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  1. Most Americans can name at least one of the Mercury 7 astronauts who were the first to fly into outer space, but what about the women who were considered for this endeavor? Wally Funk had “the right stuff” but was denied the possibility of traveling into outer space because of her gender. In the early 60s, 13 women endured secret tests to determine if they could become astronauts. The Mercury 13, as they are now known, underwent and passed the same rigorous mental and physical tests as the men of Mercury 7. Featured on the BBC, NPR and Netflix, Ms. Funk is in high demand as a speaker. An aviator for over 63 years and a member of the Mercury 13, she will share her story 3:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29, at the Allen Public Library. Women lobbied the White House and Congress for inclusion of women in the astronaut program, even appearing before a congressional committee. The highly respected playwright Clare Booth Luce wrote an article for LIFE magazine publicizing the Mercury 13 women and criticizing NASA. Ms. Funk will reveal the “excuses” given as to why women could not be selected. As a result of this bias, the Soviet Union beat America in 1963 with the first woman in space, Valentina Tereshkova. This could easily have been Wally. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  2. Texas has 254 counties and each county courthouse has a unique history. Come take a guided tour through the courthouses of Texas from the comfort of the Allen Public Library’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, June 27. Allen residents John and Anne Gifford will share their experiences and photos taken on their journey to visit all of the Texas courthouses. From the majestic edifices of Bexar, Comal, Caldwell, Dallas and Tarrant counties to modern construction, each courthouse has a story to tell, such as: Hudspeth County contains the only courthouse with an adobe exterior. When asked about their favorite courthouse, their response was unanimous—Caldwell County because of its beauty, see photograph. Anne and John are members of the Allen Heritage Guild. A retired schoolteacher, Anne is a board member of the Texas Lakes Trail and assists the Collin County Historical Society with grant writing. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Call 214.509.4911.
  3. Dallas New Horizons Band Experience the exciting sounds of the New Horizons Band of Dallas at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 21 at the Allen Public Library, 300 N. Allen Dr., Free. Offering marches, patriotic songs, collections from Broadway, love songs, and popular tunes, the concert promises a delightful evening of musical memories. With over 65 musicians, New Horizons Band of Dallas rehearses Fridays at the Carrollton Senior Center. Most of the band members performed in their high school and college bands, graduated and then pursued careers. Later, they resumed their musical interests with the New Horizons Band. Band director Lorenzo Parker has taught music in the Dallas Independent School District for decades, including Hillcrest and Molina High Schools, where his bands received superior and excellent ratings in competition. The New Horizons Band performs at retirement centers, churches, and schools, including the Veterans Hospital and Children’s Medical Center in Dallas. Call 214-509-4911.
  4. Prepare for daring grooves of original jazz with The Singapore Slingers at 7:30 p.m. Friday, June 14, at the Allen Public Library. Combining the rhythms of the 20s and 30s with the edgy energy of contemporary music, The Singapore Slingers captivates audiences with amazing fox trots, waltzes, marches, one-steps, two-steps, rags, tangos and rumbas. For a special treat, Michele Guess and Marcela Mercer, granddaughters of the famed vocalist and actor Smith Ballew will introduce the concert. Smith Ballew recorded the song As Time Goes By for The Columbians Dance Orchestra in 1931. The song achieved legendary status when Sam (Dooley Wilson) performed it for the classic film Casa Blanca. Dave Oliphant, author of Texas Jazz and Jazz Mavericks of the Lone Star State, will discuss Smith Ballew’s musical legacy via Skype. The Singapore Slingers has performed at the Sons of Hermann Hall, Kessler Theatre, Pocket Sandwich Theatre and a host of festivals throughout the nation. In 2011, the Dallas Observer declared The Singapore Slingers the Best Pre-Swing Jazz Orchestra and “The city’s coolest quirkiest retro jazz group.” Specializing in the baritone and bass sax, director Matt Tolentino is a true multi-instrumentalist, equally at home on accordion, clarinet, tuba, piano, tenor guitar, banjo, and saxophones. He brings the music of yesterday to the audience of today with playful authenticity. Sponsored by the library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for more information.
  5. Honor the American Flag, celebrate Flag Day and the 75th anniversary of D-Day in June 1944 at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, June 15 at the Allen Christian Church located in the historic village, 450 E. St. Mary. VFW 2195 will begin the ceremony with an installation and display of the flag. Allen Community Jazz Band will perform a medley of patriotic music. A representative from Military Heritage Museum will be the keynote speaker. Houses in the Village will be open after the program at approximately 11am until 1pm. Lemonade will be served on the grounds of the Village as guests explore the gardens and houses. Wear patriotic apparel and help the Allen Heritage Guild celebrate our nation’s flag! Call 972-740-8017 for additional information.
