Community Education

Speaker Series

 Desmond twilight

Join us for our Speaker Series at Desmond Campus

 

Most Obedient Servant: Tracking the Life of John Hathorn and the Revolutionary Generation in Warwick
General John Hathorn of Warwick has always been an enigmatic figure. “The man who lost the Battle of Minisink” was a successful military leader, politician, and Revolutionary activist. He served in the first and fourth Congresses of the United States and was acquainted with many of the important people of his day, yet his life has remained in the shadows. A search for primary documents spanning 20 years has turned up a great deal about Hathorn's close involvement with the early days of the nation, the surprising activities of his militia, and the struggles and conflicts of a local community during the Revolutionary War. This illustrated presentation will help attendees discover the founding generation in Orange County.

Monday, February 3 Snow date February 7
1-2:30 pm
S. Gardner
$15.00


Mysterious Monuments of New York City
A fascinating look at some of the mystical monuments of New York City and their histories. Building upon ideas from the “Mysterious Monuments of the Hudson Valley” talk, we continue to explore the esoteric understanding that is present in these structures. For those who are new to the topic, we shall also review some of the material discussed in the prior program with many new details.

Wednesday, February 5 Snow date Feb. 12
2-4 pm
N. Rosenblum
$15.00


Journey Through the Holy Land
Barry Kass, photographer and professor emeritus of Anthropology, will take the audience on a journey across Israel, birthplace of three of the world's great monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. His vivid photographs will illustrate such sacred religious shrines as the Dome of the Rock, the Western Wall, and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Ancient Jericho will be visited, as well as the site of Masada, where the Romans besieged the last of the Jewish revolutionaries after the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in AD 70. Photos of ancient Christian churches and Jewish synagogues near the Sea of Galilee will be included, as well as scenes from the Roman cities of Caesarea and Bet She'an, from the time when the Romans ruled the Holy Land. A bonus included in Prof. Kass' talk will be photographs and descriptions of the amazing ancient city of Petra in Jordan, featured in the Indiana Jones movies.

Monday, February 10 Snow date Feb. 12
1-2:30 pm
B. Kass
$15.00


Do You Believe in Miracles? 60 Years of US Olympic Ice Hockey (1920-1980)
Trace the development of the US Men's National Ice Hockey team from the earliest days to their monumental performance at Lake Placid 40 years ago. The ups, the downs, the legendary confrontations with the world powers on ice — it's all here, as we observe a century of "U-S-A!" hockey.

Wednesday, February 12 Snow date February 13
10:30 am-Noon
D. Topps
$15.00


The History of the USO: Entertaining the Troops for 78 Years
Founded in 1941 before the outset of WWII, the USO was a privately-funded umbrella organization bringing together six charitable organizations for the well-being and morale of US Armed Forces personnel throughout the USA and the world during the war. Mr. Martin’s extensive illustrated PowerPoint presentation will explore the rich history of the USO from its original inception right up to current times, including many "Then and Now" photographs. Hospitality centers, Bob Hope and the camp shows, and other activities will be explored along with a display from Mr. Martin’s extensive USO photograph, document, and artifact collection.

Monday, February 17 Snow date February 18
1:30-3 pm
P. R. Martin III
$15.00


How Three Daughters of Dementia Started a Global Community
Join Middletown author Marianne Sciucco as she tells the story of AlzAuthors, the global community of authors sharing their Alzheimer’s and dementia stories to light the way for others. Sciucco, author of the novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer's love story, helped found the organization in 2015 with two women she met online who had also written books about their Alzheimer's and dementia experiences. Their mission: to lift the stigma from these diseases and empower those who live with them, their loved ones, and caregivers. What happened next was totally unexpected: They created a movement that includes 200+ authors, a website, bookstore, anthologies, community outreach, and more. "Sharing our stories makes us strong," says Sciucco, who acknowledges that many of those living with dementia are isolated, as shame and stigma often prevent them from disclosing their diagnosis. Her presentation will include a discussion on the power of story to make change personally, globally, and legislatively and how those overcoming or facing adversity can tell their own stories.

Monday, February 24 Snow date February 26
1:30-3 pm
M. Sciucco
$15.00


Cinderella Around the World
Glass slippers, a pumpkin coach, and a fairy godmother are classic elements of the French version of Cinderella. With more than 1500 versions, Cinderella is considered the most popular fairy tale in the world. However, her folkloric brothers and sisters also make for very interesting reading. Magical helpers with dresses made of the sun, the moon, and the stars support this unappreciated orphan. Join us as we travel around the globe with Cindy and her siblings.

