Joseph Bernt

Joseph Bernt

Oregon historian and journalist R. Gregory Nokes will discuss via Zoom three of his recent contributions to early Oregon history.

These include “The Troubled Life of Peter Burnett: Oregon Pioneer and First Governor of California,” “Breaking Chains: Slavery on Trial in the Oregon Territory” and his essay on early Oregon pioneer Jesse Applegate being published in “Eminent Oregonians,” edited by Steve Forrester. Applegate, an early Oregon pioneer, took command of the first major wagon train on the Oregon Trail in 1843, after Burnett resigned the position.

Sponsored by the library’s Northwest Authors Speakers Series, Nokes—who logged 43 years in more than 50 countries as a reporter, international correspondent and editor for the Associated Press and the Oregonian—will discuss the 1857 controversy about inclusion of slavery in Oregon just prior to the Civil War.

In addition to the three historical writings noted above, Nokes also has published a carefully researched account of the 1887 Snake River Massacre, the largest attack on Chinese immigrants in the American West. The murder of 34 people on the Oregon side of Hells Canyon went unpunished, largely ignored by contemporaries and, until recently, mostly lost in the mist of Oregon history.

Nokes, a graduate of Willamette University, attended Harvard as a Nieman Fellow. He and his spouse Candise live in West Linn, Oregon.

Three of Nokes histories of Pioneer Oregon are available to library patrons in the “Northwest Collection.”

Nokes’ Zoom presentation can be joined at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81571047248 or accessed directly from the Cannon Beach Library website by clicking the banner at the top of the page, Saturday, March 20, at 2 p.m.

A Zoom session will also be the venue when members of Cannon Beach Reads, led by Les Sinclair, will next meet on Wednesday, April 21, at 7 p.m. to discuss “Night” by Elie Wiesel. In this classic, Wiesel describes his and his father’s experience in Nazi concentration camps at Auschwitz and Buchenwald toward the conclusion of the Second World War in 1944 and 1945.

In slightly more than 100 pages Wiesel describes becoming a resentful teenaged caretaker for his father, who died from starvation and dysentery, before GIs of the United States Third Army entered Buchenwald, near Weimar, Germany, on April 11, 1945.

Wiesel writes in “Night” of the death of God and his disgust with humanity and the loss of human values: “I wanted to show the end, the finality of the event. Everything came to an end—man, history, literature, religion, God. There was nothing left. And yet we begin again with night.”

Wiesel died in 2016 at the age of 87, 36 years after President Jimmy Carter appointed him as the founding chairman of the United States Holocaust Memorial Council, which created the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C. As a result, future generations may never forget the inhumanity that Wiesel describes in “Night” and with which so many descendants—including children, grandchildren and great grandchildren--still contend.

In other library business, here’s a quick reminder about this year’s election of library officers and board members to be conducted entirely by mail. Only members who have paid their dues for 2021-22 will be able to vote, so memberships should be renewed, as soon as possible.

Ballots, developed by a nominating committee for this year’s election, will be mailed to current library members in early April and will be due for return to the Cannon Beach Library office by May 7.

Nominated to fill two open seats on the board are Melodie Chenevert and Caroline Godderz. Also nominated are Phyllis Bernt, president; Lynne Murray Stuart, vice-president; Claire Landrum, secretary; and Karen French, treasurer. Amy Jones, Mary Kerwin, Wanda Meyer-Price and Linda Sugano are returning board members.

Rance Babb and Janet Bates are stepping down from the board following their years of invaluable service.

In other business news, the library—thanks to the efforts of Carole Whitlock, Duncan Wallace and Phyllis Bernt—has been approved for a Coronavirus Relief Act Paycheck Protection Program loan to help subsidize the office manager’s salary.

To ensure the safety of patrons, staff and volunteers, the library will continue to quarantine materials for 72 hours and to disinfect book jackets and DVD/audiobook covers. Wait times for popular titles may be longer than usual as a result. Remember, though, that circulation desk volunteers are pleased as punch to suggest other titles while patrons wait.

The library’s online catalogue can help, too. From the website homepage, click on “Search the Catalog.” This will lead to the “Destiny Discover” page from which titles, authors, and keywords can be searched at the top of the page. “Topics” and “Recently Added Books” can also be explored.

Library patrons can use their patron number or password to manage accounts, review their checkout history or place materials on hold. The circulation desk will call when the item is ready.

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