Warhawk Almanac: Comedy, Community, Collaboration – 1968

            The arts have a way of bringing people together. This was certainly true for the cast of the 1968 production of “The Irregular Verb to Love,” performed at the University of Wisconsin Center – Rock County (now UW- Whitewater at Rock County) on August 2nd and 3rd. Having only just opened two years prior, this play was Rock County’s first collaboration with local community theatre. As a result, the cast for this piece was composed of theatre enthusiasts of all ages.

In Rehearsal, in the Janesville Gazette (Janesville: Janesville Gazette, August 2, 1968).

            “The Irregular Verb to Love” is an English comedy play written by Hugh and Margaret Williams. The plot of the play focuses on one mother’s meddling in the lives of her family.[1] The play’s main characters are Hedda Rankin, her husband Felix, and their children Andrew and Lucy. In the Rock County performance, Hedda and Felix Rankin were played by local community members Dawn Stephenson and Charles Niles. Both actors had ties to the Janesville Little Theatre (JLT). Stephenson had participated in many JLT shows, while Niles was the company’s director. The role of Andrew Rankin was performed by Janesville High-School theatre alum Terry Parr, and Lucy was portrayed by Eva Pawelek, a Rock County student. The rest of the cast was filled out by Rock County students Nancy George and John Miller and local community members Elsie Van Tassell and Georgia Dietz.[2]

Three of the players…, in the Beloit Daily News (Beloit: Beloit Daily News, July 27, 1968).

            Despite the cast’s varying levels of experience, “The Irregular Verb to Love” received raving reviews. In her review “Rock County Players Dissect Love Deftly,” Hermione Knapp praised all aspects of the play. According to Knapp, the casting choices perfectly fulfilled each role and brought the play to life. Director Judith Forusz kept the play fast-paced and exciting, even as the plot relied more on conversation than action. Furthermore, Knapp only had compliments for the play’s set, saying Gary Lennox’s design “delighted the eye.”[3] Overall the play was a successful production that highlighted the beauties of community collaboration.

[1] Hermione Knapp, “Rock County Players Dissect Love Deftly,” Janesville Gazette (Janesville, WI.), August 3, 1968.

[2] “First Campus-Community Play Aug. 2 and 3,” Clinton Topper (Clinton, WI.), July 25, 1968

[3] Hermione Knapp, “Rock County Players Dissect Love Deftly,” Janesville Gazette (Janesville, WI.), August 3, 1968.

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Warhawk Almanac: Whitewater Welcomes an Important Guest – 1961

            UW-Whitewater has hosted its fair share of important or popular speakers and guests. President John F. Kennedy made Whitewater a stop on his campaign trail prior to his election, and, rumor has it, Adam Sandler once gave a comedy show in the Down Under. However, neither of these guests hold quite the same importance, influence, and reputation as Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr.

Dr. Martin Luther King, in the Royal Purple (Whitewater: University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, July 25, 1961), 1.

            On July 25th 1961, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. visited Wisconsin State University – Whitewater ( now University of Wisconsin – Whitewater) as part of a summer lecture and concert series. For the series, Dr. King spoke on “The Future of Integration” in a free lecture that was open to the public. Summer classes were even rearranged so that every student had the opportunity to attend.[1] The event drew a large crowd of university students, Whitewater citizens, and community members from the surrounding areas, leaving only standing room in the back of the auditorium. According to an article in the Whitewater Register, Dr. King’s eloquent way of speaking captivated the audience and often left the crowd in a hushed silence. His speech focused on the importance of the continuation of nonviolent protests and resistance. According to Dr. King, at the time of the event, 13 out of the 17 southern states that were completely segregated in 1954 had integrated and one more was to be integrated in the coming months. King celebrated this progress but stressed that there was much more to be done before integration and equal rights were recognized throughout America. After his speech, Dr. King met with the public and answered questions backstage. [2] Overall, the lecture was a successful addition to the summer lecture series and Whitewater was fortunate to host such an important historical figure.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Backstage, in the Whitewater Register (Whitewater: Whitewater Register, July 27, 1961), 1.

