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Lillian Witt

Topics: American Old West, Anti-racism, Black Hills, Chautauqua, Education, History, Native American, South Dakota

Community: Gordon, NE

Program Types: Chautauqua, Pre-recorded Program Video, Speakers Bureau, Virtual Program(s) | (308) 360-9336

1890 Wounded Knee Massacre (Chautauqua)
Lakota, Euro-American, African American – Women from these cultures weave a perceived history of the 1890 Wounded Knee Massacre. Dakota Daughters’ Jerry Goes In Center, Joyce Jefferson and Lillian Witt present the historical interpretation of events in Dakota Territory beginning after the Civil War and culminating with the 1890 Wounded Knee Creek massacre. This historical play has been researched and historically reenacted to display the possible thoughts and feelings of women during that time.

Annie Tallent, 1887-1901 (Chautauqua)
A woman of refinement and education, Annie Tallent was the first white woman in the Black Hills. Along with her husband David. and their nine-year-old son Robert, Annie joined the Collins/Russell Expedition, also known as the Gordon Party, on a long and grueling journey of deep snow and bitter cold enroute to the Black Hills. Even though she first entered Dakota Territory illegally, Annie represents the heroism and resourcefulness of pioneer women and is recognized as an interesting figure among the pioneers of the Black Hills, especially in the annals of early educational history.

Daddies’ Dreams
Humanities scholars Joyce Jefferson, Geraldine Goes In Center and Lillian Witt share memories of their fathers’ dreams and their experiences in the military and WWII, carried through time by the Dakota prairie wind. Joyce discusses through poetry and song, the life of her father, a 30-year Air Force veteran. Jerry relates stories her father told her when she was growing up, and why her father joined the military. Lilly tells hilarious but true antics of her adventurous father as a young cowboy, WWII veteran, and South Dakota rancher.