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From the Ponca City News, Sunday, September 29, 1996

Historical Association Receives National Award for History Book


By KATHY ZEHR
News Staff Writer


Eight members of the North Central Oklahoma Historical Association Inc., traveled to Nashville, Tenn., during the second week of September to accept the national AASLH certificate of commendation for their two-volume book,

"North Central Oklahoma: Rooted In The Past - Growing For The Future."

The special award from the American Association for State and Local History, is presented at an annual meeting each year to recognize hard work, determination, and excellence in the field of state and local history in the United States. First nominated by the Oklahoma Historical Association in early 1996, members of NCOHA were notified in June of the award, and made plans to attend the national meeting. AASLH celebrated its 51st anniversary of the awards program this year with the theme "The Place of History - The History of Place." Attending from Ponca City were Paula Denson, NCOHA president; Graydon Brown, NCOHA vice-president; Darlene Platt, historical researcher for the book; Charles Hays and Keith Barley, board members; and Robert Denson, Marquetta Brown, and Nancy Hays. Bart Roselli, AASLH awards Committee chair, and master of ceremonies for the banquet said,


"None of the award winners tonight set out to follow their callings to preserve local history with the aim of receiving an award. Their accomplishments were gifts they awarded their communities and the profession at large. Their value is immeasurable."

More than 400 persons from across the U.S. participated in the event. Prior to the banquet and awards ceremony, a part of the attendees were escorted to the Museum of Tobacco Art and History for a viewing of exhibits of art and antiques and others visited Centennial Park, where they entered The Parthenon, a full-scale replica of the Parthenon, which houses a 42-foot statue of Athena, the largest piece of indoor sculpture in the western world. After those tours, both groups toured the Belle Meade Plantation, the 1853 mansion of the Harding and Jackson families, and were fed a typical southern dinner under a huge outdoor tent on the grounds. Terry L. Davis, executive director and CEO for the American Association for State and Local History, and Donna Russell, director of Belle Meade Plantation, welcomed guests and made introductions. A dinner performance was presented by Alan Birkemeier, winner of the National History Day competition for Senior Individual Performance. Guest speaker for the evening was W. Richard West, founding director of the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., a native of Oklahoma, and member of the Southern Cheyenne tribe. During their stay, the Oklahoma delegation visited an exhibit where they collected valuable information about collecting and presenting oral histories. Some members of the Oklahoma delegation also made trips to the home of Andrew Jackson; Prime Time Country at Opryland, the Tennessee State Capitol building and Tennessee archives; and Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tenn. before returning to Ponca City.

Future plans by NCOHA members include a booth display at the Standing Bear Statue dedication Oct. 25-26; and exhibiting and selling the two-volume sets each Wednesday, 11 a.m.-2 p.m., Nov. 6-Dec. 18, in the Commercial Federal Bank Building. For more information, interested persons may call Paula Denson at 765-7169 or any of the other local board member.



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