A quote from the Old Testament book of Leviticus 25:10, “Proclaim Liberty,” appears cast on the side of the famous Philadelphia icon. Located in Independence Mall, the bell stands as a symbol of independent America, which announced its separation from Britain in 1776. The historian waited in line with hundreds of others to see the famous bell in downtown Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the city where the Yoders arrived in 1742.
A silver globe towers over the north side of Columbus Circle, Manhattan Island, New York City. Columbus Circle, on the southwest corner of Central Park and located along the famous Broadway avenue in New York, is the reference point from which all official distances from New York are measured. The controversy over Columbus’ legacy notwithstanding, the journeys of Columbus across the Atlantic in the 15th century became a reference point for the modern era.
An effigy of President Lincoln presides over the busy Union Square on Manhattan Island, New York City. Union Square appropriately hosts the 16th president, watching over a bi-weekly farmer’s market, artists, protesters, and youth on skateboards. A Virginia historian recognizes his legacy in terms of the Shenandoah Valley Burning in 1864, but nevertheless Lincoln kept the Union together, for which we are grateful.
Burruss Hall at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, was the site for a recent family graduation from medical school. The storied Hall holds up to 3000 people, and on this day for the Virginia College of Osteopathic Medicine 2014 graduation, it was full. Virgina Polytechnic Institute and State University is an outstanding institution of higher learning in southern Virginia.
During a family walk through the historic campus of Hesston College, established in 1909 on the plains of Kansas, a former high school history student was sitting on the lawn making a call home to Virginia. Hesston College continues to serve the Mennonite Church as an institution of higher learning in an outstanding manner. The historian was pleased to make another visit to the two-year college.
It was a pleasure to stay with a Bluffton University host family at an 1852 farm house located on a Nature Reserve connected with the Ohio school. The historic house was built by the earliest Swiss Mennonite settlers to the west-central Ohio community. The historian saw geese, deer tracks, and signs of abundant wildlife, perhaps much like the way it was when the Mennonites migrated to the region decades ago.
An Eastern Mennonite High School exchange student from Paraguay read Psalm 23 in German from Simon L. Yoder’s German-English Bible, March, 2014. Beachy Amish Minister Simon L. Yoder, the Historian’s grandfather, lived 1902-1993, and the German Bible was given to Simon’s grandson. The student was enrolled in the Historian’s Global Christianity class.
The Historian attended a workshop on DACS, an archival content standard for archives and libraries, at the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society, March, 2014. Traffic on the busy Lincoln Highway rushes past important historic records in the nearby archives that remind one of an earlier era, before tour buses, harried shoppers, and commercialism changed the idyllic Lancaster farmland.
This Amish schoolhouse in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, hosts children from the Amish families in the surrounding community. The outdoor toilets, fences that reveal the boundaries with the fields nearby, and the bell atop the school are indicative of an earlier era of education. The teacher and children come on foot, sled, or sleigh, and are rarely stopped by snow or inclement conditions. Most will finish their education around the 8th grade.