor Sharon Sewell and the Better Hometown Manager Neile Chambers.

Bremen has a population of less than 5,000 residents and is located several miles west of the university. Settled by German immigrants, the town was incorporated with the name of the German town Bremen in 1883.

The history students developed an outline for a walking tour of downtown Bremen, a library exhibit and a Traveling Trunk exhibit on the history of the city, a guide to developing a volunteer program and a marketing plan for the future Bremen History Center.

The Traveling Trunk is an educational tool used in public and private schools. The history exhibit is now on display at the Warren P. Sewell Memorial Library in Bremen.

The project was supported by the Georgia Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities and through appropriations of the Georgia General Assembly.

The Center for Public History has received many awards and recognition for its preservation of the region’s history through student and faculty research projects that include: “It Was Passed Down from Generation to Generation: Baking Traditions in the West Georgia Piedmont,” a part of the traveling Smithsonian’s “Key Ingredients” exhibit; and “Powder Springs Has Some Deep Roots In It,” a study of the history of the African American community in Powder Springs.

The history center is located in Pafford Hall on the university campus. The center creates and maintains archives for all of its research and fieldwork activities and is open to the public for research Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information on history projects completed and underway, contact Center Directors Dr. Ann McCleary or Dr. Keith Hebert or call 678-839-6141.

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Friday, December 18, 2009

President Approves $470 Million Budget for National Archives

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) has received a Fiscal Year 2010 budget of $469,870,000 under the Consolidated Appropriations Act signed by President Barack Obama on Wednesday, December 16.

The overall appropriation of $469,870,000 is an increase of 2.31 percent over last year's funding of $459,277,000.

"Given these difficult economic times, we are extremely grateful to the Congress and the President for the generous FY 2010 appropriations. We will be able to continue to fund our core programs, offer the same high standard of services to our researchers and the public, and complete much-needed repairs and renovation of the Franklin Roosevelt Library," said David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States.

"We are particularly pleased with the historic increase in the allocation for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission," he added. "This will allow us to further support the nation's network of archives at a time when there is a critical need to make the materials available to all Americans."

For NARA's Operating Expenses for FY 2010, the President and Congress have provided $339,770,000, an increase from last year's appropriation of $330,308,000. The increase will cover the costs of inflationary increases in rent, energy, security and staff costs for NARA facilities at 44 locations around the country.

The Operating Expenses account also includes funding for 12 new entry-level archivists who will enter NARA's Archivist Development Program, as well as for personnel for the new Office of Government Information Services and the new Controlled Unclassified Information Office, which is part of the Information Security Oversight Office.

For continued development of the Electronic Records Archives (ERA), Congress appropriated $85,500,000, up from last year's appropriation of $67,008,000. This will allow further progress toward providing public access to the ERA, which eventually will allow anyone, anywhere, at any time to access electronic records held by NARA. This budget will also allow NARA to begin to establish the preservation framework for the system.

For repairs and renovations at NARA-owned facilities, the lawmakers appropriated $27,500,000. This includes $17,500,000 as the last installment for repairs and renovations at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library in Hyde Park, New York. The Roosevelt Library is the oldest of the 13 Presidential libraries administered by NARA.

The National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC), the grant-making arm of the Archives, will receive $13,000,000, up from last year's $11,250,000. In the FY 2010 appropriation, $4,500,000 is set aside for providing online access to the papers of the Founding Fathers, as was requested in the President's budget.

The appropriations legislation also directs NARA to report to the House and Senate appropriations committees within 30 days of enactment on "information security improvements made or planned" and "to promptly inform relevant committees of jurisdiction when any formal law enforcement investigation is commenced into alleged theft of electronic or other materials which may contain personally identifying information."

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Victorian Christmas Found in Jonesboro

In addition to being made famous by Margaret Mitchell in "Gone with the Wind," Jonesboro also holds other great treasures of the past.

Take some time this Christmas season and treat yourself to a Victorian Christmas at Stately Oaks Plantation.

Stately Oaks Plantation is an 1839 Greek Revival style home which is chock full of history. Christmas season hours are 10 am -4 pm.

For more information, go to

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Monday, December 14, 2009

Papers of career federal government official to come to Russell Library

The papers and memorabilia compiled by Powell A. Moore during a Washington career of more than 43 years have a home at the Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies at the University of Georgia.

“This is an exciting collection for us in that it covers post World War II world affairs and intersects with so many of our other collections,” said Sheryl Vogt, director of the Russell Library.“Certainly, Mr. Moore’s service with Senator Russell is significant to the library, but his career work with several presidents, including national campaigns, and, in particular, his unique experience in legislative oversight of defense and diplomacy matters will be of tremendous research value.”

A 1959 graduate of UGA, Moore was press secretary for U.S. Sen. Russell from October 1966 until the senator’s death in January 1971.Following his service with Russell, Moore remained active in national and international governmental and political affairs. Most recently, he was the representative of the U.S. Secretary of Defense to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, based in Vienna, Austria.This organization of 56 nations is an outgrowth of the Helsinki Accords of 1975 and is focused on conflict prevention on the Eurasian landmass.Moore held this position from April 2006 until January 2009.

In the first term of the George W. Bush Administration (2001-2005), Moore was the assistant secretary of defense for legislative affairs and received the Defense Department’s Medal for Distinguished Public Service for his leadership in this position.He held the comparable position at the Department of State in the first term of President Ronald Reagan (1982-1983), giving him the unique experience of having been both an assistant secretary of defense and an assistant secretary of state.

Moore was on the White House legislative affairs staff under Presidents Nixon and Ford in 1973 and 1974 and under Reagan in 1981.In the first year of the Reagan administration, before transferring to the State Department, he managed the Senate component of the White House legislative affairs office.In this position, he oversaw the Senate confirmation of Reagan’s initial wave of nominees including the confirmation of Sandra Day O’Connor as the first woman associate justice of the United State Supreme Court.

As a government official, Moore has traveled to more than 60 nations and has joined congressional leaders for numerous meetings with heads of state and senior cabinet ministers.

From 1998 until May 2001 when Moore was nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate to be a senior defense official, he was chief of staff for U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson of Tennessee.Thompson was chairman of the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs.

Moore’s executive branch experience includes 14 months in 1971 and 1972 as deputy director of public information for the U. S. Department of Justice.

Moore began his federal service in 1959 as an infantry officer in the U.S. Army, where he served more than three and a half years.He was assigned to a combat ready infantry division in Germany for two years and was on duty in Germany when the Berlin Wall was erected in1961.

Moore also has been actively involved in presidential politics.He was a fulltime member of the presidential campaign staffs of Nixon in 1972, Ford in 1976 and Reagan in 1980.He also has worked in a part time, voluntary capacity on the general election campaigns of George H.W. Bush in 1988 and 1992, of Bob Dole in 1996 and George W. Bush in 2000, as well as on the South Carolina primary campaign of John McCain in 2000.In addition, he has been a member of the staff providing operational support for eight Republican conventions from 1972 until 2000.

His active involvement in the campaign of Nixon in 1972 led to a requirement that he testify during the Watergate investigations.

In addition to his federal service, Moore has had more than 20 years of experience advising and representing clients on public policy and legislation in Washington.He has worked on a wide variety of issues for a diversity of international clients from Europe and Asia, as well as numerous domestic clients.

Moore was born in Milledgeville on Jan. 5, 1938.He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the university’s Henry Grady College in 1959.He also attended preparatory school at Georgia Military College in Milledgeville.

In 1985, he received the Outstanding Alumnus Award from the Grady College and in 2008, he was honored as a Grady Fellow.

Moore and his wife, Pamla, live in Washington, D.C. and have two daughters, two sons and six grandchildren.

The Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies, established in 1974 upon donation of the late senator’s collection, serves as a center for research and study of the modern American political system. With particular emphasis on the role of Georgia and the U. S. Congress, collection development and programming focus on the dynamic relationship of politics, policy, and culture—generated wherever public interest intersects with government. The breadth and depth of Russell Library’s nearly 300 collections provide an interconnected framework of perspectives and experiences for understanding the increasingly diverse people, events, and ideas shaping modern Georgia’s political landscape.

The Russell Library pursues alliances and opportunities for collaboration with individuals and organizations that advance its mission.The Library is a founding member of the Association of Centers for the Study of Congress and a primary partner and official repository for UGA’s Foot Soldier Project for Civil Rights Studies, a collaborative project dedicated to documenting and chronicling the activity and perceptions of lesser known participants in the civil rights movement in Georgia. The Russell Libraryis alsodedicated to developing and presentingpublic programming and educational materials thatfacilitate and encourage research, raise public awareness of the library and its collections and services, and provide learning opportunities for the communities it serves.

