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  1. COUNTERFEIT PRINCE OF OLD TEXAS Slavery and Texas Hear the fascinating saga of swindler and slave smuggler Monroe Edwards from author Lora-Mare Bernard at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 24, at the Allen Public Library. After Edwards died in Sing Sing prison in 1847, penny dreadfuls memorialized him as the most celebrated American forger in history. Bernard unravels the unbelievable story of one of the most notorious criminal adventurers ever to set foot on the soil of the Lone Star State. Monroe Edwards’ contributions to Texas settlement, revolution, and annexation were sadly funded by his activities as a slave smuggler. Discovering new information on the Texas slave trade, Lora-Marie will discuss the slavery and the transfer of cash from its origins in Africa to the Caribbean and then to Texas. Author of The Counterfeit Prince of Old Texas: Swindling Slaver Monroe Edwards and Lower Brazos River Canals, Lora-Marie Bernard writes non-fiction books about Texas people and places.
  2. Allen Community Band Honors Educators Allen Community Band (ACB) will present its Midwinter Concert at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 22, 2019 at the Allen Public Library Civic Auditorium, 300 N. Allen Dr. Free. Educators, past and present, from all segments of the educational spectrum will be honored at this concert. You may have seen the bumper sticker that reads “If you can read this, thank a teacher”. This will be an opportunity to do just that! 2018 marks the centennial birth of Leonard Bernstein, one of America’s most renowned composers and conductors. Perhaps his enduring composition for the stage, and later the screen, is West Side Story, which opened at New York's Winter Garden Theater on September 26, 1957. To honor this great American musician, selections from West Side Story will be performed. For more details, visit www.allenlibrary.org. Call 214-509-4911.
  3. Private Jeff Morgan Tucker First African-American casualty from Collin County during WWI The name Jeff Morgan Tucker does not appear in the numerous articles and books written about America’s involvement during World War I. In 2017, Collin County Historical Society volunteer and genealogist Kristin Spalding uncovered information about Private Jeff Morgan Tucker from an old McKinney Courier-Gazette newspaper article and learned that he was the first black soldier to be returned to Collin County from the war. Hear about Private Jeff Tucker and other African American doughboys from Spalding at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, February 17 at the Allen Public Library. Private Tucker was born and raised in McKinney and was living in Greenville at the time of his enlistment. He served from Oct. 23, 1918, until Dec. 19 of that same year when he died of pneumonia. His mother, Susie Daniels, was notified of his death. When he was brought home to Collin County, Tucker was buried at Ross Cemetery, the county’s segregated graveyard. While completing her research, Kristin was confronted with a daunting fact—this fallen soldier did not have a marker on his grave. A genealogist, Kristin observed, “I thought that was something that needed to happen – he needed to have a grave marker.” Private Tucker had no children, Kristin had to locate his siblings and navigate the family tree. That research was required because an application for a government headstone requires a next of kin. Kristin located Private Tucker’s family and a marker now adorns his grave. 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.
  4. Swing to the lively jazz music of the Shelley Carrol Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 15, at the Allen Public Library. A staple in the Dallas area jazz scene and worldwide, Shelley Carrol performs with the Duke Ellington big band as well as on his own. He has also recorded and or performed with Maureen McGovern, Tony Bennet, Nancy Wilson, Sheryl Crow and a host of others. Don't miss this great night of music. Sponsored by the Dr. ET Boon family in memory of Gayle Boon, the concert is free.
