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Lantern tours offered during inaugural American Presidents Film & Literary Festival

• Sep 24, 2018 at 2:00 PM

FREMONT — “Meet” First Ladies Abigail Adams and Dolley Madison, Gen. Ulysses Grant and Sen. Robert Kennedy at lantern tours of Spiegel Grove on Friday, Oct. 5, during the inaugural American Presidents Film & Literary Festival.

Tours begin at 9 p.m. with the last tour leaving at 10:20 p.m. Each tour is about 45 minutes.

Guides carrying lanterns lead the groups around Spiegel Grove, the grounds of the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. They will stop at various points to see the living history presenter portray the historical figures.

Tickets for tours are $6.17 ($5 plus a $1.17 processing fee.) Lantern tour tickets also are available with an All-Access Pass for $68.27 ($65 plus a $3.27 processing fee) and a Friday-Exclusive Pass for $26.87 ($25 plus a $1.87 processing fee).

All-access passes are available until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 4.

Tickets are limited. Buying advance tickets or passes is recommended to secure a spot.

Tickets and passes are available at americanpresidentsfilmfestival.org.

The living history presenters on the tour are Jeremy Meier, Jean Blechschmidt, Cathey Harpster and Caleb Hall.


From a documentary about Teddy Roosevelt and the environment to a feature film about America’s race to the moon in the 1960s, the American Presidents Film & Literary Festival will feature a variety of independent films and documentaries.

The new event takes place Sept. 27 to Oct. 7 at various locations in Fremont.

Filmmakers submitted films on the themes of people, places politics and power. Portions of commercial films and a PBS documentary relating to the American presidency also will be shown.

Films shown during the festival are:

“Teddy Roosevelt and Fracking” – A short documental essay, this short film explores the beauty and fragility of the North Dakota, Wyoming and Montana landscapes. It contrasts the vastness and stark loneliness of the relatively untouched wild areas with oil derricks, fracking towers, natural gas burn offs, coal mines, machinery, trucks, energy installations and energy towns. The recent boom and bust economy echoes the cattle boom and bust of the 1880s. This film is directed by Jack Cochran and Pam Faulkenberg.

“The Republican Movie” – Joseph Ocasta is a rising star in the GOP who’s set on shaking up the system and disrupting the status quo in Washington, D.C. Along the way, he makes enemies through is bullish, hard-nosed political stance. An assassination plot unfolds to eliminate him on election night. Life or death becomes a matter of a single vote. This short film is directed by Jon Navarro.

“Writing the Peace” – In May 1945, a document was signed that ended World War II in Europe. But who wrote the words that changed the course of the 20th Century? This film reveals that it was written by an actor turned soldier named John Counsell. This short film is directed by A.D. Cooper.

“The Astronot” – Daniel longed to touch the moon. With Sandy’s help, he’d reach the stars. It was 1969, and America was embarking on the biggest adventure known to humankind with its voyage to the moon. Daniel, too, was pursing the unknown, leaving the path of isolation he had known for so long to embrace the love of another. The only question was would he be able to maintain that trajectory, or would he veer off course, never to be seen again. That was the challenge for “The Astronot.” This feature-length film is directed by Tim Cash.

“The Reagan Show” - This film is an all-archival documentary about the original performer-president’s role of a lifetime. Teasing apart the spectacle at the heart of finger-on-the-button global diplomacy, the film follows Ronald Reagan’s rivalry with charismatic Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev, tracing how the communicator-in-chief uses his public relations chops to overcome Soviet mistrust, the objections of a skeptical press corps and the looming threat of World War III. Full of wit and political irony and told solely through 1980s network news and videotapes created by the Reagan Administration itself, the film explores Reagan’s made-for-TV approach to politics as he faced down the United States’ greatest rival. This documentary film is directed by Sierra Pettengill and Pacho Velez.

“Murder of a President” – This PBS documentary follows the shooting and eventual death of President James A. Garfield. It is based on Candice Millard’s bestselling book, “Destiny of the Republic.” Garfield rose from poverty to become the most powerful man in the United States, and many Americans believed he had the potential to become one of the country’s truly great presidents. On July 2, 1881, mentally disturbed drifter Charles Guiteau shot Garfield as he walked through a Washington, D.C., train station. Garfield survived the immediate shooting. With the importance of sterilization not yet realized by most American medical professionals, infection set in, killing the president 79 days later. Todd Arrington, James A Garfield National Historic Site manager, will introduce the film and lead a discussion afterward.

Commercial film program “Fascists, Fools and Action Heroes: Fictional Presidents in Three Movie Periods” – Jack Nachbar, Bowling Green State University professor emeritus, will discuss commercial films in three different time periods and how they portray the president. Films that he will discuss include “Wild Boys of the Road” (1933), “Dr. Strangelove” (1964) and “The American President” (1993).

