In many ways the 1950s and the 1960s were difficult times in this country. In addition to the international tensions of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the United States (does anyone remember the air raid drills in schools at the time?), there were racial tensions as African Americans struggled and fought for equal justice under the law.
In the 1960s the Vietnam war began heating up and, with that, there was also a growing awareness of and an attempt to address the issue of poverty in this country. Issues related to public education also were part of the national conversation.
The annual meeting of the Presbyterian Historical Society of the Southwest will be held Friday evening, March 1, and Saturday morning, March 2, at the University of the Ozarks in Clarksville, Arkansas and will address some of these issues.
After a dinner Friday evening, Jim Hauser, vice president and owner of Willett Hauser Architectural Glass, Inc., will make a presentation on the history of the stunning stained glass windows in the Munger Memorial Chapel at the University of the Ozarks.
Saturday morning we will hear two presentations. One will be by Susan Smith Epperson, a Presbyterian who currently serves on the faculty of the University of Colorado, will discuss the 1968 U. S. Supreme Court case -- Epperson vs. Arkansas -- of which she was a principal. Much like the 1926 Scopes trial in Dayton, Tennessee, this case had to do with the teaching of biology in Little Rock public schools.
The final presentation will have to do with the 1957 attempt to integrate Central High School in Little Rock and the extent to which Presbyterians participated in that, and similar, efforts.
All are invited to this meeting. Those who cannot attend but would like copies of the presentations may receive complimentary copies when they are published later in the year by becoming members of the PHSSW. An individual membership is $20 per year. A couple may join for $25 per year. Churches and institutions may become members with a contribution of $50 per year. Anyone interested in joining may do so by contacting me at 281-991-8700.