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    Dred Scott and the Supreme Court

    Lea VanderVelde talked about the Dred Scott v. Sanford Supreme Court case of 1857, the repercussions of the decision, and why its location in Missouri was very important. Dred Scott, who was a slave, attempted to sue his owner John Sanford for his family’s freedom after they had been moved to a free state by their former master. Among other points, the court ruled that slave or free African Americans could not sue in federal court because they could not be U.S. citizens. 
    Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg gave the introduction. 

    The Supreme Court Historical Society’s 2014 Leon Silverman Lecture Series, “The Supreme Court and the Civil War Revisited,” marked the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. "Dred Scott and the Origins of the Civil War," the first of the four lectures, was held in the courtroom of the Supreme Court of the United States in Washington, D.C.

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    Book Discussion on Angela's Ashes

    Frank McCourt talked about his book, Angela’s Ashes, published by Scribner. The book recounts Mr. McCourt’s childhood in Brooklyn, New York, and in Limerick, Ireland, where his family returned after giving up hope for success in the United States. His father was an alcoholic who at times spent the majority of his paycheck on alcohol, leaving his family hungry. Mr. McCourt writes about this as well as seeing three siblings die prematurely because of starvation or disease. The author also talked about the gift of storytelling that his father gave him which has resulted in a career spent writing, along with his brother and fellow author, Malachy McCourt. This is Mr. McCourt’s first book. Pictures of his family and a video clip were also shown.