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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Berry to Begin Replacement of Historic Oaks Lining Road of Remembrance, Memorial Drive

For nearly a century, visitors to Berry College have enjoyed the beauty and shade of a towering allée (pathway) of oak trees planted in the early 1920s to honor the 11 Berry boys who were killed during World War I. Today, campus officials are taking steps to ensure that this living memorial continues to provide inspiration for decades to come.

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor who has given $50,000 in support of the project, work crews are moving forward with a replacement plan for the allée, which lines the Road of Remembrance from Morgan and Deerfield halls to the four-way stop at the log cabins, then turns left on Memorial Drive to the war memorial near old Victory Lake.

In the coming weeks, approximately 130 willow oaks will be planted along this stretch of roadway. At the same time, a dozen of the older trees that are diseased and reaching the end of their lifespan will be removed.

The new trees, each 15-20 feet tall and weighing 2,000 pounds, are being supplied by Select Trees in Athens, a firm specializing in large “sustainable” trees possessing superior insect and disease resistant foliage as well as an ability to fix carbon dioxide at higher rate, thus allowing for faster growth. The new allée will consist of willow oaks, which have a much longer lifespan than the original trees (mostly water oaks), one-third of which have already been lost due to drought and disease.

Preparations for the planting began in November when Berry’s landscape master planner flagged the areas where the new trees will be located. They will be planted behind the current rows, mostly alternating between the existing trees.

According to Berry President Steve Briggs, projects such as this one are one way in which the college honors founder Martha Berry’s conviction that “beauty is part of education.”

“Martha Berry wanted the campus to be inspirational,” Dr. Briggs explained. “She believed strongly that beauty had the power to stir the imagination and to cultivate civility and hope. As an institution, we are committed to preserving and enhance the amazing campus she has left for us. This project is a testament to our strategic goal of making the most of this incomparable asset.”

Planting is expected to begin sometime in the next week. Depending on the weather, the project should take about three weeks to complete.

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Friday, December 4, 2009

'Dig Night' at Emory's Carlos Museum Explores Active Archaeological Sites

Emory University and Carlos Museum faculty and curators will discuss their work in active archaeological sites in Greece, Israel and Egypt at a public program at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Dec 8, at the museum.

Bonna Wescoat, associate professor of art history; Oded Borowski, professor of Hebrew and biblical archaeology; and Peter Lacovara, curator of Egyptian art at the Carlos Museum, will discuss their work at Samothrace in Greece, Tell Halif in Israel, and Malkata, the boyhood home of Tutankhamen, in Egypt. The Carlos Museum will also introduce the new iSITE blogs that will allow the public to follow these digs each season.

Attendees will hear of the ancient Greek Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothrace from Wescoat. Home of one of the premier ancient Greek mystery cults, Samothrace offers a unique view of the ancient Greek world. Wescoat has worked at the site for more than 30 years, and Emory students have played an important role in exploring the sanctuary.

In 2008, Carlos Museum's Lacovara and the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Diana Patch, associate curator of Egyptian art, began excavations at the site of Malqata, the palace-city of Amenhotep III (1390-1353 B.C.) and later a residence of the young king Tutankhamen.

Excavations at Tell Halif, under the direction of Borowski, continue to uncover remains from the end of the eighth century B.C., when the city - possibly biblical Rimmon - was destroyed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib in 701 B.C. in response to the revolt of King Hezekiah of Judah. Among the remains discovered were substantial elements of the fortification system, a pillared house with a large assemblage of storage jars, and a kitchen that included an oven and grinding implements.

Location: 571 South Kilgo Circle, Atlanta, Georgia 30322, U.S.A.

Telephone: 404.727.4282 Fax: 404.727.4292

Hours: Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Sunday 12noon - 4 p.m. (Closed on Mondays and university holidays)

Admission:$8. Free for Carlos Museum members and Emory University faculty, students, and staff. Students, seniors, and children ages 6-17: $6 (Children ages 5 and under: Free).

Public Tours: Advanced booking required for weekday or weekend groups of ten or more. For reservations call 404-727-0519. Docent-led tours of the Museum depart from the Rotunda on Level One every Sunday at 2:30p.m. during the Emory academic year (call 404.727.4282 to confirm).

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

83 Percent of U.S. Adults Fail Test on Nation's Founding

/PRNewswire/ -- Who cares about the American Revolution? Should something that happened more than 200 years ago matter today?

These are among the questions raised by a recent national survey, sponsored by The American Revolution Center, which revealed an alarming lack of knowledge of our nation's founding history, despite near universal agreement on the importance of this knowledge.

The report, conducted in the summer of 2009 among a demographically representative random sample of U.S. adults, is the first national survey of adult knowledge of the American Revolution and its ongoing legacy. It reveals that Americans highly value, but vastly overrate, their knowledge of the Revolutionary period and its significance. Asked to grade themselves on their knowledge, 89 percent believed they could pass a basic test on the American Revolution. However, 83 percent failed when tested on the beliefs, freedoms, and liberties established during the Revolution.

"The American Revolution defined what it means to be an American. It forged those principles that unite us as a nation," says Dr. Bruce Cole, president and CEO of The American Revolution Center. "Unfortunately, those principles are fading from memory." This is alarming, Dr. Cole explains, because rights and values undefined and misunderstood cannot be defended or taught to future generations. "Knowledge of the ideas upon which our nation is built is essential, to maintain the relevance and vibrancy of our government," he says. "Many people are unaware that the everyday freedoms and liberties they enjoy - reading newspaper editorials, expressing a dissenting opinion while attending a public meeting, or worshipping at a religious institution of their choice - are the legacy of the American Revolution. For future generations to continue to enjoy these freedoms, we must know and preserve the promise of the American Revolution."

Some noteworthy findings from the report, titled "The American Revolution. Who Cares? Americans are Yearning to Learn, Failing to Know," include the following:

-- Many more Americans remember that Michael Jackson sang "Beat It" than
know that the Bill of Rights is part of the Constitution.
-- 60 percent of Americans can correctly identify the number of children
in reality-TV show couple Jon and Kate Gosselin's household (eight),
but more than one-third do not know the century in which the American
Revolution took place (18th). Half of those surveyed believe the
Civil War (1861-1865), Emancipation Proclamation (1863), or War of
1812 occurred before the American Revolution (1775-1783).
-- More than 50 percent of Americans surveyed wrongly attributed the
quote, "From each according to his ability, to each according to his
needs" to George Washington, Thomas Paine, or President Barack Obama,
when it is in fact a quote from Karl Marx, author of "The Communist

Fortunately, the survey revealed that more than 90 percent of Americans - across all major demographic groups - think it is important for U.S. citizens to know the history and principles of the American Revolution, and that this knowledge be taught in schools.

The findings are a call-to-action for The American Revolution Center and for its efforts to address this "historical amnesia." The non-partisan, not-for-profit organization plans to construct The Museum of the American Revolution in historic Philadelphia. This will be the first national museum to tell the entire story of the American Revolution and its enduring legacy. The organization already has launched a website with informational resources on the American Revolution, offering lesson plans and other educational materials.

For more information about the survey, or about the mission and activities of The American Revolution Center, visit

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Saturday, November 28, 2009

Georgia Historical Society Accepting Book Donations

The Georgia Historical Society needs your used books for its Annual Book Sale to be held April 23-24, 2010. This popular annual event raises greatly-needed funds for GHS's library and archives. Proceeds from the sale are used to purchase new library materials and to care for the oldest collection of Georgia history. Donations can include rare and non-rare: fiction, poetry, children's, and all non-fiction subjects including history, biography, current events, how-to, religion, business, self-help, cooking, gardening, etc. Magazines/journals, obsolete audio/video, and games donations will not be accepted. Donations to the Book Sale are tax deductible. For more information or to volunteer, contact GHS at 912-651-2128 or email us at

The Georgia Historical Society, headquartered in Savannah with offices in Atlanta and Affiliate Chapters in 80 counties, is the oldest cultural institution in the state and one of the oldest historical organizations in the nation. It is the first and only statewide historical society in Georgia. For nearly 175 years, GHS has collected, preserved, and shared Georgia and American history through a variety of educational outreach programs, publications, and research services. For more information visit:

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Michigan Historic Preservation Office and MSHDA Announce Recovery of WWII Fighter Plane from Lake Michigan

/PRNewswire/ -- Weather permitting on Monday, November 30, a World War II, F6F-3 Hellcat fighter plane will be raised from the depths of Lake Michigan off the Chicago shoreline. The plane has rested on the lake bottom for more than sixty years after crashing during a training exercise.

