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Immoderately Proud to Be Moderating Two Events

I have to take this week in moderation because I find myself moderating two events that touch on Revolutionary history.

First, tonight at 7:00 P.M. is Ted Widmer’s talk on “A Test Case for America: Washington, Longfellow, and the Jewish Community at Newport” at Cambridge Forum. [ADDENDUM at 2:00: I’m sorry to report that this event has been canceled because Widmer is ill. We hope to reschedule in the fall.]

Widmer is director of the John Carter Brown Library at Brown University, and author of Young America: The Flowering of Democracy in New York City, Ark of the Liberties: Why American Freedom Matters to the World, and Martin Van Buren. He’s been both a presidential speechwriter and the lead singer of the Upper Crust rock band. His oped “Reagan at the Wall” appeared in yesterday’s New York Times.

My job as moderator this evening will be to introduce Ted Widmer, try not to take notes too conspicuously, and manage the question period. The overlap of religion and government in America has always been a delicate topic, and this election cycle has already brought up more issues. Cambridge Forum events are free and easily accessible in First Parish, Cambridge, right across the street from one entrance to the Harvard subway station.

Sunday, 17 June, is the anniversary of the Battle of Bunker Hill and the occasion of the annual meeting of the Bunker Hill Monument Association. That afternoon I’ll moderate an event for members, a healthy debate between Paul O’Shaughnessey, representing His Majesty’s 10th Regiment of Foot, and Thomas Coots, representing Col. Thomas Gardner’s regiment of Middlesex County militia. Who actually won the battle? What might the commanders have done differently?

In between those dates, of course, I’ll share what I’ve figured out about the Ephraim Moors powder horn at the Concord Museum on Thursday, 14 June, at 7:00 P.M.

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