Sunday, March 23, 2003

Exhibit reveals visions of future

Bicentennial Notebook

By Randy McNutt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

HAMILTON - To kick off the county's bicentennial, the Butler County Historical Society and Museum is hosting an exhibit called Yesterday's Tomorrows: Past Visions of the American Future.

The traveling exhibit, from the Smithsonian Institution, features ray guns, robots, plans for a nuclear-powered car and other futuristic items.

"This is a whole other aspect of pop culture," said Marge Brown, curator of the museum. "Our opening will generally coincide with the county's birth date (March 24, 1803). We've been planning this for two years."

The exhibit will include books, movie stills, World's Far memorabilia, car designs, advertisements and architectural models, and five free-standing kiosks that show futuristic predictions.

In conjunction with the exhibit, related programs will be held at Lane Public Library, Senior Citizens Inc. and Miami University.

Lane is sponsoring a writing contest on the futuristic theme for students aged 11-18. Winners will be announced Friday at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts. Also, Senior Citizens is sponsoring an art show with the same theme through March.

Yesterday's Tomorrows is free to the public 1-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday through April 18.

Information: 896-9930.


BATAVIA - The Wright Stuff, a play about the Wright Brothers of airplane fame, will be presented 2 p.m. April 26 at U.C.-Clermont College's Krueger Auditorium.

The play, written by Steve Perigard and performed by Cincinnati's Theatre IV, takes place in Dayton and North Carolina, where the brothers tested their first airplane 100 years ago this December.

"The Wright Brothers' story is significant to aviation and Ohio's bicentennial," said Patsy Shively, a member of the adult services staff at the Clermont County Public Library and organizer of the performance. "Theatre IV offers a meaningful - yet entertaining - way to experience it."

Information: 732-9138.


COLUMBUS - The Ohio bicentennial logo will soon appear as "nose art" on the 121st Air Refueling Wing of the Air National Guard's KC-135 Stratotanker aircraft.

The 121st ARW has been overseas in Operation Enduring Freedom.

The bicentennial logo first appeared on barns in 1998.


CIRCLEVILLE - A new Ohio historical marker will commemorate an important political meeting of 147 African-American men, who in April 1870 attempted to vote in municipal elections and were turned away.

They tried to vote at the Second Baptist Church, 130 W. Mill St., where the marker will be dedicated at 2 p.m. April 5.

"Together with Republican leaders these men produced petitions that were sent to the United States Senate and House of Representatives," said Deborah Wright, who led the campaign to obtain a marker from the state. "These petitions gave the Republican Party the grounds to introduce bills to enforce the 15th and 14th amendments. The passage of the Enforcement Act of 1870 imposed criminal penalties for interference with the right to vote and also helped to shift power and authority from the individual state legislatures to the centralized Federal government."

After realizing the connection between the black vote and the local church, Wright wrote a book about it. They Left Their Mark is the result of four years of research, she said.

A list of signers' names and more information may be found at

Send bicentennial news to Randy McNutt, the Enquirer, 7700 Service Center Drive, West Chester, OH 45069.

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