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Organization of American Historians Conference: II

This blog is a continuation of posts on the cancelled conference of the Organization of American Historians. For the first post go to The Organization of American Historians (OAH) Conference: What Would Have Been Presented?

This blog focuses on the sessions related to American Indians as did the first one. There seem to have been quite a few sessions dedicated to this topic. It may also be that as I reviewed the online abstracts and schedule, I was drawn to these sessions. The sessions covered in the first blog tended to be about Plains Indians and not Woodlands Indians who live in New York where I live.

Urban Indian Country: Segregation and Disaster in Twentieth-Century Rapid City

In 1972 a flood tore through Rapid City, South Dakota, killing 238 people. Many whose lives and homes were destroyed lived in a predominately Native American neighborhood known as “Osh Kosh Camp.” This paper asks: Why did those people live in that neighborhood at that time? I argue that white Americans racialized certain spaces under the conceptual framework of Indian Country as part of the process of American conquest on the northern plains, creating continuities between policies of removal, the institution of the reservation system and twentieth-century urban segregation. The American project of racializing western spaces erased Indians from histories of Rapid City. The importance of a tourism industry rooted in white conquest narratives to the region’s economy played an important role in keeping Indians out of urban spaces. Despite this, Indians continued to live and work in the city, particularly after the imposition of the federal policies of termination and relocation. In Rapid City restrictive housing laws and rampant discrimination forced Native Americans in Rapid City to live in poor neighborhoods cut off from city services, including one neighborhood along Rapid Creek’s floodplain. After the flood, activists retook the concept of Indian Country as a tool of protest. My paper claims that environment and race must be understood together in the twentieth-century American West.

Presented By Stephen Hausmann, University of St. Thomas

For me, the key word in this abstract is “erased.” “Who will tell the story” is the line from the musical Hamilton and that is indeed a question for many historical societies, museums, and scholars. Here we have a local event. There is no inherent reason why someone not from Rapid City should or would know about the meaning of this flood in 1972. But as an example of microhistory, it is an excellent example of using a local event to tell a larger story. It makes me wonder how many other such local events are being ignored or forgotten especially with statewide testing in the communities throughout the country.

P.S. The University of St. Thomas is in Minnesota and not the Caribbean.

The Catholic Sioux Congress of 1910 and Indigenous Mobility in the Northern Plains

In the summer of 1910, over four thousand Indians from across the northern Plains converged on the Standing Rock Reservation for the annual Catholic Sioux Congress. The congress brought together delegates from reservations throughout the region and a number of Catholic officials, including the papal delegate to the United States. It was the largest gathering of its kind. Yet Indigenous peoples would continue attending not only Catholic convocations but also large Episcopal and Congregational meetings in the upper Missouri River valley through the mid twentieth century. As scholars have shown, Indigenous peoples used these meetings for their own purposes, melding Christian and Lakota religious practices and carrying on Indigenous traditions of gift giving. This paper situates the religious convocations from the early twentieth century within the longer history of Indigenous diplomacy and communication in the upper Missouri River valley. By traveling throughout the river valley to attend the convocations, delegates visited homelands, communicated with friends and relatives on neighboring reservations, and crossed reservation borders. While Catholic officials believed that these meetings would supplant Indigenous ceremonies, Indigenous peoples used them to maintain older Indigenous networks along the Missouri River.

Presented By Christopher Steinke, University of Nebraska at Kearney

Here is another fascinating facet of the relationship between the Europeans and the American Indians – religion. Recently I have been doing a lot of reading about modern Angola in the 16th and 17th centuries when the Portuguese arrived there. I am doing so because in 1685 nine Angolans were brought to the Town if Rye where I live. It is not exactly “erased” history but it is not well-known or taught here. The odds are these people were Catholic. The King of the Kongo (in modern Angola) became Catholic in 1491 and eventually there were Catholic schools, priests, a bishop, and direct contacts with the Vatican. The Kongo was an independent country. Yet to tell the story of Kongo and next door Ndongo without including their Catholicism is not to tell the whole story. The same applies to the American Indians.

