Huckster, Hoaxer, Impresario, and Showman: P.T. Barnum— Tuesday, April 24

    Contrary to legend, he never said, “There’s a sucker born every minute.” Phineas Taylor Barnum was a businessman, hoaxer, and impresario who provided entertainment to a nation hungry for it. “I am a showman by profession . . . … [Read more...]

Anne Frank: the First Authorized Graphic Biography, Thursday, April 19

  Drawing on the unique historical sites, archives, expertise, and the authority of the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam, bestselling authors Sid Jacobson and Ernie Colón created the first authorized and exhaustive graphic biography of Anne … [Read more...]

UMW’s Nabil Al-Tikriti on Atatürk, the founder of the Republic of Turkey— Tuesday, April 17

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk is the George Washington of today's Republic of Turkey. After he gained his military reputation by repelling the 1915 Allied invasion of the Dardanelles, he first directed Turkey's 1920-22 "War of Salvation" and then became … [Read more...]

The Wright Brothers: Thursday, April 12

  Wind, sand, and a dream of flight brought Wilbur and Orville Wright to Kitty Hawk, North Carolina where, after four years of experimentation, they achieved the first successful tests of a heavier than air, engine-powered machine in 1903. … [Read more...]

Before there was Lady Clairol, there was Madam C.J. Walker— Tuesday, April 10

Commemorative 1998 stamp issued of Madam Walker

  “I am a woman who came from the cotton fields of the South. From there I was promoted to the washtub. From there I was promoted to the cook kitchen. And from there I promoted myself into the business of manufacturing hair goods and … [Read more...]

National Book Award Finalist Lauren Redniss, Thursday, April 5— Art Lovers Welcome!

  Lauren Redniss is a graphic biographer whose writing and drawing have appeared in the New York Times, which nominated her for the Pulitzer Prize. Her idea for a life of the Curies occurred to her because, she told the online magazine, … [Read more...]

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary: Juliette Gordon Low, Founder of the Girl Scouts, Thursday, March 15

  Born at the start of the Civil War, Juliette Gordon Low grew up in Georgia, where she struggled to reconcile being a good Southern belle with her desire to run barefoot through the fields. Deafened by an accident, "Daisy" married a dashing … [Read more...]

Louisa May Alcott—With Clips from the Documentary— Tuesday, March 13

Frederick Douglass

Louisa May Alcott spent her childhood in Boston and in Concord, Massachusetts, where her days were enlightened by visits to Ralph Waldo Emerson’s library and excursions into nature with Henry David Thoreau. When she was 35, she wrote the beloved … [Read more...]

Clarence Darrow: Thursday, February 23

  John A. Farrell's biography Clarence Darrow: Attorney for the Damned (Doubleday, 2011) — “impeccably researched, beautifully written, and timely,” said the San Francisco Chronicle— describes the career of the limelight-stealing, two-fisted … [Read more...]

The Loving Story: Tuesday, Feb 14

  On February 14, the same night that it premiers on HBO, the Chappell Great Lives Lecture Series will show clips from The Loving Story, with guests attorney Bernard Cohen, who was part of the ACLU team that represented the Lovings before the … [Read more...]