August 2008 Issue
Doors to History
Canton's storied past is waiting to be explored.
Their husbands may have occupied the Oval Office, but that doesn’t mean our first ladies didn’t leave a lasting impression –– whether it was Martha Washington campaigning on behalf of better benefits for Revolutionary War veterans or Eleanor Roosevelt’s commitment to social reform.
These women are among the former first ladies showcased at the National First Ladies Library Education and Research Center, where life stories are told through photos, diaries, letters and audio recordings. The museum is headquartered in the ancestral home of first lady Ida Saxton McKinley, who lived there with her husband –– and future president –– William McKinley from 1878 to 1891. Focal points include the Wilton carpet that was loomed in the mill frequented by Dolley Madison, and fruit and foliage wallpaper recreated from a pattern made popular a century ago by English designer William Morris.
Through Nov. 21, the museum is presenting “Team Players: Triumph and Tribulation on the Campaign Trail,” spotlighting the roles spouses have played in their husbands’ run for office. Included in the exhibit are the stories of Helen Taft (who made personal appearances and served as a speechwriter), Dolley Madison (known for her knack of bringing political enemies together) and Mamie Eisenhower (a champion of women’s struggles).
“White House Tails: Pets of the First Families,” on exhibit through Oct. 24, pays homage to presidential critters.
The National First Ladies Library is located at 331 Market Ave. S., Canton, 44702. The Education and Research Center is headquartered at 205 Market Ave. S., Canton, 44702. Call 330/452-0876 or visit www.firstladies.org
A Fitting Tribute
If it wasn’t for President William McKinley, Paradise might still be lost. During his first term of office, which began in 1897, the Ohio native and 25th president of the United States spearheaded the annexation of the Hawaiian Islands to the United States. His second term came to a tragic end in September 1901, when he was felled by an assassin’s bullet while attending the Pan-American Exposition in Buffalo, New York.
Two sites, the William McKinley Presidential Library and Museum and the William McKinley Monument, pay homage to Canton’s favorite son, who also served as Stark County prosecutor, U.S. representative and governor of Ohio. The museum’s Historical Hall features four period settings recreating a century’s worth of home decor –– from pioneer days to the late Victorian period.
The stately pink and green granite mausoleum, capped by a 95-foot-high dome located on the grounds, serves as the final resting place for the former president, his wife Ida, and their daughters, Katie and Ida. The memorial was designed as a cross-hilted sword, with the mausoleum located at the junction of the blade, guard and hilt. The grassy area and the 108 steps leading to the tomb form the blade. The design combines the cross of a martyr with the sword of a president who served as commander-in-chief in wartime.
This fall, a variety of special events spotlight days gone by. On Aug. 11,
curator Kim Kenney will present “Funerals of the Rich and Famous,” exploring the lives and deaths of celebrities including Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana and silent-screen star Rudolph Valentino. “Presidential Funerals,” a discussion led by Christopher Kenney, the museum’s director of education, on Sept. 18, examines custom, music and ceremony. October through January, the museum’s extensive doll collection will be showcased.
The McKinley Presidential Library and Museum is located at 800 McKinley Monument Dr. N.W., Canton, 44708. Call 330/455-7043 or visit www.mckinleymuseum.org
Who doesn’t remember their first set of wheels? Whether it was the Chevy you drove to the drive-in or the Plymouth you mowed lawns to save up for, it’s a sure bet the memories will come flooding back when you visit the Canton Classic Car Museum, celebrating its 30th anniversary this year. Nostalgia takes center stage through 45
classic cars and vintage finds –– ranging from a 1916 Pierce Arrow once owned by Amelia Earhart to a 1937 Studebaker bulletproof police car. The museum is also known for its extensive Ohio memorabilia collection that includes metal advertising signs, a portrait of Franklin D. Roosevelt made on a typewriter by an Ohio State Penitentiary inmate in 1941 and amusement park relics from the city’s gone-but-not-forgotten Meyer’s Lake Park. The Canton Classic Car Museum is located at 123 Sixth St. S.W., Canton, 44702. Call 330/455-3603 or visit www.cantonclassiccar.org
What started as a small gallery on the second floor of the Canton Public Library 73 years ago has blossomed into the
Canton Museum of Art –– an institution renowned for its diverse exhibition schedule.
From Sept. 7 through Jan. 7, the museum is presenting “Clyde Singer’s America,” a retrospective of the Malvern, Ohio, artist who chronicled more than 60 years of rural and small-town life in his home state and western Pennsylvania. Singer’s oil and watercolor vignettes present intimate,
humorous and often insightful glimpses of people working, shopping, chatting and commuting.
The 37th annual Christkindl Markt Fine Arts and Fine Crafts Show takes place Nov. 14–16. More than 100 exhibitors will participate in this juried show, which includes glassware, jewelry, pottery, paintings, metal sculpture, photography and holiday items, as well as a used-book sale.
The Canton Museum of Art is located at 1001 Market Ave. N. Canton, 44702. Call 330/453-7666 or visit www.cantonart.org
Town of Champions
It’s no wonder Canton wears its game face with pride: It was in this city 88 years ago that the American Professional Football Association – later renamed the National Football League –– was founded. To celebrate that monumental achievement, the Pro Football Hall of Fame opened its doors in September 1963, and since then, more than 8 million fans have passed through its doors.
The Hall features a theater that screens high-definition Cinemascope football films; interactive games that allow you to match wits with the sport’s greatest coaches and test your football IQ; and the stately Hall of Fame gallery that pays homage to every enshrinee. The new “Moments, Memories & Mementos Gallery” is filled with shoes, helmets and uniforms, as well as video documenting the contributions Hall of Famers have made to the game. The “Pro Football Today Gallery” focuses on the evolution of the sport through video and graphics.
This summer’s Hall of Fame Enshrinement Festival gets under way on Aug. 2, with a parade in downtown Canton, beginning at 8 a.m. The fete includes marching bands, helium balloons, floats, antique autos, acrobats –– and this year’s class of inductees. Food and choreographed fireworks in downtown Canton complement the enshrinement ceremony, which starts at 6 p.m.
On Sunday, Aug. 3, the Hall’s new inductees will be on hand for the Enshrinees’ Game Day Roundtable, where they’ll reminisce about their careers. This year’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Game, which begins at 8 p.m. at Fawcett Stadium, pits the Indianapolis Colts against the Washington Redskins.
The Pro Football Hall of Fame is located at 2121 George Halas Dr. NW, Canton, 44708. For more information, call 330/456-8207 or visit www.profootballhof.com
For additional ideas on what to see and do in Canton and Stark County, visit: www.cantonchamber.org
, or www.artsinstark.com