Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise Keynote Speaker at Florida Chautauqua Assembly Jan 23

January 10, 2015 by SoWal Staff

“Houston, we’ve had a problem”

Those are the famous words heard around the world in 1970 when three American astronauts suddenly became stranded close to the moon. Television viewers around the world were transfixed to their television screens for days as the dramatic news unfolded about the three men who may never come home. However, with the ingenuity of scientists on the ground and the bravery and hard work of the three men in space, a catastrophe was avoided and all three astronauts made it home. One of them to tell the story first hand is Apollo 13 Astronaut Fred Haise, the featured keynote speaker of the 2015 Florida Chautauqua Assembly. 

The 2015 Florida Chautauqua Assembly is a 4-day educational program for families themed “A Journey into the World of Transportation: From the River to the Rocket.”  The event begins on Thursday, January 22, with tours of the original campus of the Florida Chautauqua Assembly (1885-1927) and a Welcome Party to greet many others attending this historic event. 

The second day begins early with the featured keynote presentation by Astronaut Fred Haise followed by educational breakout sessions on various transportation topics throughout the day.  For those who enjoy the mix of “edu-tainment,” performance teas are available to attendwhere actress Joanna Maddox will interpret the first black female pilot Bessie Coleman, Rosa Parks, and the first black female astronaut Dr. Mae Jamison.  The day ends with an evening dinner performance. 

The third day (Saturday) begins with a keynote presentation by Archivist Andrew Beckman of the National Studebaker Museum in South Bend, Indiana followed by more breakout sessions, performance teas and another wonderful evening dinner performance. However, this year we are also offering the option on Saturday of a special day-long excursion by motor coach to the National Naval Aviation Museum in Pensacola, Florida. Guided tours of this spectacular museum will be provided by the museum’s team along with passes to the IMAX theater presentation. Lunch will be provided, and the motor coach will return to DeFuniak Springs in time for a wine social with area artists and Saturday’s evening dinner performance. 

Sunday is the time to enjoy the many free living history exhibits in the DeFuniak Springs Lake Yard and to watch a Civil War battle performed by the Walton Guard.

Just as the Apollo 13 accident led to the advancement of space technology and exploration, so did other events dating centuries ago on the river, on dirt trails, roads and railways.  Come take a journey into the world of transportation from the river to the rocket, and find out how your life has been impacted in ways you never thought possible.   

This historic event is held annually in DeFuniak Springs, Florida at various locations throughout the historic community.

Read more, see the schedule and purchase tickets to sessions.


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