April 21, 2018

2018 National Council on Public History (NCPH) Award Winners, with links to projects and publications

2018 National Council on Public History (NCPH) Award Winners, from their announcement, with links to projects and publications

NCPH Founders Award
The NCPH Council of Past Presidents developed this award in 2015 to recognize those individuals who were present at the creation of NCPH and who played critical roles in the organization’s success.

Suellen M. Hoy
Joel A. Tarr, Carnegie Mellon University

Board of Directors Award for Extraordinary Service
Awarded for the first time this year, this award is given when the NCPH Board seeks to recognize publicly an individual who has, through long-term and substantive effort, made transformational contributions to the work of NCPH.

Cathy Stanton, Tufts University

Outstanding Public History Project Award
This award is presented for work completed within the previous two calendar years that contributes to a broader public reflection and appreciation of the past or that serves as a model of professional public history practice. NCPH acknowledges the generous support of Stevie and Ted Wolf that makes this award possible.

Award Winner: The Mere Distinction of Colour, Elizabeth Chew and Christian J. Cotz, James Madison's Montpelier; Chris Danemayer, Proun Design LLC; and Molly O'Brien, Northern Light Productions

Honorable Mention: Confinement in the Land of Enchantment: Japanese Americans in New Mexico during World War II, Sarah R. Payne, Colorado State University Public Lands History Center; Andrew Russell, Central New Mexico Community College; and Victor Yamada, New Mexico Japanese American Citizens League

NCPH Book Award
For the best new book about or growing out of public history theory, study, or practice.

Award Winner: Andrew G. Kirk, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Doom Towns: The People and Landscapes of Atomic Testing, A Graphic History (Oxford University Press, 2017)

Honorable Mention: Ronald Rudin, Concordia University, Kouchibouguac: Removal, Resistance, and Remembrance at a Canadian National Park (University of Toronto Press, 2016)

Excellent in Consulting Award
This award recognizes outstanding contributions to the field of public history through consulting or contract work.

Individual Award: Delia Hagen, Hagen Historical Consulting, African-American Heritage Resources in Helena, Montana

Honorable Mention: Ryan Shackleton, Know History, Métis Nation of Ontario

G. Wesley Johnson Award
Named in honor of the founding editor of The Public Historian, this award recognizes the most outstanding article appearing in the NCPH journal during the previous volume year.

Award Winner: Natasha Erlank, University of Johannesburg, for "From Main Reef to Albertina Sisulu Road: The Signposted Heroine and the Politics of Memory," The Public Historian Vol 39, No 2

Honorable Mention: Gregory Rosenthal, Roanoke College, for "Make Roanoke Queer Again: Community History and Urban Change in a Southern City,The Public Historian Vol 39, No 1

Student Project Award
This award recognizes the contributions of student work to the field of public history and provides assistance for conference travel costs.

Award Winner: Making History: Kansas City and the Rise of Gay Rights, Taylor C. Bye, Kathryn B. Carpenter, Samantha Hollingsworth, Leah Palmer, Kevin Ploth, and Jennifer Tufts, University of Missouri-Kansas City


For more information, see the Awards page on the NCPH website

 

Posted By on


April 14, 2018

Patriots Day Events for 2018

Much of the information below was compiled and published by the Battle Road Organization on their site. The volunteers who compiled it deserve all of the credit for pulling it together and our thanks for bringing to life these events every year. The groups that make up the Battle Road Organization are listed below. We've updated links, added information from the National Park Service and others, and organized it in a way that to makes it easy for folks planning their outing. 

Additionally, J. L. Bell has a good write up on some of the events here and here on his outstanding site, Boston 1775.

The information below focuses mainly on activities in Lexington and Concord, if you are in another community that is holding Patriots Day events, send us a link to your event listing and we'll include that link on this page.  Also if you have questions, corrections, or suggestions, please send us a note. If you'd like to receive an easy-to-scan list of history events and exhibits throughout New England every week, subscribe here.