During the war, navy pilots trained to land on aircraft carriers in Lake Michigan before seeing active duty. The "aircraft carriers" used for training were in fact old Great Lakes passenger liners modified with wooden landing decks. The vessels docked at Chicago's Navy Pier, and the pilots left from the Glenview Naval Air Station in Glenview, Illinois. This airplane, an F6F-3 Hellcat Fighter (serial number 25910), was among many that crashed in the lake during aircraft carrier qualification training. The airplane was lost in about 250 feet of water on January 5, 1945. The pilot, Lieutenant (Junior Grade) Walter B. Elcock, was attempting to land aboard the USS Sable during training. Lieutenant Elcock survived the crash and presently lives in Atlanta, Georgia. More than 17,000 pilots completed the training at Glenview, including former president, and then-Lieutenant (Junior Grade) George H. W. Bush.

Prior to the activities on Lake Michigan, this particular Hellcat served with Fighter Squadron VF-38 at Guadalcanal in 1943.

The U.S. Navy is leading the recovery, which is being sponsored by Enterprise Rent-a-Car with a generous donation from CEO Andy Taylor. Taylor made the donation in honor of his father, Jack Taylor, who founded Enterprise and named it for the most decorated aircraft carrier in American history, USS Enterprise, CV-6. The National Naval Aviation Museum, in coordination with the Naval History and Heritage Command, the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation, and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office, will complete the recovery portion of the effort this week using a crew from A. and T. Recovery. Following the recovery the plane will be stabilized and reworked for eventual exhibit.

Before recovery could occur much coordination and consultation took place between the Navy and the Michigan State Historic Preservation Office (MSHPO), part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. Federal law requires that state historic preservation offices review and comment on all federally funded or licensed activities to determine the activity's potential for impact on historic resources -- above-ground, underground, or underwater.

"These planes tell the relatively unknown story of the Great Lakes region's role in training pilots during WWII," stated Michigan State Historic Preservation Officer Brian Conway. "Our general preference is to preserve the plane in place on the lake bottom as part of that story. We recognize, however, that there is a public benefit to be gained from recovery, stabilization, and exhibition of this plane. This is the first time an aircraft connected with carrier training during World War II has been raised from Michigan waters. We look forward to receiving the information the recovery will provide."

The entire recovery process and assessment of the plane's condition will be documented in writing and with video by a professional archaeologist who will then turn the materials over to the Archives of Michigan. Consultation with the MSHPO will continue throughout the rework process and the eventual interpretation of the plane. Information about the plane's association with the Great Lakes area and its recovery from Lake Michigan will be made part of the presentation of the aircraft when it is exhibited.

The State Historic Preservation Office is part of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority. The Michigan State Housing Development Authority is dedicated to building a thriving and vibrant future for Michigan. MSHDA provides tools and resources to improve people's lives through programs across the state. These programs assist with housing, build strong neighborhoods, and help create places where people want to live and work. MSHDA's programs work in four areas: affordable rental housing; supporting homeownership; ending homelessness; and creating vibrant cities and neighborhoods.*

*MSHDA's loan and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

Colonial Williamsburg Opens America's Only 18th-Century Coffeehouse

/PRNewswire/ -- More than 200 years since Americans gathered to discuss political and social issues in an authentic 18th-century coffeehouse, Colonial Williamsburg formally dedicates the R. Charlton Coffeehouse, the Historic Area's newest exhibition building and the first major reconstruction on Duke of Gloucester Street in more than 50 years, at 4 p.m. Nov. 20.

"The reconstructed R. Charlton's Coffeehouse is a major architectural and educational addition to the Historic Area," said Colin G. Campbell, president of Colonial Williamsburg. "It adds a new dimension and vibrancy to our understanding and portrayal of life in Williamsburg on the eve of the American Revolution. We are extremely grateful to Forrest and Deborah Mars for enabling Colonial Williamsburg to create a fuller picture of social and political life during that tumultuous era. This project will be of great interest to guests, scholars and artisans alike."

The opening begins with re-enactment of the memorable event of 1765 when an angry crowd threatened Virginia's appointed administrator of The Stamp Act until he was rescued and escorted to safety by the royal governor.

Following the opening ceremony, a walk-through open house of the building is available. The open house continues 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Nov. 21-22.

R. Charlton's Coffeehouse will open daily for interpretive tours Monday, Nov. 23 when guests will learn about the pre-Revolutionary significance of this establishment before concluding the experience with the opportunity to enjoy a sample tasting of period coffeehouse beverages - coffee, tea or chocolate. The newest exhibition site in the Historic Area will reflect its 18th-century role as a gathering place for the politically connected as well as for the socially ambitious. The reconstruction will provide an exciting new venue for Historic Area programming.

Archaeological evidence recovered from the coffeehouse site reflects the importance of fine dining as well as the consumption of tea, coffee and chocolate. Charlton offered an epicurean menu that included fish, shellfish, meat and game, even peacock. A Cherokee pipe fragment suggests the presence of Indians who may have been part of an official delegation.

Coffeehouse furnishings include carefully researched reproduction furniture, ceramics, glassware, hardware and other items representing the variety of activities that took place there. Hand-printed wallpapers will cover the walls of the well-appointed private meeting room and the north room, both based on microscopic study of original building fragments.

R. Charlton's Coffeehouse is built on its original foundations with 18th-century construction techniques.

Reconstruction of R. Charlton's Coffeehouse is possible through a $5 million gift from Forrest and Deborah Mars.

Williamsburg is located in Virginia's Tidewater region within an hour's drive of Richmond and Norfolk, and 150 miles south of Washington, D.C., off Interstate 64. For more information about Colonial Williamsburg, call 1-800-HISTORY or visit Colonial Williamsburg's Web site at

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Thursday, November 12, 2009

New Historic Conflict in JFK Case

/PRNewswire/ -- Tim Miller, president of publishing company FlatSigned Press, had the privilege of being authorized to produce the final memoirs of the late President Gerald R. Ford -- the last surviving member of the Warren Commission, which was assembled by President Lyndon B. Johnson to investigate the JFK Assassination. Ford always stated publicly that he stood behind the findings of the Warren Commission even after other members of the same commission admitted that they believed the report was flawed and did not give the whole truth. Additionally, President Johnson, Nixon and even the US Congress have stated that it was flawed and that the US Congress believed there was a conspiracy.

In this final book, a collector's book hand-signed by former President Ford with only 3000 copies ever printed, Ford either deliberately or accidentally included hidden clues or conflicts with the official Warren Commission Report. For example, as he addresses the lingering questions and conspiracy theories surrounding the Kennedy assassination one by one, he confirms the role of at least one CIA employee in hiding and destroying information regarding the assassination even though the Warren Commission reported that the CIA did NOT destroy anything.

Therefore, shortly after the release of Ford's final book entitled, President John F. Kennedy: Assassination Report of the Warren Commission, this historical collector's book became extremely controversial. Ford had three years to correct his words and the official record before his death, yet he instead gifted over 100 copies of the book to his close friends and family including Vice President Dick Cheney.

After President Ford died on December 26, 2007, the story started to change. In 2008 Miller received an unsolicited email from a retired anchorman requesting a face-to-face meeting. During that meeting, Miller was told that the Kennedy family did NOT want the files opened and asked that Miller stop pushing the issue, which rang of an attempted cover-up even after 45 years.

The new information had left both the Ford family and Kennedy families feeling uncomfortable and now, along with the help of a Michigan newspaper, they are casting doubt on Ford's book. Additionally, in that news story, the Ford family references the book as says it is in the hands of their lawyers and implied and/or are threatening to sue Miller and his company for fabricating the whole thing; even though Miller, his staff and the staff of President Ford spent countless hours working with the late President Ford on the book.

Mr. Miller has a written contract, which is signed by Ford, Miller and a third-party witness, Penny Circle, who at the time was President Ford's Chief of Staff and is now Chief of Staff for Mrs. Ford. In addition, each of the 3000 books include an original photograph of President Ford signing the special, signed page and Penny Circle is pictured in each of these original photographs.

"I was not a believer in conspiracy theories until I began working with Ford and his staff on his final book, said Miller. "As I began reading what President Ford had written, flaws and carefully worded statements seem to jump out at me that supported facts, which had been presented by many others surrounding the JFK assassination," adds Miller.

Often, the credibility of one's contention can be measured by the speed at which others try to silence it. Therefore, Miller will be hosting a press conference to share this revealing information with the public, to prove its legitimacy, and to announce his recent filing of a FOIA request demanding the release of the JFK Assassination Files from the CIA.

Miller believes the public has a right to know what really happened. Therefore, in what will surely reignite the conspiracy debate, Miller is ready and willing to disclose revealing information from the book, from his personal conversations with the late President Ford as well as the important information that Ford demanded be cut from the unpublished manuscript immediately prior to going to print. In addition to the book and the great lengths to which the Ford lawyers are attempting to cover up, Miller can also discuss the most intriguing aspects of his direct work with the late President Ford and how he sees the releasing of the JFK files as a great way for Obama, within his first official year of presidency, to deliver on his promise of a new era of an "open government."

