Likes Lecture Series Begins June 6
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The annual Marvin J and Thomas Leo Likes Lecture Series will take place each Tuesday evening in June at 7 pm DST beginning June 6. With several years of online success, we gather online again this year, via Zoom.
The Likes Lecture Series began in 2004 as part of the archaeology NSF-REU field school conducted at New Philadelphia. The school is named to honor Barry area surveyors Marvin Likes and his son Tom who donated so much time and talent to New Philadelphia.
New Philadelphia: From a family and local story to a national story of freedom … is the theme of the 2023 Likes Lecture Series, which features four fascinating topics. These lectures are free and open to the public, but you must sign up for the zoom link. To do so, email email@example.com
This year’s schedule of topics and speakers includes:
June 6: New Philadelphia and our path to becoming part of the National Park Service
Moderator: Dr. Paul Shackel
Dr. Shackel, who started the Likes Lecture Series in 2004 will kick off this year’s series. Paul will present a brief history of New Philadelphia and our path to becoming a unit of the National Park System. Other presenters will be the superintendents from the other 2 parks in Illinois. Superintendent Tim Good from the Lincoln Home National Historic Site and Superintendent Teri Gage from the Pullman National Historic Park will present. Following their presentations, Dr. Shackel will tie things together.
June 13: Building the West Central Illinois Freedom Corridor – Six Cities in West Central Illinois
Moderator: Gerald McWorter
Dr. McWorter will provide an overview of the proposed West Central Illinois Freedom Corridor, and steps that have been taken so far. Museums in the six cities (Hannibal, Quincy, Barry, Pittsfield, Jacksonville and Springfield) will provide an overview of their museum, the New Philadelphia or freedom seeker information that is there currently, and any planned/desired exhibits. The remaining time is available for questions, and ideas for moving forward.
June 20: Integrating New Philadelphia into Local Curricular History
Moderator: Kate Williams-McWorter
What and how are local educators already teaching about New Philadelphia? What new ways can we imagine? What else in the curriculum connects to the newest National Park? Dr. Williams-McWorter will lead the discussion, sharing existing resources. Educators from nearby colleges and high schools will share their experiences and ideas.
June 27: John and Mary Meachum and The Floating Freedom School, including the development of the children’s book, Steamboat School. Participants include representatives from the Mary Meachum Freedom Crossing and Ron Husband, illustrator of Steamboat School,
Moderator: Kaye Iftner
John and Mary Meachum were abolitionists and conductors on the Underground Railroad in the St. Louis area. When the slave state of Missouri banned all education for black people in 1847, the school Rev. Meachum was operating secretly in the basement of his church was closed and Meachum and a white teacher were arrested.
In response, Meachum moved his classes to a steamboat in the middle of the Mississippi River, which was subject to Federal law and outside of Missouri’s jurisdiction. The boat was equipped with desks and chairs and he called it the “Floating Freedom School”. It continued until his death in 1854.
This story was brought to life when Disney Press developed a book, Steamboat School, written by Deborah Hopkinson. Disney animator, Ronald Husband, was asked to illustrate the book. Husband was the first African American animator at Walt Disney Studios.
For additional information about the lecture series, please check the New Philadelphia website at www.newphiladelphiail.org, or contact Program Chair, Kaye Iftner at 201-314-3624.