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October 2021

The Black Presence at the Battle of Bennington

October 2
7:00 pm
Image of black soldier on horseback

Most Vermonters might be surprised that among the 30 men killed at the Battle of Bennington was a black man, Sipp Ives, a member of Seth Warner’s Continental regiment of Green Mountain Boys. And Ives was not the only patriot of African descent who played a role in the fighting and its aftermath. In this illustrated talk, teacher and author Phil Holland explores military records and early town histories to present a more diverse picture of Vermont’s iconic battle and its Green Mountain Boys than typically depicted. Holland will also reflect on historical memory and how it is preserved and constructed. Read More »


Norwich Public Library: Gilded Age: Then and Now

October 4
7:00 pm
Image of drawing of industrialists atop boat

This series starts with the 1893 Columbian Exposition and continues on through the Gilded Age.  Portrayals of inventors, entrepreneurs, artists and lawyers include Henry James, Stanford White, Clarence Darrow, George Westinghouse, Thomas Edison, D.W. Griffiths and detective William Burns. Three novels and a narrative history illustrate that spectacular time period in ways that in turn illuminate our own era. Read More »


Peacham Library: African American Experience: South to North

October 5
7:00 pm
Peacham Library, Peacham
Image of painting of Great Migration

Personal writing by African-American authors can transcend self-reflection, becoming meditations on history, justice, and freedom from oppression. From Frederick Douglass's first autobiography to Malcolm X's incendiary account of his political awakening, the memoirs and essays in this series reveal as much about society as they do about their authors. Read More »


From the Parlor to Polling Place: Stories and Songs from the Suffragists

October 10
3:00 pm
Suffragette standing before a banner

Singer and historian Linda Radtke, in period garb and “Votes for Women” sash, celebrates the centennial of the passage of the 19th Amendment, specifically highlighting the decades-long persistence of Vermonters, both women and men. Read More »


The Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era

October 12
6:30 pm

What happened in Vermont when the anti-Communist fear known as the “Red Scare” swept the country? Quite a bit, as it turns out. Rick Winston, author of the recently published "Red Scare in the Green Mountains: Vermont in the McCarthy Era," explores some forgotten history as we see how a small, rural “rock-ribbed Republican” state with a historically libertarian streak handled the hysteria of the time. There were several fascinating stories in the Green Mountains, including a high-profile academic firing, a conservative senator who helped take down Joseph McCarthy, controversies involving left-leaning summer residents, and some veteran newspaper editors who spoke out against McCarthy’s tactics. Read More »


Dailey Memorial Library: Women’s Literature: Dual Heritage

October 17
1:30 pm
Image of author Jhumpa Lahiri

This series features contemporary, multicultural female voices. In novels and short stories, these foreign-born American writers celebrate the diversity of their dual heritages. Read More »


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

October 18
7:00 pm
Image of Vermont field in winter

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. Read More »


*DIGITAL* Must Free Speech Endure Hate Speech?

The First Amendment prevents Congress from passing any laws that abridge the freedom of speech. But what does that actually mean? In this presentation, professor Meg Mott considers the history of speech laws in the United States, how states and municipalities have tried to curb offensive speech, and how the Supreme Court has ruled on those efforts. Read More »


HYBRID: Quechee Library: America the Violent

October 19
4:30 pm
Quechee Library, Quechee

The United States is a nation defined by violence, sometimes heroic and sometimes monstrous. Through a combination of both fiction and non-fiction, this series explores the connection between mob violence and American culture, historically spurred often by racism. This series was developed by the Quechee Library. Read More »


Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense

October 20
6:45 pm
Image for Alfred Hitchcock and the Art of Suspense

Hitchcock famously said “Some films are slices of life; mine are slices of cake.” His career spanned forty years and many film eras. Film expert Rick Winston will discuss the evolution of Hitchcock’s craft, exploring his favorite themes, his relationship with his collaborators, and his wry sense of humor no matter how grisly the subject matter. By drawing on twelve film clips, starting with his 1925 silent The Lodger and continuing through to his Hollywood classics such as Notorious and Rear Window, Winston will illuminate the arc of Hitchcock’s brilliant career. Read More »

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