February 19, 2018: Jim Turner
"The Last Gunfight: The True Stories of Tombstone"
Historian Jim Turner was a research associate for New York Times bestselling author Jeff Guinn’s, The Last Gunfight: The Real Story of the Shootout at the O.K. Corral—And How it Changed the American West. Guinn used a team of researchers and ferreted out new documents to create what a Wall Street Journal book reviewer called: “the most thorough account of the gunfight and its circumstances ever published.” After a brief overview, Turner will focus on the events that occurred in the 36 hours before, during, and after the street fight itself. The presentation will include drawings, diagrams and maps showing the second-by- second actions, including where Billy Clanton and Frank and Tom McLaury received their fatal wounds.
February 26, 2018: John Westerlund
“Flagstaff Pioneer John Elden: Murder, Mystery, Myth and History”
The best-known and perhaps most visited grave site in northern Arizona belongs to little Johnny Elden, Jr. His 1887 murder remains one of the most infamous in Territorial history. Today, Johnny rests alone in a rock-covered grave at the base of the mountain named for his father. A beautiful U.S. Forest Service interpretive panel nearby describes the awful crime. Johnny was just six years old when he was shot and killed by itinerant mule skinner Bob Roberts in a dispute over water. Although the murder has haunted Flagstaff for over a century, did it really happen? This presentation examines the story of pioneer John Elden, the murder of his son and the contribution of myth to history.
March 5, 2018: Heidi Osselar
“Arizona’s Deadliest Gunfight: Draft Resistance and Tragedy at the Power Cabin, 1918.”
On a cold winter morning, Jeff Power was lighting a fire in his remote Arizona cabin when he heard a noise, grabbed his rifle and walked out his front door. Someone in the dark shouted, “Throw up your hands!” Shots rang out from inside and outside the cabin. When it was all over, Jeff’s sons, Tom and John, emerged to find four men dead: the county sheriff, his two deputies, and their father. Arizona’s deadliest shootout happened not in 1881, but in 1918 as the United States plunged into World War I, and not in Tombstone, but in a remote canyon in the Galiuro Mountains northeast of Tucson. Telling the quintessentially western story of a feud, a mysterious death and the largest manhunt in the state’s history, Arizona’s Deadliest Gunfight also shows how the First World War divided American society at its farthest edges. To separate fact from dozens of false leads and conspiracy theories, Osselaer traced the Power family’s roots back several generations, interviewed descendants of the shootout’s participants, and uncovered previously unknown records. What happened to Tom and John Power afterward is as stirring and tragic a story as the gunfight itself.
March 12, 2018: Bill Harrison
“Soil Soldiers! The Civilian Conservation Corps in Arizona”
America suffered during the Great Depression. The stock market collapsed, banks closed, families lost their farms, unemployment was at a staggeringly high level and people were hungry. The Depression hurt young men especially. They had the fewest skills and the lowest earnings and savings; many men found themselves without any prospects for employment. They were also at the greatest risk for poverty and starvation. President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) in 1933 for two reasons: “Young men need jobs. Public lands need conservation. Let’s put young men to work conserving and improving our public lands.” The CCC had a profoundly positive effect on millions of underfed and scrawny boys who enrolled. Through hard work, study and determination, the boys became men who were smart, mature, savvy, tested and tough. In Arizona, the CCC’s record of accomplishments were astonishing. This presentation is remarkable and memorable and one you don’t want to miss!
March 19, 2018: Marshall Trimble
Marshall Trimble has been called the “Will Rogers of Arizona.” He can deliver anything from a serious history lecture to a stage concert of cowboy folk music and stories with his guitar. Trimble appears frequently on radio and television as a goodwill ambassador for the state. “Trimble’s Tales” are on radio stations around the state. He answers questions about the Old West from readers all over the world in True West Magazine’s popular column, “Ask the Marshall.” He is considered the “dean of Arizona historians.” He taught Arizona history at Scottsdale Community College for 40 years before retiring in 2014. He is our Official Arizona State Historian.
March, 26 2018: Dr. Jay Cravath
“Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Camps: Entertainment in Old Arizona”
Mar 26: Dr. Jay Cravath- “Honky Tonks, Brothels and Mining Camps: Entertainment in Old Arizona” In pioneer Arizona, among the best places to experience the performing arts were in the mining towns. Striking it rich meant having disposable income. Miners, like the well-heeled of the Gilded Age, wanted to demonstrate their sophistication with culture. From the early popular music of ragtime and minstrelsy evolved orchestras, operas and glee clubs that performed in Tombstone and other hamlets. Perhaps the most popular form of musical entertainment was the concert band, in shells and stages throughout the state. Craváth shares stories and plays music of a time when performing live was the only way to enjoy the arts.