Lee Wright  |  Founder  |  The History List History Camp

 

 

April 14 — Saturday

→ Information on parking around Minute Man is at the bottom.

The "Battle Road" event will focus on Parker’s Revenge, near the Route 2A Visitors Center and the Whittimore House in Lexington.

  • Explore Bloody Angle – Starting at 10:30 am at Bloody Angle, Lincoln, MA. Parking at Hartwell Tavern parking lot.  A walking tour of Bloody Angle with park volunteer Ed Hurley as Edmund Forster.  See Events at Minuteman National Park for details.
  • Tough Ruck and Captain Brown’s Company of Minute Men - Starting at 7:00 am at The Old Manse field, adjacent to North Bridge. Military personnel marching in memory of our fallen soldiers. Come out and support our soldiers and veterans in this 26.2 mile hike along the historic Battle Road Trail. See Events at Minuteman National Park for details.
  • Caught in the Storm of War: Civilians of April 19th - From 9:30 am - 12:15 pm at  Captain William Smith House, Lincoln. Learn about the local civilians on April 19, 1775. Once the refugees leave the Smith house, you may encounter them along the Battle Road Trail heading towards Lexington and the Minute Man Visitor Center just prior the Parker’s Revenge Scenario.
  • Explore Bloody Angle – Starting at 10:30 am at Bloody Angle, Lincoln, MA. Parking at Hartwell Tavern parking lot.  A walking tour of Bloody Angle with park volunteer Ed Hurley as Edmund Forster.  See Events at Minuteman National Park for details.
  • Parker's March and Wreath laying:  The Lexington Minutemen are called to arms by Captain Parker at 9:30 am on Lexington Green, marching to the battle site for a noon ceremony at the Parker’s Revenge site.
  • 1st Michigan Colonial Fife and Drum Corps: 11:30 a.m., at the outdoor amphitheater. Listen to military music of the American Revolution and get into the spirit of Patriots’ Day! 
  • Parker’s Revenge Scenario: 1 pm.  A tactical scenario along the historical road near the Whittemore House with British and Colonial soldiers.  Contact: Lexington Minute Men or Minute Man National Historical Park.
  • Jason Russell House in Arlington will be open for tours from 1:00 pm to 4:00 pm.  Contact the Arlington Historical Society for further information.
  • Re-enactors assemble at Munroe Tavern from 3:00 pm to 4:00 pm at Munroe Tavern, Massachusetts Avenue, Lexington.  British troops arrive on the retreat from Concord and occupy the Tavern, tending to their wounded and planning their next steps.  The Tavern will be open for tours.
  • Tower Park Battle from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm at Munroe Tavern and Tower Park on Massachusetts Avenue in Lexington. A battle in the American Revolution will be demonstrated for the public in this natural amphitheater site. Contact: Lexington Minutemen or the Tenth Regiment of Foot.

