Sepia tone pictures from 100 years ago harken back to slower, more tranquil days, yet the Scholarly Series, provided in partnership between Wilton Library and the Wilton Historical Society, may prove that times were just as tumultuous then as they are now.

“Sex, Scandal and Upheaval: 1919 – What’s Changed?” is the twelfth scholarly lecture collaboration between the two organizations bringing insight and college-level discussions to a variety of themes. The four-part series touches on issues and incidents that shaped Connecticut, America and the world in the early part of the last century, from treaties to shoeless baseball players to women’s voting rights. The first lecture is on Sunday, Jan. 27, from 4-5:30 p.m. at the library, entitled “Versailles—False Promise,” with historian and author Mark Albertson.

Elaine Tai-Lauria, executive director of Wilton Library remarked about how unique an opportunity the series is.

“We are so fortunate to be able to partner with the Wilton Historical Society for our twelfth collaboration. This lecture series is what you might take advantage of when living in a ‘college town’ and we offer it to our community, right here in Wilton.”

Kim Mellin, co-director of Wilton Historical Society noted the power of combining both institutions.

“We have a great committee sourced from both organizations that works to bring this lecture series to life. And as you’ll see, they knocked it out of the ballpark!”

The lectures are held on four Sunday afternoons, January through March, from 4-5:30 p.m. as follows:

  • January 27  Speaker Mark Albertson—Versailles – False Promise—at Wilton Library:  Albertson kicks off the series with a talk highlighting several themes from his eight-week course on the transition period between World War One and Two beginning with the Treaty of Versailles. Albertson is the historical research editor at Army Aviation magazine in Monroe, and the historian for the Army Aviation Association of America.  He has authored several books: USS Connecticut: Constitution State Battleship; They’ll Have to Follow You!; The Triumph of the Great White Fleet; and On History: A Treatise. Mark teaches as an adjunct at Norwalk Community College. Lecture sponsors are Elaine Tai-Lauria and Phil Lauria with Steve Hudspeth as moderator.
  • February 24  Speaker Cecelia Bucki—Conflict on the Homefront:  Connecticut and the Nation—at Wilton Library:  Historian and author Cecelia Bucki, Ph.D., will survey the domestic unrest that plagued the United States following the end of World War One. Nationally and here in Connecticut, peace remained elusive. Bucki has taught American history at Fairfield University for over 25 years. Her specialties within U.S. History are social, labor and working-class, and immigration history. She is the author of the award-winning Bridgeport’s Socialist New Deal, 1915-1936. Lecture sponsors:  Lila and Buck Griswold; moderator Max Gabrielson.
  • March 10  Speaker Steve Wulf—Men in Black Sox—at Wilton Historical Society:  Veteran sports writer Steve Wulf is at the plate with the story of the infamous cheating scandal that enveloped the 1919 World Series. One hundred years ago, the stage was set for the darkest drama in the history of baseball:  the Black Sox Scandal. While the talk will center on the causes, results and outcomes of the fix, it will also touch on the books (Eight Men Out) and movies (Field of Dreams) that have sprung from the Black Sox Scandal. Wulf is a Senior Writer with ESPN, where he has happily worked since 1997, when he became one of the founding editors of ESPN The Magazine. Lecture sponsors:  MaryGail and Jerry Gristina; moderator: Steve Hudspeth.
  • March 31  Speaker Pam Dougherty–Votes for Women–at Wilton Historical Society:  Pam Dougherty from the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame will tell the story of the women’s suffrage movement. The Nineteenth Amendment was passed by both houses of Congress in 1919 and would go on to complete its ratification process in 1920. This lecture will highlight Connecticut women who fought on a local, state and national level for the right to vote. Dougherty is the director of development for the Connecticut Women’s Hall of Fame and is a Wilton resident. She has worked in the non-profit world for more than 11 years with the Advocacy and Government relations program at The College Board in New York City, The Center for Family Justice in Bridgeport, and now the Women’s Hall of Fame. Lecture sponsors:  Judy and Hal Higby; moderator: Max Gabrielson.

Additional information may be found in the individual registration links for the lectures on the library’s website. Each of the lectures will be followed by an informal reception. Registration is required separately for each of the lectures due to the popularity of the series. There is no charge but donations are always welcomed. To register and for more speaker details, please visit the library’s website.

Wilton Library is located at 137 Old Ridgefield Road in Wilton; Wilton Historical Society is at 224 Danbury Road (Rt. 7), Wilton. The media sponsor for the Scholarly Lecture Series is The Wilton Bulletin.