On April 2-3, Randall University in Moore will host its third annual symposium on the Civil War, named "The Dr. James Caster Symposium on the Civil War," after the founder of the Oklahoma City Civil War Round Table.
Randall University is at 3701 S. Interstate 35, the access road on the west side of the Interstate, just north of Indian Hills Road.
The event will be in the large, two-story building that can be seen from I-35.
Vince Marmorale will kick off the symposium at 1:30 p.m. April 2, speaking on a "Yankees Evolving View on the Civil War." Marmorale will describe of how his view on the Civil War changed as he became aware of differing interpretations and nuances of the event. Marmorale will close the show at 1 p.m. April 3 with a presentation on "My Italian Secret: The Forgotten Heroes of the Holocaust."
He was awarded the Louis Yavner Award by the New York Board of Regents. In 2010, he founded the Italy and the Holocaust Foundation, producing a feature-length documentary on this largely unknown story of World War II.
At 2:30 p.m. April 2, T.S. Akers, a fourth great-grandson of Chilly McIntosh, a colonel of the Second Regiment of Creek Mounted Volunteers for the Confederate Army during the Battle of Honey Springs, will present a program about his ancestor.
Akers is a resident of Oklahoma City, who earned a bachelor's in American history in 2007 and a Master in Museum Studies in 2015, both from the University of Oklahoma. He is the author of two books and numerous articles and is the curator of the Masonic collections for the McAlester Scottish Rite Temple.
At 3:30 p.m. April 2, Andrew Horton -- the Jeanne Smith professor of Film and Video Studies emeritus at the University of Oklahoma and the author of 30 books on film, screenwriting and cultural studies -- will speak on his ancestor, John C. Breckinridge, who was vice president of the United States from 1857-1861. He was also a Confederate general. One of Horton's films included Brad Pitt, in his first film.
At 4:30 p.m. April 2, Jeff Massey will deliver his presentation on the escape of a member of the Lincoln assassination conspiracy, John Surratt, in his program "The One Who Got Away." He is an assistant district attorney in Oklahoma County and is a past president of the Oklahoma City Civil War Round Table.
After Massey's presentation, there will be a supper break. If you wish to eat supper at Randall University, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 366-1125.
The night of April 2, Ben Odom, who has served multiple terms as president of the Oklahoma City Civil War Round Table, will provide a lecture on Confederate General Ben Hardin Helm, a brother-in-law of President Abraham Lincoln. Odom is an attorney in private practice in Norman. His presentation will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Following Odom, at 7:30 p.m., Dan De Kalb, an engineer from Norman, will give a multimedia presentation of a Civil War battle, focusing on the role played by the "bloody" 9th Illinois at the Battle of Shiloh.
On April 3, John Dwyer, the author of "The War Between the States: America's Uncivil War" and his award-winning book on Oklahoma history, will present the life and times of Ranald MacKenzie, who was a noted Union Army officer in Indian Territory and perhaps the greatest "Indian fighter" after the war. Dwyer's program will start the second day of the conference at 9 a.m.
Mary Jane Warde, author of "When the Wolf Came," a history of the war in Indian Territory, will speak at 10 a.m. Her book was the winner of the 2014 Oklahoma Book Award for nonfiction. She received her Ph.D. in history at Oklahoma State University and was an Indian historian/Indian archivist at the Oklahoma Historical Society for eight years.
Beau Cantrell, who has served in multiple leadership positions for the OKC Civil War Round Table, will speak at 11 a.m. on the question of what role slavery had in the Civil War. Cantrell is regarded as a walking encyclopedia on the Civil War and on history generally. Despite his depth of knowledge, his lectures are delivered in an entertaining style.
Lunch is available at the Randall cafeteria before Marmorale's second presentation at 1 p.m.
During the symposium, the winner of the scholarship essay contest -- on the question, "Could the South Have Won the Civil War?" -- will be announced.
The event is free and open to the general public, at no cost.