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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The World War II Preservation Trust

/24-7/ -- The World War II Preservation Trust is a non-profit organization specializing in the examination, research and acquisition of WWII artifacts. Our mission is to preserve Second World War souvenirs sent home by Veterans. We hope to accomplish this goal through the acquisition and conservation of these items which otherwise might be neglected; this would prevent future generations from understanding these symbolic relics.

We have served as consultants to museums, auction houses and historical societies throughout the Country. Our goal has, and will remain, the education and enlightenment of all those interested in the dynamic history associated with this intense period in our Nation's past.

The goal of our organization is to help preserve the history and the artifacts from this very dramatic part of the 20th century. We are enthusiasts and historians of this period, and have had the opportunity and pleasure of talking with 100's of WWII Veterans and their families. We know what an impact this experience had on their lives.

Fast forward to the present day and the majority of these voices have been silenced by Father Time. We hope to contact as many remaining members of "The Greatest Generation" and their families to hear their stories and record their experiences.

Our goal is to gather the words, photographs, and anecdotes of our veterans, in order to convey their enormous sacrifices to present and future generations. Many veterans returned home with souvenirs from their adventures overseas. These artifacts, whether they be something as simple as a medal or badge, or as symbolic like a flag, jacket or helmet, represent the spoils of war. Remember the old saying, "To the victor goes the spoils," and the American G.I. was the most prolific souvenir hunter of all time.

It is through these souvenirs, along with other visuals, that we hope to keep the spirit and history of the era alive. Our organization is not-for-profit. It exists for the love of history and the people involved in making this history.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation Announces Its 2010 List of State's 10 'Places in Peril'

/PRNewswire/ -- The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation released today its 2010 list of 10 Places in Peril in the state.

Sites on the list include: Central State Hospital in Milledgeville; Paradise Gardens in Summerville; Morris Brown College in Atlanta; Canton Grammar School in Cherokee County; Leake archaeological site in Cartersville; Dorchester Academy in Midway; Old Dodge County Jail in Eastman; Ritz Theatre in Thomaston; Herndon Plaza in Atlanta; and, Capricorn Recording Studio in Macon.

"This is the Trust's fifth annual Places in Peril list," said Mark C. McDonald, president and CEO of the Trust. "We hope the list will continue to draw attention to a broad range of Georgia's imperiled historic resources by highlighting ten representative sites," McDonald said.

Places in Peril is designed to raise awareness about Georgia's significant historic, archaeological and cultural resources, including buildings, structures, districts, archaeological sites and cultural landscapes that are threatened by demolition, neglect, lack of maintenance, inappropriate development or insensitive public policy.

Through Places in Peril, the Trust will encourage owners and individuals, organizations and communities to employ proven preservation tools, financial resources and partnerships in order to reclaim, restore and revitalize historic properties that are in peril.

The Trust will provide on-site preservation assistance to each of the 2010 Places in Peril through its Partners in the Field program, funded by grants from the National Trust for Historic Preservation and a number of charitable organizations in Georgia.

Sites that have been placed on previous years' lists have included: the Wren's Nest, home of folklore writer Joel Chandler House in Atlanta; Pasaquan, an internationally acclaimed visionary art site in Marion County near Buena Vista; Andalusia, the home of Flannery O'Connor outside of Milledgeville; Cockspur Island Lighthouse off the coast of Savannah; Bibb Mill, a historic textile mill destroyed by fire in Columbus; and the University of Georgia Marine Institute Greenhouse and Administration Building on Sapelo Island. Updates on these sites and others can be found at

The Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation is one of the country's largest statewide, nonprofit preservation organizations. Committed to preserving and enhancing Georgia's communities and their diverse historic resources for the education and enjoyment of all, The Georgia Trust generates community revitalization by finding buyers for endangered properties acquired by its Revolving Fund; provides design assistance to 102 Georgia Main Street cities and encourages neighborhood revitalization; trains teachers in 63 Georgia school systems to engage students to discover state and national history through their local historic resources; and, advocates for funding, tax incentives and other laws aiding preservation efforts.

The Georgia Trust is a recipient of the Trustees Award for Organizational Excellence from the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Summary Information on each Places in Peril Site

Central State Hospital, Milledgeville

Once the nation's largest mental hospital and second largest in the world, the campus of Central State Hospital has grown and changed just as much as the study of mental health. Built in 1842, Central State Hospital was Georgia's first psychiatric hospital, chartered by the legislature in 1837 with the intent of providing Georgians with mental illness a safe and humane environment.

Some of the buildings have been vacant for years and are suffering from neglect. Many roofs have collapsed, leaving the buildings structurally unstable. Without immediate repairs, deterioration is imminent.

Paradise Gardens, Summerville

In 1961, Howard Finster began his 30-year creation of Paradise Gardens, a folk art site consisting of a maze of buildings, sculptures and displays. The setting is a four-acre swampland that Finster drained by building numerous canals around the property. He built his folk art from found objects and recycled materials ranging from bottles, bathtubs and toilets to bicycle frames and cast-off jewelry.

Since then, Paradise Gardens has attained international pop icon status. Finster and his folk art has been the subject of numerous articles and documentaries. Images of the site can be seen on cover art and in music videos from groups like REM and Talking Heads. Finster and his Gardens were also featured on NBC's The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

The site was built from often fragile materials and is located in the damp climate of a former swamp. Continuous dredging is needed to maintain the canals Finster dug throughout the property. Constant damage from the elements has harmed many of the dozen or so structures.

Morris Brown College, Atlanta

Morris Brown College was the first educational institution in Georgia under sole African American patronage. Built in 1882 to educate freed slaves, Fountain Hall was the first building constructed on campus and is now a National Historic Landmark.

The College educated many outstanding alumni including Isaac Blythers, former President of Atlanta Gas Light Company; Eula L. Adams, Executive Vice President for First Data Corporation; Albert J. Edmonds, Retired Lieutenant General of the United States Air Force; the late Reverend Dr. Hosea Williams, civil rights leader; Thomas J. Byrd, actor of television, film and stage; and James A. McPherson, Pulitzer prize-winning author.

Due to an embezzlement scandal in 2002, the school lost its accreditation and conducts classes online, leaving the buildings vacant and subject to deterioration and vandalism.

Canton Grammar School, Canton

Built in 1914, the Canton Grammar School is one of the few remaining Neoclassical Revival style schools in Georgia. The school housed grades 1-11 until 1924 when Canton High School was built across the street. The Grammar School building continued to be used as a school until 1974, when a new facility was constructed. The Cherokee County Board of Education reopened the building in 1976 as part of the Bicentennial Celebration.

The school is vacant. The Cherokee County Board of Education does not have plans for the building's use, although discussions have included possible demolition. Occasional maintenance has occurred over the years, but there has been little, if any, preservation work.

Leake Archaeological Site, Cartersville

Located in the Etowah Valley Historic District in Bartow County, the Leake site is a prehistoric archaeological site dating as far back as 300 BC. The site contains the remnants of at least three earthen mounds and a vast moat; midden deposits with artifacts from everyday and ceremonial activities; former structures; and human burials.

The site began as a small domestic village that developed into one of the most important sites in the Southeast, both as a ceremonial and political hub.

The Leake site extends along many different property parcels, some of which have already been industrially or commercially developed. The area surrounding the site is growing rapidly, so the unoccupied tracts of land in the archaeological site are in imminent danger of being destroyed.

Dorchester Academy, Midway

Founded in 1871 to educate freed slaves, Dorchester Academy provided the only educational opportunity for African American children in Liberty County for many decades.

The only remaining building on the campus is a brick two-story Colonial Revival style structure built in 1934 as a boys' dormitory. Earlier this year, the school was listed on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's 11 Most Endangered Historic Places.

In 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King held a meeting at the dormitory to plan the Birmingham march, which would bring international attention to the Civil Rights Movement in the United States.

Significant and widespread failure of the roofing system has resulted in extensive damage to the property, leaving the building structurally unstable. The Dorchester Improvement Association has provided loving care for the building over the decades, but its aging membership coupled with limited resources have made it impossible to make necessary repairs.

Old Dodge County Jail, Eastman

Built in 1897, the Old Dodge County Jail is an elaborately detailed building that served the county for 70 years. Originally, the building had a central three-story tower, which was removed when the roof was replaced. Most of the interior details are intact, including a "hanging room" with a trap door, metal loop for rope, and lever. The jail closed in 1973, when its replacement was built beside it.

