Annual “Celebrating Our American Heritage” Series to Start in October

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. Sept. 11, 2018) - - - Columbia State Community College presents its thirty-second annual “Celebrating Our American Heritage” lecture series featuring professors from the college’s history and English departments. Lectures will start in October on Wednesdays from 4 – 5:15 p.m. in the Ledbetter Auditorium.

Dr. Thomas Flagel, Columbia State associate professor of history, will present “Foreign Bodies: The Immigration Question in American History” Oct. 10. Few topics arouse more passion on the national stage than immigration. Has it always been this controversial? How has the country dealt with this issue over time? What do current trends signal for the future? Flagel will explore this timely subject through a multimedia presentation of the historical evidence. 

On Oct. 31, Dr. Barry Gidcomb, Columbia State professor of history, and Dr. James Senefeld, retired Columbia State professor of English, will present “Invasion of the Body Snatchers: The Harrison Horror and the Plot to Steal Lincoln’s Body” just in time for Halloween. The founding of medical schools in the 19th century and the demand for cadavers to dissect gave rise to an odious practice – grave robbing or “body snatching.” Among the stolen was the remains of a man whose father and son were both elected president of the United States. Meanwhile, a bizarre plot unfolded in Illinois to kidnap a prominent body for ransom. 

On Nov. 7, Gidcomb, Dr. Luke Truxal, Columbia State adjunct professor of history and Greg Mewbourn, Columbia State assistant professor of history, will present “The Victorious Conclusion and the Tragic Aftermath of World War I.” Veterans Day, Nov. 11, marks the centennial of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Gidcomb, Truxal and Mewbourn will examine the circumstances that prompted Germany to seek a ceasefire, the American home front in 1918, and the efforts of President Woodrow Wilson to negotiate a just and lasting peace. 

On Nov. 28, Dr. Anna Duch, Columbia State assistant professor of history and medieval historian, will close the series with “Dr. Duch Ruins American History, Part I.” Duch will take a look at American history – from the American colonial period to the Civil War – and giggle.  Please come equipped with a sense of humor and an open mind as American history isn't always what you think.

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

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

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