Whatcom County's history and literary scene are the focus of C-SPAN's Cities Tour programming this Saturday and Sunday, Jan. 4 and 5.
On Saturday, a block of literary programs starts at 9 a.m. on BookTV (C-SPAN2, available on Comcast channel 25).
On Sunday, a block of history programs starts at 2 p.m. on American History TV (C-SPAN3, available on Comcast channel 150.)
The stories also will air at other times sprinkled throughout the weekend, and will be available online at c-span.org/LocalContent.
The Cities Tour showcases smaller communities across the country. C-SPAN staffers visited Bellingham in early December to produce the shows. Here's the lineup:
SATURDAY ON BOOKTV:
- Bellingham architect David Christensen tells the story of his sister's escape from Nazi-occupied Denmark in 1943, chronicled in her memoir, "The Red Umbrella."
- Chuck Robinson, co-owner of Village Books, talks about Bellingham's literary scene and how the store contributes to it.
- Laura Laffrado, a professor at Western Washington University, discusses Bellingham poet and author Ella Higginson, who was nationally renowned in the early 1900s but faded into obscurity by the time she died in 1940.
- Bellingham science historian George Dyson, author of "Darwin Among the Machines," discusses the history of technology beginning in the 17th century.
- Kevin Nelson, co-owner of Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress, talks about how he and his wife started the Bellingham business and how they create stationary using a 19th-century letterpress.
- Bellingham author and historian Brian Griffin discusses pioneer businessman J.J. Donovan and the growth of Bellingham, from a talk he gave at Whatcom Museum during C-SPAN's visit.
SUNDAY ON AMERICAN HISTORY TV
- Learn about George Pickett, a U.S. Army officer stationed in Bellingham who became a famous Confederate general. Pickett played a leading role in the Pig War, a confrontation in the San Juan Islands between the United States and the British Empire over the boundary between them.
- Hear the story of the fuel pipeline explosion in Whatcom Falls Park that killed three people in 1999. Carl Weimer, director of the Pipeline Safety Trust, will discuss the disaster and its national impact.
- Learn about Bellingham's maritime history from Stowe Talbot, the grandson of Archibald Talbot, who owned Bellingham Shipyards during World War II, and from Mike Granat, chairman of Bellingham Maritime Museum.
- Discover Point Roberts, learn about America's westward expansion during the 1800s, and hear residents talk about life on "The Point."
- See Whatcom Museum's current exhibit, "Vanishing Ice: Alpine and Polar Landscapes in Art, 1775-2012." The exhibit traces the planet's frozen frontiers within the context of climate change and features artwork that highlights changes in the world's glaciers.
- Brian Griffin discusses J.J. Donovan and the growth of Bellingham.
Reach Dean Kahn at 360-715-229 or firstname.lastname@example.org .