The building is suffering from lack of maintenance and funding as the window and roofing systems continue to deteriorate.

Ritz Theatre, Thomaston

Prominently located on the courthouse square in Thomaston, the Ritz Theatre was built during the height of Thomaston's economic growth.

Throughout its history, the Ritz Theatre has served Thomaston and surrounding towns as a home for the arts as well as an anchor on the downtown square. The Ritz Theatre continues to show first-run movies and serves more than 24,000 patrons annually.

A leak in the front parapet wall has contributed to water penetrating the Art Deco facade. This water damage is causing tiles to deteriorate, posing a threat to the structure and to pedestrians on the sidewalk below.

With the popularity of home entertainment and multiplex theaters, smaller historic theaters are at risk of becoming obsolete.

Herndon Plaza, Atlanta

For more than 50 years, Herndon Plaza was the headquarters of the Atlanta Life Insurance Company, which was founded by Alonzo Herndon, a former slave and Atlanta's first African American millionaire.

The plaza consists of two adjoining buildings. The main building was built as a residence in 1892. In 1918, Atlanta Life moved into the building to set up their headquarters. In 1936, a second annex building was constructed, matching the Neoclassical style of the original building. Atlanta Life built a new building in 1980 and moved out of the Plaza. It stood vacant for many years, but in 1997 Atlanta Life sold the building to the Historic District Development Corporation (HDDC).

The buildings have been vandalized over the years and suffer from a lack of maintenance. Custom wood awnings, door frames, marble floors, and hallways are in danger of disrepair. The HDDC is in the process of hiring an architect and contractor for the project and is applying for Historic Preservation Certification to receive federal tax credits.

Capricorn Recording Studio, Macon

During the 1970s, Macon's Capricorn Recording Studio was a mecca for Southern Rock music legends such as the Allman Brothers Band, Charlie Daniels Band, Dixie Dregs, and the Marshall Tucker Band.

Capricorn Recording Studio filed bankruptcy in 1979. In 1986, the building reopened and operated under several music labels before being purchased by Mercer University in 1999. In 2008, MLK Properties, LLC purchased the former studio with plans to rehabilitate it. On November 3, 2009, the building was foreclosed upon.

The property is located within sight of downtown Macon's tourism and museum district, but the surrounding area appears depressed and unsafe due to numerous vacant lots and boarded-up buildings covered with graffiti.

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Monday, November 2, 2009

National Postal Museum Depicts Rural Postal Delivery in New Online Collection

The Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum has launched “Bringing the World Home,” another featured collection on its award-winning Web site Arago. It is the story of the development, implementation and growth of the Rural Free Delivery service and its impact on rural America; the collection is at|s1=6|.

The Post Office Department established the nation’s first free mail delivery service in 1863. It began in 44 northern cities and spread across the country following the Civil War. Even as the new service grew, it remained available only to urban dwellers. Providing this service to rural areas became a congressional and national debate. In 1896, funds were allocated for a limited test in West Virginia. The service caught on and petitions of encouragement and support flooded Congress.

Arago is dedicated to the online presentation of the museum’s vast collections and contains high-resolution images and associated stories presented by curators, expert volunteer researchers, museum staff and guest writers. Since the image of a woman first appeared on a U.S. postage stamp in 1893, the U.S. Postal Service has represented female politicians, social activists, educators, artists, business women and performers on more than 200 stamps.

The National Postal Museum is devoted to presenting the colorful and engaging history of the nation’s mail service and showcasing one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of stamps and philatelic material in the world. It is located at 2 Massachusetts Avenue N.E., Washington, D.C., across from Union Station. The museum is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). For more information about the Smithsonian, please call (202) 633-1000 or TTY (202) 633-5285. Visit the museum Web site at

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Friday, October 30, 2009

The National Foundation for Jewish Continuity, Inc. Presents Landmark Commemoration of the 70th Anniversary of the SS St. Louis Voyage

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Seventy years ago the steamship St. Louis idled at anchor within sight of the Miami Beach coastline in June 1939 with more than 900 Jewish refugees onboard who were fleeing Nazi persecution and seeking a safe haven in the United States. When refuge was denied, the impact of that fateful decision had dire consequences that changed the world forever. To mark the 70th anniversary of this watershed moment in world history, The National Foundation For Jewish Continuity, Inc. is hosting a passenger reunion and “history-making” commemorative event on December 13, 2009 at 10:30 a.m. at the Eden Roc Renaissance Resort in Miami Beach, Florida, with the program unfolding mere miles from where the SS St. Louis’ asylum efforts were rebuked by the U.S. government.

Official Passenger-Signing of U.S. Senate Resolution 111, Debut of Original Play “The Trial of Franklin D. Roosevelt”, Menorah Lighting, and Beachfront Dedication Ceremony To Be Featured

Central to the event program will be the official historic passenger-signing ceremony of United States Senate Resolution 111, legislation sponsored by U.S. Senator Herb Kohl [WI], co-sponsored by Senator George V. Voinovich [OH], Senator Sam Brownback [KS], and Senator Ron Wyden [OR], and then unanimously passed by the U.S. Senate on May 19, 2009. Passenger-signed copies will then be presented to several world institutions for preservation and public display. These include the United States National Archives “Legislative Treasures Vault” that houses the most significant Congressional documents; United States Holocaust Memorial Museum; State of Israel; Yad Vashem; Jewish Museum of Berlin and Oskar Schindler Family Archives [Schindler’s List].

The event program will open with a special exhibition on the SS St. Louis presented in cooperation with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and luncheon program with various speakers, including surviving SS St. Louis passengers and Rev. Rosemary Schindler, relative of Oskar Schindler. It will follow with the debut of Robert Krakow’s original thought-provoking play, “The Trial of Franklin D. Roosevelt” for which the audience serves as the jury. The trial is set before the Eternal Court of Justice and explores the historical and political forces influencing Roosevelt’s policies regarding the plight of Jewish refugees and protectionist efforts in Europe. The program concludes with a Hanukkah Menorah lighting with SS St. Louis passengers and a special beachfront dedication ceremony.

Dignitaries and Presenters To Participate

* SS St. Louis Passengers: Herbert Karliner, Liesl Loeb, and Col. Phil Freund (U.S. Army Retired) and many more surviving survivors assembled from around the world will share stories about that fateful voyage and the impact of the American refusal on the global Jewish population and the world.
* Rev. Rosemary Schindler, Relative of Oskar Schindler and Trustee of the Oskar Schindler Family Archives
* Richard Hunt, Director for The U.S. Center for Legislative Archives (National Archives)
* Scott Miller, Director of Curatorial Affairs of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
* Ofer Bavly, Consul General of the State of Israel
* Klaus H. D. Ranner, Consul General of the Federal Republic of Germany representing his country and the Jewish Museum of Berlin
* Aaron Bernstein, Southern Director for the American Society for Yad Vashem
* Leadership from the American Jewish Joint Distribution Center (JDC), the largest international Jewish humanitarian aid organization in the world today
* The Honorable Ron Klein, United States Congressman-Florida and a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, who will receive the Passengers Appreciation Award for his efforts in authoring and spearheading the passage of the Florida State Holocaust Education Act that mandated the teaching of the lessons of the Holocaust in all of the state’s public schools.
* Robert Krakow, Playwright/Documentarian and Trustee for the U.S. Senate Resolution 111
* Howard Kaye, President, The National Foundation For Jewish Continuity, Inc.
* Event Committee: Includes Jon And Bonnie (Sparaga) Kaye, The National Foundation For Jewish Continuity, Inc. board members; Arlene Herson, national chair of the Legacy of Light Society of the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.; Nancy and Barry Dershaw, Next Generations; Rabbi Barry J. Konovitch, event chairman for the 50th Anniversary Of The SS St. Louis Voyage; Betty Heisler Samuels, Historian And Author: “The Last Minyan To Leave Havana”; Estrella Behar, Rabbi Yossi Denburg; Dr. Irvin And Katherine Fleishman; Guy Fronstin, Esq.; Melissa Fronstin; Chuck Gaspari, Esq.; Ruth Ann Kalish; Pamela Kaye; Leslie Kantor; Ralph Kier; Gary Lesser, Esq.; and Elizabeth Weprin.

Program To Educate, Honor, Question, And Challenge

According to The National Foundation for Jewish Continuity, Inc. President Howard Kaye, “The 70th anniversary event will educate U.S. and international audiences on this significant turning point in world history, its ramifications, and its relevance today as intolerance, bigotry, and genocide continue on a global scale.”

He added that the event will both honor the survivors who individually and collectively bear witness to the SS St. Louis voyage’s watershed event in world history as well as support The National Foundation For Jewish Continuity’s efforts to encourage Jewish adults and teens to contemplate the worth/value of their birthright and challenge them to participate in protecting and continuing to honor and extol the virtues of that birthright and legacy for future generations.

