Chautauqua offered education, entertainment

PC-booker t washington.jpg

 By MICHAEL BUSHNELL
Northeast News
August 28, 2013

Chautauqua was a popular educational movement of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries in America. Chautauqua assemblies expanded and spread throughout the rural United States until the mid-1920s. When the Chautauqua came to town, it brought entertainment and culture for the whole community, with speakers, teachers, musicians and specialists of the day. Former President Theodore Roosevelt once stated that the Chautauqua is “the most American thing in America.”

This undivided back postcard shows “A view on the Chautauqua Grounds, Clarinda, Iowa. Booker T. Washington speaking.”

Chautauqua was popular with residents of isolated rural areas because they had a strong thirst for knowledge, in the absence of any resident theatre or opera house companies or universities, for example. By the mid-1920s when Circuit Chautauquas were at their peak, they appeared in more than 10,000 communities to audiences of more than 45 million people. By about 1940, the Tent Chautauquas had run their course and disappeared.

Booker T. Washington was a popular Chautauqua speaker and always drew large crowds of people. Washington was born into slavery in 1854 in Hale’s Church, Va. Always curious, Washington’s hunger for education was relentless; he paid for his own college education at the Hampton Agricultural Institute in Virginia by working as their custodian. Washington went on to become a university professor at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, eventually passing away in November of 1915.

One of the many quotes from Washington’s book “Up From Slavery” gives some insight to the man: “I will not say that I became discouraged, for as I now look back over my life I do not recall that I ever became discouraged over anything that I set out to accomplish. I have begun everything with the idea that I could succeed, and I never had much patience with the multitudes of people who are always ready to explain why one cannot succeed.”

Comments are closed.

  • Upscale Baltimore Hotel hosted presidents

    February 10th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Eccentric. That’s how many described noted turn-of-the-century Kansas City architect Louis S. Curtiss.


    Florida scene warms KC recipient’s winter

    February 3rd, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Originally sent to Miss Josephine Eakins of 3514 Forest Ave. in Kansas City on Feb.


    Airport transformed KC transportation

    January 27th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Kansas City’s Municipal Airport was once a swampy, 687-acre bog located in an ox-bow area along the great bend of the Missouri River.


    Missouri’s home-state railroad

    January 20th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Published for the Missouri Pacific–Iron Mountain Railway, this promotional postcard shows a picturesque view as described by the caption, “Along the Missouri River for more than 100 miles


    Hotel President still charms downtown Kansas City

    January 13th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News “The Hotel President located at 1329 Baltimore opened in January of 1926 is a magnificent fifteen-story structure incorporating therein all that is best in modern hotel construction.


  • Larrapin Lou and the Babe

    January 6th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News George Herman “Babe” Ruth and “Larrapin” Lou Gehrig played in a barnstorming game on Oct.


    Historic happy holidays

    December 30th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News Happy New Year!
    Sent on Dec. 31, 1905, to Mrs. E. T. Van Winkle of Hornellsville, N.Y., this unusual New Year’s card bears a black-and-white photograph of angels in


    Holy Rosary crib tradition a holiday classic

    December 23rd, 2015
    by

    Northeast News This real photo postcard of the Holy Rosary Church’s Christmas crib was taken during the 1941 holiday season.


    Beauty springs eternal on Historic Northeast’s Cliff Drive

    December 16th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News “Fountain and Cliff Drive, North Terrace Park, Kansas City Missouri.”
    So reads the description on this divided back, hand-colored postcard, published around 1910.


    KCK mayor creates fine architecture

    December 9th, 2015
    by

    Northeast News The cornerstone for the Masonic Temple at 803 N. Seventh St. in Kansas City, Kan., was laid Nov.


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    Mardi Gras celebration

    Michael Bushnell Northeast News Feb. 10, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri — Columbus Park’s Don Bosco Senior Center was the scene […]

    City to Speedy Cash – you’re done

    Northeast News KANSAS CITY, Missouri — The wrecking ball has been spared once at the corner of Independence Boulevard and Prospect Avenue.

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder

    retorts illustrated bryan stalder [...]