Thursday, April 27, 2017
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History and People

A Living History of Marie Curie

MANYA: A Living History of Marie Curie
One-woman play by Susan Marie Frontczak
Saturday, April 17 at 8 p.m. - Fermilab's Ramsey Auditorium
7 p.m. - Panel Discussion on Women In Science with Fermilab Scientists
Debbie Harris, Anna Pla, Vivian O'Dell & Heidi Schellman,
Moderated by Marge Bardeen - Free with your ticket to performance - Room One West
Tickets - $15 ($8 for ages 18 and under)

What does the phrase "persistence in the face of obstacles" mean to you?
Imagine: You are not allowed to speak your language. Your home country forbids you to attend university. You have no money to attend college elsewhere. What are your chances for success? In spite of these and other adversities, Marie Curie was the first woman to receive a doctorate in the sciences in Europe, the first woman to receive a Nobel Prize, the first person to receive a second Nobel Prize, and the first woman to teach at the Sorbonne in its 600 year history. Audiences re-live the uncanny collaboration between husband and wife, Pierre and Marie, companion scientists, who worked with the medical community to establish the first successful radiation treatments of cancer. Furthermore as a single mother Marie raised her two daughters from the ages of 16 months and 8 years after the tragic death of her husband.

Meet the woman behind famous scientist Madame Marie Curie, discoverer of radium and radioactivity, as portrayed by author and actress Susan Marie Frontczak. Frontczak has given over 40 performances as Marie Curie at universities, theaters, and conferences since its debut in 2001. Whether looking at Marie within her historical context or through the lens of a new millennium, this is a life that challenges our assumptions about what one person can achieve and the responsibilities of science.

Tickets for Manya ($15/$8 for ages 18 and under) are available now. For further information or telephone reservations, call 630/840-ARTS (2787) weekdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. At other times an answering machine will give you information and a means of placing ticket orders. Ramsey Auditorium is located in Wilson Hall, the central building of Fermilab. Wilson Hall, a high-rise, is visible from the lab entrance from the west on Kirk Road at Pine Street. At this time, only the Pine Street entrance is open. Our address is simply Kirk Road at Pine Street, Batavia, IL 60510. If you would like to mail in a check for tickets, make it payable to Fermilab, P.O. Box 500, MS 111, Batavia, IL 60510. For more information check out our web site at
Note to Educators: This event is eligible for teacher credit through our Education Dept. (630/840.3092)


Polish National Flowers: Red Poppies from Monte Cassino

Every state in the USA has its flag, song, flower, bird - so people expect that Poland should also have a national flower. Does Poland has a national flower? This question is not that easy to answer. We don't have national or state symbols which are so popular in the Anglo-Saxon culture, like flowers, animals, music instruments, mottos, or "official nicknames". The average Pole - would have a hard time to answer this question. The more Polish people you ask - the less they would agree which flower is a national one.

Read more: Polish National Flowers: Red Poppies from Monte Cassino


January 1st is the Namesday of Mieszko, the Founder of the First Polish Royal Dynasty

The first day of the New Year is also an important date in Polish calendar. Not only because it is thMieszko I by Jan Matejkoe International Peace Day. Poles attribute this day to the name of Mieszko and Mieczyslaw. All men with this first name have their namesday on January 1st. The namesday of Mieczyslaw and Mieszko is on the 1st of January not by a coincidence. Mieszko was a name of the first historic ruler of Poland from Piast dynasty. Mieszko was also the first Polish prince which achieved international recognition since he unified Polish tribes against German invaders. He also adopted Christianity by marriage with Czech princess, Dobrawa.

The name Mieszko is for Poles - what Luis is for French.

Poles had two main royal dynasties - Piasts, which established the first Polish state and Jagiellons who expanded the state into Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, one of the biggest, multinational state in Europe.
The name Mieszko - was very popular among Piast princes since it was a name of the founder. See the images of Polish kings - Mieszko I, Mieszko II and Mieszko III, the Old.

Read more: January 1st is the Namesday of Mieszko, the Founder of the First Polish Royal Dynasty


Misconceptions about World War II in Eastern Europe: Two Fronts

Let me start with a digression : during my life which was spent in Poland, some other parts of Europe, and in the USA I learned that the image of the world seen by mass media very rarely gives an objective insight into past and present. Especially distorted are the images of history and politics.

Read more: Misconceptions about World War II in Eastern Europe: Two Fronts


World War II and its Impact on Everyday Life in Poland: A Personal Perspective

How Second World War affected us in Poland? Enormously. I would say, Poland to this today did not fully recover from five years of Nazi and Soviet occupation. Many facts of the Soviet occupation were not officially discussed until early 90s.

I was born almost twenty years after the war, in the early 1960s but, the impact of the war on my childhood was just very significant. Even as kids we were very conscious of the war. To this day I remember my fifth birthday, not because anything special happened or because I was given some beautiful toys. I remember it because my older brother was teasing me that the war was going to start on the day of my birthday. I was a very sensitive kid I guess and I took words seriously. It had such an impact on me that I could not really enjoy my birthday, waiting for the war to start at any moment. I still remember vividly fragments from my fifth birthday. For many Poles, long after the war, hearing an airplane low in the sky was associated with the irrational fear that it may be a bomber.

Read more: World War II and its Impact on Everyday Life in Poland: A Personal Perspective


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