Signing And Performance at Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County To Follow Eden Roc Commemorative Event

As the commemoration at the Eden Roc developed, Kaye was moved to ensure that his own local community also had the opportunity to learn about the Steamship St. Louis and to honor the surviving passengers. He found a home for the project at the Jewish Federation of South Palm Beach County where the Jewish Community Relations Council of the Federation will be hosting a special evening in Boca Raton on Monday, December 14th, featuring a signing ceremony of United States Senate Resolution 111, and a private performance of Krakow’s “The False Witness” with the trial of Adolf Hitler. The Boca Raton event is made possible with generous support from Pamela & Howard Kaye, The Foundation for Jewish Continuity, Inc. and Rani H. Garfinkle, in loving memory of her beloved husband Sandor Garfinkle.

Tickets and Sponsorships For December 13th Event At Eden Roc

Tickets for December 13th for The National Foundation of Jewish Continuity, Inc.’s 70th Anniversary of the SS St. Louis Voyage, Passenger Reunion and Commemorative Event at the Eden Roc are $500 per person for Heritage level seating that includes a private meet, greet, and photos with survivors and dignitaries; $350 per person for premium seating; $250 per person for general seating; $5,000 for a Heritage sponsor table of 10; $3,500 for a Premium sponsor table of 10; and $2,500 for table of 10 in general seating. Sponsorship opportunities range from title sponsor and event sponsors to hosting a surviving passenger for the weekend, hosting the Menorah lighting ceremony, etc.

For more information on the event and to purchase tickets, contact The National Foundation For Jewish Continuity, Inc., headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida, at (561) 417-5099, email to or visit For participation and sponsorship opportunities, visit or contact Jon Kaye or Bonnier Kaye at Kaye Communications, Inc., 561-392-5166.

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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Congress Allocates $9 Million to Preserve America's Endangered Civil War Battlefields

/PRNewswire/ -- The Civil War Preservation Trust (CWPT) applauded members of the U.S. House and Senate for including the largest ever single-year allocation for the federal Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2010 Interior Appropriations Act Conference Report (H. Rept. 111-316).

The conference report, scheduled for a final vote in both chambers later this week, includes $9 million for the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program, a mechanism that utilizes government matching grants and private funds to permanently protect historic Civil War battlefields throughout the nation.

"This is tremendous news that could not come at a more critical time," said CWPT President James Lighthizer. Each day 30 acres of our remaining Civil War battlefields are paved over and lost forever. This money will allow us to preserve thousands of acres of historic land that would otherwise be lost to urban sprawl."

Since its creation in 1999, the Civil War Battlefield Preservation Program has been used to protect more than 15,000 acres of hallowed ground at 60 sites in 14 states. The program targets priority Civil War sites outside National Park Service (NPS) boundaries. Grants from the program are awarded by the American Battlefield Protection Program, an arm of NPS.

Among the sites saved as a result of this program are historic properties at Antietam and South Mountain, Md.; Champion Hill, Miss.; Chancellorsville, Fredericksburg, and Manassas, Va.; Chattanooga and Fort Donelson, Tenn.; and Harpers Ferry, W.Va.

Although numerous members of the House and Senate have played important roles in ensuring the program's continued success, the following individuals were pivotal in securing this year's unprecedented federal commitment to battlefield preservation: Interior Appropriations Subcommittee Chairs Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Norm Dicks (D-WA); Senators Jim Webb (D-VA), Lamar Alexander (R-TN), and Jeff Sessions (R-AL); and Congressmen, Bart Gordon (D-TN), Steve Israel (D-NY), Gary Miller (R-CA) and C.A. "Dutch" Ruppersberger (D-MD). In addition, 16 Senators and 29 Member of Congress signed letters of support for the program earlier this year.

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

UGA exhibit celebrates donation of M.E. Thompson personal papers

The University of Georgia Richard B. Russell Library for Political Research and Studies exhibit that celebrates the donation of the Melvin Ernest Thompson personal papers will open with a reception on Nov. 2 from 3-5 p.m. The exhibit, located in the main exhibit gallery of the Russell Library, is free and open to the public.

“Snapshots: Selections from the M.E. Thompson Collection” showcases materials from the collection that document important moments in the life of M.E. Thompson, Georgia’s first lieutenant governor and participant in the famed “three governors controversy” (1946-1947). Capitalizing on a collection of correspondence, speeches, photographs, memorabilia and audiovisual material, the display considers the creation of Thompson’s political career and his life following his days on the campaign trail. More than 170 photographs illustrate Thompson’s childhood, family life and gubernatorial and senatorial campaigns, with memorabilia documenting his civic achievements, career and commitment to public education. Six television campaign advertisements featuring Thompson’s views about the county unit system and education are a particular highlight of the collection.

More on Thompson’s life and the political disagreement that ushered him into the governor’s office can be found at the New Georgia Encyclopedia

The Russell Library is located on the west side of the Main Library on the University of Georgia’s North Campus. For directions and parking information, see or call 706/542-5788.

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Global Health Chronicles Celebrates 30th Anniversary of Smallpox Eradication

Historic video and audio interviews, photos, presentations and government papers that document the intense battle to eradicate smallpox are now available online to researchers and the public alike.

The Global Health Chronicles (, an online archive hosted by Emory University Libraries, publicly launched on Oct. 26, the 30th anniversary of worldwide smallpox eradication. Emory President James Wagner attended the launch event at the university's Robert W. Woodruff Library, along with three former CDC directors and many retired CDC employees featured in the archives. The disease experts present at the event led the fight against smallpox in the 1960s, says former CDC director David Sencer.

"Eradicating a disease is the ultimate in disease prevention; as smallpox is the one human infectious disease that has been completely eradicated there's much to celebrate here," Sencer says. "The Global Health Chronicles site features oral histories of individuals who played a crucial role in that accomplishment. Today's health professionals and students can hear and read of the passion these women and men brought to their work. This site also will be a valuable source of previously unknown material for historians."

Institutions participating in the massive effort to collect and preserve the data in the Global Health Chronicles archive include not only Emory Libraries staff, but also Emory's Global Health Institute and its Rollins School of Public Health, as well as colleagues at the CDC, says Rick Luce, vice provost and director of Emory Libraries.

"The Global Health Chronicles project is another important facet of Emory's continuing mission to create, preserve, teach and apply knowledge in the service of humanity," Luce says. "It's also a great example of Emory collaboration across the campus and with partner institutions."

Materials collected in the Global Health Chronicles archive include:

Oral histories of epidemiologists, operations officers, their spouses and children who worked in 22 countries in Africa as well as in India, Bangladesh and Nepal, to stop the spread of smallpox.
Previously unpublished field reports and pictures.
Digitized books on the history of smallpox eradication.
Seminars by the leaders of the global program to eradicate smallpox.
Creation of the Global Health Chronicles was funded with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, the Fund of Tides Foundation and Emory's Global Health Institute, with in-kind support from the CDC, Rollins School of Public Health and the Emory Libraries.

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Jackson Street Cemetery added to National Register of Historic Places

The Jackson Street Cemetery, located on the University of Georgia campus, has been added to the National Register of Historic Places.

The cemetery, also known as the Old Athens Cemetery, is located between the Visual Arts Building and Baldwin Hall and has approximately 800 graves on around 2½ acres of property. The listing was added Oct. 2.

For the past three years, the cemetery has been part of a preservation project headed by Janine Duncan, a UGA campus planning coordinator in the grounds department.

“Getting this honorary designation reinforces the importance of the site on a broader level,” said Duncan, who started the project as a graduate student.

The cemetery has been cleaned up and repaired. Vegetation has been cleared away, head stones have been repaired and cemetery monuments, including obelisks and vaults have received structural repairs. Duncan has worked with preservation experts, including the Chicora Foundation in South Carolina, on more specialized repairs.

The cemetery was used primarily between 1810 and 1856, and when it was full Oconee Hill Cemetery (located behind Sanford Stadium) opened.

Merchants, tailors, ministers, children of UGA faculty members, families of state government officials and two UGA presidents, Robert Finley and Moses Waddel, are buried in the cemetery. Duncan along with the anthropology faculty and students are working to indentify unmarked graves in the cemetery.

“The recognition is a great gesture in noting the significance of the cemetery,” said Dexter Adams, director of the UGA grounds department. “Our research and investigation into conditions at the cemetery have confirmed that there are many, many more burials there than are represented by the surviving markers and monuments. The National Register listing is at least a noteworthy and honorable means of recognizing those otherwise anonymous individuals.”

Paperwork for the designation was started two years ago.

