Archive for Monday, May 28, 2007

2 events give past new life

Battle of Black Jack, Chautauqua activities designed for all ages

May 28, 2007


History will come alive next month in Baldwin City with two events.

More information

¢ Cost for the Battle of Black Jack supper on June 2 is $12.50 in advance, $15 at the gate and $5 for children 12 and under. Tickets are available at Baldwin City's MidAmerica Bank, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce and the Lawrence Visitor Center.¢ For more information on the Chautauqua event at Baker University, see or call (785) 357-0359.¢ To participate in StoryCorps interviews, contact Baldwin City historian Brenda Day at (785) 594-8380 to schedule a time June 22-23.

The 151st anniversary of the Battle of Black Jack is June 2, and the Kansas Humanities Council Chautauqua is June 18-24. Baldwin City historian Brenda Day is involved in both efforts and hopes the community will respond.

Day, who is director of Baker University's Old Castle Museum and archives, said the Black Jack event will feature a campfire supper, tours and music.

The event celebrates the storied battle between abolitionist John Brown and proslavery forces that occurred June 2, 1856, just east of Baldwin City. Many historians consider it the first armed conflict of what was to become the Civil War.

The festivities get under way at 4 p.m. June 2 two miles east and a half mile south of Baldwin City. Tours of the battlefield, Black Jack cabin and prairie will run every hour until 7 p.m. The campfire supper will be at 6 p.m. A short program starts at 7 p.m.

About three weeks later, Chautauqua will take center stage on the Baker University campus. A youth camp will run June 18-22, with the main event set for June 20-24.

Described as a "step back in time," Chautauqua features actors portraying famous Kansans Carry Nation, Langston Hughes, William Allen White and Dr. J.R. Brinkley, an early-20th century medical quack who transplanted goat glands into male patients.

Here's the daily schedule for June 21-24:

¢ 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.: Kid-Tauqua and story tent.

¢ 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.: Dinner.

¢ 7 p.m.: Local music and evening performance.

The weeklong event also will feature the StoryCorps program, with oral history recordings June 22-23 at Baker's Mabee Hall.

Day encourages Baldwin City area residents to come and share their stories, which will be recorded and archived at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress. Excerpts are broadcast each Friday on National Public Radio's "Morning Edition."

"I want people to understand that their stories won't just be kept in Baldwin City, but nationally," she said.

Day is looking for StoryCorps participants of all ages.

"Yes, I want the old-timers, but I want a full-bodied story," she said. "I want to capture the whole range - not just old, but young."

That history doesn't have to be about Baldwin City, either.

Day said she's seeking stories about people's lives: "Things they've experienced from World War II, the Vietnam and Iraq wars, anything."

- Jeff Myrick, Baldwin City Signal editor, can be reached at (785) 594-7080.


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