Archive for Thursday, June 18, 1998


June 18, 1998


The Douglas County Historical Society will sponsor a fund-raiser, a Chautauqua presentation on the presidential politics of Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower.

Two former history professors will portray the presidents during 30-minute presentations. They also will answer questions in and out of character.

``Impersonating someone else, that's what this is going to be,'' W. Stitt Robinson, a retired history professor and the organizer, said. ``It involves a little bit of theatrical presentation.''

William Worley, the director of the Kansas City Regional History Institute, will portray former President Harry Truman. Loren Pennington, a retired professor from Emporia State University, will portray former President Dwight Eisenhower.

``They know the biography well,'' Robinson said. ``It's not so much a resemblance as historical understanding.''

Robinson said the discussions will be limited to the politics of each president, with a little biographical information.

``This is one of the best pairs I've picked,'' Robinson said. ``I'm not sure how these two will do, they may clash a bit; they didn't like each other in real life.''

Steve Jansen, the Watkins Community Museum of History director, said past fund-raisers have raised between $2,000 and $4,000 for the historical society. The presentation will be at 2 p.m. June 28 at the museum, 1047 Mass., and tickets are $10.

The Chautauqua style of speaking was popular in the 19th century, Robinson said.

``This is really a revival of Chautauqua,'' he said. ``I've been surprised how popular it's been.''

-- Felicia Haynes' phone message number is 832-7173. Her e-mail address is

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