[1] “Martin Luther King Speaks this Morning,” Royal Purple (Whitewater, WI.) July 25th, 1961.

[2] “College Auditorium is Filled as Integration Leader Speaks.” Whitewater Register (Whitewater, WI.) July 27, 1961.

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Warhawk Almanac: A School by Any Other Name – 1951

The post-secondary school in Whitewater has undergone many evolutions. In its origins as a normal school, Whitewater’s curriculum originally revolved around training teachers and educators. Slowly the school added more fields of study such as Commercial (Business) Education. By 1951, the State Teachers College, Whitewater (now UW-Whitewater) had officially moved forward from its education training focus and, as a result, the school received a new name.            

01-514 old main postcard, Photo Collection, Old Main,Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI

On July 10th, 1951, the Board of Regents of Normal Schools met in the Capitol Building for a regularly scheduled meeting. In this meeting, the board voted on many important resolutions. The last resolution, Resolution 654, designated that all the schools represented by the board would become Wisconsin State Colleges. The schools included were: Eau Claire, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Oshkosh, Platteville, River Falls, Stevens Point, Superior, and, most importantly, Whitewater.[1] With this resolution, the new Wisconsin State College – Whitewater could choose to offer Liberal Arts degrees to its students, but that did not mean the college was going to abandon its teacher training programs. President Williams assured that the college would not only keep the teacher training programs, but work to make them stronger.[2] In fact, according to enrollment records, a Liberal Arts program was not offered to students until 1953. In its first semester, only 108 out of 726 students who enrolled chose to pursue a Liberal Arts degree.[3] Although the 654th resolution widened Whitewater’s capabilities by changing its name, it did not change the school’s dedication to producing quality educators.

6-MN-ww3407, Slide Collection, Anderson Library Archives and Area Research, Anderson Library, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

[1] Board of Regents of Normal Schools, Proceedings of the Board of Regents of Normal Schools, July 10, 1951, University Archives, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

[2] “New Building, New Degree, New Name, In Store for Whitewater College,” Summer School     Bulletin (Whitewater, WI), July 17. 1961.

[3] Whitewater State College, Enrollment Records, 1953, Provost box 17, University Archives, University of Wisconsin – Whitewater, Whitewater, WI.

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Celebrate July 4 (Independence Day)! Library hours, local events

It’s almost July 4th! How will you celebrate? Andersen & Lenox libraries will be closed on Mon., July 5th. Then it’s back to normal summer session hours as of 8 a.m. on Tues., July 6th.

Flag and fireworks imageWhitewater’s festivities have the theme “Celebrating our Hometown Heroes,” starting on July 1st with amusement rides in Cravath Lakefront Park. You can see food vendors and all of the festival events online, featuring the Miss Whitewater Pageant on Friday night, July 2nd, a car show and fireworks on Saturday, July 3rd, and the Whippet City Mile run at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, July 4th, followed by the parade at noon. Oh, and more fireworks on Sunday.

Check out events happening in nearby communities, too: Milton (events July 1-4 include parade on Sunday, July 4th), Elkhorn (music and fireworks on Friday, July 2nd), Jefferson County communities, Walworth County communities, and Janesville (events include a water ski show and fireworks). To find events in other communities, please search the Internet or ask a librarian (call 262.472.1032, come in, email or chat) for assistance.

Want to learn more? Read the history of Independence Day from History.com, the Library of Congress, or PBS. If you want to spend some time learning more about the Declaration of Independence, along with other founding documents, symbols, and anthems of the United States, check out The Citizen’s Almanac.

Andersen Library is a federal depository library with federal government documents on a variety of current and relevant issues available to you in various formats (print, DVD/CD-ROM, online). Check out your government at Andersen Library!

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PBS Video Collection: Fourth Edition (New Stuff Tuesday)

PBS Video Collection: Fourth Edition

Pickings were slim at New Arrivals, so it seemed like a good opportunity to share a new online resource. PBS films are often useful teaching tools – plus, they’re entertaining.