April 15 — Sunday

  • Jason Russell House Battle Re-enactment at noon: Battle Re-enactment open for house tours through the afternoon. Contact the Menotomy Minutemen or Arlington Historical Society.
  • Warlike Preparations and the Search of the Barrett Property at Colonel Barrett House from 1 to 4 pm:  Visit the Col. Barrett House, experience the intense military preparations and search by British soldiers that launched America into the Revolutionary War.  448 Barrett’s Mill Rd, Concord.  See Events at Minuteman National Park for details.
  • Lincoln Salute: Festival of 18th Century Fife & Drum Music Pierce Park, 17 Weston Road, Lincoln, MA  2:00 - 3:30 p.m. The Lincoln Minute Men host fife and drum groups from as far away as Michigan in a musical performance for your enjoyment. Stirring and fun. Bring your picnic basket and lawn chairs for rousing entertainment.
  • Robbins' Ride - The Acton Minutemen will portray the spreading of the alarm throughout Acton with a horse and rider galloping past the homes of Acton’s 4 militia leaders. At the historic Faulkner Homestead, Colonel Faulkner himself will fire 3 alarm shots into the air with his musket, and those shots will be repeated again and again off in the distance, illustrating how the alarm was spread.
    • 5pm at the Robbins' Home site - soccer fields at bottom of Concord Rd.
    • 5:20 at the Isaac Davis Homestead - 39 Hayward Road
    • 5:40 at the Faulkner Homestead - 5 High St. in So. Acton (corner of Rte. 27)
    • 5:55 at the Liberty Tree Farm - 24 Liberty St., also in So. Acton
  • Alarm & Muster at the White Church at 7 pm in Lincoln. Library lawn, opposite First Parish, 3 Bedford Road, Lincoln.
  • Old North Church in Boston at 8:30 pm: Lantern Lighting Service with Paul Revere and William Dawes.
  • Paul Revere Row at 7:00 pm at Charlestown Navy Yard Visitor Center. At 8:35 pm from Pier 1, witness the hanging of two lanterns atop Old North Church. Shortly after, witness Paul Revere being rowed across the harbor before riding off into the night for his famous ride. See Boston National Historical Park for more details.
  • Updated April 15 at 6:15 pm: Cancelled per Lexington Historical Society website—Paul Revere's Arrival in Lexington at 11:30 pm at the Hancock/Clarke House on Hancock Street, Lexington, MA, 1/8th mile west of Buckman Tavern and the Green. Contact: Lexington Historical Society

April 16 — Monday — Patriots Day observed 

Updated April 15 at 6:15 pm: There are several cancellations or changes due to the weather. Some are noted below. It's likely that several others have been cancelled or moved. It would be wise to check the websites or social media feeds of any organization whose event you're considering attending to double-check whether it's taking place. — Lee

Marching from other towns

  • Updated April 15 at 6:15 pm: Confirmed per comment on the Lexington Historical Society's Facebook pageStow @ 4:15 am: Stow Minutemen Patriots Day Trail March The Stow Annual Trail March and Parade starts from Stow Lower Common. The air is cool and quiet, but not for long as the sounds of the fifes and drums and the firing of the muskets awaken the townsfolk along the route. The Minutemen arrive at the North Bridge around 9 am then join up with the Concord parade. Contact: Stow Minutemen
  • Westford @ 4:45 am: Col. John Robinson Trail March Every year members of the Westford Colonial Minutemen walk the route travelled by the Westford militia and minute companies as they answered the alarm on April 19th, 1775. The public is in invited to join them in the 10-mile walk that ends at Concord's North Bridge.  Contact: Westford Minutemen.
  • Acton @ 6 am: Isaac Davis March to Concord at the Isaac Davis Homestead, 37 Hayward Road, Acton.
    The Acton Minutemen will make their annual march to the North Bridge in Concord, arriving at 9:00 am, where they will lead the fight against the British regulars across the Old North Bridge. Contact: The Acton Minutemen
  • Lincoln @ 6:40 am: Minute Men Dawn Tribute and the March to Concord outside Bemis Hall, 15 Bedford Road, Lincoln
    The Lincoln Minute Men will salute the patriots buried in the Old Meetinghouse Cemetery. Roll call is read, fifers play a lament, minute men mysteriously emerge from the morning mists in the cemetery, and a musket salute is fired. The Minute Men begin their march along Sandy Pond Road.toward Concord with colonial music and musket fire. All ages welcome to walk along. The Concord Parade steps off at 9:00 a.m. Contact: Lincoln Minute Men
  • Boston @ 8:30 am: City Hall Plaza in Boston
    Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company Patriots Day Parade, starting with a flag raising at City Hall Plaza, and proceeding to King's Chapel Burying Ground, where a wreath will be placed on the tomb of William Dawes, a member of this Company and its Clerk in 1789. The Company will then parade to the Old Granary Burial Ground and lay a wreath at the grave of Paul Revere. The parade continues to the Paul Revere Mall on Hanover Street in the North End.  The Company will escort His Honor Martin J.Walsh, Mayor of the City of Boston, during these ceremonies.
  • North End @ 10:20 am: Paul Revere Ride Reenactment
    The Massachusetts Lancers stage the rides of Paul Revere and William Dawes. From their start in the North End near the Old North Church, each ride through Boston making stops along the way to greet people until they reach the Minute Men Statue at Lexington Green. See below for details from the National Lancers.

