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.

  • Troost Lake connects to streetcar, Mormon histories

    July 26th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Opening to the public in 1888, Troost Park and adjoining Troost Lake were the ideas of the Kansas City Cable Railway Company (later known as the Kansas City


    The wild waters of pre-levee Kansas City

    July 19th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Published by the North American Postcard Company of Kansas City, Mo., this week’s card is a Real Photo Postcard showing the West Bottoms area looking northwest toward the


    Christmas in July

    July 12th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, a rare treat — a Real Photo postcard showing a newly completed Penn Valley Drive in Penn Valley Park, Kansas City, Mo.


    Bible College once served Historic Northeast

    July 6th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Established in 1890 as a school for “girls,” the Scarritt Bible and Training Institute was located at Harris (now Norledge Avenue) and Askew avenues in Historic Northeast Kansas


    Celebrating with Uncle Sam: Happy Fourth of July!

    June 28th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Historians aren’t completely certain how the legendary character Uncle Sam was created, or for whom (if anyone) he was named.


  • Kansas City’s old Convention Hall

    June 21st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This week, we feature a rare advertising postcard showing the old Convention Hall, which was destroyed by fire in early April 1900 — just 90 days prior to


    Century-old view of KC from river

    June 14th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Kansas City’s riverfront on the Missouri River is pictured in this old, turn-of-the-century postcard published by The Southwest News Company of Kansas City.


    Viaduct connected Kansas cities

    June 7th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This postcard, titled “United States Troops Crossing Intercity Viaduct, Kansas City, Mo.,” shows what seems to be an unending column of Army troops crossing the then-newly constructed bridge


    ‘The great white city’

    June 1st, 2016
    by

    Northeast News Electric Park was named for the 100,000 electric light bulbs outlining its buildings and rides.


    Thoroughly modern courthouse

    May 25th, 2016
    by

    Northeast News This linen postcard, showing north and west sides of what at the time was the new Jackson County Courthouse and the intersection of 12th and Oak streets, was


  • Local Weather

  • What’s Happening

    KCU first-year med students participate in day of service

    Northeast News July 27, 2016 KANSAS CITY, Missouri – First year medical students at Kansas City University of Medicine and […]

    Northeast’s August 2 Primary Election Preview

    Northeast News MO Senate District 11 John Rizzo - D John Rizzo - D Top priorities: Economic development, education, and protecting worker’s rights Endorsements: Missouri Governor Jay Nixon, Former State Senator Victor

    chronicles

    James “Jim” George Cariddi On Friday, July 15, 2016, former principal James Cariddi passed away due to complications of a stroke at St.