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Birmingham Shines

A show about the makers, creators, and innovators of the Magic City: Birmingham, Alabama.
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Jul 16, 2015

Some stories are meant to be told.

The Caldwell Family’s story of survival is one example. Albert and Sylvia Caldwell met at Park College in Missouri and embarked (on their wedding day) in 1909 on their journey to Siam to become missionaries.  By February 1912, before the terms of the missionary appointment had been met, the couple and infant son were making their way back home to the United States. By happenstance—or fate—the Caldwells ended up on the Titanic in April 2012 and were one of the few families to survive the disaster.

One of the goals of Birmingham Shines is to shine the light on stories that aren’t necessarily being told, at least not on a widespread basis.

Dr. Julie Hedgepeth Williams, a media historian, scholar, educator and the guest for episode 14 of Birmingham Shines is one of those individuals who doesn’t always get the recognition she deserves. Julie also has a story that is meant to be told.

In this episode, Julie and I talk about researching and writing narrative-style historical nonfiction and we also delve into traditional publishing in 2014.

Julie’s most recent book is the award-winning A Rare Titanic Family: The Caldwells’ Story of Survival. This book recounts the story of the Caldwell family, from the time Al and Sylvia met at Park College through the years after they were among the passengers who survived and sailed to safety in NYC aboard the Carpathian.

We also talk about Julie’s first book, Wings of Opportunity, about the Wright brothers’ commercial aviation school in Montgomery, Alabama and her upcoming book that looks at three key figures in the emergence of Southern literature as a specific literary genre.

If you’re interested in historical nonfiction—this is the episode for you!

As always, you can find more detailed show notes at http://birminghamshines.com.

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