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The Keene Public Library explores World War I and America

The Keene Public Library has received a World War I and America grant, an initiative of Library of America presented in partnership with the Gilder Lehman Institute of American History, the National World War I Museum and Memorial, and other organizations, with generous support from the National Endowment for the Humanities. It will be combined with a grant from the New Hampshire Humanities to explore moral and philosophical implications of war during the  “Keene Chautauqua 2017: World War I & America” project.

The project includes film presentations, discussions, musical presentations, and our annual Chautauqua. Some early events include a screening of the film "All Quiet on the Western Front," which will be shown at the library on Wednesday, August 2, 2017,  at 7 p.m.and a discussion led by Professor John Lund on Wednesday, August 9, 2017 at the Horatio Colony House Museum, 199 Main St., at 7 p.m.

Should Americans try to make the world safe for democracy? How should a democratic society deal with dissent at home while it is fighting overseas? What does the nation owe to those who fight on its behalf? Is America’s claim to moral leadership abroad impaired by racial injustice at home?” The public is invited to explore these questions and more through the eyes of sociologist, historian, and civil rights activist W.E.B. Dubois and President Woodrow Wilson, portrayed by living history presenters Charles Everett Pace and Dr. Paul Vickery on Friday, August 25 at 6:30 pm at the Keene Public Library.

Traveling, tented “Chautauquas” were a popular form of American adult education in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Today’s Chautauquas feature scholars portraying significant historical figures in first-person performances followed by a Q & A period with the character and the scholar. New Hampshire Humanities brought the modern Chautauqua movement to the state in the 1990s, and with grant support from New Hampshire Humanities, Keene Public Library has kept up the tradition, planning and organizing an evening of living history for the public every year since 2006.

For more information please contact Gail Zachariah at gzachariah@ci.keene.nh.us.