(1) General Subjects

U.S. Stamps Tell A Story; A Few Have More Than One

by Bob Ferguson

How have advances in mail delivery been chronicled on stamps? What innovations in stamp design and production have been introduced over the years? How have errors on stamps discovered by the public created valuable collectibles and embarrassments for the post office? These questions are answered with the aid of high-resolution stamp images – true works of art – displayed on a large-screen TV. For general audiences; collectors will also be interested.


What If? History

by Jack Campbell

Campbell reaches back into the 16th and 17th centuries to explore events that helped make the United States of America what it is today. He invites the audience into a discussion about how our country might be different today if not for these events.

Paul Revere’s Ride

by Donald Hickey

This Power Point program–featuring portraits, illustrations, and maps—examines Paul Revere’s famous ride in 1775. We will look at what people commonly think Revere did with what he actually did. We will also explore the role of other participants in the story, especially other riders who were active that night. In addition, we will examine why Henry Wadsworth Longfellow chose to immortalize Revere in a poem some 85 years later and how this poem shaped our understanding of the event. We will pay special attention to where Longfellow, either by accident or design, got the story wrong.

Uncle Sam: The Origins and Evolution of an American Icon

by Donald Hickey

This Power Point program—featuring portraits, illustrations, and cartoons—will examine where “Uncle Sam,” the nickname for the U.S. government, came from and how it evolved over time. We will examine the conventional view, endorsed by a state and federal government resolutions, which attributes the nickname to “Uncle Sam” Wilson, an entrepreneur in Troy, New York, who supplied the U.S. Army with meat during the War of 1812. We will present evidence that calls this view into question and offer an alternative theory on where the nickname came from and why it became so popular.

When Did the White House Become the “White House”?

by Donald Hickey

This Power Point program—featuring portraits, illustrations, and newspaper evidence—will examine the origins and early history of the White House, which today is arguably the most famous building in the world. We will pay special attention to when and how the White House got its name. Although conventional wisdom holds that the name originated when the White House was rebuilt after being burned during the War of 1812, the evidence suggests that the name was in use as early as 1802, a mere eighteen months after the building was first occupied by President John Adams.