Tag Archives: author talk

Feb. 19-If These Stones could talk – author talk

In recognition of African American History Month, the State Library will be having authors Elaine S. Buck and Beverly Mills talk about their book, If These Stones Could Talk.

The program will be on February 19th from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room.

Cemeteries have stories to tell. Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills found many stories behind the headstones in the Stoutsburg Cemetery, which is in New Jersey’s Sourland Mountain Region. Offering a unique window into our past, the stories you will hear, collected with diligence and devotion, consecrate the collected lives of a minority Black community in a predominantly White region.

Elaine Buck and Beverly Mills are the founders of Friday Truehart Consultants, named after Beverly’s 4th great-grandfather who was brought to Hopewell from Charleston in the 18th century by his master, Reverend Oliver Hart. His is one of the stories in the book. Both women work closely with K-12 educators from school systems interested in including African American history in their lesson plans and curriculum. They are founding members who serve on the Advisory Board of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum, have been Trustees of the Stoutsburg Cemetery Association for the past 35 years, and are members of the National Council of Negro Women and the Sankofa Collaborative, a resource that will ensure that material and resources relating to African American history will be readily accessible statewide to a broader and more diverse audience. Beverly Mills is the first African American woman to hold the elected position as Councilwoman, Pennington Borough, and Elaine Buck is Church Clerk for the Second Calvary Baptist Church of Hopewell, NJ.

Please feel free to join us at this free event. All are welcome. RSVP is appreciated to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.

January 23-Author Talk with internationally syndicated columnist Leslie Handler

Join us on January 23 from noon to 1 p.m. at the State Library in the Level 2 Reading Room for a talk entitled, Rats, Mice and Other Things you can’t take to the Bank.

This book is an inspirational collection of essays from humorous to simply human.  Its stories will take you from finding a mouse in the house to the mortgage crisis, from a smile to a chuckle and from a few tears to the feeling of being wrapped in a blanket sipping a warm cup of cocoa on a cold winter’s day.  That’s a lot in one book!

Leslie Handler is a 2015 Society of Newspaper Columnists award winner. She’s an international syndicated columnist with Senior Wire News Service and a frequent contributor to WHYY News, and has written for The Philadelphia Inquirer, ZestNow, Boomercafe, and The Huffington Post. Her first book is Rats, Mice and Other Things You Can’t Take to the Bank. Leslie currently lives smack dab between Philadelphia and New York City with husband Marty, dogs Maggie, Hazel, and Ginger, a collection of fish, said husband’s cockatoo, which she’s been trying to roast for dinner for the last 33 years, and a few occasional uninvited guests. You may follow her blog and read published essays at lesliegoesboom.com.

Please feel free to join us at this free event. All are welcome. RSVP is appreciated to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.


Dec. 26th – Author talk-The Road to Assunpink Creek

Please join us on December 26th from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 reading room for a Patriot’s Week program with author David Price.  The talk is based on his book, The Road to Assunpink Creek: Liberty’s Desperate Hour and the Ten Crucial Days of the American Revolution.

The author looks at the importance of the Battle of Assunpink Creek on January 2, 1777. This encounter has generally received less attention from historians than the other two engagements fought during the “Ten Crucial Days” of the American Revolution; however, an argument will be made during the talk that it was the most pivotal event of those days and perhaps of the entire Revolutionary struggle.

David Price holds degrees in political science from Drew University and Rutgers University – New Brunswick, and was a nonpartisan research analyst with the New Jersey Legislature for 31 years. He is a historical interpreter at Washington Crossing Historic Park in Pennsylvania, and conducts guided interpretive tours at this Registered National Historic Landmark and site of the Continental Army’s crossing of the Delaware River in 1776. He focuses on the “Ten Crucial Days” of the American Revolution and other historical aspects of the park.

In addition to his newest book, David is the author of Rescuing the Revolution: Unsung Patriot Heroes and the Ten Crucial Days of America’s War for Independence. He is a member of various national and local organizations relating to the Revolutionary War and lives in Lawrence Township, NJ.

This event is part of Trenton area Patriot’s Week celebration. Seating for this program is on a first come, first served basis. Once the room capacity of 75 individuals is reached, no further attendees will be admitted. If you have questions, please contact Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.


July 18-author talk on Lost Amusement Parks of the New Jersey Shore

Please join us on July 18th from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room of the State Library for a talk from author Rick Geffken on Lost Amusement parks of the New Jersey shore.  For this talk he will be concentrating on more of North Jersey, which includes Point Pleasant, Asbury Park, and Highland Beach.

The Jersey Shore has always attracted people seeking relief from summer heat and humidity. By the end of the 19th century, the 120-mile-long coastline of New Jersey was dotted with amusement parks featuring all types of rides and fast-food emporiums. James Bradley in Asbury Park and William Sandlass Jr in Highland Beach created mass entertainment for hundreds of thousands of people. However, their seaside recreation centers along with others that had endured for years are just fond and fading memories today.