HBO miniseries “John Adams” – Episodes of this 2008 miniseries will air beginning Monday, Oct. 1, at Birchard Public Library. This series spans President John Adams role in defending British soldiers involved in the Boston Massacre to his involvement in the American Revolution and building a nation to his presidency and later years. Kirk Ellis, screenwriter for the miniseries, will introduce the viewing of the final episode at 3:15 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6, at Birchard Public Library. Ellis is also giving the keynote talk at the Red Carpet Event: Lecture on the Presidency from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 6.


Authors, historians offer variety of free events during American Presidents Film & Literary festival

FREMONT – From graphic novels to Abraham Lincoln and slavery to political cartoons, authors will give a variety of programs during the inaugural American Presidents Film & Literary Festival from Thursday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Oct. 7.

Many of the literary events are free. They are:

Discussion by author and historian Eric Foner via Skype at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 27 at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. Admission is free. This session kicks off the festival. Foner, professor of history at Columbia University in New York and one of the nation’s most prominent historians, will discuss his book “The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery.”

Family night and dinner with children’s author Connie Trounstine from 5:30 to 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4, at Fremont Middle School, 1250 North St., Fremont. Admission is free. Trounstine is the author of “Fingerprints on the Table,” a children’s book about the White House Treaty Table and the people who have used it. She will present the student film awards. There will be activities for families. This event is sponsored by First National Bank of Bellevue.

Ranking the Presidents with Dustin McLochlin, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums curator, from 9:15 to 10 a.m. at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. Admission is free. McLochlin will examine why there is a desire to rank the presidents, what biases are inherent in these rankings and what the rankings show the American public values.

Walking with Webb with author Meghan Wonderly, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums annual giving and membership coordinator, from 10 to 11 a.m. at the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums, Spiegel Grove, Fremont. Admission is free. Wonderly, author of “A Son’s Dream: Colonel Webb C. Hayes and the Founding of the Nation’s First Presidential Library.” She will give a walking tour of the Hayes Museum and highlight areas that were important to Webb Hayes. The tour includes a look at the marble staircase that is no longer open to the public.

Presidential Humor with author Larry Michaels from 10:15 to 11 a.m. at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. Admission is free. Lincoln, Jefferson, Kennedy and Reagan were all known for their humor. But most presidents, even Calvin Coolidge and Millard Fillmore, surprisingly could show a lighter vein. The use of. Humor is revealing not only about the man, but also the way he dealt with the most difficult office in the country.

Local author fair and book signing from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. Admission is free. Meet local authors, buy copies of their work and have the books signed.

Replay of Skype discussion with Eric Foner from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. Admission is free.

Presidential Limericks and Poetry with author Larry Michaels from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Crop Circle Festival on Front Street in downtown Fremont.

Abe Lincoln Political Cartoons with author Tom Culbertson from 1 to 1:45 p.m. at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. Admission is free. Culbertson is a former director of the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums. He will discuss political cartoons involving President Abraham Lincoln.

Discussion with graphic novelist Jonathan Hennessey via Skype from 2 to 3 p.m. at Birchard Public Library, 423 Croghan St., Fremont. Admission is free. Hennessey is the author of “The Gettysburg Address: A Graphic Adaptation.” This novel used the words of President Abraham Lincoln’s immortal speech to tell the whole story of the Civil War, from colonial times through the Civil Rights Era.

Red Carpet Event: Meet & greet with wine tasting, dinner and Lecture on the Presidency by keynote speaker Kirk Ellis from 5 to 7:15 p.m. at The Strand Concert Theater, 220 S. Front St., Fremont. Tickets are $32.04 ($30 plus a $2.04 processing fee) or are included with an all-access pass, which costs $68.27 ($65 plus a $3.27 processing fee). Ellis, screenwriter for the 2008 HBO miniseries “John Adams,” will discuss “Who Will Write Our History? – The Importance and Dangers of Memory, Legacy and Posterity in John Adams’ World – and Ours.” Lecture on the Presidency is sponsored by National Machinery Foundation and ProMedica Memorial Hospital.

Red Carpet Event: Film & Literary Awards from 7:30 to 9 p.m. at the Live Edge Center, 115 S. Front St., Fremont. Admission is free. Enjoy chocolate and champagne as the winners of the film and literary contests are announced.

For a full schedule of film festival events, visit www.americanpresidentsfilmfestival.org. Ticket sales will be available online through 11:59 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 4. Tickets will then be available at venues where ticketed events take place, subject to availability. Like the film festival on Facebook at @ampresfilmlit.

The American Presidents Film & Literary Festival is committed to providing a place for expanded national and international understanding of the history and current events that have and continue to shape and influence the President of the United States. Utilizing the site and community of America’s first presidential library and museum, filmmakers, film professionals and authors will inspire audiences to explore, understand, critique and analyze the people, places, politics and power surrounding the American Presidency.

It is organized by the Liberty and Learning Foundation, Fremont City Schools, Birchard Public Library, Hayes Presidential Library & Museums and Downtown Fremont.

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