Humanities Happenings 7/1-7/8

Harvey Girls in Syracuse, Kansas, c. 1920. Photo courtesy of, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Harvey Girls in Syracuse, Kansas, c. 1920.
Photo courtesy of, Kansas Historical Society, Copy and Reuse Restrictions Apply.

Celebrate the anniversary of our nation’s independence with humanities presentations and discussions about uniquely American topics ranging from Abraham Lincoln to the Harvey Girls.

Abilene: Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln and Walt Disney

Abraham Lincoln remains one of the most visibly recognizable historical figures in history. Hundreds of books and articles have tackled nearly every aspect of his life: his political career, writings, psychological and marital problems, and his assassination. Yet it has not always been an easy road in terms of the memory of our 16th president. In the 1960s as the Civil War Centennial got underway, the leadership of the commission thought Lincoln needed to be diminished because of a belief that Civil War students would not much care for his legacy. Brian Craig Miller’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores how the commemoration would have been a total disaster if it were not for Walt Disney, who forged on his own to bring Lincoln to the 1964 World’s Fair in New York through the construction of an attraction called “Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln.” Saturday, July 2 at 7:00 PM at Dickinson County Historical Society. Details here. 

Oberlin: A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains

In 1873 Isabella Bird made an unlikely journey alone on horseback through the Rockies of Colorado, climbing Longs Peak, staying in mountain cabins, and observing the tumultuous world of the mining camps. Michaeline Chance-Reay leads the TALK book discussion of Bird’s “A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains” on Tuesday, July 5 at 6:30 PM at Oberlin City Library. Details here. 

Garden City: The Harvey Girls

The Harvey House chain of restaurants got its start in Topeka, Kansas, when Fred Harvey opened a cafe geared to those traveling on the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe Railway. Preferring the term “Harvey Girls” to waitresses, he recruited single women to work at the Harvey Houses that gradually sprang up all the way to California and Texas. Between the 1880s and the 1950s more than 100,000 women, many of them Kansans, proudly wore the black and white uniform of the internationally known Harvey Company. Michaeline Chance-Reay’s Speakers Bureau presentation explores the adventures of these pioneering young women. Tuesday, July 5 at 1:00 PM at the Finney County Committee on Aging, Inc. Details here.

Find more Humanities Happenings on KHC’s Calendar of Events.