Thursday, March 12 Snow date March 13
1-2:30 pm
J. Monk
$15.00


Celtic Spirituality
This early expression of Christian spirituality emphasized a love of creation, equality of women, and the sacredness of ordinary life.

Monday, March 16
10 am-Noon
Sr. P. Murphy
$15.00


Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague: “I AM THE LAW”
Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague ruled New Jersey and the Democratic Party for more than 30 years. FDR relied on Hague’s political prowess for decades. He was born on the kitchen table in “The Horseshoe” section of Jersey City and rose to become the most powerful man in the state’s history. Vintage footage and front stoop speeches bring this Irish-Catholic political boss to life.

Tuesday, March 17
10:30 am-Noon
K. Tschan
$15.00


Beware My Sting - THE WASPS
WASP (Women Airforce Service Pilots) was a civilian women pilots' organization whose members were US Federal civil service employees with no military standing. From August 1943 to December 1944, women were trained by the US Army Airforce to test and ferry aircraft as well as transport cargo. This freed male pilots for combat duty during World War II. In the lecture, you will learn about the 1000+ women who completed their training and flew more than 60 million miles, including their personal narratives of their missions, in which 38 members lost their lives and the one pilot whose disappearance is still unsolved.

Wednesday, March 18 Snow date March 19
10 am-Noon
C. Topps
$15.00


U.S. Congressman Moses Stivers and Colonel Benjamin Tusten, Jr.
Join Andy Mills for a look back at the richness of Orange County, NY history from the 18thand 19thcenturies, when the forming and preservation of our nation were the callings of the times. There will be several fascinating focal points to this presentation. The talk will center on the lives and legacies of Colonel Benjamin Tusten, Jr., an important historical figure from Goshen who excelled as a physician before serving in the military under General Hathorn in the Battle of Minisink, where he was mortally wounded. His father, Colonel Benjamin Tusten, Sr., also a Goshen resident, served as a judge and was an officer in the French and Indian wars. These great men are direct ancestors to our speaker, Andy Mills. Other Orange County, NY men of history will also be discussed, such as Moses Stivers, Andy Mill’s great-great grandfather and an aide to General Charles Van Wyck during the Civil War. This talk will include original letters from the Lincoln White House, correspondence that survived the battlefields, and a dynamic sense of the history that is so replete right here in the county so many of us call home.

Thursday, March 19
1:30-3 pm
A. Mills
$15.00


Mona Lisa: Northern vs. Southern
The Mona Lisapainted by Leonardo da Vinci is undoubtedly the most famous painting in the world. However, there is another face rapidly growing in popularity. She was painted over a century later by the Dutch artist Johannes Vermeer called Girl with a Pearl Earring. During this lecture, we will compare and contrast the two masterpieces and delve into their unique histories.

Monday, March 23
1-2:30 pm
M. Soltis
$15.00


A Few Secrets From Manhattan’s Little Secrets: A Book Talk by John Tauranac
John Tauranac believes that it’s the details that guidebooks usually ignore and passersby ordinarily overlook that make the city come alive. In his illustrated talk, he will share some of his favorite stories on little-known aspects of his favorite buildings, mysterious artworks, and remnants from the city’s past, all of which are just sitting there in plain view. This lecture is repeated due to school closing in winter brochure.

Thursday, March 26
1-2:30 pm
J. Tauranac
$15.00


Faith of Our Founders
This lecture delves into the faith of some of our founding fathers, including George Washington, John Adams, Ben Franklin, and Thomas Jefferson. We will explore whether these men were Agnostics and Deists or Bible-believing Christians. Primary source documents will serve to bring forth what they said (along with their contemporaries) about their faith. We will also compare their testimonies to the writings of modern historians.

Thursday, March 26
1:30-3 pm
B. Banuchi
$15.00


President Wilson and The Second Mrs. Wilson
One of the most fascinating and seldom-discussed periods in American history happened at the end of WW I. President Woodrow Wilson, a former governor of New Jersey, suffered a stroke. At a time when men of power and influence ran the show, it was his wife, Edith, who took an active role in helping her husband finish his last days in the presidency. This was a delicate era in the American tale — come learn about this chapter of the story.

