The BUS-eum is Rolling into Grand Forks: Insight from Yesterday’s Problems for Today’s Solutions

Calling all history buffs and curious minds! A new historical exhibit is traversing the American Heartland this summer. The BUS-eum is rolling into town and visiting Grand Forks Public from 12-5 p.m. Friday, July 30.

This “museum on wheels” offers insights into America’s present issues by revisiting parallel historical events. The retrofitted school bus features countless stories of our past. With first-person accounts of social issues of lasting relevance, presented against colorful backdrops, it features unique artifacts and evocative props.

By examining this shared heritage anew, we can see our origins and our possible fates in a new light: In seeking them, we might find us.

BUS-eum Director Dr. Michael Luick-Thrams

From 12-1 p.m., a special presentation about the 1918 Flu Epidemic will take place in the meeting room on the second floor of the library.

Photo of family wearing masks (including the cat) in 1918.

The bus, which will be parked in the library’s parking lot, will feature an outdoor mobile museum, plus a tiny pop-up bookstore area. The BUS-eum highlights five significant themes from America’s history including:

  • The pandemic of 1918
  • Anti-German hysteria during WWI
  • Prohibition-era bootlegging in rural America
  • The “Second Wave” of the Ku Klux Klan in the Midwest of the 1920s
  • Farmer-led rebellions during the Great Depression
Western Iowa farmers block other farmers taking goods to market in order to increase prices.

About the Presenter

Born on a century farm in Northcentral Iowa, Director Dr. Michael Luick-Thrams has a Ph.D. from Humboldt Universität, Berlin. “By examining this shared heritage anew, we can see our origins and our possible fates in a new light: In seeking them, we might find us,” says Luick-Thrams. He splits his time between the United States and Germany. He also teaches at Universität Erfurt and directs “Haus der Spuren,” a museum in Thüringen’s Bad Langensalza, which focuses on US-German relations, 1933-48.

Learn more about the BUS-eum at traces.org.

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