Rock Islanders were busy founding a new City in 1841, but that wasn’t the only notable event of that year. The 2016 Frieze Lecture Series discussion theme celebrates “1841, the Year That Rock Island Began” and the current events that surrounded its founding.

The series of four lectures by Augustana College professors are from 2:00 to 3:00 pm Tuesday, October 18 through November 8, in the Rock Island Main Library, 401 19th Street, in the Community Room. Free coffee,  cookies and conversation are offered after each lecture. 2016 marks the 19th year for annual partnership between the library and Augustana College.

Topics and presenters include:

Oct. 18: Rock Island in 1841: A City and Its Times: Dr. Roald Tweet, professor emeritus of English and Conrad Bergendoff Professor emeritus in the Humanities, will take us back in time to what life was like in Stephenson, Illinois, in 1841, and the controversy that swirled like the waters below Fort Armstrong over the renaming of the community lying in the lee of the Mississippi’s greatest limestone island.

Oct. 25: The Longest Inaugural Address in History: Dr. Meg Kunde, assistant professor of communication studies, will note the 175th anniversary of the longest inaugural address in history by William Henry Harrison. Harrison’s address clocked in at a marathon 8,443 words. She will also provide an overview of inaugural addresses and what can be expected on Inauguration Day 2017.

kelly-danielsNov. 1: A Punch of Literary Humor: Dr. Kelly Daniels, associate professor of English, will note the 1841 birth of the literary magazine Punch, and all that has meant for satire and humor in writing.

Nov. 8: Dawn of Antarctic Exploration: Dr. William Hammer, Fritiof Fryxell Chair in Geology, will note that 1841 marks the dawn of Antarctic exploration. British naval Captain James Ross, commanding HMS Erebus  and HMS Terror, discovered what they named the Victoria Barrier, and would later  be renamed the Ross Ice Shelf. Hammer is the discoverer of the first dinosaur remains unearthed in Antarctica. Teams led by Hammer discovered Cryolophosaurus ellioti in 1991, and Glaciasaurus hammeri in 2004.

The series was created by a library board member, the late Ruth Evelyn Katz, as part of the library’s 125th anniversary. The name comes from the 1903 library’s frieze, an architectural feature around the top of the building that is engraved with the names of writers. The authors carved into the sandstone are Homer, Longfellow, Emerson, Virgil, Hugo, Shakespeare, Goethe, Burns, Hawthorne, Esaias Tegner, and George Bancroft. Though not well known today, the names of Tegner, a Swedish poet, and Bancroft, a naval historian, would have been familiar to 1903 residents.

For more information about the Frieze Lecture Series, call the library at 309-732-READ (7323), or visit the library’s website at All lectures are free and open to the public. Registration is not required.

Frieze Lecture Series Celebrates Rock Island 175th Anniversary with a look at 1841
Sean Leary is an author, director, artist, musician, producer and entrepreneur who has been writing professionally since debuting at age 11 in the pages of the Comics Buyers Guide. An honors graduate of the University of Southern California masters program, he has written over 50 books including the best-sellers The Arimathean, Every Number is Lucky to Someone and We Are All Characters.
Frieze Lecture Series Celebrates Rock Island 175th Anniversary with a look at 1841

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