The Battle on Lexington Green—Updated April 15 at 8:30 pm: Confirmed per Lexington Minute Man site.

  • The Battle on Lexington Green at 5:30 am in Lexington Center.  This event recreates the historic skirmish in Lexington on the first day of the American Revolution. Following the ringing of the bell in the Old Belfry, members of the Lexington Training Band (now known as the Minutemen) gather on Lexington Green to await the column of British Regulars as they march into the town center. A shot rings out, the skirmish follows, and the British column marches on towards Concord leaving dead and wounded behind.  Contact: Lexington Minutemen.  Please see the Town of Lexington’s Schedule of Events for important details and restrictions on backpacks, large containers, and ladders. Rain date: Saturday, April 22

The Lexington Historical Society recommends arriving between 4 am and 5 pm: "The Battle Reenactment starts very early in the morning with the bell in the Belfry ringing at 5:30 am and the battle following at 6:00 am (the actual time the historic battle occurred). Plan to arrive between 4:00-5:00 am to pick a viewing spot." Their site has additional information on activities planned by the Society.

The March to Concord and Commemorations at North BridgePatriots Day at Minuteman National Park - North Bridge Ceremony - 2010

  • Updated April 15 at 6:15 pm: Cancelled per NPS website—Commemoration of the Battle at North Bridge from 8:00 am. The peace of the Concord countryside will once more be shattered musket fire as British and colonial reenactors, park rangers and volunteers commemorate the fateful morning of April 19, 1775 - the first time that colonists were ordered to fire upon British soldiers that became known as "the shot heard 'round the world." Contact: Minute Man National Historical Park

Community events throughout the day in Lexington and Concord

  • Pancake Breakfasts - in Lexington
    • St. Brigid Church, 2001 Massachusetts Avenue, sponsored by Boy Scout Troop 160. 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Nominal cost.
    • First Baptist Church, 1580 Massachusetts Avenue (across from the police station). 6:00 am to 10:00 am. Nominal cost..
    • Church of Our Redeemer, 6 Meriam Street. 6:00 am to 9:00 am. Nominal cost.
  • Updated April 15 at 6:15 pm: Cancelled per Lexington town websiteLexington Sunrise Youth Parade - starting at 7:30 am at Munroe Cemetery driveway, Massachusetts Avenue.
    Contact: Lexington Town Celebrations Committee, 781 862-0500 x708
  • Concord's Patriots Day Parade - starting at 9:00 am in Concord Center. Contact: Concord Chamber of Commerce via email or at 978 369-3120.
  • Lexington’s Patriots Day Road Race, starting at Lexington Green at 10:00 am.
  • Patriots' Day Handbell Concert of American Music - 11:15 am to 12 noon, Hancock Church, 1912 Mass Ave, Lexington (the stone church across from the Battle Green). You’ll find yourself swaying to upbeat music of America, including patriotic favorites, spirituals, ragtime, marches and more. The music is rung on 5 octaves of English handbells by ringers of all ages in a program that is light-hearted and family-friendly. Suggested donation is $3 per person. The sanctuary is handicapped accessible. Come sit down and enjoy this fun concert carefully timed to follow the morning Road Race. Contact: 781-862-4220 or handbells@hancockchurch.org.
  • Jason Russell House Open House from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. Contact the Arlington Historical Society.
  • Paul Revere's Arrival at Lexington Green - 12:45 pm in Lexington center. See below for details of his ride from from Boston.
  • Lexington Patriots Day Parade - stepping off at 2:00 pm – Massachusetts Avenue through East Lexington and Lexington Center.

Paul Revere's Ride

  • North End around 10:20 am
  • Revere Park in Charlestown around 10:35 am
  • Foss Park in Sommerville at 11:20 am
  • Arlington Town Hall at 11:55 am
  • Arrives at the Gaffy Funeral Home in Medford at 12:00 pm
  • Paul Revere arrives at Lexington Battle Green at 12:45 pm

William Dawes' Ride

  • Arrives at John Eliot Square in Roxbury at 9:00 am
  • Departs John Eliot Square around 9:20 am
  • Arrives at the Edward Devotion House in Brookline at 10:05 am
  • Arrives at Hill Memorial Church in Allston at 10:35 am
  • Arrives in Cambridge at 11:05 am
  • Arrives at the Town Hall in Arlington at 12:05 pm
  • William Dawes arrives at Lexington Battle Green at 12:55 pm

April 18 - Wednesday

  • The Patriot Vigil, 7:45 pm - 8:45 pm at North Bridge, Concord. The evening ceremony will feature a lantern-light procession, poetry, music, and a recitation of the names of the Patriots who gave their lives on that “ever-memorable” 19th of April. Please note, if you would like to participate in the lantern procession at 7:50 p.m. please gather at North Bridge Visitor Center, 174 Liberty St. Concord. We ask you bring your own enclosed candle lantern - no flashlights in the procession please.

April 19 — Thursday — The anniversary date

  • Sudbury March to Concord at 3:45 am in Wayland center and 5:45 am in Sudbury Center
    Show your fortitude and love of our history with this annual march through Wayland and Sudbury to Concord, arriving at the North Bridge at approximately 11:30 am. Contact: Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute
  • Dawn Salute at the North Bridge at 6:00 am at Minute Man National Historical Park, Monument Street, Concord. The Concord Minute Men, the Concord Independent Battery and the Old Guard Fifes and Drums observe the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War in a moving musket and cannon salute to America's past. Following this, join Park staff and volunteer for a wreath laying and historical speeches. Contact: Minute Man National Historical Park
  • Remembering the Ladies, 10:00 am (approximately) at North Bridge, Concord. In commemoration of the brave Daughters of Liberty, the Molly Cutthroats, a living history group dedicated to the role of women in the Revolution, will fire a ceremonial volley of musketry from North Bridge.
  • Arrival of the Sudbury MilitiaNorth Bridge, Concord11:30 a.m. (approximately).  The Sudbury Companies of Militia and Minute will make their annual march to North Bridge from the Town of Sudbury, in honor of their fellow townsmen who made a similar march on April 19, 1775. They will fire three musket volleys from North Bridge as a soldierly salute.

April 21 — Saturday

  • After the Battle - The War Has Begun, from 4:30 pm - 8:30 pm at Hartwell Tavern, North Great Road, Lincoln. War between the people of Massachusetts and Governor Gage and the British regulars has just broken out. Thousands of men are preparing to leave home for the front lines around Boston. Whole communities are faced with numerous challenges demanded by this frightening new reality. Step back into the year of 1775 and get involved. Admission: Recommended donation: $5 per person, $10 per family. Children wearing a Junior Ranger badge will be admitted free.

April 22 — Sunday

  • Old Burial Ground Tribute, Lincoln, MA at 2:00 pm, the Lincoln Minute Men will assemble at the Pierce House and at 2:30 pm march to the Town Cemetery on Lexington Road. The Minute Men will be accompanied by clergy, honored guests, and a contingent of British Regulars accompanied by a bagpiper. There will be gravesite ceremonies honoring both the Lincoln patriots of the Revolution and the five British soldiers who were killed in Lincoln on April 19, 1775, and buried there. Following the ceremonies, the Minute Men and their guests will march back to the Pierce House, where refreshments will be served to all, courtesy of the Lincoln Historical Society. For further information, contact the Lincoln Minute Men at press@lincolnminutemen.org.

Parking

Based on recommendations of the National Park Service:


Parkers Revenge Saturday, April 14, 2018
Arrive at the Minute Man Visitor Center on Route 2A early by 10 am. The earlier you arrive, the better chance of finding a good spot close to or in the park. But, unless you park well outside of Minute Man Visitor Center, you will not be able to leave with your car for quite a while.
The demonstration takes place at 1:00 p.m., however, the Minute Man Visitor Center is open until 5:00 p.m. 

North Bridge Events on Monday, April 16, 2018
Arrive by 7:30 am; the earlier, the better. If you park in Concord Center, roads will close around 8:30 am and won't re-open until after the parade, sometime between 11:00 a.m. and 12 :00 p.m.  The reenactment takes place around 9:00 a.m.; the ceremonies and parade follow.


The Battle Road Organization

Thanks to all of the hardworking volunteers who make these events come to life every year, and as noted above, for compiling the information published above.

 

The photos were taken at Patriots Day events in 2010 by Lee Wright and are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Creative Commons License

Posted By on


November 28, 2017

2017 Gift List for History Lovers

Our 2017 Gift List for History Lovers 

 

For the person with a lifelong love of history and for whom "Life, liberty, and the pursuit of history" might be their own credo, our "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of History" letterpress print in a handmade frame with conservation mounting.  The print is no longer available by itself.  However, we have two framed prints available we completed in anticipation of Christmas that are available to ship immediately.  One is in a wider profile (shown here), and the other in a narrower simpler frame.

"Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of History" letterpress print in a wide, handmade frame


Pair it with the "Declaration of Independence" print which are available in two versions: from the "Decaration of Independence" from the printing Office of Edes & Gill in Boston and the "Declaration of Independence" from John Dunlap. Both are printed by hand on a historic press. A framed "Declaration of Independence" print is also available. Made by hand upon request.

Declaration of Independence Boston edition Declaration of Independence Philadelphia edition Framed Declaration of Independence print

 

For the women history geeks in your life, the wire-wrapped Stamp Act Bracelet and the "Seal of  Newport Rhoade Island Covnsel" necklace with a large, oval wax seal featuring a sheep with the words, "Seal of  Newport Rhoade Island Covnsel" from the Newport Historical Society. Both bracelets and necklaces come in bronze and sterling silver.

Stamp Act bracelet - silver  "Seal of Newport Rhoade Island Covnsel" Necklace

Top it off with the "Votes for Women" pennant pin, a modern replica in support of the women's suffrage from The Susan B. Anthony Birthplace Museum.

Votes for Women pennant pin

 

For the proud history nerd scholar, flaunt your love for history with the "History Teacher" t-shirts and "History Major" shirt. Also available as stickers.

History Teacher  History Major t-shirt


For the fun-loving history nerd, our collection of "Revolutionary Superheroes" is a perfect choice. Featuring Abigail and John Adams, George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, and Alexander Hamilton in a poster, sticker, magnet, bookmark and t-shirts in light blue heather, black and women's v-neck in black.

"Revolutionary Superheroes" Collection 

For the Revolutionary War military historian, "The West Point History of the American Revolution." Released this November by Simon & Schuster. With several maps, including this gatefold, timelines, diagrams, and more.

The West Point History of the American Revolution   The West Point History of the American Revolution


Other interesting books on Revolutionary War are "The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War " by J.L. Bell, "Dr. Joseph Warren: The Boston Tea Party, Bunker Hill, and Birth of American Liberty" by Sam Forman, and be sure to peruse the Journal of the American Revolution's  100 Best American revolution books of all time list.

The Road to Concord Dr. Joseph Warren 100 Best American Revolution books of all time

 

For hardcore history lovers, the "1773" Boston Tea Party t-shirt and the "Victory" t-shirt. These shirts are not only visually striking but the meaning behind the designs will surely be a conversation starter. Be a rebel and stump the average person! 

