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Archive for Thursday, July 30, 1998

CIVIL WAR GROUP PLANS ACTIVITIES FOR ANNIVERSARY

July 30, 1998

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Civil War on the Western Frontier plans activities surrounding the 135th anniversary of Quantrill's Raid.

Almost 135 years ago, Lawrence was in the middle of conflict.

From the Aug. 16 to Aug. 23, residents will get a chance to relive the historic events that shaped the city's future. Civil War on the Western Frontier, along with the Kansas Humanities Council, will present workshops, lectures and tours focusing on the area's Civil War history.

Quantrill's Raid on Aug. 21, 1863, left much of the town in ruins. Though it was a bloody, disastrous event, Katie Armitage says it was an important one -- the most historically significant event in Lawrence's history.

``We tried to think of how to put this whole event into historical context,'' she said. ``We'll try to make it interesting.''

The week of the raid's anniversary will have more than 15 different activities. This is the third year of Civil War activities, Armitage said, and this year Civil War on the Western Frontier is trying to appeal to a wide range of people, including children.

Some of the highlights of the events are a mud-fort-building seminar for children and horse-drawn trolley tours retracing the raid.

``We can let kids learn history and play in the mud,'' Armitage said. ``We're actually going to try to construct a mud fort. We'll be doing good enough if we have one big enough the kids can't see over.''

The Kansas Humanities Council is sponsoring several lectures at the Eldridge Hotel, including ``Plunder and Revenge: William Clark Quantrill,'' and ``Rebuilding Shattered Lives: Aftermath of the Raid.'' On the weekend, re-enactors will set up in Constant Park. Other activities include quilting seminars and a bus trip to Lecompton.

``The Civil War was the defining event in American History,'' Armitage said. ``It's good that we look back.''

Many of the events have a fee for participation, though the lecture series is free. Armitage urges people to make reservations for events, as space may be limited. For more information about the events or to make reservations, call the Eldridge Hotel at (785) 749-5011. Lists of events are available at the Lawrence Visitor Information Center, the Eldridge Hotel and the Lawrence Public Library.

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is fhaynes@ljworld.com.

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