“Cemeteries are some of the hardest sites to get on the register,” said Duncan, “because you have to prove the historic integrity is still there.”

So Duncan had to show that the majority of the grave markers, monuments and ironwork still exist. She also had to cite exactly why the cemetery is so culturally important.

“Cemeteries are hallowed spaces,” she said. “They are also artistic spaces. The designs in the headstones and monuments speak to the period in which they are created.”

Seven other campus facilities have previously been added to the registry. The Bishop House, the Founders Memorial Garden, the Lucy Cobb Institute, the Lumpkin House, Old North Campus and the President’s House were all added in 1972 and the Athens Factory (now the Interim Medical Partnership Building) was added in 1980.

The register is done through the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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Monday, October 19, 2009

Tours to Celebrate Berry's "Haunted" History

Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum will offer Haunted History Tours on Saturday, Oct. 24, and Saturday, Oct. 31. Tours will begin at The Martha Berry Museum at 6 p.m. Admission is $5 per person. Due to limited seating, advance reservations are required. Call Patrice Shannon at 706-368-6775 or to RSVP.

The Haunted History Tours will take guests through the Oak Hill estate and the Berry College campus highlighting the superstitious traditions of the Southern Highlanders, who inhabited the area in the latter part of the 19th century. Guests will tour historic locations such as the Cabin in the Pines, Possum Trot and Barnwell Chapel, the site where Martha Berry’s body was held before her funeral in 1942. The tours will also feature past and present Berry College-related ghost stories told by Berry College students and faculty members.

Oak Hill and The Martha Berry Museum is a popular attraction and the former home of Berry College founder Martha Berry (1865-1942). It is located at the intersection of Georgia Loop 1 and U.S. Highway 27 in Rome, Ga. More information is available via the Web at

Prepared by David Nuckolls, student writer, Oak Hill & The Martha Berry Museum

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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Masterpieces of Dutch, Flemish Bible Illustrations at Carlos Museum

The Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University presents "Scripture for the Eyes: Bible Illustration in Netherlandish Prints of the 16th Century," a collection of approximately 80 engravings and woodcuts by the foremost Dutch and Flemish masters of the 16th century, on view from Oct. 17, 2009 to Jan. 24, 2010.

The exhibition, featuring works by Lucas van Leyden, Maarten van Heemskerck, Dirck Volkertszoon Coornhert and Hieronymus Wierix, among others, explores the ways in which printed illustrations of biblical and other religious themes supplemented and magnified the texts they accompanied during a period of dramatic religious and political change.

Popular Function of Scripture

In the 16th-century region of the Netherlands, the translation of biblical texts into biblical images went hand-in-hand with the translation of scripture into the common language. Antwerp and Amsterdam became major centers where vernacular bibles and their woodcut and engraved illustrations were published.

The exhibition demonstrates how, as co-curator Walter Melion, Asa Griggs Candler Professor of Art History at Emory, points out, "pictorial images . . . offered a clarifying lens through which the word of God was received, pondered and interpreted" by a growing audience at the time of strife between Protestants and Roman Catholics.

In "Scripture for the Eyes," the images and their makers demonstrate the cultural, intellectual and religious ferment of the region that today encompasses the Netherlands and Belgium.

The southeast’s Consul General of the Kingdom of Netherlands, Lucita Moenir Alam, said, "We are delighted that the Carlos Museum has chosen this formidable exhibition showcasing the great artistic traditions of our nation. As the United States and the Netherlands celebrate the 400th anniversary of their special relations in New York, this exhibition Scripture for the Eyes chronicles an extraordinary time in our history when the convergence of art, commerce and culture created a dynamic and vibrant exchange of ideas and beliefs. I hope that the community and its guests, will enjoy this unique exhibition."

Exhibition highlights

Notable works include "The Return of the Prodigal Son" (c. 1510) by Lucas van Leyden, regarded as one of the greatest engravers in the history of art. The engraving dramatizes the New Testament parable of the Prodigal Son with the events of the story taking place within a richly detailed, panoramic landscape.

The central message of the parable, the father’s forgiveness of his repentant son, would have been clear to both Roman Catholics and Protestants. Each could, however, interpret the image in the light of their own beliefs, defining for themselves just who the Prodigal Son personified and exactly which sins were to be forgiven. Margaret Shufeldt, curator of works on paper at the Carlos Museum, notes that "Just as many images in themselves betrayed no particular sectarian bias, so the artists’ personal beliefs did not necessarily enter into their work."

In a series of six scenes from Hendrick Goltzius’ "Life of the Virgin," three of which are in the Scripture exhibition, the artist surrendered his own virtuosic engraving style to assume the styles of six earlier masters, signifying the multiple forms of beauty required to evoke the Virgin’s physical and spiritual perfection. In the case of "The Adoration of the Magi" (c. 1593-1594), Goltzius imitates the style of Lucas van Leyden.

The exhibition is organized according to function of the prints rather than the subject or chronology. For instance, in the section on meditative prayer or worship, prints explore the process of self-reformation through the imitation of Christ.

One interesting example of this is Hieronymus Wierix’s engraving of the "Circumcision Enframed by the Text of Psalm 6." The words of this penitential psalm are arranged in an elaborate looping pattern surrounding the central image of Christ’s circumcision, one of seven instances of his spilling his blood for the redemption of sinners. By reading the psalm, following the turnings of the scrolling text, a worshipper would enact the turning or conversion of the soul from sin.

Illustrations are on loan from 13 institutions including the British Museum, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Antwerp’s Plantin Museum and the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. Also included are key items from Emory University Libraries, including five rare volumes of the Antwerp Polyglot Bible—side-by-side translations of biblical text in several languages including Latin and Hebrew.

Educational events accompanying the exhibition will also examine how visual images affect religious worship and experience. "Scripture for the Eyes" was organized by the Museum of Biblical Art in New York City and curated by Walter S. Melion and James Clifton, director, Sarah Campbell Blaffer Foundation.

Support for the exhibition in Atlanta was made possible by Emory University, the Massey Charitable Trust, the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Consulate of the Kingdom of Belgium.

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Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Georgia Museum of Natural History to host fund-raising event

The Georgia Museum of Natural History, part of the University of Georgia’s Franklin College of Arts and Sciences, will hold a celebration and fund-raising event at the Visitor Center and Conservatory of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia on Saturday, Oct. 24.

A social hour and silent auction will begin at 6 p.m., followed by dinner at 7:30. There will be an exhibit of rare first-edition books spanning 500 years about corals and coral formation. Speaker for the evening will be Jim Porter, associate dean and Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor in UGA’s Odum School of Ecology.

For information, contact the Museum at 706/542-1663.

The Georgia Museum of Natural History links collections, research, public service and education through programs designed for a diverse audience. Natural history museums are repositories for collections of archaeological, biological, geological and paleontological materials.

For the most part, such collections consist of specimens or artifacts gathered so that they may be studied by students and professionals or displayed for public edification. At the University of Georgia, faculty, staff and students have built significant collections in natural history through their research. These collections play an important role in the teaching mission of the university as well as in public service and outreach.

The Georgia Museum of Natural History is a consortium consisting of 11 natural history collections supported by the museum and five departments at the University of Georgia: anthropology, plant biology, entomology, geology and plant pathology. (Entomology and plant pathology are part of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.) Each collection is the largest of its kind in Georgia. The collections are primarily administered and supported by their academic departments and colleges.

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Saturday, October 10, 2009

"Today in Fayetteville" January 13, 1905

Interesting happenings in early 1905

                                        The Fayetteville News

                                                 January 13, 1905


Rigid Vaccination Ordered

The appearance of smallpox in the Dasher district, Lowndes county, has made the Valdosta city officials take a determined stand to prevent the disease coming to the city.

A strict quarantine has been established against the infected districts and rigid vaccination laws have been adopted. The names of all the infected houses in the Dasher district and parties from them will be arrested and sent to the pest house unless they are able to show a good health certificate.


Jack Bone Escapes the Noose

Jack Bone, the floyd county murderer, sentenced to death for the murder of farmer Zach Hall, has been pronounced insane by a commission of physicians appointed by Governor Terrell, and instead of going to the gallows, he has been sent to the state sanitarium at Millegeville, there to remain until his sanity shall have been restored.

Local News

We regret to note that Sq. Ben Adams is very ill at this time.

Misses Ola and Mary Lou Adams visited their grandfather, Mr. McElwaney, of near Hopewell, one night last week

Miss Cora Thomas and Mr. Henry Norton both of this Community, were happily married Dec, 23, 1904. We extend to the happy couple best wishes.

Paul Adams was hauling two sisters Sunday afternoon. Guess he thinks if he cant get one he will take the other.