Great Lakes Indians, Monarchical Rituals, and the Making of the U.S. Government

During negotiations for an 1826 treaty between the United States and several Great Lakes peoples, Lewis Cass noticed an Ojibwa speaker wore around his neck a medal imprinted with the British King’s face. Cass, Michigan’s federally appointed territorial governor and superintendent of Indian affairs, asked the Indian to affirm that he wore the British medal “not as an authority, or power, but as an ornament” before the American would smoke the calumet (sacred peace pipe) with him. In response, according to the memoirs of another American official, the Ojibwa “took [the medal] from around his neck and laid it on our table, saying, he put no value on it. The pipe was then smoked, and an American medal given him to take the place of the English one.” The American medal was nearly identical. It featured the face of President John Quincy Adams. A half century after Americans declared independence from the British monarchy, U.S. political culture remained monarchical in a key respect. American officials sought to dislodge Great Lakes Indians from the British sphere of influence not by presenting the Republic as a fundamentally different polity from the mother country, but instead by co-opting British modes of diplomacy. In this context the president was a rival to the British King, and, for that very reason, an analogue. Both British and American officials in Indian country used such methods as gifts, oratory, marriage alliances, and trade to encourage native peoples to feel a sense of kinship with a powerful yet benevolent “Great Father” to the East. My paper will explain how this phenomenon came to be and delve into some of its specific manifestations.

Presented By Zachary Isaac Conn, Yale University

Here in New York, we celebrate Evacuation Day, November 25, 1783. It is the day the British evacuated New York City after seven years of occupation. When the Lower Manhattan Historical Association (LMHA) successfully sought to rename part of the Bowling Green Plaza as “Evacuation Plaza” there was some resistance. People thought it had to with evacuating for Superstorm Sandy or due to a disease. I mention this because Evacuation Day didn’t mean the end of British influence in the United States…especially as the new country expanded westward beyond even the areas William Johnson, British Indian Superintendent, had dealt with until his death in 1774. The British influence continued. It would be interesting to a have a session comparing how the different superintendents of Indian Affairs operated.

Memory and Erasure in Native Histories

Early Native-Colonial Conflicts in Native American Literary Tradition

The relations between English colonists and native inhabitants of New England in the 17th century were rife with tension. While both sides generally tried to avoid open conflicts, out of self-preservation if nothing else, the cultural differences were overwhelming, and the colonial expansion was a constant source of conflicts. On two occasions tensions rose into all-out war. The Pequot War and King Philip’s War had in many ways shaped early New England history and had a profound effect on New England colonies’ economy, politics and, perhaps most importantly, world view. Colonial-era writers and preachers examined in meticulous detail both the history of the wars and their implications for native-colonial relations and colonial world view. Colonial intellectuals, such as Cotton Mather and William Hubbard, were the first to explore those conflicts, but not the last—both wars still draw attention from historians and are still analyzed, reexamined and reevaluated. The question of how the colonists perceived the conflicts was answered numerous times (sometimes in contradictory ways). The native point of view of early native-colonial conflicts, however, remains underexplored. Reconstructing the native perceptions of the conflicts based largely on European-written sources is an important aspect in a number of studies, the place that those early confrontations have in the collective memory of native peoples is less known. Native Americans created throughout the 18th and 19th centuries a number of texts almost unknown to the general public, and even to anthropologists and historians. While a key part of Native American culture is, of course, its oral history tradition, it is worth noting that there exists as well a literary tradition, one created by the authors who have successfully navigated the dominant Euro-American culture while firmly maintaining their Native American identity. This paper examines the perception, the role, and the place of the Pequot War and King Philip’s War in 18th- and 19th-century Native American literary tradition.

Presented By Gleb Aleksandrov, International Center of Anthropology, National Research University Higher School of Economics

Here again there is the issue of “erasure” and “who will tell the story.” My impression from these sessions is there is a much greater effort now to tell the stories in American history that have been erased, forgotten, or overlooked. Something similar also has been happening at the local level where there is more to the story of the community than the colonial mansion and family that once may have dominated there.

The Organization of American Historians (OAH) Conference: What Would Have Been Presented?

Founded in 1907, the Organization of American Historians (OAH) is the largest professional society dedicated to the teaching and study of American history. The mission of the organization is to promote excellence in the scholarship, teaching, and presentation of American history, and to encourage wide discussion of historical questions and the equitable treatment of all practitioners of history.

The OAH represents more than 7,000 historians working in the U.S. and abroad. Our members include college and university professors, precollegiate teachers, archivists, museum curators, public historians, students, and a variety of scholars employed in government and the private sector.

