AGRC meets Veterans at Stones River National Battlefield and visitors listen to the Veterans Voice: Stories of Service Podcast

They Fought For Us:

The stories of veterans and their service at Stones River National Battlefield

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Written by graduate assistant Julie Maresco

On Saturday November 12, 2016, AGRC director Dr. Kyriakoudes, special projects archivist Sarah Calise, graduate assistant Julie Maresco, and PhD candidate Tiffany Momon visited Stones River Battlefield to meet with veterans, set up interviews for oral history interviews, and set up listening stations for visitors to hear the Veterans Voices: Stories of Service podcast episodes. They were joined by Dr. Kyriakoudes’s daughter Helen Kyriakoudes.

Veterans Ernest Newsom and Albert W. Wade Jr. made appointments to meet with us and talk about their time in the military. We look forward to working with them in the near future to record and share their stories. If you would like to participate in the veterans oral history project or know someone would be, contact us today to set up an appointment.

 

 

 

 

 

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Bart Gordon at the Bottom of the World

Written by Sarah Calise, Project Archivist

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) celebrates World Science Day for Peace and Development every year on November 10th. To honor this important day, the AGRC would like to share some archival documents from the Bart Gordon Papers pertaining to the Congressman’s involvement with the United States Antarctic Program (USAP).

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An image of the Transantarctic Mountains block ice flowing from the east Antarctic plateau in the McMurdo Dry Valleys. (Bart Gordon Papers)

Gordon was a high-ranking member in the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science. In 1996, the Committee on Science participated in a hearing on the National Science and Technology Council’s assessment of USAP, the state of the South Pole station, and the budget for continuing a year-round scientific presence in the region. The NSTC’s report endorsed the value of USAP and its continued need as a center for research on various issues like climate change, life on Mars, plant and animal life, and the depletion of the ozone layer.

Gordon made a couple of trips to Antarctica during his time as a congressman. One trip occurred in light of the hearing with the NSTC. In 1996, from December 10 to the December 20, he traveled to the Antarctic in order to evaluate America’s research and security interests. Gordon wrote a brief summary of his time there, titled “My Trip to the Bottom of the World” (see scans of the entire summary below). In the article, he described the brutal travel conditions–a total of 45 hours of flight time to reach the South Pole along with 41 below zero temperatures. Yet, for Gordon, it was all worth it. He visited two of the three major research stations that USAP operates–McMurdo station and Amundsen-Scott South Pole station. The third station, Palmer, focuses on the effects of the depletion of the ozone layer on Earth. Following his adventure south, Gordon recommended that the U.S. continue its research in the region.

One major aspect of Gordon’s trip was learning of USAP’s research on climate change. He stated that American scientists “found evidence of dramatic climatic changes” and that they were drilling a hole to the Earth’s core to study weather patterns dating back 1,000 years. He explained that the scientists were studying the Antarctica ice sheet that showed signs of breaking away, which would cause a dangerous rise in sea levels and flooding throughout much of the world.

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Bart Gordon, third from left, at the McMurdo Station at the south tip of Ross Island in Antarctica on December 3, 2007. (Image courtesy of the Antarctic Photo Library)

20 years later, 192 states and the European Union have signed the Paris Agreement. On November 4, 2016, the United States and many other countries officially entered the Agreement into force. The Agreement is part of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. According to the UN, the Paris Agreement “builds upon the Convention and–for the first time –brings all nations into a common cause to undertake take ambitious efforts to combat climate change and adapt to its effects, with enhanced support to assist developing countries to do so. As such, it charts a new course in the global climate effort.”

On World Science Day, the AGRC urges citizens to become knowledgeable about our beautiful but threatened planet and to contact your local and state officials about combating climate change.

Update: cover_brpIn 2011, President Obama appointed Bart Gordon to the twelve-member U.S. Antarctic Program Blue Ribbon Panel tasked with conducting an independent review of USAP. The panel’s goal was to ensure USAP’s sustainability for scientific endeavors, international collaborations, and a strong U.S. presence in Antarctica for decades into the future. After months of research, several days of briefings and trips to the USAP stations, the panel produced its final report, “More and Better Science in Antarctica through Increased Logistical Effectiveness.,” which you can view and download on the panel’s official website.

