His topic will be “Why Local History Matters,” and he will be discussing the Civil War in Independence County and Jacksonport. Dr. Lankford has written a play drawn from Civil War letters and diaries that he will direct in Batesville on Feb. 1 and 2, and his talk in Newport will be drawn from the materials he gathered for that play. Dr. Lankford is a former Distinguished Professor at Lyon College in Batesville, AR. He is also a former president of the Independence County Historical Society, a member of the editorial board of the Arkansas Encyclopedia of Culture and History, and a member of the Arkansas Civil War Sesquicentennial Commission. The author or editor of six books, Lankford was a college professor for thirty years, teaching anthropology, religion, Bible, Ozarks history, mythology and folklore. He has degrees from Louisiana State University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and Indiana University. In 2012, the Historical Society published a little booklet found among the papers of James Logan Morgan. Titled The Newport Cook Book, this little collection was originally a project of the women of the Christian Church in 1907. It is filled with favorite Newport recipes from one hundred years ago, and many of them are quite challenging for modern cooks to interpret. Several friends and board members of the Historical Society will prepare a tasting party in conjunction with Sunday’s Annual Meeting, and they invite you to come sample Pork Pie, Cabbage Salad, Banana Salad, Ginger Cookies, and other delicacies from Newport’s history.