Civil War photography, lost communities and art as political expression are just some of the lessons presenters from The Battle of Marshall speakers bureau want to bring to life for area students and civic organizations.
"Most speakers will arrive in the classroom dressed in period costume, and some will portray a real person from history," said Cynthia Nold, one of the committee members organizing the bureau. "The primary reason for developing a speakers bureau was outreach to schools. However, the speakers later volunteered to speak to adult civic clubs and organizations to enlarge the appreciation of Civil War history and Saline County's unique experiences 150 years ago."
She said volunteers hoped by creating a variety of topics teachers would find a way to incorporate these topics into required course work grades.
Because of varied speakers bureau offerings, teachers of art, literature, and other subjects may find use for speakers in addition to history teachers.
The speakers are just a small part of the year-long commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Marshall. The main event, sponsored by the Marshall Cultural Council in partnership with local governments and organizations, will be held in conjunction with Santa Fe Trail Days, Sept. 13-15, 2013, at Indian Foothills Park.
According to organizers, the Civil War changed social relationships, economics and geography. The commemoration and the speakers will help illustrate that importance.
"Marvin Wilhite's program on Saline County towns contrasts the development of pre- and post-Civil War communities. Both Bill Westbrook's and Chris Nelson's presentations relate to photography, in its early journalistic stage in the 1860s," explained Nold. "Early photography was static; subjects had to hold a pose. Now students with cell phones can take instant photos and action videos with ease."
Teachers who want a speaker for a class should contact them directly to arrange date and time, Nold said.
The presenters and topics available are: