The Fort Smith Historical Society had a called meeting on February 1, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. at the main library.

Those in attendance were Joe Wasson, Becky and JP Chancey, Jerry Akins, Carole Barger, Billy Higgins, Jo Tillery, Joanne Swofford, Joe Davis, Rena Westbrook and Chloe Lamon.

The meeting was called to order by the President, Billy Higgins. The purpose of the meeting was to vote on whether or not to buy a camera to record interviews, and archiving them, from elderly citizens and World War II Veterans while they are still around.

Carole said that we need more than two people to go out and collect histories, and archive the results. Also, we will need a depository. There is a major grant available. The listed needs of stamps, camera, etc. are up to $5000 already. She said that while doing an interview she met a young photographer from Channel 40 who was very interested in the project. Also, while working on the photo contest, she met a young man from Bedfords who is interested.

Billy said that he is not against buying the camera, but getting someone to do the interviews and follow through may be a problem. He feels that the Journal is high quality, and needs to aim at correct information. Branching off will be distracting. Some people are not really interested in military history and there is already a lot of WWII history available. It would be a change in our mission. We would have to protect our credibility, professionalism, and integrity. We would need to get young people involved.

Jerry said that we are the Historical Society and we need to collect all the information we can.

Jo Tillery wondered if we have the manpower to do this. Joanne Swafford mentioned that we will need specific jobs filled. Joe Wasson suggested we mention it in the next newsletter. JP suggested we try to recruit new members. Rena suggested we look at a more broad based media.

Joe W. had shopped prices on the camera we will need, and found the least expensive on the internet. Carole wants to buy locally. Bedfords has worked closely with the Historical Society on the photo contest, and is giving out prize money and free photos.

Joe Davis feels that we should buy locally. It would make our presence known if we work with community members. He said Fort Smith is close to getting the Marshall's Museum. A decision will be made in March, April, or May, and the Historical Society can be a big aid to them.

JP called for a vote. A motion in favor of buying a camera was made, seconded, and voted in unanimously. Joe Wasson and Carole Barger will make the purchase.

Billy said that Dave Gentry will have a workshop tomorrow. A motion to offer him an honorary membership was made, seconded and voted in unanimously.

Joanne said that we need more journals at the library from the boxes we have stored at Ft. Chaffee. Billy said he can get students to carry them.

The meeting was adjourned by the President, Billy Higgins.
Chloe Lamon, Recording Secretary.


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