The Ohio County Public Library in Wheeling will participate in Wheeling’s Civil War 150 West Virginia Statehood Sesquicentennial Week celebration by offering a series of free programs in support of the event.
On Tuesday, June 18 at noon Dr. David Zimring will be at the library’s popular Lunch With Books program to present, “Secession in Favor of the Constitution: How West Virginia Justified Separate Statehood during the Civil War.” The program is in partnership with the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corporation. Dr. Zimring earned his PhD from the University of Virginia and is a professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. He also taught Civil War history at Virginia Tech. His scholarly paper on the subject of West Virginia statehood was published in West Virginia History: A Journal of Regional Studies. Vol. 3, No. 3, Fall, 2009. He has presented at the Society of Civil War Historians Conference in Lexington, KY, and at Appomattox Courthouse, Appomattox, VA, among other places. Lunch With Books programs are free and open to the public. Patrons are invited to bring a bag lunch and free beverages are served.
That same Tuesday evening at 7:00 PM, at the library’s PEOPLE’S UNIVERSITY American History 2, The Civil War & Statehood series, Dr. David Javersak, a member of the West Virginia Sesquicentennial Committee will present “The Wheeling Conventions.” Dr. Javersak’s lecture will answer key questions such as: Why did Western Virginians opposed to Virginia’s secession from the Union choose Wheeling for their conventions? How and why did they create a Reorganized Government of Virginia? And how did a new state evolve from the deliberations at Wheeling’s Custom House? People’s University programs are also free and open to the public.
The library’s celebration will continue at the third Wheeling Arts Fest on Saturday June 22, from 11:00 AM to 4:00 PM. Programs will be presented in the library’s auditorium, some with financial assistance from the West Virginia Humanities Council, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations will not necessarily represent those of the West Virginia Humanities Council or the National Endowment for the Humanities.
At 11 AM: The Heritage Dance Association will present a program entitled, “The History of Dance in the Ohio Valley”. It will be part lecture and part dance demonstration. Don Feenerty will be presenting the lecture interspersed with dances by members of the Heritage Dance Association. The program is based on primary sources, mainly journal entries that mention dance, the style of dance and in some cases the names of dances—all taken from journals and books written by men who lived or traveled through Western Pennsylvania and Western Virginia. Dancers will be costumed in fashions of the 18th and 19th centuries.
At 1:00 PM, WV Poet Laureate Marc Harshman will present a Creative Writing Workshop called “Poetry Prompts Suitable for Everyday Praxis.” In this hands-on writing workshop Mr. Harshman will show how things as mundane as lists, eavesdropping, headlines, and imitation, especially imitation of voice, can provide a way forward not only to new poems but to the re-seeing of old ones. He promises to bring a wide range of samples to help fuel the search for the news that stays new.
The library’s events will continue at 2:30 PM with “Songs & Poems of the Civil War & Statehood,” featuring the Quarter Tone Quartet and readers Dr. David Thomas and CJ Farnsworth. The program will include readings of poems by Walt Whitman, Emily Dickinson, and Stephen Crane among others, as well as songs like “Battle Cry of Freedom,” “West Virginia, My Home Sweet Home,” and “Aura Lee,” among many others.
The library will also sponsor the “Spoken Word Tent” at the West Virginia Northern Community College square from 10 AM to 5 PM. Local history and local interest books will be available for purchase. Marc Harshman will sign books from 11 AM to noon and steamboat historian John Bowman will be available from 12:30 to 3:30 PM. Additional authors will be announced.
All library WV 150 events are free and open to the public. Please call 304-232-0244 or visit facebook.com/lunchwithbooks for more information.