Noon Programs Resume with Program on Bees

Bees By Shelly Deardoff

12:00 PM, Thursday, March 7

Shelly Deardoff, our Young Adult Librarian, will present the first noon program this year.  Shelly, in her spare time, is a beekeeper, and has started a small home business, “Sassy Pants Honey”.  She is also our “Maker It Monday” coordinator and the March 18th craft will be Mason Bee Houses.  Shelly describes her program below:

“Bees are BIG NEWS! You have heard bits and pieces, but do you want to dig a bit further into the hive? Here’s your chance! We aren’t really going to let the girls (bees) out, but as an eye witness, have I got stories for you!

Which of the many kinds of bees might you see in your back yard? What do you plant, to feed and attract pollinators? Now that they’re in your yard, what happens if they land on you? What does the inside of a hive look like? These are a few of the questions we will look at plus so much more. Bring your questions and if I don’t know the answer I will search the answer and get it to you.

We at Sassy Pants Honey, are dedicated to caring for the environment, sharing our passion and bringing products that we can be proud of to our community.”

Please help us plan room set-up by calling in your seat reservation to the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3310.


Humanities Nebraska Speaker on October 18th

Sept. 27 Noon Program on the Ultimate Book Collector

Many people are book collectors but Thursday’s program will introduce you to a man who was a bibliomaniac!  You will not want to miss this story.   We have plenty of seats left.

The North Platte Public Library will bring a very special program to the library at 12:00 PM, Thursday, September 27, titled “The Amazing Library of Thomas Jefferson Fitzpatrick” by Jim McKee.  This program is funded through Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment, and local funding.

Jim McKee tells an amazing story of the ultimate book collector.  Thomas Jefferson Fitzpatrick, longtime resident of Bethany, Nebraska, was a bibliomaniac. This college professor began with a solid collection of rare books inherited from his illustrious namesake. A lifetime of collecting later, he was living entirely in the kitchen of his house while the rest of the property was packed floor to ceiling and wall-to-wall with books. Only after his death in 1952 was the full extent of his obsession uncovered.

Humanities Nebraska Noon Program on September 21st

When Did the White House Become the “White House?” by Donald Hickey

This free PowerPoint program—featuring portraits, illustrations, and newspaper evidence—will examine the origins and early history of the White House, which today is arguably the most famous building in the world. Special attention will be paid to when and how the White House got its name. Although conventional wisdom holds that the name originated when the White House was rebuilt after being burned during the War of 1812, the evidence suggests that the name was in use as early as 1802, a mere eighteen months after the building was first occupied by President John Adams.

Don Hickey is a professor of history at Wayne State College. He is an award-winning author who has published eleven books and over a hundred articles, mainly on the War of 1812 and its causes.

Please help the library plan seating by calling ahead for a seat reservation:  308-535-8036, Ext. 3310


Learn the History of the State Fair at August 9th Noon Program

History is never dull when Jim McKee gives a presentation!  Don’t miss this noon program!

The North Platte Public Library is hosting a free program, “History of the Nebraska State Fair” by Jim McKee, at 12:00 PM on Thursday, August 9th.    The library encourages attendees to call 535-8036, Ext. 3310, to reserve seats to help us plan the room set up.   People are welcome to bring in their own brown bag lunch; water and lemonade will be provided.

Before Nebraska was even a state there was a Nebraska Territorial Fair, which was not only the first territory of the U. S. to have an official fair but it was the only territory to ever have a fair. This program shows the development of the Nebraska fair from territorial days through the Omaha-based 1898 Trans Mississippi Exposition which replaced the state fair that year and the various cities which hosted the event before its “permanent” move to Lincoln and ends as the state fair moved to Grand Island.  Jim, a Humanities Nebraska speaker from Lincoln, has given many presentations here over the years and they are always very interesting.

McKee is owner of Lee Booksellers. He is the author of more than 1,400 articles and books on Lincoln and Nebraska history and numismatics including “Lincoln: A Photographic History,” “Visions of Lincoln,” “Lincoln: The Prairie Capital,” “Havelock: A Photo History and Walking Tour,” and “Remember When.” His weekly history column has appeared in the Lincoln Journal-Star Sunday newspaper since 1993. He has been a local history adjunct professor at Southeast Community College in Lincoln since 1970. He presents about 50 talks a year to church, civic, professional and historical groups.

Living History Speaker at Library July 12th

From Nebraska Farm Girl to British Nobility

The North Platte Public Library’s next Humanities Nebraska program, .   “A Visit with Lady Vestey,” will be at  12:00 PM, Thursday, July 12.

Beverly Beavers comes in costume and character to tell the fascinating story of Lady Vestey. Born in Superior, Nebraska, this young woman became the highest paid woman executive in the world in the early 1900’s. As an employee of the Vestey Cold Storage Company she traveled extensively and learned many languages. She was instrumental in providing food for the Allied troops during World War I and lived in London during the bombing of Britain during World War II. She joined the English nobility when she married her boss, William. Lady Vestey traveled far, but she never found a place that she liked better than Nebraska.    This is a program that will be of interest to all ages.


