‘Strike for Dickie!’ first of many events at DCHS“Strike for Dickie! The People vs. the Board of Education” – the first History Theatre production of the season – runs through Aug. 7 at the Douglas County Historical Society, 1101 John Ave
By: By Kathy Laakso, Superior Telegram
“Strike for Dickie! The People vs. the Board of Education” – the first History Theatre production of the season – runs through Aug. 7 at the Douglas County Historical Society, 1101 John Ave. Evening performances begin at 7:30, and the matinee begins at 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets to the performances are available at DCHS.
This original play is based on an actual event from 1927, which tells the story of Central High School students’ six-week strike after their favorite teacher, Miss Lulu “Dickie” Dickinson was fired by the board of education after voicing opinions against policies of the new superintendent.
Newspapers nationwide carried the story as parents of the students and community leaders took the case to Wisconsin legislation and later to the Wisconsin State Supreme Court, where it was decided to allow voters of Superior to choose its school board rather than the mayor, as previously done. Because this case involved the board of education, DCHS has invited a panel of school board members and teachers, past and present, to a discussion the role of school boards as they reflect the community’s principles regarding public education.
The panel discussion takes place at 5 p.m. Aug. 7. With Central’s all-school reunion going on in August, DCHS’ exhibit hall is all decked out with the exhibit, “Central Centennial: What in the James J. Hill was Going on Here?” The exhibit runs through November.
Using oral histories, photographs, newspaper articles, scrapbooks and artifacts such as trophies, uniforms and lockers with music of each era, this exhibition looks at student life through the building’s life as high school, 1910-1965. The Coolidge Room is re-created with a storyboard of facts describing the President Calvin Coolidge’s stay here during the summer of 1928. This exhibit is funded in part by the Wisconsin Humanities Council and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
You can find our newly published book, Central A-Z: The History of a Superior School, at our museum shop. Written by Teddie Meronek and me, and published by X-Communications of Duluth, the book highlights outstanding accomplishments of the high school’s alumni as well as a history of Central and the efforts of the community to preserve it.
Our second History Theatre production is “Vaudeville: A Dazzling Display of Stupendous Talent” on Sept. 17 and 18 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 19 at 2 p.m. On Sept. 16, contributors to the Palace Theatre mural are invited to a special VIP performance of the vaudeville. At that time, donors will be able to see the plaque that holds the names of those who purchased bricks in honor or memory.
Our new History Sunday series is in place. On Sept. 12, Judy Peres and David Hozza show pieces of unique, grain-sculpted wood harvested from old-growth forests more than 120 years ago, and explain how the company, Wisconsin Woodchuck, has painstakingly salvaged this wood for reuse from the Globe Elevator at the edge of the Duluth-Superior Harbor. After the presentation, Peres and Hozza take interested people on a tour of the Globe, where you’ll see the ingenious method of building that laborers more than 100 years ago, used to ensure the strength and durability needed to hold tons of grain.
On Oct. 10, Christine Carlson talks about the Anishinaabe burial site at Wisconsin Point.
Ruby Thomas rounds out the fall lineup on Nov. 14 as she presents a program with music of the early 1900s. Our History Sundays are funded, in part, from a grant from the Superior Rotary Club.
DCHS also received a local history grant for collections conservation from the Wisconsin Historical Society and the Wisconsin Council for Local History. The money is dedicated to purchasing shelving for the ongoing efforts to categorize and properly store our collection.
E-mail email@example.com or call (715) 392-8449 to ask how you can become a member and enjoy free History Sundays and other benefits.
Kathy Laakso is the executive director of the Douglas County Historical Society.