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Examiner
  • David Jackson: Celebrate our history all year long

  • May is Historic Preservation Month, when our nation celebrates history and supports causes particularly responsible for helping to save our past.

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  • May is Historic Preservation Month, when our nation celebrates history and supports causes particularly responsible for helping to save our past.
    Historic preservation is more than just “saving old buildings.” It’s about honoring those historic sites and districts that have significance locally or nationally, preserving artifacts in museums, conserving documents and photographs in local archives for public access, and applauding the living history interpretation you enjoy when you go to a historical re-enactment or public lecture about local history.
    This month the Independence Heritage Commission – as it does every year – planned several activities to recognize Historic Preservation Month. The commission has the responsibility to protect significant elements of Independence history; enhance the city’s visual character, and foster public appreciation of and civic pride in the city’s beauty and past accomplishments. More is at http://www.ci.independence.or.us/historic/historic-preservation-commission-0
    If you follow the Jackson County Historical Society’s online calendar of events and activities pertaining to local history – http://jchs.org – you will have seen that on May 4 a historic marker for the expansion of the Harry S. Truman National Historic District was dedicated at the southwest corner of Truman Road and Main Street. I presented a lunch-and-learn about how to create an oral history. On May 14 the society’s executive director, Steve Noll, provided a brief history and update on the renovation of the Jackson County Truman Courthouse on Independence Square.
    A Civil War bus tour is set for today, with thanks to Mike Calvert and the Civil War Roundtable of Western Missouri. On Tuesday, Alversia Pettigrew shares her personal and published stories about growing up in “the Neck,” an African-American neighborhood in Independence that was lost during urban renewal. The neighborhood was roughly where McCoy Park is today, south of the Truman Library.
    Next Thursday, various companies will have information on products and services that can help historic building owners retain the historic feeling of their structure but keep it functional in the 21st century. The trade show will be at the Truman Memorial Building, 416 W. Maple Ave. For more information, contact the city’s historic preservation manager, Heather Carpini, at 816-325-7419.
    It’s never too late to support local history and its preservation. There are lots of opportunities for anyone wanting to volunteer at a variety of local history museums, archives and historic sites. Some readers may have a historic document or photograph they want to donate to the Jackson County Historical Society. Others may want to enjoy public presentations highlighted on the society’s newly debuted website at http://jchs.org. Still, some folks might be too busy but want to contribute financially to support a specific nonprofit organization’s efforts, or a particular cause that helps to perpetuate and preserve our past.
    And, if you want a heads up on some exciting Civil War-related activities this summer, mark your calendars for these upcoming sesquicentennial events, when the society collaborates with others to commemorate the 150th anniversary of “Order No. 11” when martial law was enacted in our area. The issuance of the order will be re-enacted Aug. 4, staged at the Alexander Majors House Museum. “Order No. 11” will be announced Aug. 17 near the Pacific House at Sixth and Delaware in the Kansas City River Market (where it was originally announced 150 years ago, in August 1863). A major series of activities and re-enactments showing the horrors of martial law as it played out in our area will take place at Missouri Town, 1855, on Sept. 14, concluding with a candlelight tour. For more details, visit the calendar at jchs.org.
    Page 2 of 2 - David W. Jackson is archives and education director of the Jackson County Historical Society.
     
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