The UW System used year-end funds to purchase this collection. Unlike other PBS content in Films on Demand or other services, these titles are owned so we won’t lose access to them. More than 1,400 films are included and I’ve already seen a few I might want to watch. For instance, 1421: The Year China Discovered America. This collection covers many subjects, ranging from art to science, diversity to business, history to social movements.

Check out all the Library’s streaming video collections on the Library’s database list.

PBS Video Collection: Fourth Edition
Alexander Street
PBS Video Collection: Fourth Edition

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How We Got to the Moon (New Stuff Tuesday)

How we got to the Moon book cover

John Rocco’s lavishly-illustrated book tells the stories of missions to the moon from Sputnik to Apollo 11. His pictures and text explain complicated science and technology concepts in ways that kids (and adults) can understand. Even better than his engineering explanations, though, is his inclusion of all the different types of people (and animals!) that made these voyages possible. The book includes information on the women from many different countries involved at all stages of the projects and programs. This is a wonderful book to read from cover to cover or to dip into and learn about a small piece of the history of voyages to the moon.

How We Got to the Moon
Written & Illustrated by John Rocco
Curriculum Collection, Nonfiction, 2nd Floor
629.45 Roc

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From the desk of Chancellor Watson: The Latehomecomer, by Kao Kalia Yang

book cover of The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang

The Latehomecomer by Kao Kalia Yang

One in a series of reviews contributed by Chancellor Dwight C. Watson

When I first moved to St. Paul, Minnesota from Raleigh, North Carolina in 1997, I worked at Hamline University in St. Paul.  Across the street was Hancock-Hamline Collaborative Magnet School.  The school had many Hmong students attending, and I was not aware of this nationality. The principal provided me a history lesson about how the Hmong people who lived in the mountains of Laos helped the Americans fight against the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War.  The Viet Cong were members of the communist guerrilla movement in Vietnam that fought the South Vietnamese government forces 1954–75 with the support of the North Vietnamese army and opposed the South Vietnamese and US forces in the Vietnam War. The Hmong’s participation in the combat against the Viet Cong was called the Secret War. When the war was over, many Hmong were stranded in the mountains of Laos and were attacked by the Viet Cong without the assistance of the American forces.

The principal taught me this history lesson by referring to a large, colorful Hmong story cloth that was proudly displayed in her office. From that point on, I was fascinated with the Hmong culture, and I learned all I could by reading, researching, and attending cultural events like Hmong New Year, Hmong 4th of July Festival, Hmong and Southeast Asian restaurants, and participating in many community events. Eventually, I had the good fortune to travel to Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand and saw for myself the mighty Mekong River.  This was the river that many Hmong people had to survive the crossing of to get from Laos to Thailand where there were many refugee camps. 

In 2008, I had the honor of reading The Latehomecomer and learning more deeply about Hmong culture.  I found it to be an inspiring memoir of the Hmong author’s flight from post-Vietnam terror in Laos and Thailand to the United States. Since the author was a former student of Hamline University, the University invited her to speak to our students about the book. Recently, I had the opportunity to read the book again as a part of the Whitewater Big Read initiative.  It was exciting to revisit the language of the author that often flowed like poetry. As a culmination of the reading of the book, we had an opportunity to have a WebEx with Kao Kalia Yang, and her presentation was resplendent with story, recitation, reflection, and artistry. I was so glad that our paths had come full-circle.

 Through my second reading of the book and listening to Kao Kalia Yang present her personal accounts of the Yang’s family escape across the Mekong River into Thailand, I was again captured by the lyrical nature of the memoir. The strongest part of Yang’s memoir is the account of her early years, most occurring before her birth in 1980 in a Thai refugee camp. Delivering her was her paternal grandmother, who emerges as a figure of towering importance to the author. The survival of the family was nearly miraculous; flood, disease, poverty, hunger, violence and despair all threatened them continually. In 1987 they finally arrived in Minnesota, where they faced new struggles. During the ensuing 20 years, the parents worked ferociously, the children succeeded academically, and the American Dream, in many tangible ways, was realized.

