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Tell us a true story! All education and all entertainment center about the ancient art of the story-teller, and as children and adults feel the growing pressures of reality and its stern calls to action, the most helpful teaching and the most satisfying relaxation are found together in the stories of real people—stranger, bolder, and more romantic than fiction. Books, dramas, and radio sketches of biography have had a long and steady growth in popularity, but only the rare platform speaker fully meets our desires as a portrayer of personalities from history. Such a story teller is Figure WILLIAM L. RAINEY Personality is an element of interest to young and old alike. The mind more readily grasps individuals than groups. Of course we must know about certain facts and documents, but so important are the persons involved that they should be made centers for grouping these facts. —From an address by Mr. Rainey REDPATH BUREAU CHICAGO, ILLINOIS 1316 KIMBALL BLDG. HAR. 8723 A YOUNG HIGH SCHOOL TEACHER, listening to an institute lecturer, was struck by the remark that it is more valuable to get an idea into a child's mind than a fact into his memory. He pondered the statement and began to apply it in his teaching of history. Grant It was not long before he began to have pupils and listeners whose attendance was not compulsory! Nearby high schools called him for talks to their assemblies. Members of clubs, churches, and other groups of adults forgot they had ever disliked history in school and demanded more stories by He spoke in other states; became a member of the International Lyceum Association and, after a few more years of part-time school administration and lecturing, found himself justified in giving full time to the work for which he has a unique talent. A superlative teacher, but more than a teacher, Mr. Rainey is an artist-racconteur. He lives in the stories he tells, and with crisp, short sentences, vivid choice of words, and vigorous delivery, he makes his characters live. Selecting the essential episodes from voluminous biographies and the distinguishing traits which make one personality entirely different from another, he holds audiences in suspense for the next word. They have read of these people before, but never thought of them that way. HISTORY IS NEWS, when Mr. Rainey tells it,—and it is presented with the emphasis on factual accuracy above personal opinion which is the highest ideal of the true journalist. A graduate of Grove City College, with master's degree from post-graduate study in history at Stetson University, Florida, and the University of Pittsburgh, his scholarship is commended by the most critical listeners. Both villains and heroes interest him, just as they do every newspaper reader today. A recent unbiased sampling of audience preferences in Pittsburgh indicates that they lean a bit toward villains,—which confirms Mr. Rainey's own experience, and his own fondness for a series which he does not label villains but UNFORTUNATE CHARACTERS IN AMERICAN HISTORY. What made these human beings of astonishing ability miss the track that would have led them to undisputed greatness? We are curious to know; so was Mr. Rainey, and he answers our question. TOPICS AARON BURR has proved the most popular of the lectures: the story of the keenest mind in the political history of our country. BENEDICT ARNOLD: a study in small things that turn the course of empire. Traitor or anti-isolationist? PRESIDENT GRANT: Unfortunate because of the associates who profited by his unsuspecting honesty and political inexperience. Startling parallels with today's controversies over graft, withdrawal of gold, the third term! Lincoln MARY TODD: Did she make Lincoln president? ANNE RUTLEDGE: What did Lincoln owe to her? THE WOMEN LINCOLN LOVED: A combination of these two romances. UNFORTUNATE CHARACTERS IN AMERICAN HISTORY: A combination of brief sketches from the above, and other biographies. Mrs. Lincoln For a Presidential Campaign Year, no forum argument over candidates of 1940 can be more timely and enlightening than certain of these biographies in news-style; yet few teachers or lecturers who claim the dubious virtue of being unbiased, as an attraction to program-planners, will more completely satisfy every partisan in the audience than Mr. Rainey with his firm footing in hindsight from the irrefutable past. President Grant is one example; two others are THOMAS JEFFERSON and ALEANDER HAMILTON, or a combination of the two in one lecture. Jefferson The vogue of Lincoln plays and movies proves that we do not always have to turn to novelties and littleknown figures in order to create popular interest. Here are topics on which those who know Mr. Rainey Hamilton will eagerly seek to hear his fresh commentaries: Abraham Lincoln Meet General Washington! The Historical Background of the American System of Free Enterprise - - or - - The American Way Men Who Made the Nation Our Constitution and Its Builders The Romance of History Men of Tomorrow Government and Business Understanding Europe Eternal Verities Sticks That Sheep Jump Over Mr. Rainey is constantly engaged in research adding new material to his lecture resources, and if there is a historical character or period in American history which an organization is interested in studying or commemorating, he is usually ready on a few weeks' notice to treat the subject in a fresh and masterly fashion. DURING THE SEASON OF 1939-'40 Mr. Rainey's succession of engagements in Pittsburgh has moved rapidly from the smaller to the larger audiences, as the result of person-to-person recommendations, and the following are listed as references: Wilkinsburg Lions Club Shrine Luncheon Club South Hills College Club Crafton High School Aspinwall Women's Club Purchasing Agents Association Twentieth Century Club Public Affairs Department Optimist Club of Pittsburgh Dormont New Century Club Avonworth High School Ondontological Society, Ladies' Auxiliary Sons of the American Revolution U. S. Steel Corporation Good Fellowship Club Inter-Club Council (Men's luncheon clubs) Some Specimen Comments The members of the Shrine Luncheon Club were so taken with your lecture of May 19 that they have asked me to see if you could return on June 9. May I say that this is the first time in the history of the Club that we have asked a speaker to repeat. —A. K. Rowswell, Pittsburgh William L. Rainey gave us all a new and interesting slant on modern history. He brushed away all the cobwebs and made history alive and an up-to-date item of importance. Many members came to me after the meeting with words of praise. —A. W. Kakilty, Optimist Club, Pittsburgh Mr. Rainey addressed the student body of our Timken Vocational High School on the subject Aaron Burr. His address was an inspiring one, which points the way to additional interest in history through the use of biography. The Rotarians to whom he spoke on the same date are still talking about his address. I cannot speak too highly of his work here. —J. H. Mason, Sup't of Schools, Canton, O. Burr The general impression as to W. L. Rainey was excellent. Mr. Rainey's talk was very well received by all the members of the Canton Junior Chamber of Commerce as well as the Kiwanis Club of Canton, Ohio. Both organizations are planning to have Mr. Rainey return in a few months to give another of his character studies. —Richard O. Parker I am writing to tell you that I have a very different view of history since hearing your splendid lecture last Tuesday evening. —Albert E. Moore, Warren, Ohio Mr. Rainey's terms are within the reach of schools and groups of limited means, especially when they are willing to take advantage of his trips to nearby points and adjust dates for combinations with other engagements.
|Title||William L. Rainey|
|Topical Subject (LCSH)||
|Personal Name Subject||Rainey, William L.|
|Digital Collection||Traveling Culture: Circuit Chautauqua in the Twentieth Century|
|Contributing Institution||University of Iowa. Libraries. Special Collections Dept.|
|Archival Collection||Redpath Chautauqua Collection|
|Rights Management||Educational use only, no other permissions given. U.S. and international copyright laws may protect this digital image. Commercial use or distribution of the image is not permitted without prior permission of the copyright holder.|
|Contact Information||Contact the Special Collections Dept. at The University of Iowa Libraries: http://www.lib.uiowa.edu/spec-coll/contact/index/|
|Number of Pages||4|
|Digitization Specifications||Scanned at 600 dpi, 32-bit color. Master image available in tiff format.|