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History expo will include dance, Custer

October 17, 2012
Weirton Daily Times

WHEELING - The second annual Ohio Valley History Expo will be held from noon to 4 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Ohio County Public Library's lower level.

More than two dozen local groups and individuals will have displays, including regional museums, genealogical societies, historical societies, writers, researchers, educators, historians, archivists and libraries. Many will have free informational handouts and some will have books and other items for sale.

The Heritage Dance Association will perform a period dance demonstration at 1 p.m. in the auditorium. The group is dedicated to the preservation of traditional dance forms, including Colonial-era square and contra dances.

Living historian Rick Williams, portraying Gen. George Armstrong Custer, will give the keynote speech at 2:30 p.m. Williams began Civil War re-enacting in 1999 and became interested in the cavalry. Fellow re-enactors noted his resemblance to Custer.

"It finally got to the point where I couldn't ignore it," Williams said.

Williams decided to focus his research on Custer's Civil War period, although he is most infamous for his actions at Little Bighorn. He gives presentations on Custer at Civil War roundtables, school programs and re-enactments. He has appeared as Custer at the Little Bighorn Re-enactment in Hardin, Mont., since 2007. He is a member of the Custer Memorial Association.

Williams has appeared in "Gods and Generals," "Reel Injun," and several short films and documentaries on the History Channel, National Geographic Channel and Outdoor Channel.

He authored "The Beginner's Guide to Civil War Reenacting," and his research on Clyde Barrow has been published in the U.S. and Great Britain.

The Wheeling Heritage Roundtable planned and organized the expo. It is funded by the Wheeling National Heritage Area Corp. and the library.

It is free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served.

For information, call the library at (304) 232-0244 or the heritage area at (304) 232-3087.

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