Announcing our Fall 2016 Schedule!

logo 2016The Michael J. Colligan History Project welcomes you to our new season of free public events (poster link below). This fall the Colligan is co-sponsoring two distinguished speakers for the 150th anniversary of the Lane Libraries. Award-winning author David McCullough will accept the 2016 John E. Dolibois History Prize, and speak on History as a Source of Strength (co-sponsored by the Colligan History Project, The Lane Libraries, and the Hamilton Community Foundation). Renowned historian William Kerrigan will explore Johnny Appleseed’s Westward Journey (co-sponsored by the Colligan Project and the Smith Library of Regional History). And opening our fall line-up as part of the American Wars and American Life series, former Dolibois Prize recipient Susan Eisenhower returns Wednesday, September 21 to discuss Eisenhower in War and Peace. We look forward to seeing old faces and new on the Miami Hamilton campus, so spread the word!

Fall 2016 flier

Ohio Chautauqua comes to Hamilton!


Save the date: Hamilton welcomes the Ohio Chautauqua, a traveling program with hands-on workshops and lectures, living history, and live music in venues throughout the city. Events run from Tuesday June 14-Saturday June 18 at Miami University Hamilton, Pyramid Hill, Butler County Historical Society, Partners in Prime, Miami Hamilton Downtown, and Hamilton Lane Library.

  • See attached program and flyer for details (below).



Save the Date! Announcing our Fall 2016 schedule

Dear Folks,

The Michael J. Colligan History Project wishes you all an enjoyable summer, and thanks you for your continuing support of our public history programs in Hamilton, Ohio! We return in September with a very special schedule of speakers, including Colligan favorite (and former winner of the John E. Dolibois History Prize) Susan Eisenhower. We also welcome William Kerrigan, a renowned expert on the life and times of John Chapman, better known as Johnny Appleseed. Dr. Kerrigan’s talk recognizes the contributions of the Smith Library of Regional History, as part of the 150th anniversary of the Lane Libraries


In addition to the fine speakers already mentioned, we look forward to welcoming legendary American historian David McCullough. McCullough is celebrated for his award-winning histories on subjects as diverse as the Johnstown Flood, the Brooklyn Bridge, presidential biographies of John Adams, Teddy Roosevelt, and Harry S. Truman, and — most recently — his new book on the Wright Brothers. McCullough’s voice is also familiar to viewers of numerous historical documentaries, most notably as narrator of Ken Burns’s Civil War.

David McCullough will receive the 2016 John E. Dolibois History Prize, and will also deliver this year’s Roesel lecture as part of the Lane Libraries 150th anniversary celebration. This event is co-sponsored by the Michael J. Colligan History Project, the Lane Libraries, and the Hamilton Community Foundation.

  • Please note: the McCullough event is free and open to the public, but advanced ticket confirmation is required.

For further details of these events, and how to obtain tickets for David McCullough, see SAVE THE DATES link below:


SAVE THE DATES (plain text)


Hemingway, Fitzgerald, & the Lost (?) Generation

Donald A. Daiker, Miami University Professor Emeritus of English

Thursday May 5 @ 7.30 pm

Fitton Center for Creative Arts


Legendary American authors Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald loved and hated each other from the moment they met in 1925 at the Dingo Bar in Paris. Fitzgerald proved to be the more generous friend but Hemingway the more successful writer, in part thanks to Fitzgerald’s help. Both rejected the “lost generation” tag, but both helped to create, perpetuate, glamorize, and even live it.

  • This presentation is free and open to the public. This lecture provides a historical context to Scott and Hem, a drama about the cost of love, friendship and the price of being a writer, a 1937 conversation between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Ernest Hemingway in Hollywood, to be staged at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, May 12-15.
    • To obtain tickets for the Fitton Center’s staging of Scott and Hem, contact the Fitton Center Box Office at (513) 863-8873.

Announcing the 2016 Jim Blount History Educator Awards

Tuesday April 5, 2016 @ 7.30 pm.

Harry T. Wilks Conference Center, Miami University Hamilton.


The Michael J. Colligan History Project, in cooperation with the Colligan Fund Committee of the Hamilton Community Foundation, presents the Jim Blount History Educator Award to two exemplary history educators — Scott A. Dickerson (Garfield Middle School), and J. Patrick Keating (Badin High School). Miami University Professor James Tobin will speak on “Ernie Pyle and Americans at War.”

  • Free Public Event
  • Reception to Follow



The Beautiful Music All Around Us

Stephen Wade, American folk musician & scholar

April 12, 2016 @ 7.30 pm

Harry T. Wilks Conference Center, Miami University Hamilton

0923-MWADE-Stephen_Wade_PMADWith live music-making, projected images, and spoken narrative, 2013 Grammy nominee Stephen Wade explores the stories behind The Beautiful Music All Around Us: Field Recordings and the American Experience. This exploration of the subjects of his award-winning book features thirteen iconic folksong performances captured on Library of Congress field recordings between 1934 and 1942. In a compellingly narrated multimedia musical performance, Wade weaves the music together with its largely unknown yet surprisingly influential creators, one of them Pete Steele of Hamilton, Ohio.

  • Free public event presented by Miami University Regionals Appalachian Studies
  • Reception and book signing to follow


Henry Ford: Fit to a “T.” A Dramatic Presentation.

Hank Fincken. 

A National Theater Company of One. Indianapolis, Indiana

Tuesday February 9, 7.30 pm

Fitton Center for Creative Arts.


Hank Fincken

In 1932 union vs. management confrontations are on the rise, unemployment rampant, and communism and fascism appear viable. Henry Ford, who put the world on wheels, thinks he has a solution. During this interactive play Henry will talk to car dealers about his past, about the new Ford V-8, and about the future of soybeans. It seems an optimistic moment in a negative time.

  • Reception to follow
  • PLEASE NOTE: this free public event is presented by the Michael J. Colligan History Project as part of Staging the Past: a series of prequels brought to you in association with the Fitton Center for Creative Arts and the Mad Anthony Theatre Company. Join us for this special presentation ahead of Mad Anthony Theatre’s production of Camping With Henry and Tom, February 18-21 at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts. Tickets for the Mad Anthony Theatre Company may be purchased at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts, online at, or by calling 513.863.8873.