The OAH conference was scheduled for earlier this month in Washington, D.C. As you might expect it was cancelled. The abstracts for the conference are available online. I had worked out a schedule of sessions I would have liked to attend. Those sessions reflect my own interests and not necessarily those of anyone else. I am particularly drawn to topics related to what I understand as relevant to history organizations, teachers, and simply my own personal interests. This blog then is a continuation of a series of blogs on conferences attended and not attended. It addresses a reflection of the fact that even if you can attend a conference, you cannot attend all the sessions you might like to attend and secondly, even if there had been no Covid-19, not everyone can attend such conferences in the first place.

This blog will cover sessions on the American Indians. As it turns out, they are almost all about the Plains Indians with nothing on the Woodlands Indians.

Where is the Bonga Family in Immigration History? Recovering an African, Swedish, and Ojibwe Genealogy, 1820s–1860s

Jacob Fahlstrom is widely cited as the first Swede to live in Minnesota. At the beginning of the nineteenth century, he worked first for the Hudson’s Bay Company and then the American Fur Company and later became a Methodist preacher. In 1823 Fahlstrom married Margaret Bonga, an African Ojibwe woman from a prominent fur trade family. In countless narratives depicting Fahlstrom’s immigration first from Stockholm to Canada, and then from Canada into the region known today as Minnesota, the life of Fahlstrom’s wife has been astonishingly obscured in the shadows. Margaret Bonga Fahlstrom, who was married to Fahlstrom for over 35 years, has a fascinating story of her own that provides meaningful insight into regional and global history. In St. Paul–the capital of Minnesota–are public monuments memorializing Jacob Fahlstrom, signaling public remembrance of him. But how has his wife’s role and identity been remembered? What is the significance of publicly forgetting her? Margaret Bonga’s role in the narratives of local regional history is largely ignored while focus has been steadfastly maintained on Jacob. Without Margaret, however, it is unlikely that he would have secured the work or achieved the social positions that have drawn the attention of historians, scholars, and the general public. This paper looks at how settler colonial narratives shaped the historiography to marginalize Margaret Bonga’s story and to erase her as a woman of African ancestry. Using this couple as a focus point, I consider the intersections of the fields of early immigration history, Native American history, and public history and memory.

Presented By Mattie Harper DeCarlo, Minnesota Historical Society

My interest in this presentation derives from the efforts to classify people into set categories only to realize that human beings tend to cross the boundary lines and are difficult to pigeonhole. For example, here in New York where I live, my interest has been sparked by the recent 400-year anniversary of slavery in Virginia [although there was no legal classification of slavery there then]( see 1619: The New York Times versus USA Today [and Hamilton] and The Battle between 1619 and 1776: The New York Times versus the History Community). In 1613, Juan Rodriguez, a Portuguese-probably-Angolan free male arrived here and later married a local Lenape woman. He has not totally been obscured since part of Broadway in the Dominican section of Manhattan is named after him, but he is not that well known either. And suppose there is an demographic change in the neighborhood as there has been in nearby Harlem, will the newcomers even know why the street has the name it does. Generally, in local communities, it is people like this to make the local story unique to that locality.

Still Indian Country: The Indigenous Northern Plains in the Twentieth Century

The northern Great Plains have been home to diverse societies including Lakotas, Kiowa, Cheyenne, Mandan, as well as Euro-Americans. Many historical narratives about the northern plains recognize them as a crucial zone of interaction and conflict in the seventeenth through end of the nineteenth centuries. In the past decade however, historians have taken a renewed interest in this region and its importance to the history of the North American continent in more recent times. Historians have specifically emphasized the continued presence of Native peoples and their centrality to the culture, economics, and politics of the modern northern plains, combining their histories with scholarly subfields and methodologies such as urban history, public history, and the history of religion.

This panel highlights the presence and importance of Native actors to the region’s history during the twentieth century. As Americans colonized the northern plains, they enforced a settler colonial social and political regime that dispossessed Native Americans of their land and sacred spaces, built cities and towns, and substantially altered the region’s ecology. The papers presented here emphasize both the history of settler colonialism and inequality in the region, as well as the ways in which Indigenous people resisted the homogenizing efforts of American society and adapted to changing circumstances; in short, how they remade and retained Indian Country on the northern plains. Native people adopted new religions, maintained their older ceremonies and material cultures, and remained constantly in motion during the twentieth century. This panel showcases the newest scholarship on the northern plains region of North America and in doing so, makes the argument that the northern plains are a central part of the story of race, settler colonialism, religion, and Indigenous resistance in the modern American West.