All Brown Bag Luncheon programs are free and open to the public.  Humanities Nebraska provides the major funding for these programs. It receives support from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Nebraska State Legislature, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and private funding. Attendees are welcome to bring their lunches. Water and lemonade will be provided. Seating is limited so please call the library  at 535-8036, Ext. 3310 to reserve a seat.


Sandhills and Sandlots: Free Noon Program on June 8

Sandhills and Sandlots: The Amazing Story of Rushville’s Modisett Ball Park by Jeff Barnes is the next program in the North Platte Public Library’s noon programs.  The program will be held, Friday, June 8th at 12:00 PM.


The panhandle town of Rushville loved and played baseball like most Nebraska communities. Unlike all others, it was the recipient of a beautiful ball field from the state’s biggest rancher and the host of a Major League baseball school and try-out camp, whose students included a Nebraska boy who struck out Mickey Mantle. Barnes tells the fascinating story of Rushville’s 130 years with baseball.   Historian and author, Jeff Barnes’ program is sponsored by Humanities Nebraska, the Nebraska Cultural Endowment and local funding.   Please call the library at 535-8036, Ext 3301 to reserve a seat for this free program.  This helps the library plan seating.

For more information about Modisett Park,  click here to go to an informational website.


“Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings” Program at noon on May 3

The rich and diverse history and heritage of the state of Nebraska through its buildings is the subject of an upcoming presentation at the North Platte Public Library.

Historian and author Jeff Barnes presents “Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings” on Thursday, May 3, 12:00 p.m., at the library, 120 West 4th St., North Platte. The talk is sponsored by Humanities Nebraska. The talk is free to the public but the library requests seat reservations to help in room set-up.  Please call the library at 535-8036, Ext. 3301.

The 45-minute talk presents the diversity of the state’s buildings, from an 1830s-era cabin along to its internationally noted state capitol through a state-of-the-art cancer center of today.

“The architecture of Nebraska tells the history of the state,” said Barnes. “You can see the boom-and-bust periods, the arrival of various ethnic groups, and the impact of world wars.” Some of America’s greatest architects – from Frank Lloyd Wright to I. M. Pei – also left their mark on the state and are presented.

The talk is derived from Barnes’ new book, 150@150: Nebraska’s Landmark Buildings at the State’s Sesquicentennial, a celebration of the built world of Nebraska in its 150th anniversary of statehood. This colorful, richly photographed collection includes the earliest buildings constructed by newcomers to the territory, its most recognizable landmarks, and the newest and most dynamic structures designed by the architectural firms of today. The book is presented by the Architectural Foundation of Nebraska and the American Institute of Architects-Nebraska Chapter.

Of interest to those in North Platte, Buffalo Bill Cody’s Scouts Rest Ranch and the Lincoln County Courthouse are included in the book.

Barnes is also the author of Forts of the Northern PlainsThe Great Plains Guide to CusterThe Great Plains Guide to Buffalo BillExtra Innings: The Story of Modisett Ball Park and the centennial history of a Kansas City medical school. He is currently at work on his next book, a travel guide to sites related to the American outlaw Jesse James.

A former newspaper reporter and editor, Barnes writes freelance and lives in Omaha. He is a fifth-generation Nebraskan, a trustee of the Nebraska State Historical Society, former chairman of the Nebraska Hall of Fame Commission, and past marketing director of the Durham Museum.

For more information:

April 12 Program on American Muslim Life and Culture

The next Humanities Nebraska noon program at the library will be  “Getting to Know American Muslims and Their Faith” by Maisha Godare, Heartland Muslim Women’s Network President, at 12:00 PM, Thursday, April 12.  The program will be an overview of American Muslim life and culture illustrating what it means to be Muslim in America. This interactive, informal talk separates facts from fiction with easy to understand coverage of:

Beliefs, practices and values
Muslim population data
Holidays & celebrations
Islam’s connection with other faiths

Chocolate to be Topic of March 29th Noon Program

The North Platte Public Library’s noon program series continues at 12:00 PM on Thursday, March 29th with “How Chocolate Twice Conquered the American Continent: A Deliciously Historical Perspective”  by Jose Francisco Garcia.  This program is funded through Humanities Nebraska, Cultural Endowment of Nebraska and local funding.  The library asks that people call ahead to 535-8036, Ext 3310 for seating reservations to make room arrangement easier.  Coffee and water will be provided.

The tale begins with 2000-year-old murals depicting the uses for chocolate and continues to the present time witnessing the allure and power chocolate continues to have on human society. Garcia shares the history of cacao and discusses its value as a worldwide commodity.

Jose Francisco Garcia is of the 3rd generation descended from a Mexican family who moved to Kansas City, Mo., during the early 20th century. A retired Union Pacific employee and long-time Chicano activist, Jose has studied the movement of people out of Mexico into North America and the effects of this migration on the established culture, particularly in the heartland of America.