Greensburg Daily News, Greensburg, IN

Columns

November 27, 2012

Chautauqua then and now

Greensburg — Well, honestly!

Don’t ever count on using the Internet for the definition of a word.

I’m excited about the Chautauqua that’s coming up at the Greensburg High School Auditorium Thursday evening. After I decided to write about this, it seemed perfectly normal to look up the word to see exactly what it means.

Sure, I assumed it’s an Indian (or Native American) word. Here is what the Internet gave me:  Chautauqua is a Seneca word meaning ‘place of mists,’ ‘place of easy death,’ and ‘where the fish was taken out.’ OR, it is an Iroquois word, meaning either ‘two moccasins tied together’ or ‘bag tied at the middle’ or ‘jumping fish.’

I gave up but did learn that the first Chautauqua was established in 1874 on Lake Chautauqua, N.Y. and made adult education and morally uplifting recreation available to everyone.

I have known a couple of the men who served in the 101st Airborne, and I love their nickname, “The Screaming Eagles.”  

Herb Suerth from ’Easy Company of the 101st Airborne will be one of the speakers at this Chautauqua. It’s been a few years but you may remember the television series of programs based on the book ‘Band of Brothers’ written by that great biographer and historian Stephen Ambrose.

Suerth fought for 23 days during the Battle of the Bulge. Then an artillery shell nearly ended his life and did end his military career.

Another speaker will be Colonel Paul Longgrear, one of only 13 Green Berets that survived the Battle of Lang Vei during the Vietnam War. Longgrear received the Silver Star, Bronze Star and three Purple Hearts. He is featured in the new documentary ‘The Man Left Behind.’ There were 24 American Green Berets when the battle started Feb. 6, 1968. Only 14 of the 24 lived. I believe that two are still listed as missing in action.

Another program will be a panel of five Holocaust Survivors and Experts. Doesn’t it seem hard to understand that a few people still don’t believe that the Holocaust really happened? I’ve never heard anyone who survived tell the story. There is a Meet and Greet and a book signing following the program.

It happens that I have a program from the 1912 Greensburg Chautauqua at Bracken’s Grove. Here’s something especially interesting; the price of that Chautauqua 100 years ago was $2 each for the first 700 and after that the tickets would be $2.50. Remember, that was 100 years ago. This year the price is only $5. Considering inflation, one would expect the tickets to be – well, I can’t figure out how much to allow for inflation but it would surely be more than $5. In 1912, the Chautauquas lasted for a week but I doubt that many people could make a whole week of it today.

The main speaker in August 1912 was William Jennings Bryan who was said to be the greatest orator in America. “His greatest lecture is on the subject ‘The Prince of Peace.’ I have heard that Bryan’s speeches often lasted two or three hours. The Austro-Hungarian Orchestra was one on the bill. It states, “The Hungarians’ music is not of the brass band type, but of that peculiar bewitching kind that lingers with you long after the musicians have left the grounds.” There are seven men pictured.

The Tyrolean Alpine Singers and Yodlers were on the bill which states, “They sing the Bavarian, Hungarian, Swiss, and American Folk Songs and they play their native instruments. Have you ever heard real Alpine Yodling? These folks do it!”

Then they had Dr. Stanley Krebs who “knows life and men. He is prominent in educational, professional, business and musical spheres.”  Miss Ruth Hemenway was a dramatic reader and entertainer. “She will render the ‘Sign of the Cross’ in costume.”

One local woman was on the program. Miss Mary Wilson was apparently a teacher, and the program states she “has already won many friends in her public school service in Decatur County.”

She would lecture to the women at 1:30 p.m. and she would tell a story to children too.

Full blooded Ojibay Indians were going to camp at this Chautauqua and “give Indian folk songs, dances, religious ceremonies, coon songs and would reproduce the Hiawatha known as the Indian Passion Play.” Father John Daly, “one of the finest orators in the Catholic Church would speak on “The American Citizen.”

It sounds like a fine program but tastes change and I’m glad John Pratt has lined up Herb Suerth, Colonel Longgrear and the Holocaust survivors for us this year. See you there Thursday evening.

 

1
Text Only
Columns
  • Pat Smith: A reader's special note Before beginning this week’s column it must be stressed that I love getting emails from readers, love getting telephone calls from readers and love seeing readers when I’m out and about – especially those who very generously tell me that they read th

    July 24, 2014

  • Spaulding Outdoors: The Inside on Indiana's Outside Early Migratory Bird 2014 Season Dates The 2014 early migratory bird season dates have been submitted to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service by the Indiana DNR as listed below. The dates are not final until the USFWS approves them, which typically hap

    July 24, 2014

  • Why incumbents get reelected Incumbents are masters at posing as outsiders, when in fact they are insiders who produce the Congress they disdain. It’s no news that Congress is unpopular. In fact, at times it seems like the only real novelty on Capitol Hill would be a jump in its

    July 24, 2014

  • Lessons from the largely forgotten war As we approach the official date on which the First World War started, July 28, 1914, when the first shots were fired by the Austro-Hungarians who invaded Serbia, it’s appropriate to think about the lessons that catastrophic event has taught us one h

    July 24, 2014

  • Protecting Indiana's agricultural heritage With the 4-H fairs in full swing, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about agriculture. Since Indiana became a state back in 1816, agriculture has played a vital role in our livelihood. For those who are not from Indiana, our state is practica

    July 22, 2014

  • Improving Indiana's infrastructure It is always a happy time when my family visits, especially to celebrate a wedding. I recently played hostess for my niece and her wedding party when she was looking for somewhere to hold her rehearsal dinner. I absolutely enjoy when family comes to

    July 22, 2014

  • Shining a light on the Federal Reserve If you are like most Americans, you probably have heard of the Federal Reserve. But, you may not know much about what the Fed actually does or the very real ways its decisions impact your day-to-day life. The Federal Reserve was founded by Congress i

    July 22, 2014

  • Expiring term heightens the urgency of lawmaker's mission INDIANAPOLIS – State Rep. Rebecca Kubacki had plans for her return to the General Assembly next January.The two-term Republican from Kosciusko County wanted to exert “full force” to roll back a law that prevents the children of undocumented immigrant

    July 22, 2014

  • fea-gb072214 Spaulding column jpg Spaulding Outdoors: The inside on Indiana's outside Free beginner waterfowl hunting workshopsTwo free waterfowl hunting workshops for beginners will be offered in August and September by the Department of Natural Resources. The focus of the workshops is on hunting Canada geese, although there will be

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Thankful for our veterans' sacrifice On July 4, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was signed, giving birth to a new nation. To Great Britain and the rest of the world, the U.S. proclaimed itself the proud home of free people. Since that day, on more than one occasion, this freedom h

    July 17, 2014

Featured Ads
AP Video
Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Raw: Corruption Trial Begins for Former Va Gov. The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.