Women Making History – Jimmie Lou Fisher

Image result for jimmie lou fisherJimmie Lou Fisher served as a Constitutional officer in Arkansas longer than any other woman in the state’s history (twenty-four years).  Her twenty-two years as Treasurer is also the longest any person has served in that post. (And unless the term limits rules for Constitutional officers are changed, it is a record that is likely to stand.)

Born in Delight, she grew up in Paragould and graduated from high school in Vilonia. (Her father was a coach and school administrator who moved the family around as he took new jobs.)  She attended what is now Arkansas State University.

Interested in politics from an early age, in 1970, she was elected Greene County Treasurer. She held that position until 1979 when she was appointed by Governor Bill Clinton to be the Auditor of Arkansas. (He had appointed longtime Auditor Jimmie “Red” Jones to be Adjutant General of the Arkansas National Guard.)

Gov. Clinton had hardly picked her from obscurity.  She had been active in his successful race for governor in 1978. Previously she was vice chair of the Democratic State Committee and a member of the Democratic National Committee from 1976 to 1978 and a member of the Credentials Committee of the National Convention in 1976.

Since Fisher had been appointed, she could not run to succeed herself.  When longtime Treasurer Nancy Hall announced she would not seek re-election, Fisher jumped into that race. She easily won the race and was re-elected each time until term limits took effect in 2002.

After announcing her retirement from politics (where she had been respected by both Democrats and Republicans for her handling of state finances), Fisher was pressed into service to be the Democratic Party standard bearer in the race for governor against incumbent Mike Huckabee.

Though not the first woman to seek a major party’s nomination for governor, she was the first to be a major party nominee.  She ran a close election, but was defeated by Huckabee.

In 2013, she moved back to Greene County to be closer to some family members there.

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ODE TO JOY and Spoken Word winners presented by Arkansas Symphony Orchestra this weekend

The Arkansas Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor Philip Mann present the fourth concert of the 2018-2019 Stella Boyle Smith Masterworks season, Beethoven’s 9th: Ode to Joy on Saturday, February 23rd and Sunday, February 24th at the Robinson Center.

The concerts begin at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 3:00 p.m. on Sunday. The program opens with a spoken word performance presented in partnership with the Central Arkansas Library System. After the spoken word segment, more than 300 singers from eight Arkansas collegiate and professional choirs will take the stage with ASO for Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9, which also features vocal soloists soprano Maria Fasciano, mezzo soprano Christin-Marie Hill, tenor Vernon Di Carlo, and bass Adam Cioffari.

All concert ticket holders are also invited to Concert Conversations, a pre-concert talk one hour before each Masterworks concert in the Upper Tier Lobby of the Robinson Center. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Tickets are $16, $36, $57 and $68; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Robinson Center street-level box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at https://www.arkansassymphony.org/freekids.

Philip Mann, conductor

Spoken Word Performers
Osyrus Bolly
Brooke Elliott
Rosslyn Elliott
Red Hawk
Kristy Ikanih
Jamee McAdoo
Dariane LyJoi Mull
Marvin Schwartz

Beethoven Soloists 
Maria Fasciano, soprano
Christin-Marie Hill, mezzo soprano
Vernon Di Carlo, tenor
Adam Cioffari, bass

Arkansas Intercollegiate and Professional Chorus
Arkansas Chamber Singers, John Erwin, director
Arkansas State University, Cherie Collins, director
Harding University, Cliff Ganus, director
Lyon College, Michael Oriatti, director
Ouachita Baptist University, Gary Gerber, director
Southern Arkansas University Magnolia, David DeSeguirant, director
University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff, Jerron Liddell, director
University of Central Arkansas, John Erwin, director

Program
VARIOUS – Spoken Word Performances
BEETHOVEN – Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125

Little Rock Look Back: Thanksgiving Day Football in 1918

100 years ago, the Little Rock High School Tigers football game on Thanksgiving was against a group of soldiers from Camp Pike.

The game took place on Thursday, November 28, 1918. The Great War had ended a little over a fortnight earlier, but the game had been scheduled while hostilities were still going.

The Tigers, who had never lost on Thanksgiving Day after starting a tradition of playing on the day in 1914, were for the first time the underdogs. The soldiers of the 13th Training Battalion were slightly older and much bigger – an average of 20 pounds bigger per player.

Going into the game, the Little Rock High School team was down a key player. Julian Adams was out with wrenched knee.  Another player John Ward was also absent (though the newspaper accounts do not indicate why).

Coach George H. Wittenberg was missing along the sidelines due to illness. He was not the first coach to be absent that season.  The regular coach, Earl Quigley, had been drafted and was stationed in South Carolina during the season.  Wittenberg, was a faculty member at the time. He had lettered for the football team when he had been a student a decade or so earlier. Later, as an architect, he would be one of the designers of the new Little Rock High School, now Central High School.

