Vermont Humanities

Vermont, 1800 and Froze to Death: The Cold Year of 1816

Franklin Town Hall 5167 Main St, Franklin, VT, United States

1816 has long been known as the year without summer. Vermonters still call it “1800 and Froze to Death,” a year of frosts every month, dark skies, and mysterious lights that caused a widespread belief that a higher power was displeased. In this talk, historian Howard Coffin includes scores of anecdotes on the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival.

Comics and Queerness in Vermont and Beyond

Unitarian Universalist Church of Springfield 21 Fairground Rd, Springfield, VT, United States

Vermont Cartoonist Laureate Tillie Walden presents a look at the intersection of indie comics with queer identity through her many graphic novels—from science fiction to memoir to historical retelling. Explore process and power through visual narrative and learn why comics are relevant to Vermonters and beyond.

Extreme Survival: Lessons from Those Who Triumphed Against All Odds

Westview Meadows at Montpelier 171 Westview Meadows Rd, Montpelier, VT, United States

We have all heard amazing stories of survival that rendered us awestruck. But too often, we don’t realize the wealth of information we can learn from people who make it to the other side of life’s most daunting challenges. In this talk, New York Times bestselling author Michael J. Tougias chronicles harrowing survival stories and then discusses lessons to learn from these experience.

Comics in World History and Cultures

Hartland Public Library 153 Route 5, Hartland, VT, United States

A whirlwind tour of comics around the world and throughout human history! Join award-winning cartoonist and educator Marek Bennett (M.Ed.) as we explore and explain comics from many corners of the globe — with special attention to how people use sequential visual narratives to share ideas, information, and meaning.

400 Miles Down the Connecticut River

Weathersfield Proctor Library 5181 Route 5, Ascutney, VT, United States

New England's longest river, the Connecticut, is rich in history. Michael Tougias, author of fourteen books about New England, offers a narrated slide presentation that takes the viewer down the entire 410 miles of the river, discussing history from the days of loggers, Indian Wars, steamships, and canals.

Vermont Women and the Civil War

Justin Morrill State Historic Site 214 Morrill Memorial Drive, Strafford, VT, United States

Historian Howard Coffin explains, with nearly 35,000 of the state’s able-bodied men at war, how women took on farming, worked in factories, served as nurses in the state’s military hospitals, and more. And at least one Vermont woman appears to have secretly enlisted and fought in a Vermont regiment!

Drawing from letters and diaries, Coffin tells their story in their own words, describe life during the Civil War in the Green Mountain State.