  6. Dallas Texas Gene Autry fans present Jeanne Cahill, Kristyn Cahill and Brook Wallace Deaton at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at the Allen Public Library. Exquisite harmonies, top-notch musicianship, and on-stage fun add spice to lively western tunes, country standards, cowboy poetry, western swing favorites and originals will resonate in the library’s auditorium. Kristyn Harris, a Texas-bred musical powerhouse, is the 3-time currently reigning International Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year (2016, 2017, 2018). Her powerful voice brought her all the way onto the 2018 season of ABC’s American Idol, where she sang and yodeled for the judges. Jeanne Cahill the 2008 Western Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year. Brook Wallace is a private strings teacher and contract fiddle player in the DFW area for various bands that encompass a plethora of genres. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  7. Dallas Texas Gene Autry fans present Jeanne Cahill, Kristyn Cahill and Brook Wallace Deaton at 2 p.m. Saturday, June 15 at the Allen Public Library. Exquisite harmonies, top-notch musicianship, and on-stage fun add spice to lively western tunes, country standards, cowboy poetry, western swing favorites and originals will resonate in the library’s auditorium. Kristyn Harris, a Texas-bred musical powerhouse, is the 3-time currently reigning International Western Music Association Entertainer of the Year (2016, 2017, 2018). Her powerful voice brought her all the way onto the 2018 season of ABC’s American Idol, where she sang and yodeled for the judges. Jeanne Cahill the 2008 Western Music Association Instrumentalist of the Year. Brook Wallace is a private strings teacher and contract fiddle player in the DFW area for various bands that encompass a plethora of genres. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  8. Smith Ballew Films After departing the music industry, Smith Ballew became a singing cowboy. Two of Smith Ballew’s films, Rawhide and Hawaiian Buckaroo, will be featured in the library’s auditorium at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 18, 300 N. Allen Dr., Allen Ballew considered these two films among his favorites. View https://www.cityofallen.org/calendar.aspx?EID=7139. Rawhide (1938) Starring baseball legend Lou Gehrig and Smith Ballew, this is the only Hollywood film in which Gehrig made a screen appearance, playing himself as a vacationing ballplayer visiting his sister on a ranch in the fictional town of Rawhide, Montana. Rawhide premiered in March 1938 in St. Petersburg, Florida while the New York Yankees were in town for their annual spring training. Hawaiian Buckaroo (1938) Starring Smith Ballew, Evalyn Knapp, Pat O’Brien, George Regas and Benny Burt, combining cowboys and cows amidst Hawaiian scenery and song produces a delightful film. Call 214-509-4911.
  9. The Allen Community Band (ACB), under the direction of Craig Logan, concludes its Sixth Season with its Spring Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 17 at the Allen Public Library. The Band will honor those that have fallen in accordance with the upcoming Memorial Day Holiday by opening the concert with a traditional patriotic selection. Following will be Music from the 10-part series, Band of Brothers, with its beautiful and almost haunting melodies. The epic miniseries tells the story of Easy Company, 506th Regiment, of the 101st Airborne Division, U.S. Army. An elite rifle company that parachuted into France early on D-Day morning, fought in the Battle of the Bulge and captured Hitler's Eagle's Nest at Berchtesgaden. Meaning "unconquerable," Invictus is a ponderous and dramatic march from the "King" of all march composers and it lives up to its title and sets the stage for the remainder of the concert. It’s one of Karl King’s most exciting circus marches! Guest Conductor, Dr Lee Hudson takes the podium to conduct Hail to the Fleet, written by Richard Malty for Fleet Week at the major Naval Base in Virginia. Dr Hudson was privileged to be one of the first to perform the march as a young student musician. A U.S. Navy Musician for 26 years, Dr. Hudson will share his background and history as it relates to the selection. Paul Hindemith was one of the leading composers of the mid-20th Century. His compositions range from chamber music to full Symphonies. The Band will perform the fourth movement of Symphonic Metamorphosis on Themes by Carl Maria von Weber. Concluding the concert, the Band will perform John Phillip Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever, featuring piccolo soloist, Julie Bell. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  10. The trio Fenglírë, comprising an oboe, clarinet and bassoon, will perform 3:00 p.m. Sunday, May 12, at the Allen Public Library. On reed instruments, the trio’s concert will feature a wide variety of contemporary songs, including a piece by 20th century British composer Gordon Jacob, a 21st century piece by Emmy-winning composer William Bradbury based on the meditative music of Javanese gamelan, and “Found Objects on the Beach” by award-winning composer Jenni Brandon. Formerly a graduate teaching assistant at the University of North Texas, oboist Ashley Rollins was a featured English horn soloist on the North Texas Wind Symphony's premiere recording of Ryan George's The Wild Goose and was invited to perform the Marcello Oboe Concerto with the Nashville Summer Orchestral Institute. Clarinetist Jason Baker holds a clarinet position with New Life Symphony and the Dallas Civic Wind Ensemble. Previously, Jason played clarinet in the Marine Corps, conducted local musical theater shows, been a graduate teaching assistant at UT Arlington, and produced his own CDs. A freelance bassoonist and chamber musician, Ryan Morris performed for the Greater Princeton Steinway Society in New Jersey in January 2018. He also spent two summers as a quintet/sextet fellow in the Imani Winds Chamber Music Festival, performing with the Force Five woodwind quintet of the Air Force Reserve and alongside the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information