  5. Shelley Carrol Quartet Swing to the lively jazz music of the Shelley Carrol Quartet at 7:30 p.m. Friday, February 15, at the Allen Public Library. A staple in the Dallas area jazz scene and worldwide, Shelley Carrol performs with the Duke Ellington big band as well as on his own. He has also recorded and or performed with Maureen McGovern, Tony Bennet, Nancy Wilson, Sheryl Crow and a host of others. Don't miss this great night of music. Once a student of the legendary Texas Tenor greats Arnett Cobb and Don Wilkerson, Shelley attended the University of North Texas, where he earned a spot in the Grammy Nominated One O’clock Lab Band. During the same period, Shelley was invited to join the Duke Ellington Orchestra by acclaimed trumpeter Barry Lee Hall. Shelley Carrol released his CD I Heard That in 2013. On vocals, Ardina Lockhart has performed with the Grammy Award-winning GOD’s Property, pianist Roger Boykin, New Art 6, Fingerprints and others. She has appeared on Fox 4 Good Day Dallas and WFAA Good Morning Texas, as well as sang the “Star Spangled Banner” for several Dallas Mavericks games. Sponsored by the Dr. ET Boon family in memory of Gayle Boon, the concert is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  6. RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed portrays Johanna July, a black Seminole who served as a scout and translator, at 3:00 p.m. Saturday, February 9, at the Allen Public Library. The program is free. Johanna July was born in Nacimiento de Los Negros, the settlement established in Northern Mexico following the emigration of Indian and black Seminoles from Indian Territory. During the 1870s, the U.S. Army desperately needed translators and scouts who were familiar with the border country. To achieve this, they convinced Black Seminoles to come to Eagle Pass, Texas. After moving here, Johanna July learned to tame horses and herd the family’s goats and cattle. With the death of her father, she worked the stock as well as tamed wild horses for the U.S. Army and area ranchers. She died shortly after World War II ended and is buried in the Brackettville Seminole Cemetery. RosieLeetta “Lee” Reed is president of the Texas Buffalo Association, dedicated to preserving Texas history and the legacy of the Buffalo Soldiers. A recipient of the Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Award for “Outstanding Public Service Benefiting Communities,” Reed continues to educate people about the history and heritage of Cowboys and Cowgirls of Color. Presenting for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the National Cowboys of Color Museum, Panhandle Plains Museum and the George Bush Memorial Library, Reed specializes in presentations about Cathay Williams as well as Stage Coach Mary Fields, the first African-American woman to work for the U.S. Postal Service. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for more information.
  7. Vellamo Delight in the haunting melodies and ballads, vocals and virtuosic guitar stylings of Pia Leinonen and Joni Tiala, the Finnish folk duo Vellamo, at 7:30 pm Friday, February 8, at the Allen Public Library. In addition to performing in the Finnish, Celtic and Scandinavian folk traditions, they also compose memorable original songs. In Finnish mythology, Vellamo is the goddess of the sea. Based in Kokkola, on the western coast of Finland, Pia and Joni combine the rich tradition of Finnish folksong with an appealing “retro” sensibility, creating an exotic and magical acoustic experience. Raised in the arctic region of Lapland, Pia is Vellamo’s lead singer. Combining her love and vast knowledge of Finnish folk music with the western singer–songwriter tradition, her exquisite voice evokes creative expression. Originally from the Finnish port of Kokkola, Joni Tiala’s eclectic musical background includes writing and performing for theater, progressive and alternative rock, and Finnish and western folk. In addition to his work in Vellamo, Joni is an accomplished theater and session musician and founding member of the renowned Finnish progressive rock band Moonwagon. In early 2013, Vellamo released their first album, engineered and co-produced by Ken Anderson at his home studio Song Catcher Recording in Vermont. Vellamo released their second album in June 2014. This folk-rock gem contains beautiful arrangements of traditional songs from the Finnish and Scandinavian traditions. You can hear how surf rock guitars and hillbilly country style is blended with the Finnish tradition. Vellamo’s third album “Koskenkylä” featuring all original material was released in October 2015. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, this event is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for more information.
  8. Over the River Bluegrass Warm up a cold winter night with sizzling bluegrass from Over the River band performs at 7:30 p.m. Friday, January 18, at the Allen Public Library. Inspired by their common love of roots and Americana music, veterans of the Dallas music scene assembled to form Over the River. Drawing on influences as varied as Bill Monroe, Bob Wills, The Byrds, Hank Williams, and Tom Petty, Over the River performs a combination of original tunes and choice covers. This band believes that fun times with family and friends improve with “foot tappin' and swing dancin’ music.” Over the River performed live on the KNON 89.3 Mark Mundy show last October. When asked about performing at the acclaimed Fearing’s Restaurant in Dallas, bandleader Erik Swanson commented, “We thoroughly enjoyed playing brunch at Fearing's surrounded by bottles of wine that cost more than our instruments.” Over the River has also performed at the Dallas Farmers Market, Bath House Cultural Center on White Rock Lake, Opening Bell Coffee, and Allgood Café. Erik also plays for the award-winning western swing band Shoot Low Sheriff, featured several times at the Allen Public Library. The band is comprised of: Floramay Holliday - vocals, guitar Erik Swanson - vocals, guitar Don Thacker - banjo, vocals Kim Herriage - mandolin, dobro, guitar, and vocals Larry Reed – bass 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.