Author Rick Geffken has written numerous articles on Monmouth County history and has spoken throughout the state on Monmouth County historical topics. He has appeared on the New Jersey Cable TV show, Family Historian as well. The book Lost Amusement Parks of North Jersey was co-written with George Severini.

Geffken is Past-president and a Trustee of the Jersey Coast Heritage Museum at Sandlass House and is a member of the Monmouth County Historical Association.

He is currently retired as a sales executive for Hewlett-Packard and other positions as well as being a retired U.S. Army officer and Vietnam veteran. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics from St. Peter’s University and a Master’s Degree from Montclair State University.

All are welcome. RSVP is appreciated. Please respond to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.

May 22-Author talk on Northern Women in the Aftermath of the Civil War

Please join us on Tuesday, May 22 (rescheduled from March 21) from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room for a talk to observe Women’s History month: Northern Women in the Aftermath of the Civil War with author Joanne Rajoppi.

Joanne Hamilton Rajoppi, a lifelong resident of New Jersey, is an author and former journalist. A history aficionado, she chronicled the military service of her great-grandfather during the Civil War and based her book New Brunswick and the Civil War: The Brunswick Boys in the Great Rebellion on the letters he wrote to his family. She followed the story with the Hamilton women after the war writing Northern Women in the Aftermath of the Civil War: The Wives and Daughters of the Brunswick Boys. The book chronicles the lives of the wives and daughters of her great-great grandfather, a Brunswick Boy, and their struggles to cope with disabled or missing husbands and sons who fought in the war.

A contributor to Meet Your Revolutionary Neighbors: Crossroads of the American Revolution, Rajoppi also has authored several pamphlets and calendars detailing the history of the region.

She is a trustee and officer of the Union County Historical Society. During the Civil War Sesquicentennial she established and chaired a four-year revolving exhibit in the historic Union County Courthouse. She serves as the Union County Clerk and is a former mayor of her hometown.

All are welcome to this free talk. An RSVP is appreciated. Please respond to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172. For other information on events and classes at the State Library visit www.njstatelib.org.

April 25- rescheduled from March 7-author talk -Lakewood’s General Hospital #9- 1918-1919

Please join us for this talk on General Hospital # 9.  It’s been 100 years since the end of World War I and so we have a talk on how this hospital effected different changes in medical roles and medical rehabilitation. We’ll look at how this institution played a large part in establishing Vocational Rehabilitation of Disabled Veterans.

Our speaker for this program, Nicholas Wood is a historian who enjoys researching places and happenings that are located in Ocean County, his home area. The rediscovered history of General Hospital #9 fits into a larger effort to identify and record Ocean County’s participation in the Great War.

In 1918, the Lakewood Hotel was turned into General Hospital #9, a military hospital in Lakewood, New Jersey. The medical institution served approximately 5,500 convalescing soldiers during and after the Great War. It served a great part in establishing Vocational Rehabilitation of Disabled Veterans. It also addressed the changing roles of nurses, tensions around segregation and other assorted progressive issues.

Nicholas Wood, a graduate of the University of Maine and the Coopertown Graduate Program, is a Program Development Specialist at the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission. He is responsible for administering the regrant programs, database management, assisting with the Teen Arts Festival and other programs, and providing direct technical assistance. Prior to his appointment with the Commission, Mr. Wood worked for the Jersey Shore Folklife Center at Tuckerton Seaport.

All are welcome! RSVP is appreciated to Cindy Warrick at 609-278-2640 ext. 172.

April 10- talk on New Jersey’s deadliest train wreck- Woodbridge, NJ

Please join us on April 10 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room to learn about New Jersey’s deadliest train wreck.  Gordon Bond of Garden State Legacy will be talking about the event from his book Man Failure, the story of New Jersey’s deadliest train wreck.

From the Garden State Legacy website, “On the drizzly evening of February 6, 1951, the Pennsylvania Railroad commuter train known as ‘The Broker’ derailed in Woodbridge, New Jersey, killing 85 and injuring hundreds in what remains the deadliest railroad accident in the state’s history. Communities all along the Jersey Shore were shaken by the sudden and violent loss of friends.

What happened was self-evident from the mangled railcars and bodies. Why was another matter and would lead investigators to delve deep into the inner workings of the self-proclaimed ‘Standard Railroad of the World.’

Drawn from contemporary accounts, investigation transcripts, and recent interviews with those whose lives were forever changed, Man Failure: The Story of New Jersey’s Deadliest Train Wreck puts the reader at the center of the story – from the gripping human dramas of survivors, rescuers, and families who lost loved ones, to the controversies surrounding the investigations trying to get to the bottom of a tragedy that still haunts those who experienced it. ”

All are welcome to this free event. RSVP is appreciated to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.

