C-SPAN Series to Feature Staff, Alumna

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Network visits Virginia Beach for 2013 Nationwide Cities Tour; will highlight local history and members of VWC community in April broadcast

By Stephanie Smaglo | March 28, 2013

Old Coast Guard StationThose who were on campus March 21 may have been surprised to see a unique-looking red cargo van touting a C-SPAN logo on its side. The “Local Content Vehicle” was in Virginia Beach this month as part of the non-profit cable network’s 2013 Nationwide Cities Tour, an initiative that sends video journalists around the country to various literary and historic sites, interviewing local authors, historians, and civic leaders.

On April 20-21, C-SPAN gave its audience an inside look at the history and literary life of Virginia Beach on its BookTV (C-SPAN2) and American History TV (C-SPAN3) channels. While in town, the network visited the oceanfront’s Old Coast Guard Station, interviewing the landmark’s executive director, and VWC alumna, Kathryn Fisher ’93. The crew also made a special stop at Virginia Wesleyan to interview College Archivist Dr. Stephen Mansfield and Dr. Paul Rasor, Joan P. and Macon F. Brock Jr. Director of the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom and Professor of Interdisciplinary Studies.

Here’s a preview of the topics that were covered when the segment aired in April (links to video below).


The Old Coast Guard Station

Executive Director Kathryn Fisher ’93
The Old Coast Guard Station honors and preserves the history of Virginia's coastal communities and maritime heritage. The scope of the Station's exhibits begins with the Virginia Beach Community and extends to subjects related to Virginia's oceanfront, coastal and water related heritage. The museum's two galleries depict the history of the United States Life-Saving and Coast Guard Services and shipwrecks on the Virginia Coast. The Old Coast Guard Station is housed in the most important artifact in the museum's collection: the 1903 Life-Saving Station. It houses a collection of 1,800 artifacts and over 1,000 photographic images of the United States Life-Saving and Coast Guard Services, and the resort community of Virginia Beach. There is also an on-site research library containing books, papers and oral histories. The museum overlooks the Atlantic Ocean along the Boardwalk at 24th Street within the popular resort city of Virginia Beach. This Life-Saving/Coast Guard Station is a Virginia Historic Landmark also on the National Register of Historic Places.

Kathryn Fisher graduated from Virginia Wesleyan College in 1993 with degrees in history and art. What began as an internship at the Old Coast Guard Station, has become Fisher’s lifelong passion and career. She invites guests to think of the museum not only as a historical landmark, but also as a valuable resource. For more information, visit the Old Coast Guard Station's website or call 757.422.1587.


Princess Anne County and Virginia Beach: A Pictorial History

Compiled by College Archivist Dr. Stephen Mansfield
(January 1989, Walsworth Publishing Company, First Edition)

Princess Anne County and Virginia Beach: A Pictorial HistoryAs an introduction to the book, Mansfield writes: When Princess Anne County and the oceanfront community of Virginia Beach merged in 1963 to become the city of Virginia Beach, the combined land mass prompted adoption of the motto “World’s Largest Resort City.” Yet in the mid-nineteenth century Princess Anne was described as the least well known, least visited county in Virginia, and her population at the outset of World War II, including Virginia Beach, was just twenty thousand persons. During the subsequent four decades enough new residents settled in the area to make Virginia Beach the most populous city in Virginia by the mid-1980s. Such dramatic growth has obscured much of the city’s heritage, which can be traced back to the landing of the Jamestown settlers at Cape Henry in 1607, and to Indian habitation centuries before that. With over 330 photographs, maps, and sketches this volume offers a glimpse into the activities of generations of Princess Anne farmers, church-goers and school children as well as the early days of the Virginia Beach resort community. Illustrations of military activities beginning with the American Revolution reflect Princess Anne’s location on the Atlantic coast at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay. The book provides both a record of the many architectural treasures which the city can claim from its past and a sampling of how its residents have interacted with events and their distinctive environment over a span of four centuries.

Mansfield also authored Wisdom Lights the Way: Virginia Wesleyan College’s First Half Century, a historic, limited-edition book commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the College, published in 2010.


From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in Virginia

Edited by Dr. Paul Rasor and VWC Associate Professor of History Dr. Richard E. Bond
(March 2011, University of Virginia Press)

From Jamestown to Jefferson: The Evolution of Religious Freedom in VirginiaThis highly regarded work stems from the Center for the Study of Religious Freedom'sFall 2007 Symposium on religious freedom on colonial Virginia. As described on the University of Virginia Press website: From Jamestown to Jefferson sheds new light on the contexts surrounding Thomas Jefferson’s Statute for Religious Freedom—and on the emergence of the American understanding of religious freedom—by examining its deep roots in colonial Virginia’s remarkable religious diversity. Challenging traditional assumptions about life in early Virginia, the essays in this volume show that the colony was more religious, more diverse, and more tolerant than commonly supposed. The presence of groups as disparate as Quakers, African and African American slaves, and Presbyterians, alongside the established Anglicans, generated a dynamic tension between religious diversity and attempts at hegemonic authority that was apparent from Virginia’s earliest days. The contributors, all renowned scholars of Virginia history, treat in detail the complex interactions among Virginia’s varied religious groups, both in and out of power, as well as the seismic changes unleashed by the Statute’s adoption in 1786. From Jamestown to Jefferson suggests that the daily religious practices and struggles that took place in the town halls, backwoods settlements, plantation houses, and slave quarters that dotted the colonial Virginia landscape helped create a social and political space within which a new understanding of religious freedom, represented by Jefferson’s Statute, could emerge.

Rasor is also the author of Faith Without Certainty: Liberal Theology In The 21st Century, published in 2005, and Reclaiming Prophetic Witness: Liberal Religion in the Public Square, published in 2012. Bond is the editor of Perspectives of Life after a History Ph.D., published in 2005.


Nationwide Cities Tour Clips

BookTV (C-SPAN2)
Original Air Date: Saturday, April 20 at 12 p.m. and Sunday, April 21 at 9 a.m.
Dr. Stephen Mansfield
Dr. Paul Rasor

American History TV (C-SPAN3)
Original Air Date: Sunday, April 21 at 5 p.m.
Executive Director and VWC Alumna Kathryn Fisher ’93