In the early years of the United States, it was the New York Indians who tended to become the defining image of American Indians thanks in part to the writings of James Fenimore Cooper. Later the Plains Indians in the land of the buffalo became the more dominant national image. Hollywood in the 20th century loved the Northern Plains Indians and their landscapes. I am not very familiar with the real people who lived there so this session would have been an opportunity to broaden my horizons. The relevance for historical museums in New York and New England is to be able to inform visitors that all American Indians are not alike, they are not just indigenous, they have their own names, customs, and histories that differentiate them from each other as well as Woodland Indians.

Reclaiming Noaha-vose (Bear Butte): Cheyenne Resistance to Settler Colonialism in a Sacred Place

Noaha-vose or Bear Butte is a vital landscape for Cheyenne religious belief and practice. Cheyenne people have visited this site to pray, fast, and conduct national ceremonies for centuries. After Lt. Col. Armstrong Custer’s expedition discovered gold in the Black Hills in 1874, however, life changed dramatically for Cheyenne people. By 1877, federal officials had ended Cheyenne treaty rights to the Black Hills and began the process of removing the Cheyenne living in the northern plains to Oklahoma. While these actions affected every facet of Cheyenne lifeways, this paper focuses on the effects on Cheyenne people’s ability to maintain the primacy of their relationship to Bear Butte. The barriers Cheyenne people experienced when attempting to access this sacred space severely restricted full practice of Cheyenne religion. Yet over the past one hundred and fifty years, Cheyenne people continued to travel to Bear Butte for ceremonies despite removal and the restrictions of reservation life. Since the end of World War II, Cheyenne people have begun to use new tools in their efforts to reclaim the mountain as sacred space and to gain recognition of this connection by nonnatives. This paper delineates Cheyenne efforts to continue to travel to Bear Butte during the most restrictive moments of the reservation period. It then explores the relationships Cheyenne people built between land owners and later the park service to retain their connection to the land. It argues that Cheyenne have used methods as varied as building relationships with landowners and park rangers, protesting development, and purchasing land to retain, rejuvenate, and protect their relationship to their sacred mountain, Noaha-vose. It posits that by engaging on multiple levels with the settlers who now inhabit the area, Cheyenne people have continued to remake their relationship with the land, ensuring their presence in their sacred landscape by challenging the inequalities of settler colonialism that have tried to erase it.

Presented By Christina Gish Hill, Iowa State University

Recently, Jews around the world celebrated Passover. The annual feast was different this year due to Covid-19. In some cases it was cancelled or done online. One of the lines recited in the ceremony is “Next year in Jerusalem.” In general terms, that thought has been part of the Jewish heritage since Babylonians destroyed the Jerusalem temple in 586 BCE and forcibly removed people from Judah as the Assyrians earlier had done from Israel. The Roman destruction of the temple in 70 CE created a second loss. After 1948, Jews lost access to the wall of the platform on which the temple was built [it is not a wall of the temple]. After 1967, Jews regained access. The site of the temple continues to be both holy and contentious. These ruminations are not a digression but are meant as a reminder that we are all human beings and as human beings we do something unique on this earth: we have sacred sites that become part of our culture from generation to generation…even when such sites are destroyed or access is denied. In this session, I would have had the opportunity to learn about the Cheyenne story.

There are more sessions to be covered and I think the coverage of the OAH conference will require more blogs than I originally expected.

Community Outreach: Lessons from the Organization of American History (OAH) Conference

Fake History (Mother Goose and Grim)

This blog represents another in a series reporting on the sessions at history-related conferences. Sometimes I am able to attend such conferences, sometimes I am not. The OAH is one I did not attend. Unfortunately the online program does not include abstracts as the National Council on Public History (see conference report). It would be nice if all conference abstracts were posted online.

The first blog on the OAH conference addressed content sessions. The second blog below encompasses outreach and education by history organizations. Once again, these sessions provide an example of what is being discussed and may offer suggestions for sessions at local, state, and regional conferences.

