Hindsight is . . . Research Collection

Episode 2: The Webbs

This episode features William Webb (1834 – 1868) an African-American civil war soldier from CT in conversation with Ridgefield's William Webb (1916 – 1991) who started the Ridgefield Chapter of the NAACP and later became the CT president of the organization. Their discussion will raise questions about civil rights, racism, and the voice of African-Americans in our democracy from two distinct worldviews and historical moments in Connecticut and U.S. history.

William Webb, 1916 – 1991

Piece about Webb by local historian Jack Sanders


or on Facebook with comments below by people who knew the Webbs




William Webb, 1834 – 1868

Episode 3: How Worried Should We Be? Hitler on Trial at Ridgefield High, 1934

In April 1934, Ridgefield High School's Economics Class held a mock trial of Adolf Hitler, echoing a larger similar event organized the previous month at Madison Square Garden by the World Jewish Congress. This episode will recreate some of Ridgefield High's trial, offering a snapshot of teenage and educational life in Ridgefield in the 1930's and lend itself to questions about how we respond to emerging fascism and our responsibility for those facing persecution in other lands.

Names of students in the class photo above:

Bottom Row left to right-Julius Latanzi, Ed Brundage, Lillian Bennett, Dot Baxter, Ruth Moser, Anna Redenko, Agnes Sheriden, Sara Marcus, Martha Mulvaney, Ethel Zandri, Helen Seale, Rita Potter, David Moore and Stanley Landy.
Second row, Aldo Tulipani, James Leary, Joe Servadio, Joe Babis, Constance Shaw, Gena Canestrari, Nina Lockwood, Marie Gilbert, Margaret McGlynn, Madalyn Clancy, Rose DiOrio, Edith Walters, Russell DeFranco, George Papageorge, Malo Bedini, and Walter Walker.
Top row: Seymour Thomas, Howard Stevens, Mario Serfilippi, Everett Roberts, Lloyd Humphrys, Lindgren Bancroft, and Clayton Meade.

Info about one student from the class of '34 from local historian Jack Sanders:

Rita Potter: Rita became a sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps in World War II and later worked for American Mercury magazine (founded by the great H.L. Mencken). I wonder if she was a debater and how that might have affected her decision to join the military very early on.  See https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/143083416/rita_mary-o_brien-potter

The academic paper below can be read by creating a log in here: https://www.jstor.org/stable/846041

NYC March 7 1934