  9. Watch the enduring holiday classic A Christmas Story (1983) at 7:00 p.m. Tuesday December 18 at the Allen Public Library. Free. Starring Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, and Peter Billingsley, Ralphie has to convince his parents, teachers, and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940's. Parents across America flinched as they listened to their kids beg Santa for a Red Ryder BB gun. Find out if Ralphie’s request is satisfied. Made famous during the Red Ryder film series, this BB gun is still being manufactured. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  10. Allen Community Band Christmas Concert! Take time to relax before the final rush to the big day!! Join the Allen Community Band for an enjoyable concert featuring famous songs of the season at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, December 16, at the Allen Public Library Civic Auditorium, 300 N. Allen Dr. Free. If Santa is Up on the Housetop, can he really Rock the House? Find out as the Allen Community Jazz Band kicks off the concert with swing arrangements of holiday music. Directed by Craig Logan, The Allen Community Band takes the stage and begins with Prestissimo. Its rapid, upbeat tempo, is one of 197 Marches and Gallops composed by Karl King and features all sections of the Band. While on the subject of classical music…what is more Christmas than music from The Nutcracker Suite? Call 214-509-4911.
  11. Holidays with HarpEssence, from classics to modern Acclaimed harpist Linda Mudd along with special guest artists will present an intimate, warm and joyful celebration of a traditional Christmas music at the 7:30 p.m. Friday, December 14 at the Allen Public Library, 300 n. Allen Dr.. Beautiful runs, soaring glissandos, and delicate fingering surround the audience with the gorgeous sounds of four concert grand harps. HarpEssence is an ensemble that is comprised of four harpists who came together to celebrate their passion for the harp. The group performs all styles of music, often in intricate 4 part harmonies. Performing for special events, weddings, churches, libraries and private events, HarpEssence educates the audience on the history of their selections and the instruments in between pieces. .. Joining Linda are Susan Koskelin, Joan McCord and Grace Johnson. Joey Flowers will enchant the audience with the magic of the flute, a perfect complement to the majesty of the harps. Call 214-509-4911.
  12. Waymon Rose of Allen was Juror Number 10 during the infamous 1964 trial of Texas vs. Rubinstein alias Jack Ruby. He will share his experiences of this infamous trial at 7:30 p.m. Monday, November 19, at the Allen Public Library. Jack Ruby fatally shot Lee Harvey Oswald two days after President Kennedy was assassinated. In one of the most highly publicized trials of the twentieth century, Ruby was found guilty of murdering Oswald, but the Texas Court of Appeals reversed the decision. Ruby died of lung cancer while awaiting retrial. At his wife's suggestion, Mr. Rose maintained a journal of his experiences in a 25-cent spiral notebook, detailing the living conditions and limited activities of himself and his fellow jurors as well as his insights and observations of Jack Ruby, his attorneys, the prosecutors and the trial. That notebook is now with the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas. In November of 1963, Rose was a traveling salesman. The assassination of President Kennedy would initiate a chain of events that would drag Mr. Rose, unwillingly, into history. “I said, I’m too busy to be on any jury, but I’ll get off it,” Rose recalled about his notice of summons. “I’m not going to serve on any jury.” Because millions of Americans had watched the video of Ruby killing Oswald, finding an impartial jury was a daunting task. The prosecutors learned that Rose had a distinguished war record and were determined that he serve on the jury. In fact, Rose wrote in his diary that near the end of the trial, he still had not made up his mind whether Ruby was mentally capable of standing trial. Mr. Rose says that after 30 minutes of deliberation, with the jury reviewing all details, the verdict became unanimous. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. Call 214-509-4911 for additional information.
