Sep 25, 2014

Celebrating Our American Heritage XXVIII Returns to Columbia State

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - Sept. 25, 2014) - - - Columbia State Community College's history department presents its annual series, "Celebrating Our American Heritage XXVIII," Thursday evenings this October from 6 - 7:30 p.m. in the Ledbetter Auditorium, located in the Frank G. Clement Building.

"Celebrating Our American Heritage" is a series of presentations sponsored by the Columbia State Department of History designed to illuminate the past and enhance our understanding of the present.

On Oct. 2, "The Pursuit of Pride: LGBT+ History in the U.S." will cover the progress of gay rights in America. Lacey Benns-Owens, associate professor of communications, and DeMarcus Jackson, assistant professor of psychology, will discuss the early perceptions of the LGBT community and anti-gay laws, the history of the gay rights movement after World War II, and the current status of LGBT issues across the nation, including military service, marriage equality, partner benefits, and more.

The Oct. 16 presentation is "The Great War, 100 Years Hence." Join Jan de la Mer, assistant professor of history, Jim Senefeld, professor of English, and Barry Gidcomb, professor of history, as they explore explore the beginning of World War I and the questions of what went wrong, who was to blame, and why cooler heads didn't prevail when a shocking series of events and circumstances in 1914 launched a bloody conflict that toppled empires, paved the way for the communist revolution, and cost the lives of 10 million fighting men.

On Oct. 23, join Jan de la Mer and Greg Mewbourn, assistant professors of history, as they present "Student Activism and the Berkeley Free Speech Movement." They will discuss how the administration of the University of California, Berkeley stopped students from political activities on campus 50 years ago and how students insisted that the university administration lift the ban of on-campus political activities and acknowledge the students' right to free speech and academic freedom. The Free Speech Movement was the first real instance of student activism and led to the resignation of Berkeley's chancellor and ultimately the election of Ronald Reagan as governor in 1966.

Concluding Oct. 30, Gidcomb and Thomas Flagel, assistant professor of history, present "Spring Hill, Franklin, and the End of the Civil War in the West." Join them as they recount the events that took place over two tragic days in Spring Hill and Franklin during November 1864. Also learn about the sesquicentennial reenactment of the Battles of Spring Hill and Franklin planned for historic Rippavilla and the upcoming commemoration activities sponsored by the Battle of Franklin Trust.

All presentations are free and open to the public at the Columbia Campus, located at 1665 Hampshire Pike.

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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