Historical society, library team up to present exhibit


Staff report



WAPAKONETA — The Auglaize County Historical Society is collaborating with the Friends of the Wapakoneta Library to host a national traveling exhibit, “The Progressive Era: Creating Modern America, 1900-1917,” which will be installed at the Wapakoneta Library, 203 Perry St., from Feb. 9 to March 9.

This exhibit includes letters, cartoons, pictures, and broadsides that illustrate America’s transformation into a modern, industrial society. During the Progressive Era (1900–1917) a broad-ranging reform movement worked to make government more democratic, to lessen the effects of industrialization, and to regulate business.

“The Progressive Era” comes to Auglaize County from the Gilder Lehrman Institute, New York City. Founded in 1994, the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History is a non-profit organization devoted to the improvement of history education. The Institute has developed an array of pro-grams for schools, teachers, and students that now operate in all fifty states, including a website that features more than 60,000 unique historical documents in the Gilder Lehrman Collection. Each year the Institute offers support and resources to tens of thousands of teachers, and through them enhances the education of more than a million students. The Institute’s programs have been recognized by awards from the White House, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Organization of American Historians.

The Opening Reception for The Progressive Era will be held on Thursday, Feb. 11 from 5 to 7 p.m., on the main level of the Wapakoneta Library.

Keynote Remarks entitled, “Playing it Forward: The Progressive Era & Beyond,” with Dr. William D. Angel, Jr., will be presented at 7 p.m. in the lower level of the Wapakoneta Library.

About Dr. Angel’s presentation:

The Progressive Era changed the paradigm for how Americans view government. Considerable technological, economic, social and cultural change had occurred in the latter third of the 19th century. By the 1890s events had become so chaotic, that educated elites began engaging what historian Robert Wiebe has called “A Search for Order.” The process included creating a more active and interventionist government—especially at the local level—that changed the role of government in the U.S. The Progressive Era, therefore, was really was somewhat conservative in efforts by political elites to assert more control over social and economic problems that had emerged by the close of the 19th century. We are still living with the effects of Progressive reform today.

William D. Angel, Jr., holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from The Ohio State University in education and political science, respectively. He also holds a doctorate in political science from the University of Texas. He served as an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at The Ohio State University at Lima from 1978 through 2012. He has since held the title of Associate Professor emeritus from the institution.

Dr. Angel’s works in progress include “A City in Revolt: The Political Transformation of Cleveland, 1928-1948” and “The Death of Polonius: Frank Lausche, Ohio, and the Politics of Race, 1941-1968.” Among his many community affiliations, Dr. Angel has served as a member of the board of trustees for the St. Marys Community Public Library since 2007, and chaired Citizens for the Library, the PAC that organized the successful library levy-renewal campaign in 2015. He is a member of the Wapakoneta Waves Summer Swim Board, for which he serves as president.

The Auglaize County Historical Society was founded in 1963. The Auglaize County Historical Society collects, preserves, interprets, and shares the history of Auglaize County and its people through exhibits, programs, and publications.

For more information about this or other Auglaize County Historical Society programming, please email auglaizecountyhistory@bright.net or call (419) 738-9328. The Auglaize County Historical Society is also on Facebook.

Staff report