Rock Valley College

100 years of American history (in 3 hours) at Rock Valley College May 7

Posted: Friday, April 13, 2018

Media Contact: Dave Costello, 815-921-4516

Event Date: Monday, May 7, 2018

Event Contact: Kim Patterson, (815) 921-3901

John LeGearAn American history seminar touring through Illinois community colleges that recounts the past 100 years in memorable photographs, Hollywood film clips and timely music will be presented at Rock Valley College’s Bell School Road Center on May 7 from 6 to 9 pm.

“U.S. History and Today,” a fast-paced visually-rich presentation, features 600 historic photographs and 44 popular film and music clips that highlight American life from 1914 through present day. Topics range from both World Wars and The Great Depression to civil rights, Vietnam and surprising presidential elections. Entertainment highlights include Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Elvis Presley, Emma Stone, “Back to the Future” and “The Andy Griffith Show.” 

“It’s a century of American history presented at high speed,” said one attendee, who applauded the blend of pop culture woven into hard-hitting fact-based history. Reviews from showings at eight Illinois community colleges to date have been enthusiastic.

The show is presented by John LeGear, a builder and promoter of national not-for-profit organizations from Chicago who turned his attention to American history late in his career. He employed skills acquired as a journalist, photographer, video editor and public speaker to assemble the presentation over two years. LeGear said he created the show to lend balance and historical perspective to today’s rollercoaster ride of news and cultural events.

“American history in hindsight—in this case presented year-to-year in chronological order since World War I—provides a clearer picture of the past,” LeGear said. “It helps us identify patterns of human behavior that can teach us to make wiser choices…better decisions that will surely shape the way Americans live in the future.”

The show is halfway into its tour through 16 Illinois community colleges. It’s a non-partisan presentation suitable for audiences of high school age and over. Senior citizens have been especially supportive, often describing it as “a walk down memory lane.”

“U.S. History and Today” is being offered through Rock Valley’s Continuing Education Department on Monday, May 7 beginning at 6 pm. The registration fee is just $15. To register online, please visit The course code is TRV 800 BLL. You can also register by mail, or in person at the Rock Valley Student Center, 3301 N. Mulford Rd. in Rockford.  For more information, please call RVC Community and Continuing Education at 815-921-3900.