Avon Library Has Exhibits On Civil War, Civil Rights Movement

AVON — Exhibits about the civil rights movement and the experiences of Connecticut soldiers taken prisoner during the Civil War will be at the Avon Free Public Library during November and December, according to announcements from the library and the Avon Historical Society.

Both will go on display on Nov. 1 and the library is hosting a lecture that day at 1 p.m. by Dr. Matt Warshauer, a history professor at Central Connecticut State University. His presentation is free and will serve to open up "Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963," a traveling display organized by the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of American History in collaboration with the American Library Association.

In addition to the exhibit on the civil rights movement, the library will offer a series of programs in November and December on contributions African-Americans have made in sports and culture, the library has announced. That will include a film series and a presentation by Dr. Karen Ritzenhoff, a professor of communications at CCSU, on films called "Selling Race on Screen" that will be on Nov. 15 at 1 p.m. All the events are free and will be at the library. More information is available on the library's website at

The exhibit on the Civil War is being put on by the Avon Historical Society and is part of a series it started several years ago to mark the 150th anniversary of the war. The display focuses on the experience of the 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry, which included 21 soldiers from Avon. Many members of that unit were taken prisoner during battle in 1864 and imprisoned, an experience a great many of them did not survive, according to a description from the historical society.

On Nov. 22 the historical society will host a presentation on the experiences of soldiers who fought in the 16th Connecticut Volunteer Infantry by local historian John Banks. That lecture is free and will be at 1 p.m. in the library's Alsop Community Room.

A second program on the Civil War being presented by the historical society will be on Dec. 13 at 1 p.m. at the Avon Senior Center. That event is free and will be a reenactment of a meeting between President Abraham Lincoln and Gen. Ulysses S. Grant presented by historians and first person re-enactors Howard Wright as Lincoln and Sam Grant as General Grant, according to an announcement from the historical society.

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