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How the Guitar Conquered America
May 28, 2019
Fairbanks Museum and Planetarium
When the first guitar reached these shores 425 years ago, it was a small, unimpressive folk instrument. Now, more guitars are sold in America than all other musical instruments combined. How did this unlikely conquest take place? Tim Brookes attempts to answer that question with demonstrations, displays, and slides. He touches on the rise of technologies and speaks to the guitar’s importance in defining national, ethnic, and regional identity. He also connects the guitar to such utterly unexpected incidents as the importance of the Confederate Steam Ship Shenandoah, Bonnie and Clyde’s life of crime, and the sad demise of Strenuous Lifer, the pig in the Coney Island Zoo.