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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Booth Western Art Museum Expands Exhibition Space

/PRNewswire/ -- Georgia's second largest art museum is growing. After two years of construction, the Booth Western Art Museum opens its new 40,000 square foot wing to the public on October 10, bringing the museum to 120,000 square feet. The new wing doubles the museum's exhibition space and features the largest permanent exhibition of Western art in America.

The new wing features a gallery displaying a cross section of the stylistic changes witnessed in Western art over the past 50 years and a two-story sculpture court with both traditional and contemporary style sculpture. Artists represented include Native American icons as well as contemporary trendsetters. The sculpture court features large scale works by numerous artists. The focal point of the soaring space is the monumental bronze sculpture Eagle Catcher surrounded by a floating staircase.

The new wing also showcases approximately 200 Native American artifacts on loan from several major collectors. The display presents the objects as art and shows the influence the Native tradition of decorating utilitarian objects has on the work of many contemporary artists.

In addition to Western art galleries, the new wing boasts a 250 seat banquet hall for Museum events and an expanded Civil War art gallery. Visitor favorites like the Presidential gallery, showcasing original letters and portraits, and the children's interactive galley, Sagebrush Ranch, remain unchanged.

Working with the assistance of several museums across the country, two galleries in the original building now explore the first 100 years of Western art. Among the works on long term loan to the Booth are examples by Frederic Remington, Charles M. Russell, George Catlin, and many others.

This historic introduction to Western art provides the perfect jumping off point to explore the Booth's permanent collection of art by living artists. Anchoring the galleries featuring traditional masters are multiple works by Howard Terpning, Mian Situ, Roy Andersen, Carrie Ballantyne, and many more.

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Thursday, October 1, 2009

St. Vincent's Annual Historic Tour of Homes and Tea on October 17

St. Vincent’s Academy Annual Historic Tour of Homes and Tea to benefit the historic preservation of the original 1845 Convent building will be presented by St. Joseph’s/ Candler on Saturday, October 17 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Often referred to as “the best tour in Savannah,” this self-guided tour of homes will encompass nine residences in the Savannah Historic District. The Convent will also be host to a tea. St. Vincent’s Academy students will serve a delicate repast of tea, homemade confections and traditional tea sandwiches.

The tour hours are 10 a.m.- 4 p.m. on Saturday, October 17. You can purchase tickets online starting August 1, 2009 until noon on Friday, October 16 at or by calling 912.819.7780. The tickets will be held at Will Call to be picked up on the day of the tour at the Tour Ticket Office (Walsh Hall at St. Vincent’s, located at the corner of Lincoln and Harris Streets in downtown Savannah). Tickets can also be purchased at any of the following businesses:

The Savannah Bank
– Downtown (25 Bull St.)
– Mall (400A Mall Blvd.)
– Whitemarsh Island (4741 E. Hwy. 80)
– Medical Arts Shopping Ctr.
– Garden City (100 Chatham Pkwy.)
– Skidaway Island (The Village)
– Richmond Hill (Bryan Bank & Trust)

E. Shaver, bookseller, 912.234.7257
(326 Bull St., behind the Hilton Savannah DeSoto)
Saints & Shamrocks, 912.233.8858 (309 Bull St.)
St. Joseph's/Candler Gift Shop, 912.819.2064 (11705 Mercy Blvd.)
As a final option, tickets will be available on the day of the tour at the Tour Ticket Office between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. Cash, check and credit cards will be accepted.

Tickets are $40 per person (includes Tea at the Convent) plus handling charge for online and phone orders. Tickets purchased by October 7 are just $35.

For more information, please visit or contact Melissa Yao at 912.644.6431 or

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Arts Across Georgia