Friends of Fort Necessity announce dates for 2018 Lecture Series

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Date: June 4, 2018
Contact: Debbie Miller
Contact: Hilary Miller

Drawing of a man standing in a suit and a lady seated in a dress and two children.
Detail from Shankland's American Fashions 1849

Library of Congress

FARMINGTON, Pa., The Friends of Fort Necessity announced the speakers and dates for the 2018 Lecture Series at Fort Necessity National Battlefield.  The programs will be held the second Saturday of June, July, and August at 3:30 p.m. in the Visitor Center of Fort Necessity National Battlefield.

The 2018 Lecture Series kicks off on June 9, with "America and the Road to World War I, 1914-1917," presented by Michael S. Neiberg. American entry into the Great War resulted from lengthy debate and soul-searching about national identity and the nation’s role on the world stage. This talk will track American responses to the outbreak of the war in 1914, the sinking of the Lusitania in 1915, and the debates about military preparedness in 1916. American views shifted as global events increasingly threatened national security. By April 1917 most Americans, including most of those who had opposed the war in 1914, had come to see belligerence as America’s only remaining option. Rather than seeing American entry into the war as an exceptional event, we need to understand it as fundamental to American history and America’s relationship to the world in the century since.

Michael S. Neiberg is Professor of History and Chair of War Studies in the Department of National Security and Strategy at the United States Army War College. His published work specializes on the First and Second World Wars in global context. The Wall Street Journal named his Dance of the Furies: Europe and the Outbreak of World War I (Harvard University Press, 2011) one of the five best books ever written about that war. In October 2016 Oxford University Press published his Path to War, a history of American responses to the Great War, 1914-1917 and in July 2017 Oxford published his Concise History of the Treaty of Versailles. He is now at work on a history of US involvement in the Middle East from 1942 to 1950.

The July 14 program will feature a "Historic Fashion Show & Discussion." Old Economy Village curator, Sarah Buffington, will present a one-person fashion show of women’s clothing from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Clothing will include antiques and high-quality reproductions. Ever wonder what was worn underneath historic clothing and why? Sarah will discuss the evolution of both clothing and underclothing of this period.

Sarah Buffington holds a degree in Apparel Design and Textiles with an Historic Emphasis from Michigan State University. Her participation in multiple eras of re-enacting has led her through extensive research into historic clothing. Sarah has been curator since 2002 at Old Economy Village, a site on the Pennsylvania Trails of History. Sarah previously worked at the Henry Ford Museum & Greenfield Village and the Michigan State University Museum.

On August 11, Chris Buckelew will give a talk titled "Gate III on the National Road; a Tollhouse, a Home, and a Miracle it's Still Standing.” Gate III, popularly known as Searight's Tollhouse, was built in the 1830s as control of the National Road was passed from the US government to the individual states through which the road ran. Interestingly, the tollhouse was in operation for less than twenty years. Today, Gate III is one of two remaining tollhouses along the National Road in Pennsylvania. Visitors from around the world have stopped by to pay their tolls at this National Historic Landmark. Buckelew's presentation will explore the story of the life and uses of the tollhouse, revealing how this historic structure managed to survive and contemplating its future. 

Buckelew is the President of the 300-member Fayette County Historical Society, which owns both Searight's Tollhouse and the Abel Colley Tavern, and she has been a tour guide at the tollhouse for the past 10 years. Before becoming active in the Historical Society, Buckelew was an aide to Congressman Frank Mascara. Currently serving on the Pennsylvania Historic Museum Commission's historic marker review panel, Buckelew was a past recipient of the Jefferson Award for volunteerism. She is also involved in the family business, Beeson Hill Antiques.

The Lecture Series is sponsored by the Friends of Fort Necessity.  Visit @friendsoffortnecessity for more information on these and other programs or call Fort Necessity staff at (724) 329-5512.  Fort Necessity is located 11 miles east of Uniontown on Route 40, the National Road.

Last updated: July 13, 2018

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