September 13, 2018
Oklahoma History Center to Host Thomas Jefferson Living History Presentation
OKLAHOMA CITY — The Oklahoma History Center is honored to present Bill Barker as Thomas Jefferson—the first secretary of state, third president of the United States and coauthor of the Declaration of Independence. Barker will appear at three Oklahoma City metro schools throughout the day of Tuesday, October 2, and then delight audiences with four performances at the Oklahoma History Center on Wednesday, October 3. There are two student performances scheduled for October 3 at 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. Those appearances will be at no charge to the students. Public performances will be at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets for the public performances are $10 for members of the Oklahoma Historical Society and $20 for nonmembers. Call 405-522-0765 for additional information and ticketing. This program is partially funded through the generosity of Sonic, America’s Drive-In.
Barker’s presentations will focus primarily on the Louisiana Purchase. This acquisition was a critical part of the growth and expansion accomplished during Thomas Jefferson’s term as president and was the impetus for the journey of the premier exploration team of Lewis and Clark. The Oklahoma History Center has in its collection a Certificate of Friendship given to Chief Big Axe of the Otoe-Missouria tribe by Lewis and Clark in 1804, as well as other documents pertaining to this expedition. These artifacts came to the History Center through the generosity of Joanne Aitson and Joe Dent, whose families preserved these documents for more than two centuries.
Barker has appeared as Jefferson for Colonial Williamsburg since 1993 after debuting at Independence Hall in Philadelphia. He has performed at the White House, the Palace of Versailles and throughout the United States, Great Britain, France and the Las Vegas Strip. He has been featured in several magazines including Time, People, The Atlantic, Philadelphia, Southern Living, Reader’s Digest and Colonial Williamsburg Journal. He has appeared in programs aired on ABC, NBC, CBS, PBS, CNN, The History Channel and C-SPAN. He has received commendations from the City of Philadelphia, the City of St. Louis, the City of New Orleans and the Hellenic Ideals Foundation.
The Oklahoma History Center is located at 800 Nazih Zuhdi Drive in Oklahoma City. It is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, please visit www.okhistory.org/historycenter.
The Oklahoma History Center is a division of the Oklahoma Historical Society and is an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution, National Archives and is an accredited member of the American Alliance of Museums. The mission of the Oklahoma Historical Society is to collect, preserve and share the history and culture of the state of Oklahoma and its people. Founded in 1893 by members of the Territorial Press Association, the OHS maintains museums, historic sites and affiliates across the state. Through its research archives, exhibits, educational programs and publications the OHS chronicles the rich history of Oklahoma. For more information about the OHS, please visit www.okhistory.org.