There is a certain man in our community who killed a hog last week, and after he hung it up, he went into the house to get a knife to cut it up, and when he came back the cats had the hog and were gone.......where,  he did not know.

The many friends of Miss Vergie Chapman will be glad to know she is rapidly improving from her recent illness.

To Observe Lee's Birthday

State School Commissioner WB Merritt has prepared a very attractive pamphlet which he is now sending out to the different schools in the state to be used as a program for exercises which are to be held on the birthday of General Robert E Lee. The birthday of the great general comes on January 19th, and in every school in  Georgia there will no doubt be some observance made of the occasion.

submitted by CB Glover


Friday, October 9, 2009

"Brown Bag" Event at the Carnegie

The Carnegie is presenting a ‘Brown Bag’ event which will take place on October 16th starting at noon.

The public may bring their lunch and enjoy a presentation by historical author Billy Kennedy.

Northern Ireland author-journalist Billy Kennedy, in his 10th book in the popular Scots-Irish Chronicles series, gives appropriate recognition to the lives, careers and outstanding achievements of three of America's most iconic historical personalities.

Andrew Jackson, Sam Houston and David Crockett were three men of destiny in 19th century history who had much in common in family and ancestral ties, in character, mannerisms, and political and social outlook, as they shaped the fabric of a nation which was to gradually emerge as the greatest and most influential in the world.

“We are excited to welcome this noted journalist and historical author,” said Amy Mapel, Carnegie Media Coordinator.

About the Carnegie
Carnegie is one of the most historically significant structures in downtown Newnan and was built in 1904. The building served as a library until 1987 when a new facility was constructed on Hospital Road. With its iconic lighted sign that states the ‘City of Homes’ on top of the building, citizens recognize the Carnegie when they drive through historic downtown.

The Carnegie was funded by the city of Newnan’s General Fund and partly by 2007 Special Local Option Sales Tax (SPLOST). The Carnegie’s cost to be renovated was over $1.5 million dollars to the city. For more information on the Carnegie, please visit or email
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Exclusive Prologue Magazine Article Reveals Bess Truman Letters to Harry

/PRNewswire/ -- For the first time, letters written by Bess Truman to her sweetheart, Harry S. Truman, are revealed by their oldest grandson, Clifton Truman Daniel, in an article in Prologue Magazine, the quarterly magazine of the National Archives.

Until now, however, there has been no public record of what Bess was writing to Harry because, Daniel reveals, his grandmother was a very private person and felt that "her business was her own damn business and nobody else's."

The article, "Dear Harry . . . Love, Bess," is available for purchase on, at, as is the entire Fall issue. The Fall Prologue can also be purchased at The Archives Shop in the National Archives Building in Washington, several news stores in the Washington area (see list below), at several Presidential library shops (Hoover, Roosevelt, Truman, Nixon, and Reagan) and at the Kansas City Star Store in downtown Kansas City.

Harry Truman was a legendary letter-writer. He wrote them to Bess from the war zones of World War I France. He was writing one to his family when Franklin Roosevelt died, and he became President. He wrote many letters home from the "great white jail" as President.

These letters, more than 5,000 of them, have been mined by historians for years as they chronicled the life of Truman and the post-World War II years when he was President. Some 1,300 of the letters are to his wife, Bess, written between 1910 and 1959.

True to her privacy credo, she burned most of the approximately 1,300 letters she wrote to Harry, except for a few that were found several years ago scattered throughout the Truman home. They are now part of the holdings of the Truman Library in Independence, MO.

For the first time, Daniel will discuss the letters in a lecture October 14 at noon in the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives in Washington.

In his exclusive Prologue article, Daniel paints a picture of his grandmother that is quite different from the stern, serious-looking "no comment" First Lady that most Americans remember and read about in history books. Passages from the personal letters she and her husband exchanged over many years reveal a much more intimate, softer side to the former First Lady.

For example, Daniel quotes a letter Bess wrote to Harry in 1923 while he was at Missouri National Guard training camp:

"There was a big black bug on my bed when I turned the sheet down and I had to kill it myself," she wrote to Harry in 1923 while he was at Missouri National Guard training camp. "But that wasn't the first time I had wished for you."

In 1925, with a small child (Margaret, Clifton's mother) to look after, Bess wanted to get her hair cut short, as many women in that era had done. But Harry was reluctant for her to lose the golden locks that she had when he was smitten with her at the age of six.

"When may I do it?" she wrote to Harry while he was at training camp. "I never wanted to do anything as badly in my life. Come on, be a sport. Ask all the married men in camp about their wives's heads and I'll bet anything I have there isn't one under sixty who has long hair."

Harry eventually gave in.

During his absences, Daniel writes, the two got upset when they didn't receive their regular letters from each other or when they didn't get one written and mailed on time. At one point, Bess wrote:

"I was delighted to get that 'special' this morning. It made me sick not to have sent yours that way yesterday, but there wasn't anybody here who could take it to the P.O."

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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Sensory Historian to Deliver Lamar Lecture Series on Southern History

Noted historian and author Dr. Mark Smith will present Mercer’s 2009 Lamar Memorial Lectures on Oct. 19-20. Dr. Smith will present three lectures around the theme “Histories of a Hurricane: Camille, 1969.” All lectures will be held in the Medical School Auditorium and are free and open to the public.

At 10 a.m. on Oct. 19, Dr. Smith will give a lecture, titled “The Sensory History of Hurricane Camille.” He will give two evening presentations – “Desegregating Camille: Civil Rights, Disaster Rights” and “The Political Economy of Disaster Recovery” – on Oct. 19 and 20. Both lectures will begin at 7:30 p.m.

In its 52 years, the Lamar Lecture Series has become one of the most prominent lecture series on Southern culture and history, and has included presentations by renowned historians, sociologists and literary scholars.

“The Lamar Memorial Lectures Committee is thrilled to bring Dr. Smith to campus. He engages in groundbreaking scholarship that encourages his readers to reconsider fundamentally what they think they know about the past,” said Dr. Sarah Gardner, associate professor and chair of the history department. “The lectures he will deliver at Mercer promise to be innovative, provocative and important. His work represents the best in the field.”

Dr. Smith is Carolina Distinguished Professor of History at the University of South Carolina, and works in the field of “sensory history,” as he puts it, an “area of historical inquiry dedicated to examining the roles played by olfaction, hearing, touch, and taste – as well as vision – in shaping the past. My concern is to help restore the full sensory texture of history and examine what the senses in addition to seeing might be able to tell us about historical experience and causation.”

Dr. Smith is author of the award-winning book, Mastered by the Clock: Time, Slavery, and Freedom in the American South, as well as several other books, including Debating Slavery: Economy and Society in the Antebellum American South; Listening to Nineteenth-Century America; How Race Is Made: Slavery, Segregation, and the Senses, and Sensing the Past: Seeing, Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, and Touching in History.

He is also the editor of the books The Old South, Hearing History: A Reader; Stono: Documenting and Interpreting a Southern Slave Revolt and Writing the American Past.

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Friday, October 2, 2009

Exhibition to highlight Turkish-Jewish history

The rich, centuries-old history of Jewish life in Turkey will be told through an exhibition and lecture program during the month of October, sponsored by Georgia State University’s Middle East Institute, Department of Religious Studies, and Program in Jewish Studies.

"Under Vine and Fig Tree: 500 Years of Turkish Jewish History" will present images of significant relics and treasures from the Quincentennial Foundation Museum of Turkish Jews in Istanbul Oct. 12-23 on the third floor of the university's Student Center.

A significant period in Turkish Jewish history began during the late 15th century, when Spain expelled all Jews who refused to convert to Christianity. Ottoman Sultan Beyazid II invited Jews fleeing Spain to live in the Ottoman Empire, where they contributed to Turkish society and flourished.

“Jews actually rose to some very prominent positions in the Ottoman Empire, such as advisors and diplomats,” said Alta Schwartz, outreach director of the Middle East Institute.

Some of the images in the exhibit will include that of the decree of Sultan Abdülmecid I in the 19th century railing against the “blood libel” that incited anti-Semitic beliefs across Europe and led to atrocities against Jews, as well as a menorah shaped as a minaret.

“It’s very interesting to see something that is very Jewish, but with strong Turkish and Islamic symbolism,” Schwartz said.

The program includes a lecture at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at Congregation Or VeShalom, 1681 N. Druid Hills Road in Atlanta, where Catherine Lewis, associate professor of history and women’s studies at Kennesaw State University will explore Jewish contributions to Turkish society.

The lecture is free and open to the public, but interested persons should RSVP to Alta Schwartz at 404-413-6146 or

Other cosponsors of the exhibition include the Istanbul Center, the William Breman Jewish Heritage Museum, and the Consulate General of Israel to the Southeast.

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