At 9 a.m. Friday at the United Methodist House, Jon Schmitz, Chautauqua Institution archivist and historian since 2002, will present for the Men’s Club on the challenges of preserving Chautauqua’s history.
It might be that the name, Mary Frances Bestor Cram, is a mouthful. On the other hand, she had a lot to say. Her father, Arthur Bestor, presided over Chautauqua for some 30 years — through two world wars and the Depression. One remarkable event during those years was Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s visit to Chautauqua in August 1936, when he gave his “I Hate War” speech.
On Sunday morning in the Amphitheater, Chautauqua President Thomas M. Becker will mark the beginning of the 2011 Season with the ceremonial three taps of the gavel.
While the gavel has come to symbolize the opening and closing of the Chautauqua Season, the history of “Three Taps” is murky at best, according to Chautauqua historian and archivist Jonathan Schmitz.