The game took place at Kavanaugh Field (a baseball field also used for football).  Though it is now the site of current Central’s storied Quigley Stadium, this was nearly a decade before the high school moved from Scott Street to Park Street.

The Camp Pike gridiron team dominated the game before a crowd of 1,000. The soldiers made three touchdowns in the first quarter, two in the second, one in the third, and one more to cap off the game in the fourth.

The closest the Tiger eleven got to scoring was in the second quarter when Hershell Riffel caught the ball at the 12 yard line and team captain and quarterback Alvin Bell advanced another six yards.  Camp Pike held them there.  Just before the game ended, Bell injured his knee and was taken out of the game.

Also that day, the University of Arkansas beat Kendall College (now the University of Tulsa) in Tulsa by a score of 23 to 6, West Tennessee Normal (now University of Memphis) defeated the Jonesboro Aggies (now Arkansas State Red Wolves) by a score of 37 to 0, and Hendrix College bested Henderson-Brown (now Henderson State University) by a score of 9 to 7.

Thanks to Brian Cox’s book Tiger Pride: 100 Years of Little Rock Central High Football for filling in some of the players names which were omitted in the newspaper coverage.

Little Rock Look Back: Minnijean Brown Trickey

On September 11, 1941, Minnijean Brown was born.

Although all of the Nine experienced verbal and physical harassment during their year at Central, Brown was first suspended, and then expelled for retaliating against the daily torment. She moved to New York and lived with Drs. Kenneth B. and Mamie Clark, the African American psychologists whose social science findings played a critical role in the Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court case.

After graduating from the New Lincoln School in 1959, Mrs. Brown Trickey studied journalism at Southern Illinois University.  She received a Bachelor of Social Work in Native Human Services from Laurentian University and Master of Social Work at Carleton University, in Ontario Canada.

Mrs. Brown Trickey has pursued a career committed to peacemaking, environmental issues, developing youth leadership and social justice advocacy.  She served in the Clinton Administration as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Workforce Diversity at the Department of the Interior.   She has taught social work at Carleton University and community colleges in Canada.

Mrs. Brown Trickey is the recipient of numerous awards for her community work for social justice, including Lifetime Achievement Tribute by the Canadian Race Relations Foundation, and the International Wolf Award for contributions to racial harmony.  With the Little Rock Nine, she received the NAACP Spingarn Medal and the Congressional Gold Medal.

She is the subject of a documentary, Journey to Little Rock: the Untold Story of Minnijean Brown Trickey, which has received critical acclaim in international film festivals in Africa, the UK, the U.S., South America and Canada.  She was featured in People Magazine, Newsweek, the Ottawa Citizen, the BBC, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp, Donahue, as well as on numerous other television, radio and in print media.  She appeared with the Little Rock Nine on Oprah and the Today Show.

Mrs. Brown Trickey currently resides in Canada, and is the Shipley Visiting Writer for Heritage Studies at Arkansas State University. She is the mother of six children, Morning Star, Isaiah, Sol, Ethan, Spirit and Leila Trickey.

Bernstein and Brahms this weekend with the Arkansas Symphony Orchestra

ASO B&BThe Arkansas Symphony Orchestra, Philip Mann, Music Director and Conductor, presents the fifth concert of the 2015-2016 Masterworks series: Bernstein & Brahms, 7:30 p.m. Saturday, February 27 and 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 28 at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center at Maumelle High School. Eight collegiate choruses join the ASO to perform Brahms’s German Requiem and Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms. Bernstein & Brahms is sponsored by CHI St. Vincent. The Masterworks Series is sponsored by the Stella Boyle Smith Trust.

Tickets are $19, $35, $49, and $58; active duty military and student tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at www.ArkansasSymphony.org; at the Maumelle Performing Arts Center box office beginning 90 minutes prior to a concert; or by phone at 501-666-1761, ext. 100. All Arkansas students grades K-12 are admitted to Sunday’s matinee free of charge with the purchase of an adult ticket using the Entergy Kids’ Ticket, downloadable at www.ArkansasSymphony.org/freekids

Choral Ensembles
The ASO will collaborate with choirs from around the state of Arkansas for Bernstein & Brahms. The University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir is featured on Bernstein’s Chichester Psalms, and Brahms’s German Requiem features choirs from Arkansas State University, Harding University,  Lyon College, Southern Arkansas University at Magnolia, University of Arkansas at Little Rock, University of Central Arkansas, and the Arkansas Chamber Singers.

Concert Conversations
All concert ticket holders are invited to a pre-concert lecture an hour before each Masterworks concert. These talks feature insights from the Maestro and guest artists, and feature musical examples to enrich the concert experience.

