Learn on your lunch hour! The Food For Thought (FFT) lunchtime learning series takes place at the Winona County History Center (WCHC). Programs, films, and book chats begin at 12:05 p.m. and last approximately one hour (unless otherwise noted). On the fourth Wednesday of each month, a book is discussed by the FFT Book Chat group, but all are welcome to partake. Attendees are encouraged to bring their own lunch; a beverage is served. All events are free and open to the public.
Memories Of Whitewater State Park, March 13
Whitewater State Park was established in 1919 and has 100 years of memories, stories and history as one of Minnesota’s most popular parks. Hear from lead interpretive naturalist Sara Holger on her work gathering more recent memories of Whitewater for the park’s centennial. The third time should be the charm — this program has been rescheduled twice due to winter weather.
Book chat: ‘Nothing to Envy’ by Barbara Demick, March 27
“In this landmark addition to the literature of totalitarianism, award-winning journalist Barbara Demick follows the lives of six North Korean citizens over 15 years — a chaotic period that saw the death of Kim Il-sung, the rise to power of his son Kim Jong-il (the father of Kim Jong-un), and a devastating famine that killed one-fifth of the population,” according to Amazon.
Local history topics with MSC Southeast students, April 10
Minnesota State College (MSC) Southeast is a comprehensive technical and community college with a full history transfer pathway for students. Students have studied Minnesota history and prepared presentations on a range of state and local topics and are eager to share their historical research papers’ topics. Current topics include Father Lucian Galtier of St. Paul, the geology of Minnesota, Soudan Mine State Park, and others. Come hear these great first steps into historical research!
Book chat: ‘A Wrinkle in Time’ by Madeleine L’Engle, April 17
“A tesseract (in case the reader doesn’t know) is a wrinkle in time. To tell more would rob the reader of the enjoyment of Miss L’Engle’s unusual book. ‘A Wrinkle in Time,’ winner of the Newbery Medal in 1963, is the story of the adventures in space and time of Meg, Charles Wallace, and Calvin O’Keefe (athlete, student, and one of the most popular boys in high school). They are in search of Meg’s father, a scientist who disappeared while engaged in secret work for the government on the tesseract problem,” according to Amazon. Note: April’s Book Chat is a week early due to discussion leaders being at a book conference on the fourth week this month.
James Stovall and Mister Jeff — researching, writing, and producing a Winona history play, May 1
Learn more about Margaret Johnson’s research for this new local play and the history she has uncovered and turned into a stage performance.
The Manhattan Project’s Secret Weapon: Dr. Wilhelm, with Teresa Woldorf, May 8
When the U.S. was attacked at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, one thing became abundantly clear: the atomic bomb project would need to move forward, and at a breakneck pace. For the Manhattan Project to succeed, millions of pounds of purified uranium was needed, but it didn’t exist. Since the discovery of uranium more than 150 years earlier, no one had successfully purified it. Dr. Harley Wilhelm, a chemist at Iowa State, was recruited onto the project. In September 1942, Dr. Wilhelm went to Chicago, carrying with him secret cargo: the world’s first ingot of purified uranium. When Dr. Wilhelm presented the ingot to Arthur Compton, the leader of the Manhattan Project’s Metallurgical Laboratory, Compton didn’t believe it was pure. Wilhelm proved otherwise. The man who grew up a sharecropper’s son in southern Iowa was an unlikely character to change world history. His life, from country bumpkin to prolific inventor and Manhattan Project scientist, is an untold story, one which enabled the U.S. to win World War II.
Find more and plan your visit at www.winonahistory.org or call WCHS at 507-454-2723.