Kate Burke’s Western History Series

A little fact, a little fiction, told as ‘her’story

* Designates Keynote Speaker


Utah’s Colorful Parks & Monuments
History, Geology, and Best Places to Visit

Each of the Parks and Monuments of Utah has a distinct personality all it’s own. What they have in common is their geologic basis – some of it more than a billion years old!. Learn more with Kate Burke’s History Talks in March. [Read story]

Chocolate – 5,300 years of history for America’s favorite sweet treat.

Chocolate – food for the gods, gift of governments and sweethearts. Chocolate has been used for sacrifice, seduction, reverence, and political persuasion for over 5,300 years. Learn how and why the bitter drink was used Mesoamerica and what happened when it went to Europe as a much-loved aphrodisiac, then on to “the colonies” in the 1600s, and today, still a favorite sweet treat. Learn more here, as you follow the chocolate trail from its beginnings in Mesoamerica, to Europe (where it was first used in solid form because of the Industrial Revolution), to North America, where it has become nearly a $128 billion industry. [Story here] To follow the history, click here for the Chocolate Glossary.

Little Bighorn, The Back Story & What Came After the Battle

Manifest Destiny, broken treaties, discovery of gold in the Black HIlls, a series of inter-tribal conflicts, and the ongoing fight for natural resources culminated in the battle between the U.S. Calvary and seven Indian* groups. George Armstrong Custer and his troops were overwhelmed and all perished. Many of the Indian chiefs and warriors who participated, were later captured or surrendered and were killed.

Kate Burke presents a colorful and intriguing portrayal of the characters and events that led up to the Battle of the Little Bighorn, otherwise  known as “Custer’s Last Stand.” Her presentation Includes authentic maps, video, rare photographs, and clips from the award-winning documentary Contested Ground by author, historian, and interpretive ranger, Steve Adelson. Joining Kate will be George Gleason, a volunteer guide at the Battleground, who will share information about the monument today.

Read Kate’s story here, of the Little Bighorn Backstory.

*Note: When the Europeans arrived and began to colonize the Americas, they referred to those already living here as “Indians.”  (Perhaps based on the thought, that Columbus, when he first arrived in India, his original destination.) The term “Native American” was not used at that time, nor would it have been welcome, as the white colonizers considered themselves “American.”

Programs: January – May, 2023

* January & February. Little Bighorn, the Back Story.
Learn what led up to the infamous battle, otherwise known as Custer’s Last Stand. Guest presenter George Gleason will share information about the monument today. Books and DVD for sale.
Jan. 23.  1 pm.   Montrose Senior Center, Pavilion Drive.
Feb. 25, Noon. Brown  bag lunch, WHAFV, 4 Hillcrest Plaza Way

* February. History of Chocolate, America’s favorite treat.
Discover the origins and use of chocolate in Meso-America, and its romantic connection to Valentines in Europe and America. We will have chocolates and Valentines to share with everybody.
14.  1 pm.   Montrose Senior Center, Pavilion Drive.
20. Noon.   Montrose Woman’s Club, Lions Clubhouse. 602 N. Nevada Ave.

* March. Utah’s Colorful Parks & Monuments.
I’ll have handouts about the parks. If you have any photos you would like to share, please email them to me so I can include them. Be sure to tell me when and where they were taken, and include your name for the credit.

–> Click here for Kate’s Western History talks and presentations.

–> Click here for list of topics and presentations, past, present and future.

Talks are 30-40 minutes with 5-10-minute introduction and 15-30 minutes Q&A time afterward. Presentations include Power Point, sometimes video Internet Youtube or weblinks. Related handouts. Presentations must be scheduled at least 30 days in advance, and I do charge a speakers fee.

Topics include history and travel, with interesting takes on both. The most popular focus on our own regional history—hard rock mining, narrow gauge railroads, farming and homesteading, multi-generational families and their related activities. And, of course, whenever appropriate, I try to connect it all to arts and entertainment.

Not talks are in Montrose. As presentations are scheduled elsewhere, they will be listed here.