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NKY History Hour focuses telescope on Kentucky’s ‘Astronomer General’ from Union County


Take a look at the remarkable life and times of Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel, dubbed “Kentucky’s Astronomer General,” during Behringer-Crawford Museum’s next NKY History Hour at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 4.

Gen. Ormsby MacKnight Mitchel

The discussion, led by local historians Valerie and Craig Niemi, will follow Ormsby from his birth on Kentucky’s western frontier in Union County, as a young man growing up in Lebanon, Ohio, his years at West Point, his creation of the nation’s first public astronomical observatory and his distinguished, and often frustrating, military career as a Union general.

Valerie and Craig Niemi joined the Cincinnati Observatory Center in Mt. Lookout in 1999 as members, volunteers for astronomical programs and history tour docents. Both are also lifetime members and have served as officers and trustees for the Cincinnati Astronomical Society in Cleves.

Valerie is a certified travel advisor with Prestige Travel with 43 years of experience. She is a former chair of the Friends of the (Cincinnati) Observatory and currently serves as secretary on the observatory’s museum and history committee. Craig is also a former chair of the Friends of the Observatory, is currently secretary for the local Museums and Historic Sites of Greater Cincinnati collaborative group and has served as observatory director since 2006.

Hosted by Shane Noem and Tara Johnson-Noem, vice president of the BCM Board of Trustees, NKY History Hour is a weekly offering of the museum focused on Northern Kentucky history, featuring local authors, historians and archaeologists.

The NKY History Hour online discussion takes place from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. To register, go to:  https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZcsdeGtpjMiEtFOHWP1OI4tooShmMxzS0oY. Information on how to connect to the session will be sent after registration.

NKY History Hour presentations are currently free to the public during this introductory period but may become a BCM members-only benefit in the future. To support NKY History Hour and access many other entertaining and thought-provoking programs for free, join BCM at http://bcmuseum.org/support-us/join/become-a-member.

From Behringer-Crawford Museum


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