Oct 06, 2020 | Humanities and Social Sciences , Featured

Columbia State To Deliver “Celebrating Our American Heritage” Series Via Virtual Format

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. – Oct. 6, 2020) - - - Columbia State Community College presents its thirty-fourth annual “Celebrating Our American Heritage” lecture series featuring professors from the college’s history department. Lectures will start in October on Wednesdays from 4 – 5:15 p.m. via Zoom.

On October 7, Zacharie Kinslow, Columbia State alumnus, will present “Live with your Head in the Lion's Mouth: Elias Polk and 19th Century Race Relations.” Kinslow will examine the interesting and controversial life of Elias Polk. Once a slave to James K. Polk, Elias rose from bondage to become a leading black conservative, supporting the southern Democrats who had earlier enslaved him and his people. Kinslow’s research on Elias Polk reveals a pragmatic and complex figure who did what he had to do to survive in post-Civil War America while also working actively to secure and perpetuate African American economic independence.

Dr. Anna M. Duch, Columbia State assistant professor of history, will present "All Persons Born or Naturalized are Citizens? The Rights of Women as Citizens in the United States” on Oct. 21. The United States has always promoted itself as the keeper of liberty and of civil rights but, until the 20th century, just over 50 percent of its population was disenfranchised and silenced: women. Duch will trace the history of women's rights in the United States, from the letters of Abigail Adams, to the first women to own land in their own names, and the first women to be elected to office — despite not being able to vote themselves — to the continuing struggle after the 19thAmendment to attain true social and legal equality. Duch will also discuss the waves of feminism and where women are now in a global, digital age.

On Nov. 4, Dr. Luke Truxal, Columbia State adjunct instructor of history, and Greg Mewbourn, Columbia State associate professor of history, will present “Endgame 1945: The End of World War II in Europe and Asia.” This lecture is an examination of the closing months of World War II. Truxal will discuss the end of the war in Europe, including the death of Adolf Hitler, and ultimate defeat of the Nazi regime. Mewbourn will focus on the end of the conflict in the Pacific, including the decision to use atomic weapons against the cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This presentation will also reveal how, as World War II came to a close, the conflict intensified to levels unseen before in warfare, with civilians caught in the middle. 

Dr. Barry Gidcomb, Columbia State professor of history, will close the series on Nov. 18 with “Voices Across Four Centuries: Commemorating the 400th Anniversary of the Voyage of the Mayflower and the Settlement of the Plymouth Colony.” Gidcomb will tell the story of the Pilgrims and the Plymouth settlement through the personal stories of Mayflower Pilgrims as told by Columbia State faculty colleagues. This lecture is presented in memory of Dr. Bill Andrews, retired Columbia State history professor, who was originally scheduled to lead this program.

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. To join via Zoom, follow the link on your smartphone or computer https://columbiastate.zoom.us/j/94328163179.