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African American History Conference to be held in Lancaster

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February may be Black History Month but mark your calendars now for the African American History Conference on 5 April. The conference is a NEW outreach that the African American Historical Society of South Central Pennsylvania is launching to tell the stories of African American life and contributions.

The Conference is open to the public and will be held in the Mellor Building at the Thaddeus Stevens School of Technology, 750 East King Street. Reservations are required.

Dr. James M. Paradis, Adjunct Professor at Arcadia University, will be the keynote speaker. Paradis authored African Americans and the Gettysburg Campaign. His book looks at African Americans’ service in the Civil War. He is a former licensed battlefield guide at Gettysburg National Military Park and is considered an authority on the African American soldier in the Civil War. On 19 November 2012, along with Steven Spielberg, he delivered the keynote address at the United States Colored Troops Graveside Salute at the Soldiers National Cemetery in Gettysburg.

At the conference, he will speak on Camp William Penn. The Camp was the largest training site of the United States Colored Troops (USCT) in the North. It was located in Chelten Hills, PA.

The conference begins at 8 a.m. with a welcome and registration. Also featured will be the Pennsylvania members of the 54th Massachusetts and the Lancaster County USCT members.

After lunch attendees will have a choice between two sessions. They are an Introduction to Genealogy or a Panel Discussion on the Underground Railroad. There will also be a session on Tracing your Civil War Ancestry!

Attendees are encouraged to bring their laptops to access Wi-Fi during genealogy searches. The cost of the conference is $25, which includes lunch.

The deadline to register is 28 March. Call 717-471-8107 between 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. to register. You can also register on the “event” page on Facebook at

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Lancaster City is located in South Central Pennsylvania. Home to over 60,000 people, it is the County Seat. Do you have an upcoming event or information that would interest the Lancaster community? If so, please email Jeanne Ruczhak-Eckman at

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