History in a Bag- Summertime Lectures
LCHS offers free lunchtime lectures at Riverside Museum
Previous topics have included; Many Peoples, One Place- immigration and ethnic diversity in La Crosse, Preserving Your Family History- preserving the stories, images, and items important to your family.
Summer Brown Bag Talk Series to Begin June 13th :
“Many Peoples, One Place: La Crosse’s Multi-Ethnic Heritage”
For the third year, La Crosse County Historical Society will be sponsoring a series of
free talks this summer. These are “Brown Bag” talks, scheduled over the lunch hour.
The presentations will start on Tuesday, June 13 th , and continue the popular “Many
Peoples, One Place: La Crosse’s Multi-Ethnic Heritage” theme of last year. Each one
will be about the history and heritage of a different group of people living in La
The talks celebrate the history, heritage and contributions of five groups, while
exploring cultural stereotypes and moving beyond them. The five speakers in turn will
take a closer look at African Americans, Irish Americans, Hmong Americans, Native
Americans, and German Americans in both historical and contemporary terms.
The talks will be held at the Riverside Museum in Riverside Park over the noon hour
on Tuesdays 12:00-1:00 pm with the series running June 13, 20, 27 and July 11 and
18. Each presentation is about 30-40 minutes, with time for audience questions or
discussion. All are free and open to the public.
Here’s a little more about the five presenters and their topics:
On June 13 th Cecil Adams, co-founder and executive director of La Crosse’s African
American Mutual Assistance Network (AAMAN), will talk about the heritage of
African Americans in the area, and contemporary programs directed by his
organization to assist with education and employment. His talk is entitled “African
Americans in the La Crosse Area – The Process”. Touching on past and present
challenges, he will also highlight La Crosse’s annual Juneteenth Celebration,
explaining its historical and cultural significance.
On June 20 th Donna Finn will present historical and present day information on the
Irish in the La Crosse area. She is of local Irish-American descent, and volunteers as a
Hixon House guide and secretary of La Crosse County Historical Society. She will
talk about the Irish in Wisconsin and her family heritage, as well as dispel some
stereotypes, offering a picture of what it’s like to have an Irish background here.
On June 27 th Maysee Yang Herr, an associate professor of Education at UW-Stevens
Point and speaker for the Wisconsin Humanities Council, will offer an interesting
perspective on Hmong culture from a personal viewpoint. Her talk, “Being a Female
Hmong Professional,” includes stories and reflections on how she has been challenged
by social and cultural expectations and has learned to overcome them. She explains
how she has navigated conflict while retaining her dignity as well as that of the
Hmong community. The presentation allows time for questions and discussion after
On July 11 th Daniel Green, lecturer at UW-La Crosse, will present a talk on “The
Over-Consumption of Native American Imagery and the Ongoing Results.” Dan’s
Ho-Chunk heritage has given him particular insight into this topic. His talk should
offer a truer perspective into Native American heritage than is presented and packaged
by the media, dispelling stereotypes and sharing a culture that is both ancient and
On July 18 th Carol Mullen will talk on “Beyond Beer and Lederhosen: The Germans
in the La Crosse area”. She comes from a local German American family, is a retired
public librarian, and volunteers for La Crosse County Historical Society. She’ll briefly
outline the history of Germans in La Crosse County; touch on some differences
between Germans and German Americans, and how German stereotypes and realities
are two different things; plus share a few photos/stories of her German family
members and their life here, with thoughts on what that heritage has meant to her.
La Crosse County Historical Society is pleased and proud to once again be offering
this series of talks free to the public. For further information call 608-782- 1980.