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State Historical Society of Iowa Press Release

For immediate release August 6, 2009

Contact: Jeff Morgan, Jeff.Morgan@iowa.gov, (515) 281-3858

Lecture series about African American history continues this month

Galin Berrier discusses history of Underground Railroad in Iowa Aug. 16

(COUNCIL BLUFFS) – The Western Historic Trails Center explores the Underground Railroad this month in the second of a six-part lecture series about African American history in Iowa.

Galin Berrier, an adjunct instructor of history at Des Moines Area Community College, will present "Underground Railroad in Iowa" at noon, Sunday, Aug. 16, 2009, at the Western Historic Trails Center, 3434 Richard Downing Avenue in Council Bluffs. The event is free and open to the public. Call 712-366-4900 for more information.

Berrier's presentation is part of the African American Museum of Iowa's "Experiencing Black Iowa Lecture Series," supported by a grant from the Iowa West Foundation.

The series is designed to engage Iowans in the heritage of African American history in the state. It covers several topics, including agriculture, athletics and the military. More information about the remaining four lectures will be announced as it becomes available.

In addition to his work at DMACC, Berrier also serves as an interpreter at Living History Farms, focusing on the Law office and the Bank in the 1875 "Town of Walnut Hill." He also gives interactive presentations to schools, and he contributed a chapter about the Underground Railroad in Iowa to "Outside In: African-American History in Iowa, 1838-2000," a book published by the State Historical Society of Iowa in 2001.

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The Western Historic Trails Center is operated by the State Historical Society of Iowa, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs. SHSI is a trustee of Iowa's historical legacy and an advocate for understanding Iowa's past. It identifies, records, collects, preserves, manages and provides access to Iowa's historical resources. Its dual mission of preservation and education serves Iowans of all ages, conducts and stimulates research, disseminates information, and encourages and supports historical preservation and education efforts of others throughout the state.

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