January 26, 2020 Newsletter

For many years we have had someone play the piano prior to the start of our weekly meetings. We would like to renew this tradition again. If you or someone you know have the skills and willingness to pickup this responsibility, please contact John Radcliffe.

January 31, 2020

Ed Hale

USV Brig Niagara

The U.S. Brig Niagara is the official flagship of the state of Pennsylvania. In 1813, Oliver Hazard Perry sailed the original Niagara into history with a stunning victory over the British. The modern reproduction of this ship sails the Great Lakes, taking this story to many ports of call each summer, serving both as a floating museum and an ambassador of goodwill from our state. What was it like to sail in 1813 aboard a tall ship, and what is it like today? As a volunteer crew member, Ed Hale will recount his experiences of sailing each summer in the spartan conditions of this 1813 replica. Learn how you can take a day sail or even become a volunteer and “sail the high seas” with the crew of the U.S. Brig Niagara.
Ed Hale is a retired middle school history teacher from Keystone Oaks School District. During his 35 years he taught mostly US history covering the period from discovery to the pre-Civil War era. Recently, in his spare time, he has been volunteering as a crewmember on the US Brig Niagara, the Flagship of Pennsylvania based in Erie, doing day sails and extended voyages. His interests also include traveling, metal detecting, bicycling and computers. He has taught Osher classes on The War of 1812, The Great Castle Shannon Bank Robbery, the Brig Niagara and on using Mac computers.

February 7, 2020

Carlton Young

Civil War Letters

Imagine clearing out your family attic and discovering an enormous collection of letters written by two soldiers during the Civil War, but not knowing why the letters were there.

Faced with that situation, Carleton Young spent more than a decade visiting battlefields and researching the two Vermont soldiers. In Voices From the Attic: The Williamstown Boys in the Civil War, he tells the story of two brothers who witnessed and made history by fighting in the Peninsula Campaign, then at South Mountain, Antietam, Fredericksburg, Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, the Wilderness, and Cedar Creek. They then preserved that history through their surprisingly detailed and insightful letters.

Carleton Young has undergraduate degrees in economics from Westminster College and in English from Point Park University, an MA in history from Ohio University, and his PhD in the history of education from the University of Pittsburgh. For 37 years he taught AP American history at Thomas Jefferson High School in Pittsburgh. He has also taught classes as an adjunct professor at the Community College of Allegheny County, the University of Pittsburgh, Eastern Gateway Community College, and in the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Carnegie Mellon University.

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