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MCC Library Speaker Series Featuring Hal Stearns
The Miles Community College Library, as part of their speaker series, will host historian Hal Stearns presenting “Homestead Dreams: From High Hopes to Lingering Legacy” on Thursday, February 23rd at 6:30 PM in the MCC Library. Hal Stearns describes the American West’s last great agricultural land rush and what followed, illustrating his talk with a myriad of signs left on the landscape. Montana has always been a state marked by boom and bust – the fur trade, cattle on the open range, the gold and silver, coal and oil rushes. But no moment in our history has left a mark quite like that of the honyocker” or homesteader. Thousands trekked west at the beginning of the 20th century in search of a dream. The agrarian paradise worked for a time but then came drought and depression.
Stearns, a 34-year educator, taught high school students in Montana and Germany and graduate students at the University of Montana. He was honored as Montana's Teacher of the Year and Outstanding U.S. History Teacher. He was also a Keizio Koho Scholar to Japan, two-time National Endowment of the Humanities Fellow and Wake Forest University Center for Law Related Education Scholar. His B.A. is from Notre Dame and master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Montana.
In the military, he served in the Montana National Guard for 35 years in a number of command positions. He retired as a brigadier general.
Today, Stearns is an instructor for the University of Montana's Lifelong Learning Institute and Humanities Montana. He has a particularly fond interest in sharing his passion for Montana and the West and education with community members, students, teachers and administrators. He has led tours coast to coast and lectured in over 40 states, Germany, England, Japan, Korea and Brazil.