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The AGRC at the 2016 Society of Tennessee Archivists Annual Meeting

Written by Bradley Harjehausen, graduate assistant

The 2016 Society of Tennessee Archivists Annual Meeting was held at the Williamson County Archives in Franklin on Saturday, October 29. Sarah Calise, Project Archivist, and I attended the meeting with the theme “Three-Party Harmony: Archives, Genealogy, & You.” While genealogical holdings and services are not a major focus of the Albert Gore Research Center, the speakers presented relevant and interesting information to our site.

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The first of three speakers was Melissa Barker, archivists of the Houston County Archives. She suggested archives reach out to genealogists and the public by putting items on display at archive open houses or community meetings. Reasons include archives belonging to the community and genealogists and the general public being unaware of archives’ holdings. John F. Baker, Jr. presented the research behind his book The Washingtons of Wessyngton Plantation: Stories of My Family’s Journey to Freedom. He used multiple research methods to trace his once enslaved family’s history at Wessyngton Plantation dating back to 1796. He also traced the descendants of other African Americans and the plantation owners. The final speaker was Carol Roberts, Conservation Manger in Preservation Services at Tennessee State Library and Archives. She presented the benefits and downfalls of using http://www.findagrave.com/, which is composed of user-generated entrees of grave sites from around the world. The purpose is documenting, locating and maintaining grave sites.

Sarah and I found the presentations interesting and overall applicable to the work at the AGRC. They challenge us and all archives to explore and utilize new resources and methods. These make archival materials and their information accessible to genealogists and all other archive users.

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New exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966 begins to travel

Written by graduate assistant Julie Maresco

For the past year, the Albert Gore Research Center has been working with MTSU’s public history program graduate students and faculty to curate a travelling exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966. The exhibit The National Historic Preservation Act of 1966: Commemorating 50 years of Preserving Tennessee’s Cultural Heritage consists of six panels that focus on the national, state, regional, and local impact of the NHPA and preservation efforts since the passing of the act.

Over the summer, AGRC graduate assistant Julie Maresco conducted research for the exhibit, collected images and graphics, and wrote the exhibit text. The exhibit team also included:

  • Dallas Hanbury, recent doctoral graduate of the public history program
  • Katherine Hatfield, graduate student
  • Donna Baker, University Archivist
  • Dr. Bren Martin, Director of MTSU’s public history program
  • Dr. Antoinette van Zelm, Assistant Director, Center for Historic Preservation
  • Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, Director, Albert Gore Research Center

Dr. Kyriakoudes and Graduate Assistant Julie Maresco installing the NHPA Exhibit in the President Andrew Johnson Museum & Library at Tusculum College 

On Thursday, October 20, 2016, Dr. Kyriakoudes and Ms. Maresco drove to Tusculum College in Greeneville, TN to install the exhibit at its first location in the President Andrew Johnson Museum & Library. To install the panels, Dr. Kyriakoudes and Ms. Maresco worked with:

  • Dollie Boyd, Director of Museums of Tusculum College
  • Peter Noll, Assistant Professor of Public History and Museum Studies
  • Alex Rolison, student
  • Mamie Hassell, student

Afterwards, Dollie gave them gave them a tour of the museum, library, archive, and the historic Doak House Museum on campus.

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From left to right: Dr. Louis Kyriakoudes, Mamie Hassell, Dollie Boyd, Julie Maresco, and Alex Rolison

The exhibit was displayed during Tusculum College’s Homecoming Weekend and enjoyed by Tusculum College students, faculty, and visitors. It will travel again in December to the West Tennesseee Delta Heritage Center then to local middle Tennessee institutions and other sites throughout the state.

Current Students, Alums, Faculty, and Members of the Community viewing the NHPA Exhibit

Support for this exhibit was made possible by:

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Celebrate United Nations Day with the AGRC

Written by Bradley Harjehausen, graduate assistant

The United Nations was officially established on this day in 1945 upon the ratification of the UN Charter. Albert Gore, Sr. was a member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations as a senator. Below is a portion of Gore’s WSM radio transcript from his weekly broadcast on March 10, 1946. Also with his hand-written notes, he discusses the UN and its potentials for world order less than a year after its establishment. For more of Gore’s radio transcripts, visit his House of Representatives Papers finding aid on our website.

