History symposium speakers to bring lessons from the past

By Nichole Falcone
November 10, 2006

The 400th Anniversary of Jamestown and the 225th of The Battle of Yorktown will be presented from five different points of view at Cabrini on Nov. 11. The History Club is bringing speakers to share with us their expertise about these important aspects of America’s history.

Speaking about Jamestown will be Lisa Doak, who graduated from Cabrini in 2000 and has since gone on to work at The Colonial National Historical Park in Virginia. When she suggested to Dr. James Hedtke, professor of history, that this year’s symposium be about these anniversaries, she hardly expected to be asked to present.

Doak is part of the Jamestown Glasshouse, one of the few standing buildings from the 1700s. She will be discussing the significance of the use of glassblowing in the colony.

“I really want to make [the celebration of these anniversaries] expand out of Virginia,” Doak said. “People [in Virginia] know about it and it is huge. I hope that this will be an outlet for this to be understood better in this area.”

“It’s part of being at a college [to be] exposed to scholars from outside of our community, who are tops in their field,” said Hedtke about the symposium. Hedtke also went onto say that “[These] are two important anniversaries that really shaped who the American people are. As an American, you can learn a little something more about your background.”

And that doesn’t even begin to describe everything there is to know. The settlement of Jamestown is a story rich in legend; for many, the names Pocahontas and John Smith spring to mind. But the colony was so much more than that. The colonists experienced many hardships, including starvation and conflict with the Native Americans. The Battle of Yorktown is considered one of the most important battles of the American Revolution. In the battle, George Washington and Count de Rochambau, of the French, attacked General Cornwallis’ camp in Yorktown, Va. Cornwallis soon surrendered, ensuring an American victory in the revolution.

Along with Doak, other speakers include Beverly Straube, F.S.A. who has been featured in “National Geographic,” “Nova” and other national programs. Gregory Urwin, Ph.D., who was part of the Washington series on The History Channel and is a professor at Temple University. Michael Litterst, a public affairs officer at the Colonial National Historical Park, and has also been a park ranger at Gettysburg, Richmond, Fredericksburg and Manassas. Melanie Perrault, Ph. D., who has also contributed to documentaries on The History Channel and is an associate professor at Salisbury University.

Admission is free to Cabrini students, faculty and staff and is $15 for visitors. Students can also take the course for one credit. Sign up in the registrar’s office for HIS400 Z. A continental breakfast and full lunch will be included.

Nichole Falcone

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