BETHEL — The Bethel Historical Society is hosting its final two events of the year in December, starting with the organization’s annual Stanley Russell Howe lecture at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 4 in the Bingham Hall auditorium on the Gould Academy campus.

Randall Bennett, the executive director of the Bethel Historical Society, said that the lecture was established by the Board of Trustees in 2010 in recognition of the many years of service that Stan Howe gave as executive director of the Historical Society.

“For our annual Stan Howe lecture, we try to present a very high-quality program on a subject that is of general interest to the community,” Bennett said.

The 2014 Stanley Russell Howe lecture will feature Civil War historian Thomas A. Desjardin giving an illustrated talk on the aftermath of the Civil War, and how it affected Maine’s population and economy.

“Tom has spoken in Bethel before at other Bethel Historical Society events, and we always enjoy having him back,” Bennett said. “He’s certainly one of the most knowledgeable people that I know.”

Bennett said that Desjardin’s talk on Dec. 4 coincides with a statewide project entitled, “Local and Legendary: Maine in the Civil War.”

“The Maine Historical Society and the Maine Humanities Council teamed up and helped coordinate this project, which has different communities throughout the state of Maine giving presentations on the Civil War,” Bennett said. “Desjardin has already been involved in the Local and Legendary project after he did a program in Herman.”

Bennett added that “around 60 Gould students” are attending the program, and that “any residents and people in the area interested in the topic are welcome to attend.

“It’s a free lecture, and we’re asking anyone from the area to join us,” Bennett said.

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