The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Journal Newsletter September 23-27
September 29, 2019

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gainesville reads

Last year the History Center received generous funding from donors to develop Gainesville Reads, a free, one-on-one tutoring program for students who struggle with reading. We are starting a small pilot program with 15 students in January of 2020, which will take place once a week for a one-hour tutoring session.

We are currently seeking volunteer tutors for the pilot. As a tutor, you will receive training based on a highly successful reading program supported by Yale University and mentor students grades 1st-3rd for the Spring semester. This is a wonderful opportunity for college students, professionals, and retired folks alike to help a child in your community become a confident reader.

If you are interested in learning more about becoming a tutor, please complete this brief form: Volunteer Tutor Form

We are accepting applications for up to 15 students in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd grade to participate in the pilot beginning January 2020. If you know a child that would benefit from this program, interested parents/guardians may recommend their student by completing this form: Recommend a Student

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The 18th century was the Age of Enlightenment, and this past week was the Week of Enlightenment here at the History Center – with all four of this week’s webcasts being 18th century characters or subjects; Paul Revere, General Benedict Arnold, Georgia Loyalist Elizabeth Johnston, and the French & Indian War. This was an appropriate selection of people and events for the Enlightenment era, as the ideals of that movement guided the formation of the empire Britain forged in defeating France in the French & Indian War, and the theories of Enlightenment philosophers greatly influenced the founding of the United States, which all of the characters of our recent webcasts were caught up in.

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Paul Revere Webcast

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Elizabeth Johnston Webcast

We’re really starting to see the schools we serve get the connection and interrelation of the characters and subjects we make available to them from the Georgia Standards of Excellence guidelines; one of the schools this past week booked Elizabeth Johnston and Benedict Arnold on consecutive days to see the evolution of the Loyalist story in the American War for Independence, the class with Paul Revere wanted to know about his participation in the French & Indian War and the American War for Independence, and the teacher who booked the French and Indian War asked if we could then talk to the students about how the cost of that war led directly to the War for Independence. So, all around a great week for Webcast Enlightenment!

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French & Indian War Webcast

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Benedict Arnold Webcast

You can watch the entire Benedict Arnold Webcast at this link.

You can also watch our outdoor French & Indian War Webcast Lesson at this link.

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The History Center is a great place to host a variety of events from weddings, banquets, and dinners to family occasions, workshops, conferences and more. For more information and to receive a quote for your special event, please contact Museum Services Manager Sommer Stockton at 770-297-5900 or by email at


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This week From the Archives is the Leadership of Girl Scout Troops: Intermediate Program book from 1950. Girl scouting began in 1912 when Georgia native Juliette Gordon Low formed a troop of 18 girls. Low envisioned an organization to prepare girls for the world with courage, confidence, and character. The Girl Scouts helped during WWI by distributing rations, selling war bonds, and tending victory gardens. Following WWII, the Girl Scouts became consultants of the United Nations and are still involved today. The Girl Scouts have 2.5 million members including Lucille Ball, Martha Stewart, and over female 20 NASA astronauts!

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The Leadership of Girl Scout Troops: Intermediate Program book was created with the intention of the Girl Scout Leader to use it as a manual for their troop. The book discusses how to work with the community, developing self-government in the troop, and how to plan a program for the year. Inside the book is the inscription “Troop 41,” a troop that originated in Providence, Rhode Island, and has met annually since 1971.

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In this episode, Ken and Glen discuss Lincoln as a leader who drew a keen distinction between his personal beliefs and the powers of the Presidency, how he practiced and uplifted the concepts of civic responsibility, enlightened self-interest, and civic virtue envisioned by the Founders – and how he got along with Frederick Douglass!

Listen now at this link: The Legacy of Lincoln

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If you have a topic you'd like Ken and Glen to discuss, email your ideas to us a!

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Forum - The Buford Dam & Lake Lanier

October 8th at 7 PM

Only $3 or Free for Museum Members

Geoffrey Whitehead of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will present on the history of the Buford Dam and the creation of Lake Lanier. The dam and lake were created to control downstream flooding, provide a reliable source of drinking water and hydroelectric power, and recreation purposes. During this forum you'll learn about the controversy over this huge endeavor and its impact on the surrounding community and environment.

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Family Day - The Grandeur That Was Rome!

October 13th from 1-4PM

Free to the public thanks to the Ada Mae Ivester Education Center

October is our month to take a journey farther back into the past than usual on a Family Day - and this year we go back to Rome! With The Grandeur that was Rome join us to experience the rich tapestry of Roman daily life with hand-on activities, living history interpretation, performing arts, cooking, and combat demonstrations!

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Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

October 26th & 27th at 8 PM

Suggested Donation $5-$10

Join us for a dramatic reading of our favorite spooky tales from the popular series Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. The Big Toe, Room for One More, The Hook, The Viper, and -- AAAHH! So much more!

Admission to this event is a suggested donation of $5-$10 but no one will be turned away if they cannot make a donation. While all of the stories are family-friendly, please consider that these stories will be told in a dark setting and may not be suitable for children under 8 years old.

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For more fascinating photos and information on our region's past, follow our social media!



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Photograph of the Downey Hospital in Gainesville in the 1950s. Downey Hospital was built in 1908 by Dr. James Downey, and was one of the first hospitals to be accredited in the state of Georgia.


The Northeast Georgia History Center at Brenau University - 322 Academy St NE Gainesville, GA 30501 - 770.297.5900 -