Spring 2013 Speaker Series

At the beginning of the 1960s, many Americans believed they were standing at the dawn of a golden age. However, the golden age never materialized. On the contrary, by the end of the 1960s it seemed that the nation was falling apart. Join us as our speakers explore the happenings of this extraordinary period in our history.

Thursdays, 6:30-8:00 p.m. FALS approved, students must bring a Lander ID for scanning. Free and Open to the Public – Tickets required. Contact Lander’s Continuing Education office. Sponsored by the Office of Continuing Education, and the American Democracy Project.

January 17 - Politics of the 1960s in State and Nation: This session will examine political behavior, issues, and voting in South Carolina and the United States on the whole.  These issues will be examined using polls from the era as well as maps and other political material. (Chad Kinsella)

January 24 -
New Hollywood: Films of the 1960s: This session will provide a historical overview of American film in the 1960s, particularly the latter half of the decade when changes in film content led to the MPAA Ratings System. We will also briefly discuss the influence of international cinema on American film of the time and view clips from films such as Breathless (Godard, 1960), and Bonnie and Clyde (Penn, 1967). (Misty Jameson)

January 31 - The Rise and Fall of the Space Age: A major accomplishment of the 1960s was landing a man on the moon and bringing him safely home.  How did space become a national priority, and then lose that priority almost as quickly?  (Pamela Mack)

February 7 – The Alphabet Soup Science Curricula: The launching of Sputnik 1 by the Soviet Union in 1957 precipitated unprecedented levels of scientific and technological research in the United States.  It was widely believed that the United States had fallen behind in the “space race” because the science and mathematics curricula in our schools were outdated and ineffective. In this presentation we will examine how the K-12 science curriculum was changed to ensure the country would have an expanding pool of young scientists, mathematicians, and engineers.  We will also experience some of the science activities developed as a part of this nationwide curriculum revision. (Danny McKenzie)

February 14 - Being Black in the 60’s – The Rise of the Civil Rights Movement (Floyd Nicholson)

February 21 - The Tet Offensive: The 1968 Tet Offensive is considered the turning point of the Vietnam Conflict despite the fact that officially the clash did not formally end until 1975.  Though the North Vietnamese failed in their attempt to create a general uprising, the fact that that they still possessed enough manpower, after battling American forces for four years, to attack a hundred town and cities changed American perceptions. After Tet, the American public became disillusioned about any possibility of future success in ridding Vietnam of communism.  (Professor Emeritus J. Paquette, Ph. D.)

February 28 - 1968: The Year that Rocked the Nation: It was a time when the optimism of the early 1960’s faded into a period of tumult, upheaval, and chaos. American claims of military success and impending victory in Vietnam were erased by the embarrassment of the Tet Offensive. The peace, love, and joy of 1967’s “Summer of Love” morphed into the protest and frustration of 1968’s “Days of Rage.” The early achievements of the Civil Rights Movement, accomplished through non-violent protest, seemed a distant memory in the era of Black Power, the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the Orangeburg Massacre. Hopes for peaceful change through the political process evaporated after the assassination of Robert Kennedy and the violence at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago. Even the music of the Beatles changed – from the peppy, upbeat sounds of “Love Me Do” to the raucous, dark sounds of the White Album’s “Revolution.” It was 1968 – the Year that Rocked the Nation. (Kevin B. Witherspoon) – Author: Before the Eyes of the World: Mexico and the 1968 Olympic Games. Northern Illinois University Press. (2008)

TEXTILE SPORTS HISTORY - March 7; 6-8:00 pm
Did you know there are over 125 years of textile sports history?  On the diamond, the players were our boys of summer; on the hardwood, they were practicing artisans of Dr. Naismith’s strange new game. Textile sports is the remembrance of more than baseball and basketball; indeed, it is the remembrance of a way of life whose time will not come again. Come and join us in a look at our shared heritage! Thursday, March 7; 6-8:00 pm. Free and Open to the Public – registration requested. Contact Lander’s Continuing Education office (864) 388-8426.

Speakers: Tom Perry, a fourth generation “lint head,” has written three books on the history of textile sports: “Textile League Baseball: South Carolina’s Mill Teams, 1880-1955”, “The Southern Textile Basketball Tournament: A History, 1921-1996”, and “Just Joe: Baseball’s Natural, as told by his wife”.  Mac Kirkpatrick is co-author of the book, “The Southern Textile Basketball Tournament: A History, 1921-1996”.