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Library program to teach about outlaws

IHC’s Road Scholars to produce July 9 ‘desperado’ discussion

The Morris Area Public Library will play host to a discussion about notorious outlaws of early Illinois or “desperadoes” at 6 p.m. Tuesday, July 9 at 6 p.m.

From the early frontier lawbreakers at Cave-in-Rock, to such figures as the Maxwell brothers and Frank Rande, who died in the 1880s, Illinois prior to the 20th century was a dangerous place fraught with crime.  Dive into Illinois’ notorious past and learn about early law enforcement, vigilantes, lynching and more through dozens of images, featuring outlaws, jails, wanted posters etc. 

The event is being produced in part by the Illinois Humanities Council’s Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, a program that provides organizations statewide with affordable, entertaining, and thought-provoking humanities events for their communities.  A roster of speakers, hailing from 16 different towns and cities across Illinois, present topics in history, culture, literature, music, politics, law, science, and many more.

“The contagious passion our speakers have for their topics is what makes this program so dynamic and appealing,” says Mallory Laurel, the IHC’s coordinator for the program. “We don’t need to change lives; we just want audiences to feel curious again.” 

Road Scholar John E. Hallwas, the speaker for this program, is a writer, speaker, and adult-education leader. He is Distinguished Professor Emeritus at Western Illinois University.  Well-known for his many books about Illinois and the Midwest, he has also written scores of journal articles and hundreds of newspaper and magazine essays, as well as several plays. The recipient of more than two dozen awards for his teaching, scholarship, books and educational service, Hall has also spoken in well over 100 Midwestern communities, at colleges, universities, conferences and organizational events. 

The Illinois Humanities Council is an independent, nonprofit state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities, dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities.

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