Maryland Humanities Council

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Chautauqua 2013: Turning Points in History

Featuring Rachel Carson, Amelia Earhart, and Jackie Robinson

2013 Illustration by Tom Chalkley

Join the Maryland Humanities Council for Chautauqua 2013, held July 5-14 at eight sites across Maryland. It's great free family fun!

Click here for the Chautauqua 2013 Reader 

These interactive, family-friendly presentations will bring to life three key figures of the 20th century, representing different turning points in American history: Rachel Carson, Amelia Earhart, and Jackie Robinson.

Jack Roosevelt "Jackie" Robinson (1919-1972) ended 60 years of baseball segregation with his 1947 Major League debut with the Brooklyn Dodgers. He was named the National League’s Rookie of the Year and in 1949 received the league’s Most Valuable Player award.  After his baseball career, Robinson worked in business and helped to establish the Freedom National Bank in Harlem.  He was an activist for social change and served on the board of the NAACP.  In 1962 he was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and the Congressional Gold Medal. He will be portrayed by Gregory Gibson Kenney, a professional actor who has performed in theatre, feature films, and television commercials.  

Rachel Carson (1907-1964) has been called the mother of the environmental movement.  A writer, scientist, and ecologist, Carson received her masters in marine biology at Johns Hopkins University, taught zoology at the University of Maryland, and contributed articles to the Baltimore Sun.  She worked at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and in 1951 published the bestseller The Sea Around Us.  Her controversial book Silent Spring alerted the public to the dangers of pesticides.  Carson died of cancer in Silver Spring, Maryland and is buried in Rockville. Kate Campbell Stevenson—who has over 25 years of professional experience in music, theatre, and education—will portray her.

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937) was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean and the first person to solo the Pacific, but she was much more than a courageous aviatrix. She was also a nurse’s aide, social worker, truck driver, writer, editor, and the first "celebrity" to create a line of clothing that included practical outfits for active and working women. Along with her friend Eleanor Roosevelt, she championed women's rights, and she was an inspiration for women to pursue non-traditional roles. She will be portrayed by Chautauqua veteran actress Mary Ann Jung.