Feb. 14, 2011 


Feb. 22 at HCC
Open to Public at No Charge


BRIDGEPORT – Housatonic Community College Professor David Koch will continue his area history speaking tour Feb. 22 at the college when he will discuss the Harlem Renaissance.

The Harlem Renaissance, he relates, was a literary and musical movement that offered some of the most compelling 20th Century American works of poetry, jazz, and prose. His presentation will center on the hardship, migrations, and new literary currents that fed the Renaissance, its main practitioners, and the bright hope, cut short, that it offered to a burgeoning African-American middle class.

The event will begin at 2 p.m. in the Beacon Hall Events Center. It is open to the public at no charge.

Koch, a regular on the area history circuit, kicked off his Spring tour Feb. 15 at the Monroe Public Library with a talk on Connecticut Indian Wars. Early in its history, Koch noted, the state saw bloody battles, both between Native American tribes and between natives and colonists. His talk focused on two of these: King Philip’s War and the Pequot-Mohegan War, which ended in a battle in Fairfield in 1637.

Other stops on Koch’s speaking tour and the topics to be discussed include:

  • March 4, Wilton Historical Society, 4 p.m.; March 6, Trumbull Library, 7 p.m., Connecticut’s African-American Soldiers. The talks will center on the 29th and 30th Connecticut regiments, which saw service in the Civil War and ushered in an era of sweeping change in the state’s treatment of its African-American citizens.
  • March 7, Housatonic Community College, 2 - 3:15 p.m. Civil War Newspapers in Connecticut. The talk will center on the media coverage of the war, the partisan nature of newspaper coverage at that time, and the sometimes hostile clashes between newspapers and, at times, citizens, of the state.
  • March 11, Trumbull Library, 2 p.m. Animal Mascots of the Civil War.
  • This talk will focus on unit mascots. The idea of using animals to represent military units throughout history will be discussed, as well as the particular animals honored in Civil War lore and memorialization.
  • March 13, Trumbull Library, 7 p.m. Connecticut in the Civil War. Connecticut was the arsenal of the Union, with factories producing uniforms, guns, and equipment for the Union armies, making Union armies the best-equipped in human history up to that time. This presentation paints a portrait of Connecticut in the Civil War, a contradictory picture of a state on the cusp of change, struggling to retain a way of life rapidly fading into a bucolic past.
  • March 20, Trumbull Library, 7 p.m. The End of the Civil War. This talk will discuss the end of the war, the associated confusion, and the impact of the war on settling the west, which was largely a result of refugees and ex-soldiers seeking sanctuary from the fighting and blame that would inevitably ensue. Participants will see that, much like the beginning of the war, confusion rather than national cohesion ruled the day.
  • April 22, Stratford Public Library, 2 p.m. Connecticut in World War II. Connecticut was the state Franklin Roosevelt had in mind when he called the United States the “Arsenal of Democracy,” Koch said. This presentation will center on the valuable contribution in personnel and material given by the Nutmeg State to the war. It will discuss the contributions and the result of these efforts after the war, which changed Connecticut in a way that we are only now beginning to see fade. This presentation is a single chapter, but an exciting one, in the story of the single greatest industrial and military effort in human history.
  • April 23, Housatonic Community College (Weather dependent), 12:30 p.m. A Hundred Yards of History. In honor of Earth Day, this talk will show the history of planet Earth in linear fashion, using the length of a football field to demonstrate the profound effects that a short period of human existence has wrought on the planet. Attendees will be able to understand the scope of the biological milestones that have led to the development of the environmental and human conditions we now see around us. The program, to be held in the HCC Courtyard, will last about an hour.

In addition, Koch has arranged a re-enactment of the Daily Life of the Civil War Soldier April 4 (April 5 rain date) from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the college. Civil War re-enactor Jay Hull, representing the 27th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, will hold a display and demonstration of the daily life of the Civil War soldier in the College Courtyard. He will be showing visitors the daily routine, clothing, equipment, and weapons of soldiers in the nation's biggest single crisis.

Housatonic Community College provides an affordable and accessible education through two-year degrees, transfer preparation, and certificate programs, as well as a wide variety of continuing education and personal/professional enrichment seminars and workshops.  In addition, HCC offers employee and occupational training for businesses, municipalities, government agencies, and professional associations to help develop the educated and skilled workforce required to meet regional business and industry needs.  HCC is nationally recognized as an “Achieving the Dream” institution.  To learn more, visit the college’s website at:

HCC is located at 900 Lafayette Blvd. in downtown Bridgeport, less than 150 yards off I-95 (Exit 27) and Rte. 8 (Exit 1), a block from the Webster Bank Arena at Harbor Yard. Free parking is available in the Housatonic garage.

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Anson C. Smith, Public Relations Coordinator
Housatonic Community College
900 Lafayette Blvd.
Bridgeport, CT 06604
Tel: 203-332-5229, Fax: 203-332-5247