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July Happenings at the History Center

Published on Jul 2, 2020

Bartow, Fla (July 2, 2020) -- Journey into Polk history this month at the Polk County History Center. The following programs and events are to be held virtually and are open to the public and free of charge:

  • July 21, 12:15 p.m., Democratic Dialogue Speaker Series “Civic Duties as an American Citizen”
    •  In this virtual presentation by former Congressman Dennis Ross, learn about your civic duties as an American citizen as he discusses the importance of being active in local politics. The Zoom format will offer opportunity to interact and discuss the topic with Congressman Ross and other participants.
    • Ross is the director of the American Center for Political Leadership at Southeastern University. In October 2018, the university announced the launch of the bipartisan center, which houses key research activities, academic programs, courses, workshops and resources. The ACPL works to prepare the next generation of political leaders and passionate citizens to promote traditional American values and individual freedoms with civility, authenticity respect and decorum in government and society.
    • Ross served as a Florida State Representative from 2008–2018. As a fourth-term U.S. Congressman, he served as a senior deputy majority whip and on the Committee of Financial Services and on the Committee of Oversight and Government Reform.
    • Contact Laura Ramsey Kennedy at the Polk County History Center, (863) 534-4381, for details on how you can participate in this presentation.
  • July 23, 5:30 p.m., Book Banter: Politics at Play
    •  Love to babble about books? Feel the need to chatter about chapters? We have the solution - join our monthly book club now offered in virtual format. Each month during the 2020 election year, we will be reading books about major topics in our country’s history and in current events. July’s featured book is, “The Quartet: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, 1783-1789,” by Joseph J. Ellis. Telling the tale of the second American Revolution, this biography follows four founding fathers (Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, John Jay and James Madison) during a six-year period as they re-examined the Articles of Confederation and chose to call the Constitutional Convention which built our modern day government.
    • Contact Laura Ramsey Kennedy at the Polk County History Center (863) 534-4381 to learn how you can participate.
  • July 25, 10 a.m., Genealogy Speaker Series
    • Jack Butler will present “The Tombstone Just Said ‘Wife of…‘ Finding the Women in Your Family History.” The title derives from women's grave markers that often do not include their names, but only a reference to their status as, “Wife of….” Women make up half of our genealogy, but because of situations like inadequate information on headstones, it is often a hidden half. This lecture addresses a wide variety of records that contain information about our female ancestors. Butler is the primary researcher for Southern Heir Ways Genealogy. He is an experienced genealogist, lecturer and author who has been helping folks track their ancestors for more than ten years. As a sixth generation Floridian, with strong ties to neighboring states, he has researched extensively throughout the South. He has also conducted significant work in New England, Canada and the United Kingdom. Butler is a past president of both the Florida Chapter of the Association of Professional Genealogists and the Florida State Genealogical Society. Reservations are required. For Zoom details, contact Preston Petermeier at (863) 534-4604 or 
  • The Polk County History Center is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 100 E. Main St. in Bartow. Visit or call (863) 534-4386 for more information on exhibits and programming. All programs and events are free and open to the public.