  13. Tea with the Roosevelts President Franklin Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt guided this nation during two of the most tumultuous periods of American history-the Great Depression and World War II. After President Roosevelt died in 1945, Mrs. Roosevelt continued to support her husband’s efforts in establishing the United Nations. While enjoying tea, you can hear Elliot Roosevelt Jr. and Liz Roosevelt Kelley recount stories of their esteemed grandparents and great-grandparents at 3:00 p.m. Sunday, November 18 at the Allen Public Library. Mr. Roosevelt will share recollections of FDR and the woman he called “Grandmere.” Having read every column and book penned by Eleanor Roosevelt, Liz Roosevelt Kelly will present stunning photos of Eleanor’s life and offer special insights and observations for the woman President Truman declared the "First Lady of the World." Elliot Roosevelt, the son of Ruth and Elliott Roosevelt, spent time with grandparents Eleanor and Franklin while growing up and celebrated Christmas at the White House during the later years of Roosevelt's presidency. Liz Roosevelt Kelly is the daughter of Elliot and JoAnne Roosevelt. Eleanor Roosevelts' My Day column was at one time syndicated in 90 newspapers, and at that time, the second most popular newspaper column in the nation. She wrote the column six days a week from 1935 until her death in 1962. She also published a book called My Day. Although it is her diary, it simultaneously serves as an irreplaceable historical document. Sponsored by the Allen Public Library, the program is free. The library is located at 300 N. Allen Dr. Call 214-509-4911.
  14. Marie Tippit demonstrated courage and fortitude during one of the saddest periods in American history. Shortly after 1:00 p.m., November 22, 1963, on a quiet residential street in Oak Cliff, Dallas Police Officer J.D. Tippit observed 24-year-old Lee Harvey Oswald walking down the sidewalk. People could often be seen walking to work or to a store during a time when car ownership was not ubiquitous, but certain behaviors merited this experienced officer’s attention. He stopped to investigate and was shot four times. A passerby, Domingo Benavides, notified police using Officer Tippit's own police radio of the tragic circumstances. In a matter of moments, Marie became a widow with three small children. While the nation watched the funeral of its beloved President John Kennedy, another funeral occurred one hour later for the fallen officer J.D. Tippit at the Beckley Hills Baptist Church in Oak Cliff. Marie Tippit will recall those tumultuous days at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, November 15, at the Allen Public Library. The Allen Police Department’s officers will escort Marie to the library’s stage, and Chief Brian Harvey will help introduce this widow of a fallen officer. During this tragic weekend, a most endearing exchange of messages occurred between Jackie Kennedy and Marie; the two widows expressed condolences to each other with the kindest sentiments. Also, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and the new President, Lyndon Johnson, called Marie to express their sympathies. When asked about how she wants the public the remember her fallen husband, she replied, “He was a good Christian man who took his family to church and worked other jobs to support us. No amount of time can take away my pain I feel for the man I loved. And for anyone who thinks I'm over it, well, they never knew J.D. Tippit. And I coming to your library to honor his memory.” 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.
  15. Celebrate the centennial of the armistice that ended World War One at 3 p.m., Sunday, November 11, at the Allen Public Library. Awarded the Purple Heart, U.S. Army Veteran Harvey Webb is the featured speaker. Sgt. Webb served in Company A, 382nd Infantry, 86 Division and participated in the famed battles of Leyte and Okinawa. The Allen Community Band will perform music made popular during, and after, World War I, as well as contemporary selections celebrating our Armed Forces. Arranged by Darren Jenkins, Echoes From the Battlefield commemorates World War I with four songs that were popular and widely performed during that historic era. Opening with Over There, followed by It's a Long Way from Tipperary, Keep the Home Fires Burning and closing with Pack Up Your Troubles in an Old Kit Bag. The band will pay tribute to the early works of George M. Cohan and Irving Berlin. James Barnes’ arrangement, Star Spangled Salute, is based on several Cohan songs from that time. Included are Yankee Doodle Boy, Give My Regards to Broadway and You’re a Grand Old Flag. Members of the audience are invited to stand as the musical theme of their respective branch of service is played and the flag is presented on stage. This free concert is sponsored by the Allen Public Library, VFW 2195, Allen Community Band, and Bernardo de Galvez DAR chapter. Call 2q14-509-4911 for additional information.
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