Many of these content sessions are on early American history. That may be a reflection of my own personal interests. If you are interested in reviewing all the sessions at the conference go to


Here is a session that should be possible at any statewide or regional history conference. After all, where aren’t there two and four-year colleges? Note the mention of engaging the local community in the description. One item not mentioned but critical to the success of these endeavors is the state curriculum: are local and state history an integral part of the school curriculum or an option at the discretion of the individual teacher? If the former is true, then that would necessitate changes to teacher certification programs and therefore to the classes offered at colleges. If the latter is true then the odds are we have the current situation where teachers have to go outside the norm to bring local and state history into the classroom or to be able to visit the related sites outside the classroom.

Outside Support: Creating and Maintaining Community Outreach and Engagement Endorsed by the Western History Association

This roundtable discussion examines how both two and four-year institutions of higher learning embraced their local communities through program partnerships, shared course objectives, and assignment of specific programming. The participants recognized the importance of including their local communities in history education and provide practical hands-on learning experiences for their students. The discussion’s goal is to share their insight into the ways each of them have incorporated local communities into their student learning objectives, as well as learning from audience members their own best practices and community involvement experiences.

Chair and Panelist: Marc Dluger, Northern Virginia Community College

Katherine Macica, Loyola University Chicago
Stella Ress, University of Southern Indiana
Adam Shprintzen, Marywood University
Kacey Young, Northern Virginia Community College


This session addresses the issue of the risks involved when scholars and the public interact at history sites and museums. One of the presenters was Marla Miller, the president of the NCPH. She was one of the co-authors of the NPS-commissioned study on “Imperiled Promise” which documented the shortcomings in current NPS practices in history. That report was the subject of a series of blogs here. In the current political atmosphere, the odds on the NPS implementing any of the recommendations are non-existent. My impression from the brief description of this session is that great care needs to be taken when engaging the local community in a discussion that risks changing the accepted narrative.

Collaborations and Contestations: At Intersections of Early American and Public History
Solicited by the Society for Historians of the Early American Republic (SHEAR)

This roundtable explores the importance of various forms and sites of public history to scholarship on early North America, and vice versa, particularly around the theme of inclusivity. Marla Miller explores what museums and historic sites are doing to operate with a more inclusive lens, while Tiya Miles reflects on the collaborative research process that shaped her recent book, and the community conversations following its publication. Barbara Clark Smith considers the potential downsides of public practice, pondering contemporary misrepresentations of the past by groups not structurally marginalized. And Brian Murphy weighs the impulse to trace through-lines and illuminate current conditions against the imperative to explore the past on its own terms.

Chair: Serena Zabin, Carleton College

Barbara Clark Smith, National Museum of American History
Tiya Miles, University of Michigan
Marla Miller, UMass Amherst
Brian Murphy, Baruch College, City University of New York


These sessions relate to current issues in the presentation of history to the public. Given the cultural wars, what should history museums do when they are connected to events and people who are the source of contention in the world today? One such topic in this quadricentennial year of slavery in what became the United States is freedom. It did not apply to everyone here.

Fluidity in Freedom: African Americans in Colonial and Revolutionary America
No pre-registration required

A crucial feature of the American character—the notion of freedom—is so entrenched in the cultural and national consciousness that the evolution of this notion is often taken for granted. Students of history miss a foundational understanding of the American value of freedom when they are unaware of how it has been transformed, defined and expanded by agents of history. Join education staff from the National Museum of African American History and Culture to investigate the fluidity of freedom in the colonial and revolutionary periods through the material culture and legal history of people of African descent who utilized the courts to claim the freedom they believed was due to them. Using the stories of individuals such as Elizabeth Freeman (Mum Bett), Quock Walker and Rachel Findlay, we will explore the arguments for universal freedom, the development of race as a factor in freedom and the role of the legal system in expanding the concept of freedom. Designed for educators of grades 3–12, this workshop will enhance content knowledge, provide resources for the classroom and open a discussion about the nature of freedom and race in the fledgling United States.

Chair and Presenter: Candra Flanagan, National Museum of African American History and Culture, Smithsonian Institution.

Another sensitive subject is religion. The following session does not address the issue of religion in general but in specific case studies. In this regard, it would be beneficial to have an abstract from Randall Miller as his presentation on religion at national sites also would apply to state and local sites and museums.

