Archive | History/Archives RSS feed for this section
COURTESY OF CHAUTAUQUA INSTITUTION ARCHIVESIn a photo estimated to have been taken between 1920 and 1929, two teachers and a group of students from the Children’s School observe animals in a coop. The Lodge (emergency hospital) appears in background to the left.

Remembering the Lodge: Chautauqua’s own hospital, 1912–1922

This week, 21st-century Chautauquans explore “Health Care: Reform and Innovation.” Health concerns were also very much on the minds of Chautauquans near the end of the 19th century. Today’s discussion is one of a complex, sophisticated health care system; in the 19th century, it was a discussion of water purification and sewage systems. Today, it’s asking how to organize an effective, affordable health care system; in the 19th century, it was asking how to eliminate contagious disease and treat Chautauquans who may be far from home.

Continue reading

In 1886 lecture, ‘Ben-Hur’ author speaks on Turkish people

On Aug. 7, 1886, General Lew Wallace of Indiana, author of Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ and U.S. Minister to the Ottoman Empire from 1881 to 1885, addressed a Chautauqua audience about “Turkey and the Turks.” The following is excerpted from his speech that day. —George Cooper

Continue reading

Chautauqua, no matter what it means: Distinctively American

Jon Schmitz is not Chautauqua Institution’s archivist and historian for nothing. He looks among the many stones unturned and finds the source of history that, for many, has gone unnoticed. Sometimes he affirms what often was thought to be true — and sometimes he doesn’t.

Continue reading
BABCOCK

Women’s suffrage: A long successful struggle never to be forgotten

For many American citizens, the occasion to vote is as casual as going fishing, something to do on Tuesdays, if the mood and the weather are right. For women, the mood and weather have been the smallest obstacles. The journey of women’s suffrage was long and difficult and was met with unbelievable adversity. This adversity was addressed with remarkable grit and determination, and Chautauqua Institution and Chautauqua County contributed to its eventual acceptance.

Continue reading
PROVIDED PHOTOAndrew Masich in full regalia, dressed for his 47-second appearance in the film “Gettysburg,” in which he gets killed on Little Round Top, following the actor Jeff Daniels in a charge.

Masich’s Heritage Lecture to feature Minié ball, other Civil War narratives

History began for Andrew Masich when he found a Minié ball in the attic of his grandmother’s house at Chautauqua Institution. He was 10 years old. Masich turned that initial curiosity into a career — he is now president and CEO of the Senator John Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh.

He’s maintained his interest in Minié balls and other Civil War narratives and will bring that knowledge to the Institution at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ. The title of his presentation is “Gettysburg and Pennsylvania’s Civil War.”

Continue reading
08_02_heritlectSolomon1_ghc

‘Ben-Hur’ the book, the film, the merchandising genius — and an 1886 boost from Chautauqua

Jon Solomon, a professor of classics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was introduced to the story of “Ben-Hur” when he was 9 years old, through the 1959 film starring Charlton Heston. Today he looks at the film — and the book by Lew Wallace upon which it was based — with a more experienced eye. Solomon will share some of that experience at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ as part of the Oliver Archives Heritage Lecture Series. His lecture is titled “Lew Wallace, Ben-Hur, Chautauqua: The Adolescence of American Popular Culture.”

Continue reading
Norman Carlson | provided image
“THE SCENE OF A HORRIBLE DOUBLE TRAGEDY,” blares the caption headline of this December 1894 news sketch in all-capitals bold type. It continues: “The [Shearman] home near Jamestown, N.Y., where Mrs. [Shearman] and daughter, Mrs. Davis, were foully murdered last week.” The double murder is the subject of historian Norman Carlson’s 3:30 p.m. Heritage Lecture today in the Hall of Christ.

Dramatic history provides snapshot of community at Heritage Lecture

Local historian Norman Carlson said an incident like this serves as a snapshot. Carlson was referring to the first unsolved murder in Chautauqua County, which he will speak about at 3:30 p.m. today in the Hall of Christ.

Continue reading

Modernization: A term for everything that is good

Page 5 of the July 4, 1957, issue of The Chautauquan Daily features a cartoon titled “The Changing Scene.” There are two panels, the first of which depicts a scene from 1907 — a family of six is about to sit down to dinner: a maw, a paw, one daughter and three sons. But the heat is unbearable, and a general air of disarray characterizes the scene.

Continue reading