Public Programs

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

The Making of a Memorial

Instructor: David Carney
Thursday, Aug 2, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

This course on the history of the Huntsville Madison County Veterans Memorial will cover site selection and study of the architect drawing emphasizing “sacred geometry.” It will  include stories of the people who modeled for the statues and of the Madison County Medal of Honor recipients, plus personal family stories of many of the Killed in Action. The Time Line of All Wars lists the number of casualties in every U.S. engagement since 1776. The names of every Madison County person killed in combat since WWI are listed along with a short synopsis of each war.
All this and much more is contained in the book The Making of a Memorial, which was co-authored by the presenter, David Carney, a Madison County native.

Alligators in the East Room and Other White House Tales

Instructor: Tom Borcher
2 Tuesdays, Aug 14 and 21, 1:30 – 2:30 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

This is a two-part presentation (comprised of equal parts fact and humor) on the history of the White House and what life has been like for the temporary residents in this most famous of homes. George Washington thought the President’s home should resemble the grand palaces of Europe. The British almost burned it down. The U. S. Army wanted to paint it black. Harry Truman had the interior completely gutted and replaced.
Session 1: History of the design, construction, and renovation of the White House – from the first concepts to the present day.
Session 2: Little known facts about life in the White House. Tom will share anecdotes about the first families’ lives and some humorous stories arising out of the peculiar needs and attitudes of those who have called 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue home.

Crisis Counseling

Instructor: Heather Kilgore
Wednesday, Sept 12, 1:00 – 2:30 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

Crisis Services of North Alabama responds to individuals and families in crisis. This presentation will explain their program and the services offered to the community and invite volunteers for a six-session course in crisis counseling and associated skills. The semester-long counseling program offered by Crisis Services educates participants on what constitutes a crisis and how to be an effective helper. Completion of the counseling program certifies graduates as crisis counselors and enables them to volunteer for the 24/7 crisis line (HELPline). The classes of this valuable program cover a range of topics including, but not limited to, an overview of mental illness and development of helping skills for survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and suicide.

Being Homeless in Huntsville

Instructor: Chakri Deverapalli
Thursday, Oct 11, Noon – 1:00 pm
Downtown Library, Auditorium

In Huntsville, it is not unusual to encounter a homeless person or two. These encounters make some people uncomfortable, fearful, or compassionate depending on their perception and past experience. This program presents an opportunity to hear from someone who chose to live the life of a homeless man in Huntsville and documented his experience.

In 2016, Mr. Devarapalli was a member of the Leadership Class 30 from Leadership Huntsville Madison County (LHMC) and took part in a project to bring awareness about homelessness to the community. As part of the project, he and a friend went homeless for 4 days and 3 nights and documented the experience. The ensuing documentary film premiered on April 26th 2017 at Redstone Federal Credit Union Atrium.

LearningQUEST participants and public attendees will watch the documentary together and learn about the challenges faced by the homeless in the community and the resources available to them. This will be an informative, interactive session with a Q & A following the film screening.

The Doolittle Raid in Fact and Film

Instructor: David Lilly
2 Tuesdays, Oct 16  (9:30 – noon) and 23 (9:30 – 11:00 am)
Downtown Library, Auditorium

The attack of 16 US bombers on Japan carried out on April 16, 1942, led by Lt. Col. Jimmy Doolittle, was one of the most stirring military actions of WWII. Launched from the aircraft carrier USS Hornet, the raid stunned Japanese leaders and gave hope to an American public faced with months of Japanese victories in the Pacific war. This program will begin by viewing the 1944 film, “Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo,” one of the great wartime films. The following lecture will examine the origins and execution of the attack and how well the film depicted the events.

Linthead Legacy

Instructor: Terri L. French
Thursday, Nov 6, 10:30 – 11:30 am
Downtown Library, Auditorium

Long before rockets were part of the skyscape of Huntsville, the water towers and smokestacks of its textile mills were the monoliths of industrial progress. Workers were often called “lintheads” by the city folk, a derogatory term which became a moniker of pride. This program will tell the story of the people who worked at Dallas, Lincoln, Merrimack and Lowe Mills, who grew up in their villages and went to mill schools.