History comes alive at JCU

September 27th, 2012

On Wednesday, Oct. 3, John Carroll will be welcoming those whose passions are rooted in bringing history to life. “Kossuth’s Message,” a historical reenactment hailed from the time vaults of pre-Civil War America, will be performed beginning at 7 p.m. in AD 258.

The presentation is free and intended for the JCU community as well as public interest.

The primary intent of “Kossuth’s Message” is to enlighten audiences about the Revolutions of 1848-1849, a pressing event in European history. The exhibition stems through the eyes of Lajos (Louis) Kossuth, the governor of revolutionary Hungary. The content of the program specifically draws from Kossuth’s speaking tour in the United States from 1851-1852, particularly highlighting his discourse to the Ohio legislature.

According to a publication describing “Kossuth’s Message,” “Kossuth, the Hungarian champion of freedom, visited the United States seeking support for Hungarian independence. This tour also had an important juncture in Ohio, where Kossuth made a number of stops in cities like Cincinnati and Columbus.”

“Kossuth’s Message” takes place during a state of pre-Civil War America, distraught with politics. The subject and time period of Kossuth’s address to the USA overlaps with the forthcoming of questioning American slavery and the Union itself.

“Benjamin Franklin wrote that ‘he who lives upon hope will die fasting.’ And a Czech, Vaclav Havel, wrote: ‘Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance.’ So, hope alone is never enough, but hope, when combined with the catalyst of moral acts and willingness to persevere at great personal sacrifice can change the world,” said Martha Pereszlenyi-Pinter, chair of the classical & modern languages and cultures department.

Pereszlenyi-Pinter added, “Kossuth’s message, as he toured America in the early 1850s, was indeed imbued with hope; but it was rooted in Realpolitik and backed by a tireless pursuit of his goals, guided by his moral convictions and actions. In 2012, this performance of ‘Kossuth’s Message’ memorializes the man and his moral acts. We mustn’t live in hope alone and die fasting. We must persevere and act in unity to bring about a better America in a global world.”

“Kossuth’s Message” is a traveling show, performed at academic institutions throughout Ohio, ensuring future generations will be educated about this historic milestone.

Following each show is a question-and-answer session, allowing students to further quench their appetite for historical appreciation, in addition to connecting the past to the present.

The program is financed through a grant from the Ohio Humanities Council, the Hungarian Association, Ohio Northern University, Hungarian Communion of Friends and the Hungarian American Coalition. The company features a wide array of those who are devoted to conveying the message of Kossuth, ranging from actors of Hungarian descent to college history professors.

“Kossuth’s Message” is sponsored by divisions such as the College of Arts and Sciences, the humanities program and the modern European studies program, and departments, including Tim Russert Department of Communication and Theatre Arts, English, history and political science.