A Brattleboro History Exhibit

I thought it might be fun to tell you about a project (in-progress!) I’m working on with the Brattleboro Historical Society. It’s an exhibit all about Brattleboro that will be on display at the Vermont Historical Society in Montpelier, from August to January.

BHS hired me on to do exhibit design and project manage, two things I enjoy doing. I also love Brattleboro history.

Fair Housing and Freedom of Association

This essay is part of an ongoing dialogue with my nephew. It is a response to his contention that the Fair Housing Act of 1968 outlaw freedom of association, because  it force diversity on people. I had mentioned the history of lynching. Challenging the connection between lynching and the freedom of association argument, he responded: “The number of lynchings fell to essentially 0 well before LBJ was elected: http://xroads.virginia.edu/~MA03/faturoti/harlem/collage/lynchstats.html”

Dear Russell,

Lynchings were often not simply hangings:

The Barbarians

Although on some level I must have known this already, somehow I was surprised to learn (in a book on Celtic history called The Ancient Paths by Graham Robb) that the ancestors of most white Americans were the same people we remember in history as “the barbarian hordes.”

A Phil Hoff Story

Back in the ‘60s, I attended a conference of Electrical Utilities.

The conference was held in Lake George, NY, and the two keynote speakers were Nelson Rockefeller, then Governor of New York, and the newly elected Governor of Vermont, Phil Hoff.

Rockefeller was the first to arrive, and, arrive he did, with a huge entourage.

Woolen Mill

I noticed the history note about John Birge’s woolen mill burning down. There is an old woolen mill still standing on Birge Street. It is now apartments. I wonder if this is on the site of the one that burned? I’ve read that they made blankets there for the Union Army and later for Jordan Marsh.

Navigate the Online Portal for New England Genealogical Research with Jerry Carbone: AmericanAncestors.org

On Monday, December 11, at 6:30 PM, genealogist Jerry Carbone will discuss the genealogical treasures of the online content of Americanancestors.org, in his talk, “Navigating the Online Portal for New England Genealogical Research, AmericanAncestors.org,” in the Brooks Memorial Library meeting room, beginning at 6:30 PM.

Field Trip

The scene is the Civil Rights Museum, Memphis, Tennessee. For those unaware, in addition to its nickname as the birthplace of rock and roll, and being the largest city on the Mississippi River, Memphis is named after another Delta city, the ancient capital of lower Egypt, a mighty dynasty long since vanished into oblivion. Most notably, Memphis is where Martin Luther King was shot. That exact spot being the setting for this encounter. 

First Wednesdays at Brooks Library: The Indian World of George Washington

The upcoming Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesday lecture will discuss how George Washington handled his interactions with Indian peoples. Join us on Wednesday, May 3 at 7 pm at Brooks Memorial Library. Dartmouth College professor Colin Calloway will look at the first president’s relations with Indian peoples and consider how Native American nations and lands shaped the man who shaped the republic. His talk, “The Indian World of George Washington,” is part of the Vermont Humanities Council’s First Wednesdays lecture series and is free and open to the public. 

Avant-Garde: The Four of Us and the Single Issue Movement

As a longtime marijuana activist, I took an informal review of the state of marijuana in Vermont when I came to Brattleboro almost ten years ago. Evidently, marijuana was a very popular drug of choice and commonly used. But I never dreamed that down the road four guys would help to create a refuge from the storm of prosecutorial madness for personal-use possession of marijuana.