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Laura Hovey Neubert

Topics: American Old West, Black Hills, Discussion Leader, History, Poetry, South Dakota, Women

Community: Rapid City

Program Types: One Book South Dakota, Speakers Bureau, Virtual Program(s) | (605) 786-3344

Sculpting Democracy: Historical Perspectives on Mount Rushmore National Memorial “The Shrine of Democracy” and Its Builders
The ways in which this monument has strengthened democracy are showcased through the lens of historical fact. As an international symbol of freedom, with millions of visitors annually, it stands today as a message of our nation’s prominence. Yet, it was initially envisioned and sculpted by an immigrant artist, Gutzon Borglum, and funded with the support of US governors and presidents.

Homestead Women: Here’s My Chance
The experiences of hardy females homesteading 160 acres circa early 1900s is the subject of this presentation. Adventurous, mostly singles, they braved blizzards, drought, locusts and more to “prove up” a claim for a prairie kingdom of their own. Women like the Ammons sisters of Land of the Burnt Thigh fame, and their experiences, are profiled. Q: Who are the homestead women of today?

Peter Norbeck: From the Prairie to the Mountain
Reflections on the profile of this important South Dakota politician who was behind so much major development in our state, e.g., Mount Rushmore National Memorial, Custer State Park, and more. From the personal memoirs of Lydia Norbeck and other resources, learn the beginnings of SD Governor Peter Norbeck’s immigrant family and his career path to Washington D.C. Q: Would Norbeck’s “American Dream” life still be possible today?

Bookslingers of the West
The lives of some who established community and culture in the Wild West of Dakota territory through local libraries is featured. From Deadwood-Lead and the Homestake Mine Hearst dynasty, to Jos. and Alice Gossage and the beginnings of the Rapid City Journal, it is a tour around the early 1900s Black Hills communities and the important “slingers” of the day. Q: What impact does the local library have on your community today?

Interpreting Badger Clark: Poetry and Prose Readings of South Dakota’s First Poet Laureate
What is the “Cowboy’s Prayer” and why is it considered one of the most significant poems of Old West history? Hear the music in Clark’s lyrical poems of the prairie and hills of the Old West. Learn about Badger Clark’s life and times and his sanctuary “hole” in Custer State Park.