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The Historical Association of Lewiston’s next program, “Poking Through Jell-O,” will feature speaker Douglas DeCroix. This event is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 23, at the Lutheran Church of the Messiah Fellowship Hall, 915 Oneida St.
A press release explained, “Seventy-five years ago this past October, the Bell Aircraft Co. made another of its many contributions to aviation history when Capt. Charles ‘Chuck’ Yeager became the first human to surpass the speed of sound in level flight. What began as a chance meeting several years earlier would lead to an unprecedented project, fraught with inter-agency confrontations and never-before-encountered problems to solve.”
The events leading up to this remarkable feat will provide the focus for historian DeCroix’s latest presentation for the Historical Association of Lewiston. In his program, “Poking Through Jell-O,” DeCroix will provide contextual background to the events of 1947, along with details of the design and testing of the pioneering Bell X-1 aircraft.
A familiar presenter to HAL members, DeCroix currently serves as executive director of Western New York Heritage, the not-for-profit publisher of Western New York Heritage magazine. He holds degrees in history from the University of Illinois and Miami University of Ohio, and achieved doctoral candidacy status at Bowling Green State University.
A native of Chicago, DeCroix came to Western New York in the early 1990s. Since then, he has made contributions to numerous nationally aired historical documentaries produced by WNED-TV and The History Channel. DeCroix oversaw production of the three-volume commemorative series on the War of 1812, published by Western New York Heritage, and was one of the scholars selected to contribute a chapter for the Routledge Handbook of the War of 1812, published by the Taylor & Francis Group in late 2015.
For his contributions to regional history, DeCroix was selected to receive the prestigious Owen B. Augspurger Award by the Buffalo History Museum in October 2015. He continues to collaborate with a variety of cultural and educational organizations, working to celebrate the region’s rich history while seeking creative ways of bringing that history into the classroom and into the lives of the region’s inhabitants.
This community event is free and open to all, and refreshments will be served.