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AGRC at the Oral History Association Conference

 

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Julie Maresco Presenting her Poster at OHA 2016 Conference

Graduate assistant Julie Maresco traveled to Long Beach, CA from October 11-October 16, 2016 to present a poster at the Oral History Association (OHA) 2016 conference. Here she describes her work and experience:

“I was very fortunate to attend OHA’s 2016 conference in Long Beach, CA. I was really excited to present the work that I and other graduate students have done on our veterans oral history podcast Veterans Voices: Stories of ServiceThis was my first time presenting at a conference and my first time to OHA’s annual meeting.

Presenting this poster was important because this podcast means a lot to me. I believe these veterans have many interesting stories to tell. These veterans share stories not just about their military experience, but also stories about race, gender, class, PTSD, life before and after service, among many other topics. Creating these podcasts highlight these stories and allow students and the public to engage with these compelling oral histories. I was very happy to create a poster about this project and get the opportunity to share it with the OHA community.

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Detail of Julie Maresco’s Poster

During the conference, I was able to exchange ideas with historians, journalists, teachers, radio professionals and many others in the field of oral history.

I attended the 3 hour workshop Podcasting and Oral History by Molly Graham from Rutgers University. In this workshop, I learned a lot about successful podcasts and the equipment and software used to create them. I also learned how to become a better story teller and how to write scripts for the ear, not the eye.

I also attended  the panel Reflecting and Shaping: traditional and new techniques in oral history to collect and share the military experience  with Robert Paul Wittemann from the USAF Academy, Eriko Yamamoto from Aichi Mizuho College in Japan, David R. Siry from the West Point Center for Oral History, and Jason Higgins from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. This panel discussed ways to collect various military oral histories and how to share them using digital technologies and social media.

Networking is a critical component of conferences and I was able to attend the speed networking session where I met so many great people who gave me advice and feedback on our podcasts and where I learned how other professionals use oral history in the field. The celebration dinner at the Aquarium of the Pacific was a wonderful event where I got to tour the Aquarium’s exhibits, attend the award ceremony, and socialize with other conference attendees.

I thoroughly enjoyed my trip to Long Beach. The conference was amazing and Long Beach is a fun city with a lot to do. In addition to attending the conference, I went bike riding along the boardwalk on the beach, ate at local restaurants, visited the Long Beach Museum of Art, visited the Earl Burns Miller Japanese Garden at California State University, Long Beach, and attended the Dark Harbor event aboard the historic SMS Queen Mary. It was a wonderful conference and trip overall. I am very grateful for this experience and encourage all students to attend conferences whenever possible.”

Julie hopes that the online podcast will reach a broad audience and make these incredible stories more accessible to the public. She also wants the podcast to help promote the work of the Albert Gore Research Center and Middle Tennessee State University’s public history program.

To listen to Veterans Voices: Stories of Service, click the link below:

 

Written by graduate assistant Julie Maresco

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Politics, Persuasion, and Propaganda

Written by Zach Kautzman, Graduate Assistant 

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A section of the gallery space featuring AGRC artifacts

 

The Albert Gore Research Center recently participated in a collaborative exhibit with the Todd Art Gallery. The idea of the exhibit was to look at the ways that political parties use artistic influences in order to create political art. Multiple collections from the AGRC were used in order to support this idea. Items from the Jim Free, Bart Gordon, and John Bragg collections were used along with others. Many of the used items were posters, bumper stickers, pins, and other forms of political ephemera. The exhibit also featured an interactive element for guests.

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Newt Gingrich Mash and Paddle from the Bart Gordon Collection

An authentic polling station and ballot box from Palm Beach County, Florida were on display, and ready for individuals to vote for their preferred candidate in the 2000 presidential race. The final tally for the exhibit vote was: Gore (Democrat)-8, Moorhead (Workers World)-1, McReynolds (Socialist)-1, Bush (Republican)-3, Phillips (Constitution)-1.

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Graduate Assistant Kelsey Lamkin voting with a butterfly ballot like those from the 2000 election

The items were selected by AGRC staff members, and the installation was done by myself. I received help from Eric Snyder, Gallery Director, and Rick Rishaw, preparator. The exhibit lasted from September 15-October 6, 2016. Replacing it will be the exhibit “Selections from the Collection of Joe Diaz” which is on display from October 18-November 10, 2016.

 

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