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History students help commemorate 150th anniversary of the Civil War

Civil War ResearchCOLUMBUS, Miss. – Students in The W’s American social history class will present their research and findings of materials related to Columbus’ Civil War past at the opening night of Civil War 150 at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library.

In an effort to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War in Columbus, six students will showcase the information they discovered and interpreted about the Civil War in the Billups-Garth Archives in the Local History Department.

The event will begin Wednesday, May 1 at 5 p.m. in remembrance of those who gave their lives and those whose lives were forever changed, and in doing so, celebrate the strength they contributed to the United States.

Their presentations will be on display for one night only, but Civil War 150will run until Thursday, May 30.  Each student will have three to five minutes to discuss their poster and answer questions.

Emily Wicker, a junior English major and history minor, said, “Through my research, I learned that a historian’s job is never complete, and you may find more questions than answers, but you have to keep digging.”

The students’ presentations will be followed by Professor John Neff’s presentation, “Do not think I have not seen, or have not understood: The gendered memory of the Civil War.”Neff will explore the differing roles played by men and women in the commemoration of the Civil War.

Students who will be presenting are:
Emily Wicker - Civil War in Columbus, Mississippi
Katoria Rice - Columbus Women’s Perspectives on the Civil War
Karen Lott - War Recollections of Columbus Women: Aiding the Development of the Lost CauseBethany Huff-Cyrus Green: The Experience of a Freedom Teacher
Charles Griffith - Differing Perspectives on the Civil War from Caroline Seabury and Lucy Irion Nelson
Christian Friar - Keeping up the Cox Family: Civil War through letters

Also, Whitney Russell a senior history major--who traveled to Washington, D.C., in the summer of 2013 to intern at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, will showcase her senior Honors College project which will be on public display from April 30 to May 10.

Her exhibition titled, “Columbus and the Holocaust, 1933-1945,” will show how the events that did not take place on U.S. soil still had an impact on the historical lives of ordinary Americans. The local exhibition explores the Holocaust in Europe during World War II from the perspective of Columbus.

Russell said, “Through this exhibition people can see what kind of information this town had access to, and also see the reactions that the townspeople had to the atrocities committed [during the war].”

Amber Handy, assistant professor of history said, “Whitney’s project is a result of her interests in history and museum studies and a great example of how to look at an emotionally fraught international subject through a local lens. It is also a sign of the growing interest in public history among students and faculty at MUW.”

This event is free and open to the public though may not be suitable for children under 11. Parental supervision is requested.

The event is sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities, The Library of America and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.



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