"1773" Boston Tea Party shirt  Victory t-shirt
 

When you don't know their size,  the Embroidered "History Nerd" with Ben Franklin cap comes in a variety of colors. Pair it with our new "Life, liberty and pursuit of history" scarf.
  History Nerd caps Life, liberty and pursuit of history scarf

For the Civil War buff, our original "History Nerd" t-shirt with a Civil War Soldier. It comes in two colors: charcoal grey and dark blue.

Civil War History Nerd shirt - blue  Civil War History Nerd t-shirt - charcoal grey


For the World War II aviation enthusiast, the illustrated and autographed books from the Eagles Over the Pacific series showcases some of the most dramatic combat photos ever taken during aerial warfare, maps of every mission flown and aircraft profiles. Signed books in the series include Warpath Across the Pacific, Revenge of the Red Raiders, Rampage of the Roarin' 20's and Ken's Men Against the Empire

Warpath Across the Pacific Revenge of the Red Raiders Rampage of the Roarin' 20's Ken's Men Against the Empire 

 

For the young adult history buffs, a signed copy of the book “Twenty-One Heroes“ by Sam Forman. Inspired by the 21 graves of soldiers who died at the Continental Army’s encampment along the Delaware River, author Sam A. Forman pays tribute to these anonymous young heroes by capturing the essence of their experiences during the Revolutionary War.

Twenty One Heroes  Twenty One Heroes

 

And for the kids, a signed copy of the American Revolutionary War Adventures series, "Patriots, Redcoats & Spies" and "Submarines, Secrets & A Daring Rescue" by Robert J. Skead and Robert A. Skead. The book chronicles the daring adventures of twin boys during the Revolutionary War.

Patriots, Redcoats and Spies Submarines, Secrets and a Daring Rescue Submarines, Secrets and a Daring Rescue

 

For the smallest history lovers (and his or her parents), onesies and t-shirts for toddlers from Wayside Inn, with the iconic little red school house and nursery rhyme some believe was first repeated there.

The Redstone Schoolhouse t-shirt and onesie

 

For the home, the Old North Church Lantern, a replica of the ones used to signal the riders on the night of April 18, 1775, "History Nerd"  with Ben Franklin Mug with 25 of his witty, inspirational quotes and "Flour sack" Tea towels with the iconic Wayside Inn grist mill and barn, sold as a pair.

Old North Church Lantern History Nerd Mug Flour Sack Tea Towel
 

For stocking stuffers, eight of our bestselling stickers in one pack.

Sticker pack  Sticker pack

 

 

Posted By on


August 30, 2017

Engaging more people in your historic site or with your history organization

In response to a post on our Facebook page about declining attendance at historic sites and history museums, Ryan Schwartz, a Gallery Educator at the Museum of the American Revolution in Philadelphia, provided a helpful list of examples.  His post follows.


I'd be very happy to offer up some examples that I have seen implemented at institutions that I have been a part of, as well as some programs that show true innovative thought I have seen implemented elsewhere.

Some examples from institutions I have worked:

