The Rosenberry Lecture Series brings speakers from around Colorado and the United States to shed new light on topics in Colorado history. This eight-part series explores the rich and complex history of our state and invites us to explore our shared past to shape our collective future.

This year, we’ll explore various topics that will excite a sense of wonder about our shared history. From the history of the chile pepper to the proud story of the 10th Mountain Division, this season is sure to ignite your curiosity and connect you to new stories of importance. Learn about the complexities of Black identity in the Ute Borderlands; the rise and demise of organized crime and the Ku Klux Klan in Denver; as well as the heartbreaking portrait of one woman’s courageous fight for equality. As is tradition, the season is capped off with May’s prestigious, annual State Historian’s address.

Wednesday, March 20
Excess to Extremism: How Colorado’s National Guard Spoiled Denver’s Kitchens
Excess to Extremism: Wednesdayrado’s National Guard Spoiled Denver’s Kitchens
In the early 1900s, the fight for workers’ rights reached a fever pitch in Colorado. For over two decades, unions did battle with major companies and the state government, culminating in violent attacks on striking miners by the Colorado National Guard. After prominent upper-class women defended their husbands’ roles in these massacres, national labor organizer Elizabeth Gurley Flynn decried: “The queen in the parlor” has no interest in common with “the maid in the kitchen!”

Local union leader Jane Street, outraged by these massacres of striking workers and the mistreatment of domestic servants, set out on a crusade to punish Denver’s elite by unionizing their household staff. Jane Little Botkin will tell the story of Street’s fight to change the status quo.

Spur award-winning author Jane (Janie) Little Botkin served as a public school teacher for thirty years before turning to historical investigation and writing. A member of the Western Writers of America since 2017, Jane currently serves as its vice-president. Her books have won numerous awards in biography, western historical nonfiction, and women’s studies. The Girl Who Dared to Defy: Jane Street and the Rebel Maids won History Colorado’s Barbara Sudler Award, Denver Public Library’s Caroline Bancroft History Prize, and was finalist for the Colorado Book Award. Jane’s upcoming book The Pink Dress, Memoir of a Guyrex Girl, (August 2024), delves into the early world of Guyrex, the famous Miss USA and Miss Texas beauty-queen makers, poignantly revealing more than behind-the-scenes realities of Guyrex’s unique approach to pageantry in the Wild West. Jane is preparing her third biography published by the University of Oklahoma Press, that of Mary Ann (Molly) Goodnight, savior of the Southern bison herd. Jane lives in the White Mountain Wilderness near Nogal, New Mexico, with her husband Gary.

Wednesday, April 17 — 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
Exploring An Unearthed History of Denver’s Historic Cemeteries
Get Complimentary Tickets — 1 PM
Get Complimentary Tickets — 7 PM

Join History Colorado’s Curator of Archives and lover of cemeteries Shaun Boyd as we meet some of the fascinating stories of Denver’s biggest and oldest cemeteries just in time for spring and summer explorations. Hear the story of how Denver’s first cemetery “migrated” to other places. Or did it? A ghost story or two will be told for good measure.

Shaun Boyd is the Curator of Archives at History Colorado. She has Master’s degrees in History and Library and Information Science, with a background in women’s political history and local histories in Colorado. She also has a deep love of the paranormal and has participated in multiple haunting investigations, but thinks cemeteries are just cool, even without the ghosts.

Wednesday, May 15 — 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.
How to Create Good Americans: History, Education, and the Responsibilities of Citizenship
State Historian’s Address with Dr. Claire Oberon Garcia
Get Complimentary Tickets — 1 PM
Get Complimentary Tickets — 7 PM

News headlines regularly remind us that American history has rarely been under more scrutiny. Yet this intense focus on our past also underscores widespread agreement that it’s important to cultivate a knowledge of our shared history at all levels of our education system. From K-12 classrooms and school board meetings to college and university campuses, how we teach history has become a battleground. In her State Historian’s Address, Claire Oberon Garcia will ask: What do we owe all of our students as we prepare them to become informed and engaged citizens? What is the role of history in society?

Dr. Claire Oberon Garcia is a professor of English at Colorado College and the Colorado State Historian. Dr. Garcia has published extensive research focusing on Black history portrayed through literature, including an emphasis on women of the Black Atlantic at the beginning of the twentieth century. As a scholar and teacher, Dr. Garcia is particularly interested in the archives of the marginalized, the silenced, and the “expendable” who did not have access to official institutions and dominant power structures.

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