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Famous Historical Figures Revisit the American Civil War at Montgomery College Chautauqua, July 6–8 Three-Night Event at MC-Germantown Features Actors/Scholars Portraying Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman

Jefferson Davis, Abraham Lincoln and Harriet Tubman will come alive this summer—in observance of the Civil War sesquicentennial—at Montgomery College’s 13th annual Chautauqua celebration at the College’s Germantown Campus from July 6–8. Actors/scholars will portray the historical figures, bringing to life this year’s theme of “The American Civil War,” at the three-night, family-friendly event. The performances are sponsored by the Maryland Humanities Council.

Each night, the performances will begin at 7 p.m. at Globe Hall, located in the campus’ High Technology and Science Center, 20200 Observation Drive, Germantown, Md. All performances are free and open to the public.

Each Chautauqua program will begin with a short performance by a local musician. Next, an actor/scholar will take the stage to portray a historical figure. The actors/scholars modify their clothing, hair, and speech to give audiences the illusion that they are listening to the actual historical figure during their time.

The 2011 program schedule, with biographies on the historical figures, is as follows:

Wednesday, July 6, 2011 7 p.m. – Opening musical performance by Ellen Cherry An Evening with Jefferson Davis, performed by Doug Mishler Jefferson Davis (1808-1889) is an icon of the Confederacy—a veteran, senator and finally president of the Confederate States of America. He came from a military family. His father and uncles fought in the Revolutionary War and his older brothers in the War of 1812. After graduating from West Point in 1828, Davis fought in the Mexican-American War, became U.S. secretary of war under President Franklin Pierce and served several terms as a U.S. senator representing Mississippi. Thursday, July 7, 2011 7 p.m. – Opening musical performance by Banjer Dan An Evening with Abraham Lincoln, performed by Jim Getty Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865) is considered by many scholars to be the greatest American president. Born into a poor farming family, Lincoln became a country lawyer and served in the Illinois state legislature and as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives. He ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate, but through his campaign debates with Stephen A. Douglas, he gained a national reputation that won him the Republican nomination for President in 1860. He was sworn in as the sixteenth president of the United States March 4, 1861, and on April 12, Fort Sumter was fired upon and the Civil War began. As president, Lincoln sought to reunify the nation and brought together various factions to get them to cooperate. In 1863 he issued the Emancipation Proclamation and promoted passage of the 13th Amendment. Just six days after the surrender of most of the Confederate Army, Lincoln was assassinated on April 14, 1865, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C.

Friday, July 8, 2011 7 p.m. – Opening musical performance by Loralyn Coles An Evening with Harriet Tubman, performed by Gwendolyn Briley-Strand Harriet Tubman (c.1820-1913), known as the “Moses of her people,” was a famed Underground Railroad operator, abolitionist, Civil War spy and humanitarian. Originally named Araminta, she was born into slavery in Dorchester County on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. At 13 she suffered a severe head injury when an overseer threw a lead weight at another fleeing slave, resulting in headaches, seizures and visions that plagued her for the rest of her life. She later escaped to Philadelphia and then returned to guide her family and many others to freedom through 13 journeys on the Underground Railroad. For more information on the Montgomery College Chautauqua, call 240-567-7746 or visit

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