  11. Savor the tales of “Texas Dames,” women who managed sprawling ranches, built towns, organized major banks, and locked adversaries in a wine cellar at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 9, at the Allen Public Library. From Angelina of the Hasisai, interpreter for the Spanish, and sharpshooter Sally Scull, to Dr. Claudia Potter, America’s first female anesthesiologist, and Birdie Harwood, first female mayor in the United States, historian Carmen Goldthwaite has been profiling Texas women and their valuable contributions. Chris Enss, author of Bedside Book of Bad Girls: Outlaw Women of the Midwest, declares, “She recounts the lives of driven ladies such as Peggy McCormick, a rancher who fearlessly stood up to Texas revolutionary leader Sam Houston by demanding he bury, on her land, the bodies of the Mexican men he had shot in battle. She examines the lives of professional gambler Lottie Deno, timber queen Sallie Gibbs and “Savior of the Alamo” Clara Driscoll. The experiences of these women who gave their lives to settle the Texas frontier is as vast as the country itself.” Carmen is the author of Texas Dames: Sassy And Savvy Women Throughout Lone Star History and Texas Ranch Women. A 7th generation Texan, Carmen Goldthwaite writes and tells the stories about the Texas she loves for western magazines, community newspapers, and women's organizations around the state. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  12. Puppet shows are exciting for children but can be just as thrilling for adults. Witness the energy of Taiwanese puppet theater and the world’s first projection mapping puppet show at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, May 5, at the Allen Public Library. The Shinergy Puppet Show Troupe from Taiwan incorporates modern audio and visual technology to creating spectacular imagery and sensational music for the audience to experience its thrilling 4-D effects. How will the conflict end between the two most powerful Wulin sects? The puppet show “The Legend of Nan-Xia,” tells the story of a kung fu master’s excursion in the quest for help from several mysterious skilled fighters after learning about an imminent threat from an evil warlord. It ends with an inevitable battle and several unexpected revelations. Built on a fascinating story, the show is full of action and humorous dialogues and is suitable for the whole family. The Allen Public Library is one of 15 venues in the United States selected by the Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council to feature this outstanding display of puppetry. Sponsored by Taiwan’s Overseas Community Affairs Council, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  13. Randy Hopper and the Big Texas Boys, an exciting country band that combines the best of blues and rock, performs 7:30 p.m. Friday, April 27, at the Allen Public Library. View https://www.cityofallen.org/Calendar.aspx?EID=6959. A native Texan, Randy began playing guitar and writing country music as a teenager in Blue Ridge, Texas. Some of Randy’s original songs include “The Cowboy Way” and “I Love Country Life.” Playing with his band throughout Texas for the past 40 years, he has also performed with Zane Williams, Kylie Rae Harris, and other well-known musicians. Big Texas Boys has played at the Cottonwood Festival in Richardson, American Legion post in Denison and Love and War in Texas. The band is comprised of Randy Hopper on guitar, Stan Ragsdale on bass, JP Evanston on drums and Mark Lafon on guitar. Their CD, Randy Hopper and the Big Texas Boys, will be available at the concert. Employed with the City of Plano, Randy and his wife, the Honorable Linda Hopper, live in Bonham with their three dogs. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the concert is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  14. The adoption of the Nineteenth Amendment in 1920 represented a huge victory for American women by securing their inalienable right to vote. Texas was the first state in the South to ratify this hard-fought-for change. Learn more about the champions for Texas women’s suffrage, political strategies, anti-suffrage sentiments, efforts to amend the Texas Constitution, primary suffrage, and, finally, the ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment with Melissa Prycer at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 25, at the Allen Public Library. Melissa Prycer is the president and executive director at Dallas Heritage Village. She holds a master’s degree in public history from North Carolina State University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Prior to joining Dallas Heritage Village, she worked as an intern at several museums in Dallas. This program is sponsored by the Allen Public Library, located at 300 N. Allen Drive. Call 214-509-44911 for additional information.
  15. The original Southfork Ranch for the famed television show Dallas was on Preston Road in Frisco and owned by the Cloyce Box family. Hear Douglas Box discuss his recollections of one of Texas’ most famous ranches and the rise and fall of his family dynasty at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, April 18 at the Allen Public Library. The Box family was once a formidable player in the Texas business world, controlling a diverse portfolio of public and private companies, especially oil and gas, cement manufacturing, and real estate. Following Cloyce’s sudden death and a litigious four-year family ordeal, Douglas led the sale of the family’s oil and gas business. Today, Douglas is a certified family business advisor, author, and public speaker. He helps clients with succession planning, corporate governance, dispute resolution, and family meetings. Texas Monthly’s Skip Hollandsworth notes, “There is nobody more prepared to write the saga of a great Texas family than Douglas Box. His legendary father Cloyce is like someone out of central casting. And what happened to Douglas and his three brothers is something out of a best-selling novel. Get ready to shake your head in pure amazement.” In 2014, Douglas published, Cutter Frisco, Growing up on the Original Southfork Ranch. In October of 2016, he published a more extensive memoir about his father called Texas Patriarch – A Legacy Lost. Call 214-509-4911.
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