Helena-West Helena—The Delta Cultural Center (DCC) continues with a December schedule of programs that applauds the sacrifices of men and women in uniform who have served this country during war and peace times.
"Joyeux Noel" (Merry Christmas) is about a remarkable event that took place in the trenches of WWI on Christmas Eve of 1914. There was a spontaneous cease-fire as the troops on both sides laid down their weapons and observed the birth of the savior in whose name they were killing each other. "Joyeux Noel"is a fictionalized account of the actual event that took place during the war when Walter Kirchhoff, the lead singer of the Berlin Imperial Opera Company, went on a solo visit to the frontline. On Christmas Eve, his singing led French soldiers in their trenches to stand up and applaud.
The 2005 release will screen at Beth-El Temple, 406 Perry Street in Helena, Sunday, Dec. 16, from 2 to 4 p.m. On Thursday, Dec. 13, from 6 to 7 p.m., historian and guest speaker Tim Nutt will speak on the Spanish Influenza Epidemic of 1918, and the impact it had on the war effort in Arkansas. The discussion will take place at the DCC, 141 Cherry St. in historic downtown Helena. Nutt is the director of the Historical Research Center at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences. He is also founding managing editor of the Encyclopedia of Arkansas History and Culture.
More Americans died from influenza than died in the war. In Arkansas, the flu killed 7,600-- several times more people than the entire state lost during combat. Because of the disease's unbelievably high toll, war plans had to be changed due to the shortages of healthy men. The flu continued to kill well into the fall of the year and with increased vigor. According to several accounts, in the month of October 1918, men at Camp Pike in Pulaski County Arkansas, died at a rate of 1,000 per every twenty-four hours. Both of these events are open to the public and admission is free. For more information contact Richard Spilman, DCC education coordinator at 870.338.4350, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
These programs are enhancements to the DCC’s WWI exhibit “Over Here, Over There: Sons and Daughters of Arkansas’s Delta at War,” which is a tribute to the men and women from the Delta who served in the war.
There’s still time to experience the exhibit. It is on display at the Center until February 2, 2019. Days of operation are Tuesdays through Saturdays, from 9 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted.
The Delta Cultural Center shares the vision of all eight agencies within the Department of Arkansas Heritage—to preserve and promote Arkansas Heritage as a source of pride and satisfaction. The other divisions of the department are the Historic Arkansas Museum, the Mosaic Templars Cultural Center, the Old State House Museum, the Arkansas Historic Preservation Program, the Arkansas Arts Council, the Natural Heritage Commission and the Arkansas State Archives.