Submitted by Susanne Bacon.
History in Washington is incredibly young and therefore the (pioneering) past so much more immediate than in so many other parts of the US. Maybe that is the reason why there are so many ambitious authors digging into the sources that lie beneath of what and who we are today. The 6th Annual Lakewood Film, Arts, and Book Festival presents quite a few local authors who have found amazing facts and commit them to public memory with their great books.
How the Great Plains became the breadbasket of the world is presented in “Civilizing the Great Plains” by Don Wilbur. The author researched on site what turned a region occupied by indigenous tribes into farmland. Promises of homesteads from the government drew mainly Europeans to take up the challenge. These hardy pioneers faced attacks by the natives and braved dust storms, freezing winters, crop losses, and government interferences. A stunning story that still reverberates with us today.
A bit closer to Washington homes is surely Walter Neary’s and Steve Dunkelberger’s book “Legendary Locals of Lakewood”. Once the site of British farms and the first US military base in Washington territory, Lakewood was a vibrant community long before it became incorporated in 1996. Who in Washington State hasn’t heard of Chief Leschi, who spent his last days here before he was hanged? Or about George Pickett, who served here and became famous in the Civil War? Or names such as Carman or Weyerhaeuser? Or of the first female black mayor of Washington State? Even Ivan, Lakewood’s captive gorilla who captured the hearts of animal lovers worldwide, has his own chapter. A must-read for any citizen from Lakewood.
A truly dramatic and tragic incident was carefully researched by author Russell Holter. “The Fateful Fourth” analyzes the socio-economic conditions which led to the City of Tacoma hosting a grand Independence Day celebration in 1900. It attracted guests from all over the state, but the transportation system was totally overburdened. Disaster came in the shape of one the most horrific streetcar accidents in US history. It actually changed transportation forever. A story that makes the past chillingly come to life again.
Of course, all authors will be present at the festival and gladly answer your questions and sign their books for you. The 6th Annual Lakewood Film, Arts, & Book (FAB) Festival takes place on September 28, 29, and 30, 2018 from 12 through 9:30 pm at the Shirley McGavick Conference Center at Clover Park Technical College, 4500 Steilacoom Boulevard SW. The book/author section is open from noon till 6 pm. Please find further information, also about the eight award-winning movies shown at the Film Festival, at www.facebook.com/lakewoodfilmartsbooks.