As ARRTOP enters its 20th year, the mission remains the same …to provide diverse revolutionary war topics from very knowledgeable speakers and quality presenters in a social setting.
COVID-19 has affected many aspects of our life including how we run ARRTOP. We have shifted to on-line ZOOM meetings. We certainly miss dinners, the book raffles and the camaraderie of in-person meetings. However, we are taking advantage of the opportunity to have speakers from across the United States which we could not otherwise have for in-person meetings. So far, we have booked speakers from Massachusetts, Minnesota, Michigan, Rhode Island and Florida. Additionally, on-line meetings preclude meeting cancellation due to bad weather. We open the Zoom meetings 30 minutes prior to the presentation in order to allow for “on-line camaraderie” prior to the presentation. Finally, we offered 5 additional lectures during the summer to provide some “COVID relief”.
We do not know when we can shift back to in-person meetings. That will depend on when our members feel it is safe to do so and when the restaurant can open for full capacity indoor dining. Scoogis is currently do limited indoor and outdoor dining on Wednesday through Sunday.
Tom McAndrew, Kathleen Flanagan and Nancy Webster, serve as the ARRTOP book committee. This year, they evaluated over 20 books nominated by publishers and authors. The 2019 Book Award Winner went to a local author and Temple Graduate Aaron Sullivan for his book The Disaffected: Britain’s Occupation of Philadelphia During the American Revolution. The 2019 Book Award Honorable Mention went to a history professor at Eastern Michigan University John Gilbert McCurdy for his book Quarters: The Accommodation of the British Army. We were very fortunate to have the two winners as our August and September speakers. Tom, Kathleen and Nancy are already evaluating 2020 candidates.
I also want to mention our Facebook page “American Revolution Round Table of Philadelphia” and website ARRTOP.org. We are proud to announce we have over 5,300 people following us on our Facebook page. Jim Christ, our Vice President posts to this page EVERY DAY, and includes our upcoming lectures that you can share them with your friends and give us an idea of joining.
Finally, I want to express my thanks to our outstanding board members: Jim Christ (Vice-President), Bill Quain (Treasurer), Suzanne Pearson (Secretary) and Kevin Godshall and Tom McAndrew (At Large Board members). Tom is also handling getting authors for, and running, the Zoom meetings.
See you all soon!
Mike Haag, President
American Revolution Round Table of Philadelphia