Public Programs

LearningQUEST has presentations open to the general public. All are welcome to attend these programs, so please join us.

Redstone Arsenal, the Early Missile and Space Years

Presenter: Lowell Zoller
Thursday, Jul 27, 2:00 – 3:00 pm
Downtown Library Auditorium

The early years of Redstone Arsenal were both traumatic and triumphant, from threat of closure to footsteps on the Moon. The Arsenal was the major supplier of munitions during WWII for the country, a leader in the development of ballistic missiles, and the driving force for man’s greatest space ventures. We shall trace some of the important events of that history and encourage reports of first-hand experiences from the audience.

Alabama at 200 – Territory to Statehood (1817-1819) and What It Means to You

Presenter: John H. Allen
Wednesday, Aug 9, 11:00 am – Noon
Downtown Library Auditorium

This lecture will offer an overview of the Alabama Bicentennial initiatives at three levels:

  • Alabama’s Bicentennial Commission
  • Huntsville-Madison County Bicentennial Committee
  • Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society

Topics will include projects underway, projects planned, and how citizens may participate. This program is the first of a 5-part series on the celebration of Alabama’s Bicentennial, being offered to LearningQUEST members and guests throughout the two-year celebration. All lectures will be presented by members of the Huntsville-Madison County Historical Society, an organization active in preserving, recording, and promoting local history as a way to enrich the future.

9/11: New York Then, Huntsville Now

Presenters: Dr. N. Jane Roark & Jeffery Birdwell
Monday, Sep 11, 1:00 – 2:00 pm
Downtown Library, 2nd Floor Events Room

Dr. N. Jane Roark, Staff psychiatrist, Huntsville-Madison County Mental Health Center spent two weeks immediately following the 9/11 New York City event helping at the site. She will take us on a virtual daily “walk about,” describing her focus, interventions, and efforts to support the helpers. Jeff Birdwell, Director of the Emergency Management Agency for Huntsville, will discuss ways our community deals with the effects of local disasters. EMA uses an integrated emergency management approach which includes four areas: mitigation, preparedness, response, and recovery. The agency works with Homeland Security, FEMA, and the Madison County Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) to keep us safe in perilous times.

2-1-1 Connects Alabama

Presenter: Jessica Rasche
Monday, Sep 25, Noon – 1:00 pm
Downtown Library Auditorium

This program will introduce the 211 Information and Referral Program, including its history, services, texting, and chatting features. It explores the online resource www.211ConnectsAlabama.org as well as the difference among HELPline, Crisis Line (256-716-1000), and 211.

American Hauntings

Presenter: Robert Reeves
Wednesday, Oct 4, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Downtown Library Auditorium

Since ghosts and goblins will soon be preparing to celebrate All Hallow’s Eve, join us as we step back into America’s haunted past and hear some of the most unusual ghost stories from every era of American history. The most well-known stories deal with the Bell Witch of Tennessee, the murder of Meriweather Lewis, the Queen Mary, and the White House. Does Huntsville have ghosts? Of course! Huntsville has a rich history, so it is no surprise that it is also rich in ghost stories and haunted places. Robert Reeves, who has lived here since 1950 and knows the Tennessee Valley well, will share some tales about haunted Huntsville as we prepare for Halloween. Gothic Cookies and Witch’s Brew will be served by masked creatures of the underworld.

Rock Steady Boxing – Parkinson’s Disease

Presenter: Carolyn Rhodes
Wednesday, Nov 1, 10:00 – 11:00 am
Downtown Library, 2nd Floor Events Room

Chances are you know someone with Parkinson’s disease. Rock Steady Boxing is a non-contact boxing program that was developed to help fight the effects of Parkinson’s disease. Medical studies over a ten-year period have concluded that the forced, intense, explosive action of boxing training is an effective form of exercise for people living with Parkinson’s. The program is dramatically improving the ability of people with Parkinson’s to live independent lives, increasing their self-esteem, sense of efficacy, and quality of life. Recent studies also show that this form of exercise may be “neuro-protective,” actually working to delay the progression of symptoms. Rock Steady Boxing is offered to our community through the Huntsville-Madison County Senior Center but serves adults with Parkinson’s of any age. The local group is one of over 300 Rock Steady Boxing affiliates worldwide. The group meets at a local gym where 40 volunteers work with 52 “boxers.” Come learn about the program and see a demonstration of boxing moves!