Shuttle service is available
The ASO provides shuttle service from Second Presbyterian Church in Pleasant Valley to the Maumelle Performing Arts Center and back after the concert. For more information and to purchase fare at $10 per rider per concert, please visit https://www.arkansassymphony.org/concerts-tickets/shuttle-service

 

Program
Bernstein            Chichester Psalms
with the University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff Vesper Choir

Brahms                 Ein Deutsches Requiem
with mass collegiate choir and the Arkansas Chamber Singers

Program notes
Bernstein composed Chichester Psalms during a sabbatical from conducting in 1965. In his own words, “I wrote a lot of music, twelve-tone music and avant garde music of various kinds, and a lot of it was very good, and I threw it all away. And what I came out with at the end of the year was a piece called Chichester Psalms, which is simple and tonal and tuneful and as pure B-flat as any piece you can think of.” Ein Deutsches Requiem was not composed for the people of Germany, but in the German language and was intended to be addressed to all mankind. Breaking from the historic requiem form, in which there is a strong focus on Judgment and the seeking of forgiveness, Brahms instead concentrates on offering consolation to the living who are mourning their departed loved ones.

New Public Radio Network in Arkansas launched

natural state newsThe Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB) awarded a $278,300 grant to four Arkansas public radio stations to support the creation of a statewide multimedia journalism collaboration based at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock.  Natural State News will be a statewide news service focusing on reaching rural areas of the state.

KUAR, UALR’S public radio station, will be the lead station for the project, joined by Fayetteville’s KUAF, Jonesboro’s KASU, and Texarkana’s KTXK. Ben Fry, general manager of KUAR and classical station KLRE, will coordinate the collaboration to create and broadcast thematically unified content relevant to the interests and needs of Arkansans.

Though the stations have often collaborated, the radio news service marks their first official joint venture. Together, the stations’ staff members at the stations will report stories centered on three themes:

  • Education
  • Health
  • Energy

NSN will report breaking news as well as produce related special interest stories. The resulting multimedia content will be published online and heard on local and national public radio programs such as NPR’s Morning Edition, All Things Considered, and Here and Now.

“CPB is pleased to support this historic collaboration of Arkansas public media stations,” said Bruce Theriault, senior vice president of journalism and radio, CPB. “The Natural State News collaboration is an example of increased media integration and a pathway for stations to work together to maximize resources while expanding their high-quality journalism.”

The grant will help fund four new positions: a managing editor, two additional reporters, and a partner manager, who will raise additional funds for the project. Three of the new positions will be based in Little Rock, with one reporter to work out of Jonesboro.

Natural State News plans to break new ground with in-depth multimedia reporting to reach extensively into rural Arkansas to tell unfolding stories about wealth, poverty, race, and decision-making in education, healthcare, and the environment. Little-told stories from the region will give a distinctive vantage point for understanding larger national experiences.

NSN will partner with the UALR Institute on Race and Ethnicity, the Butler Center for Arkansas Studies, Arkansas Educational Television Network (AETN), and the print publication El Latino to provide and promote its diverse, nuanced content. All stories will be available in both Spanish and English, and NSN is committed to supporting diversity in its staff, student interns, and stories.

For more information on the partner stations, go to their websites: KLRE/KUARKUAFKASU and KTXK.

 

Legacy of Civil War topic of seminar at Old State House today

cw-seminarThe Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission and the Old State House Museum are sponsoring a seminar on the legacy of the Civil War on Saturday, October 10.

ACWSC Chairman Tom Dupree described it thus: “As we near the end of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we wanted to address the lingering influences of the war,” Dupree said. “Each of our speakers will look at different aspects of the war and how they continue to affect us today.”

Speakers at the “Legacy of Arkansas’s Civil War” will be:

•Dr. Elliott West – University of Arkansas at Fayetteville on “Arkansas: Where One War’s Edge Was Another War’s Center”

•Dr. Carl Moneyhon – University of Arkansas at Little Rock on “Conflicting Civil War Memories and Cultural Divides in Arkansas”

•Dr. Jeannie Whayne – University of Arkansas at Fayetteville on “The Civil War and the Burden of Arkansas History”

•Dr. Cherisse Jones-Branch – Arkansas State University on “’How Free is Free?’: African Americans in Post-Civil War Arkansas”

•Dr. Kelly Houston Jones – Austin Peay University on “Women After the War: Profiles of Change and Continuity”

•Dr. Tom DeBlack – Arkansas Tech University on “’What Is to Become of Us?’: The Postwar Lives of Major Figures in Civil War Arkansas”

For more information on this and other sesquicentennial events, visit http://www.arkansascivilwar150.com/events/.