On Sunday, September 16th, Bill Bachman, senior instructor of communications at Penn State Wilkes-Barre, will be presenting the Lattimer Massacre Radio Play and Music at the Dietrich Theater in downtown Tunkhannock at a free, open-to-the-public event.
During this program, audience members will experience the historical retelling of the Lattimer Massacre of 1897, which occurred near Hazleton, PA, through a radio drama and music. The radio drama is the result of nearly four years of research Bachman has completed on the event, which pitted coal company owners, the sheriff of Luzerne County and striking miners against each other, with deadly consequences. At the event, Pennsylvania musician and historian Van Wagner will perform his original song "Lattimer Massacre." After the presentation, Bachman will lead a discussion on the Lattimer Massacre as it relates to the audience's views of our civil liberties, human rights, the justice system and the treatment of immigrant laborers in the U.S. today.
"The Lattimer Massacre was produced as an old-time radio program so that audience members can create their own vivid scenery and settings as we share the story of this tragic coal mining incident. It's audience participation in the retelling of what happened on that fateful day," says Bachman. Lattimer was one of the most violent labor strikes in the United States, taking place with deadly outcomes on September 10, 1897.
"Through the use of old-time radio as the communications medium to tell the story, an audience can travel back in time to the days leading up to what happened at Lattimer and the trial that followed," explains Bachman. "I hope that audiences will be entertained by the production, and equally as important, educated in the process."
Bachman is recognized for his work in media with historic themes and is the recipient of multiple national Telly Awards for the documentaries "Historic Wyalusing," and "Round and Round," a feature dealing with the art of hand-carved antique carousels and the locations in which they currently reside. He is also the recipient of the Hayfield Award for Creative Excellence for the 2007 historic documentary film on the life of the colonial child, Frances Slocum, who was captured by Delaware Indians in the fall of 1778. Bachman has also served as a Commonwealth Speaker with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.
In addition to Bachman, six other Penn State Wilkes-Barre faculty and staff members will be participating in the radio play. This program has been made possible by a grant from the Pennsylvania Humanities Council.