Tuesday, March 31
10 am-Noon
L. DiMartino
$15.00


“From the Hands of His Creator” — Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass: Their Lives and Their Words As Inspiration
Mr. Martin will discuss the first-person accounts and period photographs of Lincoln and Frederick Douglass that inspired him to create portraits of the two men. His discussion will examine the relationship between Lincoln and Douglass and how their lives intertwined through their efforts to bring about the abolition of slavery. Cited will be many recorded descriptions of both men by their peers. Mr. Martin will stress the ideals of freedom for all people as seen through the words of Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Douglass within the context of their times and how those ideals still affect and inspire Americans today. Special note will be given to the significance of Mr. Lincoln’s words, reflected against the backdrop of America’s response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Several speeches will be cited, including excerpts from Lincoln’s first and second Inaugural Addresses, the Emancipation Proclamation, and the Gettysburg Address. Douglass’ written and spoken reactions to Lincoln’s speeches and Douglass’ speeches at anti-slavery rallies and Lincoln Memorial dedications will also be cited. A brief biographical sketch of each man will also be included.

Monday, April 6
10:30 am-Noon
P. R. Martin III
$15.00


Voyage on the Volga
Professor of Anthropology and photographer Barry Kass will take us on a journey on the Volga River in Russia from Moscow to St. Petersburg. The major sights of both famous cities, including St. Basil's Cathedral in Red Square in Moscow and the tomb of the Czars in St. Petersburg, will be viewed. On the mighty Volga, we will pass through many massive locks along the way. As we travel down the Volga, we will observe drowned towns, the statue of "Mother Volga," and traditional Russian villages and their iconic orthodox churches, which line the banks. A highlight will include photos inside the opulent palaces of Peter the Great and Catherine the Great near St. Petersburg.

Monday, April 6
1-2:30 pm
B. Kass
$15.00


Historic Mansions in the Hudson Valley
The Hudson Valley region boasts some of the nation’s most historic sites. In addition to its association with the American Revolution and its distinction as home of the Hudson River School of Art and numerous groundbreaking industries, it also features a number of distinct and ornate mansions, many perched along the Hudson River corridor. This program will take attendees on a virtual tour of the region to visit and learn about diverse mansions and the people who once occupied them. From grand stone structures to large wood-frame residences, discover the homes of the rich and famous, residences designed by world-renowned architects and some of the shining stars of the gilded age era.

Wednesday, April 8
10:30 am-Noon
A. Musso
$15.00


Spring Mushrooms
Learn about fungi and their role in the environment. Find out what mushrooms you can see appearing in the spring in the northeast and understand the environments in which they occur. We will talk about some edible mushrooms you can find, how to tell them apart from their look-a-likes, and how to prepare them. We will also talk about many other fungi to find in the woods and their relevance.

Thursday, April 9
1-3 pm
J. Michelotti
$15.00

 

Colliding Black Holes
A new type of astronomical observatory came into existence in the past decade and, in the past several years, has produced amazing results. These are the gravitational wave observatories — LIGO in the United States and VIRGO in Italy. These observatories are looking for and frequently finding minute disturbances in space-time. The sources of these disturbances have proven to be the results of collisions and mergers of black holes, a process which propagates shivers in gravity throughout the universe. What is a black hole? How do we know they exist? Where are they? How are these new observatories finding them? What are NASA’s plans for building a gravitational wave observatory in space? These are some of the questions that will be answered in this presentation.

Wednesday, April 15
10:30 am-Noon
C. Holmes
$15.00

 

Lincoln, Booth, & Ford’s Theater
A president, an actor, and a national landmark: Follow the events of that tragic day, April 14, 1865, as they lead to the performance of Our American Cousin and the moment in time that changed America. Join Ken Tschan for this combination lecture, conversation, and spoken word presentation. You shall long remember these words: “You sockdologizing old man-trap!"This talk is in advanced of a Desmond Trip to the Columns Museum on April 22.

Friday, April 17
10:30 am-Noon
K. Tschan
$15.00

 

New Zealand Parakeets and Parrot Conservation: Seven Months Abroad
The birds of New Zealand were devastated through predation by non-native mammals following the arrival of humans about 1000 years ago. In the last few decades, great strides by non-governmental agencies (e.g., Project Janszoon) and the Department of Conservation have been made to ensure the legacy of New Zealand birds is maintained for generations to come. Dr. Robinson will speak about his research and assistance with at-risk populations of parakeet and parrot research and conservation in New Zealand during his sabbatical from the Mount in Spring/Summer 2019.

Friday, April 24
1-2:30 pm
D. Robinson
$15.00


Wawarsing Historical Society and Knife Museum
The knife-making industry has a long history in our region. “Cutlers” or knife makers came from Sheffield, England to America in the mid-19thcentury. They began in Connecticut, and then moved to Walden. Eventually the Schrade firm moved from Walden to Ellenville. The museum organized in November of 2007 from several knife collectors with interest in local knife manufacturing from companies like Schrade, Ellenville, Napanoch, Honk Falls, Ulster, Canal Street, Grahamsville, New York Knife Co. Walden, Wallkill River Works, Nagle, Kippsie Cut, Orange, Warwick, Allen, and all knife manufacturers in the mid-Hudson Valley from the mid 1800’s through 2015. The museum is located in Napanoch, and members of this society will present with samples of their extensive collection of artifacts and knives. This fascinating lecture/presentation brings traditional craftsmanship to the current day.

