Apparently, Mr. Joseph Baar Topinka is not very observant about local history.  Contrary to his assertion that “the Eastland Disaster has not really been in the public consciousness for decades,” (Opinion, Dec. 21, 2016), the Eastland Disaster was all over the news when the Eastland Disaster Historical Society honored the centennial in 2015.  

For instance, the North Riverside Public Library had members of the society give a presentation about the Eastland Disaster in March 2015. The society had a weekend of events in Chicago, including on July 24, the actual anniversary. Members of the society also gave presentations at the Riverside Township Village Hall as well as other libraries that year.

As part of its mission to promote lifelong learning, the North Riverside Public Library presents local history programs often. For example, on Saturday, Feb. 18 at 2 p.m., President Abraham Lincoln (as portrayed by Lincoln Presenter Kevin Wood) will talk about the early history of the United States as well as his own story.  

Visiting museums and memorials are exciting in learning about history but don’t forget about public libraries. We offer free local history programs by knowledgeable speakers as well as history books, newspapers, magazines, movies and documentaries.  We are doing our part in discussing and keeping local history alive.

 Mary Cooper, adult services librarian

North Riverside Public Library

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