“Yang has performed an important service in bringing readers the stories of a people whose history has been shamefully neglected,” writes Kirkus. “Yang tells her family’s story with grace; she narrates their struggles, beautifully weaving in Hmong folklore and culture. By the end of this moving, unforgettable book, when Yang describes the death of her beloved grandmother, readers will delight at how intimately they have become part of this formerly … [unfamiliar] culture.”

Publisher’s Weekly, starred review
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Smile (New Stuff Tuesday)

Smile: How young charlie chaplin taught the world to laugh and cry book cover

A brief and impressionistic-feeling introduction to one of the early stars of movie entertainment. Without Charlie Chaplin, it’s been said movies today would not exist in their current form.

His early life in England — impoverished childhood with stints in the poorhouse, early and almost accidental moments on stage illustrating to him the thrill of making people laugh — are sketched out in multimedia and papercut collages, by Caldecott-winning artist Ed Young. (Amazon reviews told me to flip through the pages to animate the Little Tramp character in the bottom right corner, in a likely homage to the “flip books” that helped to create early animation!) The book ends relatively early in his career, when he’s gone to America, been “discovered” by Hollywood filmmaker Mack Sennett, and creates his famous Little Tramp character.

I found the Afterword more interesting for its further biographical details: I see parallels to today’s multitalented artists like Lin-Manuel Miranda who are known to “do it all” in the arts business: Charlie was “Actor, writer, director, composer, songwriter, editor, producer, and distributor” — wow! If you want to see a sample of his work, see this collage on YouTube, featuring his songwriting skills in “Smile” (though sung by Nat King Cole in this video), combined with clips from his movies.

How young Charlie Chaplin taught the world to laugh (and cry)

by Gary Golio, illus. by Ed Young
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor
921 Cha

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Research@UWW: Saved Items Missing & Saved Searches

  1. Saved Items Missing:
    Several users throughout the University of Wisconsin System have reported a loss of item records saved to their Research@UWW account. The problem coincides with the recent upgrade. We have notified our vendor about this issue and they responded that they “expect the fix to become effective during the first week of June.”

    In the meantime, you may connect to the old Research@UWW site and login there to view your previously saved items. The old site will remain operational through June.

  2. Saved Searches Will NOT Migrate:
    If you have Saved Searches in your old Research@UWW account, you will need to recreate them in the new Research@UWW environment. Libguides.uww.edu/primove has more information with screenshots to help you.

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Wolf Island (New Stuff Tuesdays)

Wolf Island book cover

Wolves seem to elicit strong emotions in many parts of the world. People either love them or hate them. This year’s wolf hunt in Wisconsin got a little out of control. Your thoughts on the matter will likely depend on the emotions triggered by these furry beasts.

When we were children, my brother David was attacked by a half-wolf dog. My father stitched up his head wounds, but as the day worn on, David’s fever raged. Their island retreat in the Quetico Provincial Park was hours from any hospital. So my father canoed back to the mainland and drove through the night to get David back to the infirmary in Wisconsin where there was a supply of penicillin. David survived — as did Lobo — who had only attacked out of loyalty to our oldest brother. When Lobo bounded out of the cabin, there was his pack mate under “attack” by a scrappy kid who had just landed on the island and had his big brother in a headlock. So while I admire the beauty of the wolf and its place in a healthy ecosystem, I have no desire to get too cozy with them.

But I have always been fascinated by these creatures and have read several wolfish books, including Farley Mowat’s, Never Cry Wolf. In Wolf Island the author traveled to Isle Royale in Lake Superior to study the wolf pack that had crossed the ice and been marooned there since the 1940s. He tracked and documented their relationship to the moose herds on the island to see how they interacted and the effects on both populations. This sort of study was only possible because the animals were pretty much in their natural state, without human intrusion or other outside influences. What is the true impact of a wolf pack on a moose herd in the wild? Are wolves the ruthless marauders their detractors claim? Read on!

For more books on wolf behavior see Research@UWW, the Library’s catalog.

Wolf Island: Discovering the Secrets of a Mythic Animal
David Mech with Greg Breining
New Arrivals, 2nd Floor
QL 737 .C22 M39985 2020

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