 “Faith in Public”: Interpreting Religion at American History Museums and Historic Sites

Endorsed by the OAH Committee on National Park Service Collaboration, the Society for U.S. Intellectual History (S-USIH), and the Western History Association

Chair: Laura Chmielewski, State University of New York at Purchase
Commentator: Edward Linenthal, Indiana University

Overcoming Barriers to Interpreting Religion Barbara Franco, Independent scholar

Interpreting “America’s Pastor”: Evangelicalism, Public Commemoration, and the Many Meanings of Billy Graham Devin Manzullo-Thomas, Messiah College

The Gods Are Not All around Us: Finding Religion at National Public History Sites and Museums Randall Miller, Saint Joseph’s University


One of the critical points in the Imperiled Promises study previously mentioned was the training or lack thereof for the history staff at the NPS. In my blogs, I always noted that the same considerations also applied to state people at state historic sites. A simple example is attendance – are these people even able to attend history conferences in their own state or region? This session focuses on the training of government historians as historians. People are most familiar with the government staff who directly meets with the public, that is, gives the tours. What about the people behind the scenes who prepare the material on which the tours and exhibits are based? What training do they receive? How do they stay current with the history field? Are there even historians on staff in state organizations?

NPS 101: Historical Research and Writing for the National Park Service
Solicited by the OAH Committee on National Park Service Collaboration

Historians from the National Park Service and historians with experience preparing studies for NPS will introduce the major types of NPS historical studies and explore how these documents are both similar to, and different from, each other and from historical monographs and articles intended for scholarly journals. Panelists will discuss project planning, methodologies, audience, expectations, the review process, and the characteristics of a strong and useful study. On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the cooperative agreement between the OAH and NPS, this session will illuminate the challenges and rewards of collaborations between historians within and outside the National Park Service to produce studies that contribute to the preservation and interpretation of historic buildings and landscapes.

Chair: Susan Ferentinos, Independent historian

Evelyn Causey, Independent historian
Douglas Sheflin, Colorado State University
Ron Cockrell, National Park Service, Midwest Regional Office
Bethany Serafine, National Park Service, Northeast Region


The founders of this country regarded it as an experiment. They knew what had happened to the Greek city–states and to the Roman Republic. They were aware of the great size of the proposed United States America: it dwarfed any previous such attempt at a republic. They also were aware of the great diversity of peoples who comprised the country, a diversity of a magnitude far beyond that of the ancient city-state republics. What is easy to forget is that they genuinely did not know if the experiment would work. For John Adams and Thomas Jefferson, who both died on July 4, 1826, the 50th anniversary of their handiwork, the continued existence of the United States was miracle enough. Imagine how they would have felt if they knew the country could reach its 250th birthday still intact. At this moment efforts are underway to begin to prepare for the 250th anniversary. We already had and are having events from the 1760s that reached 250 years. In 2020, additional events will come of that age. The 250th provides an opportunity for the United States to become a country of We the People where all its citizens remember and celebrate the birth of their country. Will that happen?

Museum of the American Revolution
The American Revolution: Getting the Best New Scholarship to the Public and Guided Tour Solicited by the OAH Committee on Teaching

The past decade has seen a flourishing of historical scholarship related to the era of the American Revolution. This panel examines how to share this new scholarship with the public through museums and high school classrooms. The participants—professors, museum professionals, and teachers—will discuss the challenges and opportunities of incorporating cutting-edge scholarship. The panel will take place at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia and will incorporate a tour of the museum which will enhance the conversation. Advance registration and a fee are required for the tour and session.

Chair: Andrew Shankman, Rutgers University–Camden Panelists:

Zara Anishanslin, University of Delaware
Kathleen DuVal, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Philip Mead, Museum of the American Revolution
Thomas McGuire, Teacher, Malvern Prepatory School
Jessica Roney, Temple University

This concludes the review of the recent NCPH and OAH conferences. Again, it would be useful if conferences would include the abstracts of the presentations on the conference website. It would also be useful if there could conference reports on sessions of interest. I refer here not simply to the hot-button topics but to the sessions related to k-12 education, history museums, and history training that are important to the people who teach in our schools and colleges and who work at our museums be they privately owned or public. Perhaps some of these conference sessions can be replicated at the state and/or regional level.