DEMETRIUS FREEMAN | File Photo The U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus perform in the Amphitheater in 2012. If…
Martin Luther King Jr. believed that the triple threat crippling the American economy — racism, poverty and militarism — is also jeopardizing our democracy.
Shortly before coming to work at Chautauqua Institution in 1996, Jared Jacobsen made a stop at a tiny parish church in London around July 4 to play a recently restored 16th-century pipe organ. He performed “Variations on ‘America,’ ” by Charles Ives, and “the aisles went crazy.”
The U.S. Army Field Band & Soldiers’ Chorus has been coming to Chautauqua Institution for years. But last year, they were noticeably absent.
On April 6, 1917, the United States Congress responded to President Woodrow Wilson’s request and officially declared the country in a state of war. Many people had expected it. Two and a half years earlier, Europe erupted in battle, but the U.S. kept itself neutral. German maritime transgressions, a sense of U.S. responsibility to freedom and democracy, and finally a sense of the country’s vulnerability, led Wilson to make his request. Chautauqua Institution followed.
The 1917 Season would be Chautauqua’s 44th Assembly. As the June 29 edition of The Chautauquan Daily said, it would be a “War-time Chautauqua.”
Ida Tarbell, a former Chautauquan Daily writer and editor, and later muckracker and activist against corporate monopoly, spoke two times that summer, once about “Doing Our Bit” and a second about “Fear of Efficiency.” The Daily reported that the “Famous writer believes that people of the country are doing well in preparation for the coming struggle.”
Chautauqua Institution native-son George E. Vincent, eschewing the beard his father, John Heyl Vincent, wore, possessed a dimpled chin and dark, kind eyes. He was given the college education his father had missed.
In his book Chautauqua: A Center for Education, Religion, and the Arts in America, Theodore Morrison wrote that the young Vincent’s “leadership at Chautauqua was a true filial succession, yet it seems clear that the son belonged to a later generation than the father in mores and beliefs as well as chronology.”
The War of 1812 is a sometimes overlooked but nonetheless important conflict in the United States’ coalescence and national identity. As that war contributed to the country, so did Chautauqua County contribute to that war. To explain some of the local, Chautauqua County connection to the War of 1812, and to situate it within the scheme of the whole war, the Oliver Archives Heritage Lecture Series will sponsor Traci Langworthy, assistant professor of history at Jamestown Community College, today at 3:30 p.m. in the Hall of Christ. She will lecture on “In the Shadows of War: Chautauqua Region and the War of 1812.”
Langworthy has been at Jamestown Community College full time since 2004, where she has taught U.S. and world history. She also has developed a course in local history that explores some of the area’s contributions to U.S. history.