The public is invited to join guest speaker Dr. Laura L. McLemore, Louisiana State University-Shreveport (LSUS), as she speaks on Gray Ghost: Collective Memory of a Confederate Texas as part of Confederate History Month educational programs. The program will be held beneath the historic pavilion, to include an informal social time and refreshments provided by the Friends of the Confederate Reunion Grounds.
Chautauqua was an adult education movement in the United States, highly popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries for the average American before mass media. Named after Chautauqua Lake where the first was held, Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout rural America until the mid-1920s. The Chautauqua brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers, and specialists of the day. Former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was quoted as saying that Chautauqua is "the most American thing in America."
The Chautauqua will be held in conjunction with an exhibition from the special collections of the Joseph E. Johnston Camp 94, United Confederate Veterans, Mexia, Texas (now the Confederate Reunion Grounds State Historic Site). As part of the Chautauqua special event on April 11th, the visitors center and exhibition at the Confederate Reunion Grounds are open to visitors for free admission from 8 a.m.–5 p.m. The exhibition will be available to the public through April 30, 2015 for regular admission and scheduled hours.
Dr. McLemore is head of LSUS Archives and Special Collections and an adjunct professor in history at LSUS. She also teaches an English course online for Grayson County College in Denison. For additional information about Dr. McLemore, including her publications, visit http://www.lsus.edu/laura-mclemore.
This program is made possible in part by a grant from the Humanities Texas.