20th annual Likes Lectures series to offer four online lectures beginning Tuesday

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NEW PHILADELPHIA, Ill. — The New Philadelphia Association is announcing the topics and speakers for its 20th annual Marvin J. and Thomas Leo Likes Lecture Series, which will take place online each Tuesday in June at 7 p.m. beginning June 4.

The lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is required.

The lecture series began in 2004 as part of the archaeology NSF-REU field school and was open to the public. The Likes Lectures honor surveyors Marvin J. Likes and son Tom, who donated time and talent to New Philadelphia.

The Likes Lectures are in partnership with the Freedom Corridor, which is the host of online lectures, Freedom Corridor Conversations, during the other months besides June. Their speakers are a mix of local and national authors and history activists and on similar topics. This collaboration provides additional promotion of both group’s missions and stories.

The theme of the 2024 Likes Lecture Series is “Likes Lectures, 20 Years and Growing.” This year’s schedule of topics and speakers are:

June 4: A Sketch of Pre-Contact Time in Western Illinois by Jacki Rand and Brooke Morgan. They will speak about Native American people and archaeological areas, both precontact and during the early historical time periods — specifically those in the area associated with the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Archaeology sites near the New Philadelphia National Historic Site in Barry will be discussed. 

June 11:  The Last Fugitive Slave Seeks Freedom” The story of Arthur Alexander. Author and historian Dorris Keeven-Franke will share the true story of a freedom seeker named Archer Alexander, whose gravesite is listed in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program. After overhearing his enslaver’s plot to destroy a Union Railroad bridge, he risked his life to save others. As the Slave Patrol pursued him to St. Louis, he was taken in by a Missouri abolitionist. Alexander would later be selected to represent the heroism and sacrifices of all emancipated enslaved individuals on the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, D.C.

June 18:  The Springfield Massacre of 1908 and the birth of the NAACP by Brian Mitchell, director of Research and Interpretation for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. As noted Springfield historian Collum Davis wrote, “Our prominent place in the state’s and nation’s history can be explained by the two outstanding facts of our past: Abraham Lincoln and the 1908 race riot.” The legacy of Lincoln is enshrined in local and national histories, while the memory of the 1908 race massacre has largely been erased and ignored. This program will shed light on the silenced voices who were subjected to the ravages of the mob — the African American men and women whose homes and businesses were looted and set ablaze.

June 25: Consumption Junction: Analyzing Material Culture from New Philadelphia Across Rural and Racial Divides by Kati Fay, programs coordinator at Denver Botanic Gardens in Denver, Colo., and a former New Philadelphia graduate student and excavation crew leader. Fay presents findings from her dissertation project on the Louisa Clark McWorter homesite. Learn more about the history of the Clarks, Louisa’s life and the family she started with Squire McWorter through the lens of first-hand excavation work, material culture and interpretation of how New Philadelphia fit into the broader society at the time. 

To register, click on https://bit.ly/likes2024 or contact newphiladelphiail@gmail.com

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