February 20th – Talk to observe African-American History Month

Please join us on February 20th from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room to hear a talk on The Unique Legacy of the Manual Training and Industrial School.

Writer and historian, Dr. Connie Goddard will talk about the School and its role in developing African-American youth. Borrowing freely from ideas about education articulated by Booker T. Washington, John Dewey, and W.E.B. DuBois, the Manual Training and Industrial School, Bordentown, N.J., may well have been the only state-supported boarding school for African-American students in the nation. Founded in 1886 by a group of black ministers and taken over by the state a decade later, it thrived until Brown v. Board of Education made its continued existence unconstitutional and some of its practices dated. During the first half of the 20th century though, it offered a unique educational experience that combined academics, preparation for work, and for contributions to the community.

Dr. Goddard, writer and historian of education, has a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Chicago; she has taught history and composition at Mercer County Community College, The College of New Jersey, and two state prisons, as well as in Chicago and Romania. Her scholarly interests focus on schooling in colonial America and during the Progressive Era. Currently she is writing about the Chicago’s eminent educator and Dewey colleague Ella Flagg Young, including the latter’s intellectual and pragmatic sympathies with both Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois.

If you plan to attend this free talk, please RSVP to Cindy Warrick at cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172. For other information on events and classes at the State Library visit www.njstatelib.org.


December 27-author talk on NJ Hessians

Please join us on December 27 from noon – 1 p.m. for an author talk with Peter Lubrecht titled, New Jersey Hessians – Truth and Lore in the American Revolution.

During the American Revolution, five thousand of the thirty thousand German troops hired by Great Britain to fight rebellious colonists marched across New Jersey. Though popular legend would cast these individuals called Hessians as cold and vicious mercenaries, many were prisoners of war with little choice. Stories of their exploits still circulate in New Jersey. Join author Peter Lubrecht as he navigates the myth of Hessian troops in New Jersey to separate fiction from fact.

NOTE: This program is part of Patriot’s Week held in downtown Trenton and the surrounding area. Many individuals attended last year’s program at the State Library.  The room has a capacity of 75, please try to RSVP for this event.  You can RSVP to cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.

Sept. 27-New Jersey World War I Monuments

Please join us on September 27, 2017 from noon to 1 p.m. in the Level 2 Reading Room for a talk on New Jersey’s World War I Monuments.  Historian Erik L. Burro will tell us about many of the World War I monuments located throughout the Garden State. This is the second in a series of four talks celebrating the 100th anniversary of World War I.

Various World War I Monuments in N.J.

A historian living in Burlington County, most of Burro’s business career was spent in corporate communications while he simultaneously pursued a host of projects involving research, exhibitions, presentations and dramatizations of state, regional and American history.

Over the past 40 years, Erik has made a variety of appearances as a guest speaker, master of ceremonies for historic site dedications, host for cultural events and a creator and participant in exhibitions on history-related topics. He has several programs he offers and both here and abroad has portrayed various well-known historic characters. He has also made appearances on NPR and the BBC.

In support of the American Centennial Commemoration of World War I he independently researched and photographed the major monuments of the Great War here in New Jersey and surrounding states. He continues to share his findings with the NJ Department of Preservation and his photography is on display at the Rutgers University WWI exhibit in New Brunswick.  He continues to provide support for the Armed Services Heritage Museum, Rutgers Radio’s Veteran’s Hour, the All Veterans Memorial, Mt. Olive, NJ and refurbishment efforts for several doughboy monuments.

Burro is founder of Pennjerdel House, Burlington, NJ, a regional advocacy for increasing public awareness and appreciation of local history and preservation throughout the tri-state area.

All are welcome to this free program. RSVP is appreciated to Cindy Warrick at mailto:cwarrick@njstatelib.org or 609-278-2640 ext. 172.

Sept. 13-Free program: The Fighting Man in the Great War

Please join us on September 13th for the first of four talks to celebrate the 100th anniversary of
World War I.

Reenactor and military collector John Niemiec will discuss a brief history of the events that led to the “war to end all wars” and will display examples of the uniforms and equipment of U.S. and German combatants, along with other memorabilia of the conflict.

Niemiec grew up hearing the stories of veterans of the Great War and reading about the exploits of doughboys and early military aviators, sparking a life-long fascination with the Great War. In his early 20s he began collecting WWI artifacts and uniforms, outfitting himself, and displaying his collection at “soldier shows,” historic sites, and schools.

An active reenactor since 1962 when a high school teacher involved him in a Civil War artillery unit, Niemiec has since expanded into many time periods including the French & Indian War, the American Revolution, WWII and most recently, Ancient Rome.

John served in the US Navy and Marines from 1965 to 1970, including a 13-month tour in Viet Nam. He has recently retired from a 35 year career with the New Jersey Department of Revenue.

All are welcome to this free program; RSVP is appreciated to: Cindy Warrick at mailto:cwarrick@njstatelib.orgor 609-278-2640 ext. 172.