Wednesday, May 6
1-2:30 pm
Wawarsing Historical Society
$15.00

 

Mystical Movements in the Hudson Valley During the Revolution
This program explores the little-known role played by mystical movements and secret societies in the Hudson Valley during the period of the American Revolution. Many of the most important figures on both sides of the conflict were involved in these groups. See the remarkable effect this had on events of the time and how they continue to effect us to this day.

Wednesday, May 6
2-4 pm
N. Rosenblum
$15.00

 

The Mystery of Emma Waite
A fascinating historical document, the Emma Waite diary, written by an African-American domestic servant and hotel cook who worked in Saratoga and New York City, chronicles a single year in the life of this otherwise unknown individual. . Recorded on the pages of a small, leather bound, printed daybook from 1870, Waite's months in Saratoga are plagued by illness, injuries, bitter cold, exhausting work, headaches, unemployment, deadening heat, and racial discrimination. In the fall and early winter, Waite moves from Saratoga to New York City. Working as a day cook, she is free to attend almost nightly lectures and performances, including speeches on women’s rights and spiritualism.

Thursday, May 7
1-2:30 pm
S. I. Lewis
$15.00

 

Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls
In an age when individuals could be owned by others, people were lost and found just like other property. Indentured servants and slaves were absconded from the custody of their masters, and their value prompted the masters to seek their return. Wives ran from abusive husbands or into the arms of another. Newspapers in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries carried large numbers of advertisements offering rewards for the return of runaways or announcing the detention of fugitives. Each ad provided a description of the individual and often included some circumstances of their elopement. The overall effectiveness of these advertisements cannot be measured, but the sheer number of ads suggests they were perceived as useful tools by those who placed them. What could not have been known at the time was the substantial contribution to history that these ads make. The descriptive advertisements provide textual snapshots of thousands of individuals who would otherwise be lost to history, people whose names might not otherwise be recorded. In Wives, Slaves, and Servant Girls: Advertisements for Female Runaways in American Newspapers, 1770–1783, historian Don N. Hagist focuses on the American Revolutionary period to provide a striking portrait of a substantial, but largely forgotten segment of the population.

Thursday, May 14
1:30-3 pm
D. Hagist
$15.00

 

In Reduced Circumstances: Loyalist Women and British Government Assistance, 1779-1783
For many women whose husbands chose to remain loyal to the British Crown during the war, their day-to-day existence followed that of their husbands. If a Loyalist enlisted in a regiment in British service, his wife often followed, sharing the campaign, or tending to tasks in a garrison. What of those women who were single, widowed, or otherwise on their own, however? How did they survive? What was life like for these people, and what was their background before the war as compared to the circumstances they then faced? Who were some of these women, and what were the circumstances that led to their unique situations? What sort of support could they expect from the British? What sort of infrastructure did the British create to tend to their needs and at what cost? Scattered throughout records collections in the United States, Canada, and especially the United Kingdom, scores of memorials from the distressed women refugees tell the sad tales of loss and need brought about by the war. This is a unique study of Loyalist women on their own in Revolutionary America.

Friday, May 15
10:30 am-Noon
T. Braisted
$15.00

 

Will the Last Person to Leave Newburgh Please Turn Out the Lights?: The Fall of a Once Prosperous Hudson River City (1952 to 1975)
During the early 1960’s when an NBC White Paper exposed a welfare scandal happening in Newburgh, the students at the local high school sang the rhyme “From All-American City to the Town Without Pity” to the tune of the Gene Pitney hit. In a short decade, the city had lost industry, saw an influx of poor migrant workers, and initiated an Urban Renewal program that would end with the destruction of 1,300 downtown buildings. By 1975, the local newspaper asked, “Will the Last Person to Leave Newburgh Please Turn Out the Lights?” What caused this economic crisis that, in more than 50 years, the city has never recovered from? This lecture is in advanced of a Desmond Walking Tour of Historic Newburgh on Thursday, May 28.

Wednesday, May 27
10:30 am-Noon
J. Porr-Yaun
$15.00

 

James Madison — Father of the Constitution
He is remembered as “The Father of the Constitution” and “The Father of the Bill of Rights.” James Madison wrote 29 articles of the Federalists Papers to support ratification of the U.S. Constitution. He served as Secretary of State under Thomas Jefferson and was co-founder of the present-day Democratic Party. As the fourth president, Madison served as Commander-in-Chief during the War of 1812, a time when the British burned the White House and Francis Scott Key wrote the Star Spangled Banner.

