MPL Talks

12 28, 2019

Christmas in a Civil War Camp

By |2019-12-28T06:00:26-05:00December 28, 2019|

Our friends from James A. Garfield National Historic Site have taken us to Gettysburg, Antietam, Atlanta, and beyond during their Civil War lecture series.

But now Allison Powell of JAGNHS leads us somewhere new: Christmas during the Civil War. She depicts for us Christmas scenes from Union camps, Confederate camps, even prison camps, and both home fronts.

She also explains how the war changed Christmas traditions for our nation.

By the way, our Civil War series will continue in 2020. We’ll discuss The Battle Of Middle Creek at noon on Wednesday, Jan. 10 at our Main Branch. As always, the talk is free and open to all. Don’t miss learning about Colonel James A. Garfield’s finest hour.

By the way, if you’re interested in Civil War history, several talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety.

02 21, 2019

The Coming of the French Revolution

By |2019-02-21T06:00:51-05:00February 21, 2019|

Our resident historian Dr. John Foster discussed the origin of the French Revolution during a lecture earlier this week.

We’ve posted the talk online in its entirety for this unable to attend. (By the way, sorry for the technical glitches. We hope you enjoy the video anyhow.)

Foster explains:

  • how France’s enormous debt precipitated the Revolution
  • how the Third Estate (that is, everyone but nobility and clergy) wrested power from the nobility and clergy
  • how public perception of King Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette is, in some ways, unfairly skewed
  • what ultimately doomed King Louis XVI
  • the relationship between the American and French revolutions.

Speaking of which, each year Foster gives a series of lectures about American history. His previous topics include the Battles of World War II and US Presidents of the 20th Century. This year, he’ll discuss the American Revolution.

The series begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 21, at our Main Branch. The topic is the origins of the Revolution.

Finally, if you’re interested, most of Foster’s previous historical talks can be viewed in their entirety on our YouTube channel.

08 27, 2018

Harry Truman: The Beginning of the Cold War

By |2018-08-27T06:00:35-04:00August 27, 2018|

Our resident historian Dr. John Foster continued his US Presidents of the 20th Century series last month with Harry S. Truman.

We’ve filmed and shared his talk for those who couldn’t join us that night.

Truman’s rise to the presidency is nearly unimaginable. He was a failed haberdasher and zinc miner. Yet he served as president during some of this nation’s most tenuous times — the end of World War II and beginning of the Cold War.

And his policies still have an effect on our military, diplomacy and civil rights.

Our series continues at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 18, with a focus on Dwight Eisenhower. The talk is free to attend and open to all.

Foster will also discuss American Transcendentalism at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 13, at our Main Branch. The talk is part of celebration of Little Women’s 150th anniversary.

Louisa May Alcott’s father, Amos Bronson Alcott, was one of the most important figures in Transcendentalism, a uniquely American tradition that helped to define our national culture in the 19th century and beyond.

Foster – who in addition to being a reference librarian also earned a doctorate degree in history – will talk about Transcendentalism and the world of the Alcotts. Registration is required and opens Aug. 30.

Other historical talks by Foster can be watched on our YouTube page, as well, including:

07 22, 2018

The History of the Medal of Honor

By |2018-07-22T06:00:39-04:00July 22, 2018|

It is our nation’s highest military award, but how much do you know about the Medal of Honor?

Todd Arrington, site coordinator at James A. Garfield National Historic Siteguides us through the Medal’s origins and history as part of our Leaders & Legacies of the Civil War Series.

Hear stories of father-son duos that received the award and the rare people who actually earned TWO Medals of Honor. Additionally, discover the only woman and president to ever receive the Medal of Honor.

Our Civil War series continues at noon on Wednesday, Aug. 8, at our Main Branch. The topic will President Ulysses S. Grant and the election of 1968.

By the way, if you’re interested in Civil War history, some other previous talks in our Civil War series can be viewed online in their entirety:

07 20, 2018

The Shipwrecks of Lake Erie with Mike & Georgann Wachter

By |2018-07-20T06:00:56-04:00July 20, 2018|

Mike and Georgann Wachter – local shipwreck hunters and authors – visited us earlier this month to discuss wrecks they’ve discovered and researched in Lake Erie.

For those who weren’t able to make it to their talk, they were kind enough to film an interview. They discuss:

  1. The agony and ecstasy of hunting for shipwrecks. Mike Wachter describes it as “hours of boredom for seconds of joy.”
  2. How they research the stories of their sunken vessels.
  3. Why the Great Lakes are the best place to search for shipwrecks.
  4. Why so many boats wreck in Lake Erie, in particular.

The husband-and-wife team have written books and several articles on the more than 2,000 sunken ships in Lake Erie. For more information on Erie wrecks, visit their website.


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