Likes Lectures- 20 Years and Growing

We are pleased to announce the topics and speakers for the 2024 annual Marvin J. and Thomas Leo Likes Lecture Series, which will take place each Tuesday evening in June at 7 PM CDT beginning June 4. With several years of online success, the Lecture Series will be offered online again this year. The lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is required. The link to register is here.

This marks the 20th year for the Likes Lecture Series, which began in 2004 as part of the archaeology NSF-REU field school and was open to the public. The Likes Lectures are named to honor surveyors Marvin J.Likes and son Tom who donated so much time and talent to New Philadelphia.

This year the Likes Lectures are in partnership with the Freedom Corridor, which is hosting online lectures, Freedom Corridor Conversations, during the other months besides June. Their speakers are a mix of local and national authors and history activists, like those of the Likes Series, and on similar topics. This collaboration is mutually beneficial, providing additional promotion and a good amplification of both group’s missions and stories.

The theme of the 2024 Likes Lecture Series, which features four fascinating topics, is Likes Lectures, 20 Years and Growing. This year’s schedule of topics and speakers includes:

June 4:  A Sketch of Pre-Contact Time in Western Illinois
Dr. Jacki Rand and Dr. Brooke Morgan will speak about Native American people and archaeological areas both precontact and during the early historical time periods- specifically those in the area associated with the Illinois, Missouri and Mississippi Rivers. Archaeology sites close to the New Philadelphia National Historic Site in Barry will be discussed.  Video | Slides

June 11:  The Last Fugitive Slave seeks Freedom. The story of Archer Alexander  
Author and historian Dorris Keeven-Franke will share the true story of a freedom seeker named Archer Alexander, whose gravesite is listed in the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom program. After overhearing his enslaver’s plot to destroy a Union Railroad bridge, he would risk his life to save others. Alexander would later be elected to represent the heroism and sacrifices of all emancipated enslaved individuals on the Emancipation Memorial in Washington, DC. This true story is inspirational when one understands the challenges the enslaved faced in reaching for freedom. Video

June 18:  The Springfield Massacre of 1908 and the birth of the NAACP
The legacy of Lincoln is enshrined in our local and national histories, while the memory of the 1908 race massacre has largely been erased and ignored. This program will shed light on the silenced voices who were subjected to the ravages of the mob. Dr. Brian Mitchell, Director of Research and Interpretation for the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, will present an intriguing and insightful perspective. Video

June 25: Consumption Junction: Analyzing Material Culture from New Philadelphia Across Rural and Racial Divides by Dr. Kati Fay
Join former New Philadelphia graduate student and excavation crew leader Dr. Kati Fay as she presents findings from her dissertation project on the Louisa Clark McWorter homesite. Learn more about the history of the Clarks, Louisa’s life, and the family she started with Squire McWorter through the lens of first-hand excavation work, material culture, and interpretation of how New Philadelphia fit into the broader society at the time. Video

All lectures are online at 7 PM Central time. Lectures are free and open to the public, but registration is required. To register click here.

please contact Kaye Iftner at or call/text to 201-314-3624 with questions about the Likes Lecture Series.