Tuesday, June 2
10:30 am-Noon
T. DeStefano
$15.00

 

The Famine Irish, Horatio Alger & Ragged Dick-19th Century New York
New York of the 1850's was a time when the Irish fleeing the famine in their home country arrived in great numbers only to settle in ethnic ghettos. With no skills or education, little English, and of Catholic faith in a Protestant culture they faced discrimination for the available factory jobs. Many children became homeless and worked as shoeshine boys. Horatio Alger wrote novels about these boys and their rise from humble backgrounds to lives of comfort through hard work, determination, and honesty. We will read excerpts from Alger’s most famous novel Ragged Dick and learn about the Gilded Age, the Newsboys Lodging House, Barnum’s Museum and New York City during this period.

Tuesday, June 2
1-2:30 pm
R. Feingold
$15.00

 

THROW THEM BACK: The German Perspective of D-Day
On the 76th anniversary of the date originally chosen for the invasion, take an in-depth look at how those defending Hitler's Fortress Europe prepared for the event that everyone on both sides knew was inevitable. How could years of careful planning have resulted in such an abysmal failure for the vaunted Atlantic Wall?

Friday, June 5
10 am-Noon
D. Topps
$15.00

 

Paterson, NJ - The Silk City
George Washington, Lafayette, and Alexander Hamilton picnicked by the Great Falls during the Revolutionary War in 1778. After the war, Hamilton helped found Paterson as a manufacturing city, inspired by the power of the Great Falls. Later, Colt would manufacture firearms, Rogers would build locomotives, and Curtis Wright produced airplane engines used in World War II. Labor unions would strike for improved working conditions in the Paterson Silk Strike of 1913. Prepare for a visit to America’s newest National Park located at Paterson’s Great Falls.

Tuesday, June 9
10:30 am-Noon
T. DeStefano
$15.00

 

The Lowell Mill Girls — Organized Labor and the First Strikes in America
They were fed up and wouldn’t take the factory working conditions anymore, so the Lowell Mill workers went on strike in 1834. The textile industry was the first to become mechanized and working conditions were harsh. Young women recruited off the farms worked 70 hours and six days a week. When wages were cut, the workers walked out. Join us as we learn about the Luddites, the machine-breakers who rejected the regimentation of the factory system and the working conditions of the early industrial era.

Tuesday, June 9
1-2:30 pm
R. Feingold
$15.00

 

Lost Amusement Parks of New York City (Beyond Coney Island)
While Coney Island was an iconic symbol of turn-of-the-century New York City, many other amusement parks thrilled residents of the five boroughs. Capitalizing on Coney Island’s success, these parks were strategically placed at the end of trolley lines, public beaches, and other waterways, providing not only convenient entertainment, but also relief for the masses from urban squalor. Every park was influenced by the cultural and eclectic tastes of its entrepreneurial owners through amusement parks' "Golden Age." Rediscover the thrills of the past with the Lost Amusement Parks of New York City.

Friday, June 12
10-11:30 am
W. & B. Gottlock
$15.00

 

Historical Sites in the Hudson Highlands by Kayak
Join avid outdoorsmen Andy Mills and Fred Isseks as they describe the geography/topography of the Hudson Highlands by kayak. They will include a brief history of Dennings Point, Bannerman Island, Forts Montgomery/Clinton, Gomez Mill House, Cold Spring Foundry, and Washington’s Newburgh Headquarters. They will describe aspects of kayaking the Hudson and will inform the audience as to kayak access points/boat ramps. Both Fred and Andy have been hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, and mountain biking in and around Orange County on a weekly basis for more than 30 years.

Thursday, June 18
6-7:30 pm
A. Mills & Dr. F. Isseks
$15.00

 

The Korean War
The Korean War was one of several military conflicts that occurred during the Cold War, as the United States and its allies attempted to stop the spread of communism. This conflict began on June 25, 1950, when North Korea, a communist nation, invaded South Korea. What makes this “The Forgotten War?” What have we learned from this conflict? Those questions and more will be explored in this dynamic lecture.

Thursday, June 25
10:30 am-Noon
T. Briody
$15.00

desmondcampus@msmc.edu or call 845-565-2076.

Catalog cover image for Spring 2020

COMMUNITY EDUCATION

Desmond Campus
6 Albany Post Rd, Balmville, NY
desmondcampus@msmc.edu
Phone: 845-565-2076

 

Snow Line: 845-569-3500