The Journal
The Latest from the History Center
Journal Newsletter December 2nd - 8th
December 09, 2019

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The NEGAHC is dedicated to preserving and sharing our regional history and being our community’s pathway to history education.

That’s our new mission… and it’s so important. With less and less focus on history in schools, that means it’s up to places like the History Center to make sure students get what they need: an understanding of the past that is crucial to planning for the future. And we are doing it with the most cutting-edge programs and methods... But we need your help. I’d like to ask that you consider an end-of-year donation to the History Center’s annual fund.

Annual Fund gifts directly support:

  • Educational programs and hands-on learning for thousands of school students.
  • The ongoing operations of the museum – it keeps us open to the public, able to answer your research questions and ready to provide programs like our summer Chautauqua series, monthly Forums, and Family Days.
  • The care and growth of our rare and unique collection of historical artifacts.
  • The development of new and exciting exhibitions

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Any amount makes a difference, whether it’s $25, $50, $100, or $1,000! You can make your tax- deductible donation by mailing a check, dropping by, or going to our website at and clicking on the “Donate Today” button in the upper right-hand corner.

A year-end gift to the History Center demonstrates your belief in our institution, its value to the community, and the importance of preserving our past for future generations.

As a thank you for your support, any donation over $50 will receive a personalized holiday greeting video from any of the historic characters we offer. Whoever donates the most will receive this holiday video plus a weapons demonstration and lesson with a weapon of your choice!

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Abraham Lincoln or another historic character from our list could wish your loved ones a holiday greeting with a donation of $50 or more!

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Whoever donates the most during our Holiday Donation Drive will receive a weapons demonstration and lesson with Ken & Glen!

Donate Now at this link: Donations__

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We had a jolly time during our Victorian Christmas Family Day with singing, dancing, crafts, and pictures with Santa! Guests learned all about Christmas traditions that gained popularity during the Victorian era. Many traditions like sending Christmas postcards, Christmas trees, and the most popular carols and songs come from Queen Victoria and her own family's traditions. Guests also learned to dance the Carolina Promenade thanks to a lesson by Atlanta Historic Dance. Thank you to all who joined us in the merriment!

If you had a picture with Santa, you can view your photo at this link: Pictures with Santa

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Mustapha Slack portrays George Shaw

This past week the History center had the chance to tell one of the more unique and compelling stories of Northeast Georgia’s past to a group of 85 4th graders from Gainesville Exploration Academy – the story of George Shaw. George was born into slavery in the year 1845 in Hall County and at age nineteen, in 1864, he joined the United States Navy – aboard a Union river gunboat on the Mississippi River!

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The USS General Lyon

Our excellent associate Museum Theatre actor Mustapha Slack played Shaw with an easy-going warmth that engaged both students and teachers, relating Shaw’s journey from being a slave on the banks of the Chattahoochee River, through the circumstances that had his Confederate owner take him off to war as his personal servant in 1862, then escaping slavery to freedom with Union forces on the Tennessee River, and finally joining the United States Navy aboard the USS Tyler in Cairo Illinois, 350 miles from where he was born.

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USS Tyler

During his time in the Navy Shaw served on four different ships, the converted side-wheel steamers Tyler, Grampus, and General Lyon as well as the turreted ironclad Oneota, one of the most advanced type warships in the world. Quit an interesting journey for George Shaw of Hall County!

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USS Oneota


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As part of our Archival Photography Project, we captured photos and video of the Christmas Parade on Green Street! Check out all of our photos at this link: Christmas Parade Photos



We would love to include your photos in our archive to share with future generations. You can upload photos from the parade at this link: Archival Photography Project

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This week From the Archives is a school book entitled Social Utility Arithmetics book 5 of 6 by George D. Strayer and Clifford B. Upton, 1939. The books were published by the American Book Company, an educational publisher founded in 1890. Their primary focus was on elementary school, secondary school, and collegiate textbooks. The American Book Company was bought by Litton Industries in 1967.

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The books focus on teaching the student how to interpret and solve situations involving numbers within their everyday life. The exercises and tests within each 500-page book are designed for independent study. Math problems include monetary word problems, learning how to use a telegraph, and equations. Book 5 in our archives has not been written in and is in excellent condition for being 70 years old!

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To both the Allies fighting in Western Europe and their Axis foe Germany it was the Eastern Front. To our erstwhile ally Soviet Russia, however, it was simply The Front, covering 1,000 miles of battleground in what was to them The Great Patriotic War – a war for survival with the Soviet peoples taking more casualties than any other nation of World War II. Join Ken and Glen as they discuss the Great Patriotic War, how it mage the Allied victory possible – and the Cold War inevitable.

Listen at this link: The Eastern Front

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Suggest a topic for an episode at

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Lunch & Learn: Wintertime Traditions

Thursday, December 19th from 12:00-12:45 PM

Included in Admission

Merry Christmas! Yo Sturnalia! And Other Solstice Traditions! - Join us for an exploration of the Victorian Era Traditions that continue to shape the way we celebrate Christmas in the 21st century, along with a look at the Winter festivals of Yule and Saturnalia - all tracing their origin to the Solstice! Feel free to bring your lunch as you learn. This program is included in admission and will be held indoors.

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



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Farmers on Doc Jones Farm survey the land in Union County, 1963.


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