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April 19, 2018
 

Our Stories Speaker Series
Tales of Arizona myths, legends and true crimes presented at Chandler libraries 
 
Arizona myths, legends and true crimes stories are the subjects of three upcoming Our Stories Speaker Series events in Chandler. The free presentations will be April 28, May 19 and June 9 at three Chandler Library locations. The Our Stories Speaker Series is presented by the Chandler Museum, Chandler Public Library and Friends of the Chandler Public Library.
 
Charlie LeSeurOn Saturday, April 28, “Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains” will be presented at 10:30 a.m., in the Chandler Downtown Library, 22 S. Delaware St. For more than a century people have been intrigued by stories of the Superstition Mountains. The lost Dutchman Mine of Jacob Waltz is, without a doubt, the most talked about and controversial aspect of these “Mountains of Foam,” but there is so much more to the history and the legends surrounding this area. Explore the mythos and lore that has grown over the years along with up-to-date aspects and theories concerning the area that many Native Americans believe to be a sacred. Presented by Charlie LeSueur (pictured at right), western film historian and co-producer of the online show, “Mysteries of the Superstition Mountains.”
 
“Arizona’s Wild Myths and Legends” is the title of the Saturday, May 19 presentation at 10:30 a.m., in Chandler Sunset Library, 4930 W. Ray Road. Arizona historian Jim Turner takes a look at people in popular myth like Wyatt Earp, Billy the Kid and John Wayne. What do these famous characters have in common? They are not who we think they are because of the legends that have grown up around them. From 1860s dime novels to books, movies and television shows writers have altered, exaggerated and sometimes lied about these folk heroes. In “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance,” the newspaper editor says, “This is the West, sir. When the legend becomes fact, print the legend.” Examine how legends grew and how they impact how we view the past, act in the present and build the future. This program is presented in part by Arizona Humanities.
 
The final Our Stories program of the season takes a look at Chandler’s darker side. At 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 9, the Basha Library hosts “Skirting the Law: Crime History of Chandler.” Join Chandler Museum's Jody Crago and explore some of the shady deals in our community’s past. In a sense, Chandler was built on a crime. Town founder Dr. A.J. Chandler's land fraud schemes helped people settle in the area, but led to a federal Congressional hearing questioning the Chandler Improvement Company’s methods to purchase and grant land. Uncover other crimes of note that have happened in Chandler over the years – such as the 1935 crime spree in downtown Chandler that led businesses to band together and hire a night watchman, as well as a robbery that led to a kidnapping. These stories will be intertwined with the history of Chandler's police force. Basha Library is at 5990 S. Val Vista Drive.
 
For more information, visit chandlermuseum.org or call 480-782-2751.