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Bismarck State College Presents '60s Symposium

“The ‘60s: Turmoil and Transformation” covers the period between the assassination of President John Kennedy (Nov. 22, 1963) and the fall of Saigon (April 30, 1975). Presenters include '60s icons ranging from Gloria Steinem to Bob Eubanks, scholars include Pulitzer Prize winning auther Lawrence Wright and Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn.

Bismarck State College Presents '60s Symposium
Bismarck, ND, September 03, 2015 --( Bismarck State College embarks on its fourth major public symposium Nov. 3-5 with an enlightening and entertaining retrospective of the 1960s.

Anchored by Clay Jenkinson, BSC distinguished scholar of the humanities, “The ‘60s: Turmoil and Transformation” covers the period between the assassination of President John Kennedy (Nov. 22, 1963) and the fall of Saigon (April 30, 1975). This timeline enables exploration of the crises in the American presidency and opportunity to make sense of America’s long misadventure in Vietnam.

The symposium is more of a participatory discussion than an academic conference and intended for a broad public audience. Attendees will hear sounds of the ‘60s, see iconic photographs from the era, hear from North Dakotans involved in issues of the time, and engage in outstanding lectures on everything from women’s rights to the Apollo moon landing.

Speakers include Pulitzer Prize winner Lawrence Wright on growing up in the 1960s, author Rick Perlstein on the Nixon presidency, journalist Andrew Chaikin on the space race, and documentary producer Lynn Novick and military historian Geoffrey Wawro on the Vietnam War.

Other presenters are national television expert Mary Ann Watson, renowned Beatles historian and author Mark Lewisohn, environmental writer Mark H. Lytle, and feminist icon Gloria Steinem via recorded interview. Panelists also will explore the civil rights movement in North Dakota through the lens of the Native American experience.

Local panelists are scheduled in conjunction with the Steinem interview and the North Dakota student response to the Vietnam War. BSC students will represent different years of the era through short, Chautauqua-like dramatizations throughout the event.

The symposium begins Tuesday night with an entertaining program featuring “The Newlywed Game” host Bob Eubanks and special guest Dawn Wells. Wells is best known as Mary Ann Summers, the simple farm girl on the popular television show, “Gilligan’s Island.” The show opens at 7:30 p.m. in the Bavendick Stateroom, National Energy Center of Excellence, with a welcome from BSC President Larry C. Skogen.

On Wednesday, a concert by The New Christy Minstrels wraps up the first day. The folk group performs off-campus at 7:30 p.m. in Belle Mehus City Auditorium, downtown Bismarck. Tickets for The New Christy Minstrels and the Bob Eubanks show are available through Ticketmaster.

The New Christy Minstrels, founded by Randy Sparks in 1961 and still under his direction, recorded more than 20 albums. Their 1962 debut album won a Grammy Award and sat on the Billboard charts for two years. Famous hits include “Green, Green,” “Saturday Night,” “Denver,” “Today,” and “This Land Is Your Land.”

The BSC symposium website contains the three-day schedule, online registration link, Pay-per-view information, presenter biographies, and recommended books associated with the symposium. All information can be accessed at For more information, call 701-224-5600 or 877-846-9387.

About Bismarck State College
Bismarck State College, an innovative community college in Bismarck, N.D., offers high quality education, workforce training, and enrichment programs reaching local and global communities. For more information, visit
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Bismarck State College
Marnie Piehl

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