  • Tavern Nights/Happy Hours/Pub Crawls that mix social lubrication with historical information and storytelling. Another version of this is Date Night for parents looking for a unique night out. 
  • Night at the Museum programs. I include in this margin a truly excellent Halloween program put on in a Midwestern living history site I once worked for that utilized its historic buildings and local talent to tell fright tales of old Europe and Africa and explore how they translated into the fabric of their new country. 
  • Partnering with local theatre organizations to develop short, strategically placed presentations that tie to museum's core mission. Having the flexibility to perform without the museum's walls also helps to project presence and draw in additional guests. Storytelling benches also fall under this category.
  • Developing online resources for teachers and homeschooling parents. Far from keeping schools away because the "information is online," we saw a marked uptick of attention from local teachers for field trips as well as garnering kind commentary from distance learners.
  • Taking advantage of historically-relevant popular culture, such as Hamilton and Turn, to generate programs and special talks.
  • Cultivating relationships with local gathering places and restaurants, which is especially useful in urban settings. Having popular restaurants promote an upcoming evening with a museum's content can help extend customer loyalty from one institution to another by association. 
  • Creating additional daily programming within "traditional museums" to keep content and guest experiences fresh. These can include daily talks on various subjects of interest, the insertion of costumed demonstrations and presentations, crafts, etc. 
  • Join with other local historic sites as a consortium to present joint programs and talks: we're never in competition with each-other, after all . . . just civics-based entities working towards the same cause.
  • Ensuring that your museum is marketed as being "family-friendly" while ensuring that the slogan is accurate in real-life. Creating hands-on learning spaces, offering Makers programs, including youth-friendly interactive elements as a part of or throughout museum galleries, etc. shows young parents that they can still indulge in a museum visit without the kids being an impediment. 
  • Dare to tackle current events and sensitive topics. We always worry about people being uninformed of issues relevant today, so we shouldn't be afraid to address those issues. We don't have to give them answers, but help them develop their own. Sensitive topics can also be an avenue when addressed sensitively: people are curious about them, if perhaps nervous about being the ones to broach the subject. So: let's talk about feminism, politics, LGBTQ, gender identity, and all these other taboos and how history can place these constructs into context. 
  • Be a community player. Our museums are almost inevitably part of a greater community and the movement towards creating stronger communities is ever-growing. Making sure that your institution is visible in supporting the community is exceptionally important-- craft fairs, farmers markets, community festivals, run/walks, these are all popular outreach possibilities which are incredibly viable for museums to interact with. 

The central theme of many of these is visibility: be seen as present and accessible. Get out beyond the walls and into the streets, be vibrant, be fun, be daring, be authentic. 

Some institutions I have witnessed creating great programs in the last years:

  • Colonial Williamsburg's "Under the Redcoat." For a weekend, the site was occupied by British troops (reenactors) leading up to the American victory at Yorktown. Guests were encouraged to take part in the action, serving as citizens, spies, and soldiers for the occupying army and the Revolutionary underground. Its worth noting that Williamsburg's recent financial woes, by their own admission, greatly stem from their for-profit side, rather than their educational mission.
  • Conner Prairie's Underground Railroad experience "Follow the North Star." In this program, students and guests engage with the issue of slavery in an honest and personally impacting way. 
  • Gettysburg National Military Park: Not only does NPS continue their fine legacy of informing the public, they offer exceptional talks, tours, living history demonstrations and, recently, this park has become the proving ground for NPS's concept to reshape the terrain to give guests a more immersive look into what the battlefield would have resembled in 1863.
  • Minnesota Historical Society's History on Wheels Program, bringing history to the masses, especially students. Minnesota is a vast state and many of its citizens are far from population centers where traditional museums are located, so they branched out with a neat little program. 
  • Pamplin Historical Park in Petersburg, VA, offers overnight and weekend-long experiences to immerse guests of all ages in the Civil War soldier's experience. 
  • Eastern State Penitentiary not only preserves the first major prison in America, but it offers incredible flexibility to exploring guests with audio tours as short as thirty minutes or as long several hours. Their recent exhibit, "Prisons Today" deals with remarkable clarity on current events issues of massed incarceration. They Halloween offering, "Terror Behind the Walls" is likewise apparently something to behold, though I've not attended myself. 
  • Fort Ticonderoga in upstate New York recently re-invented their interpretation program, leveling up their authenticity and taking great pains to ensure that live crafts are being demonstrated on a daily basis. This may be the best living history program in the continental United States and its success has recently been answered with an outpouring of funds for another round of upgrades.
  • The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum was and is one of the most remarkable in the nation. It deals unflinchingly yet sensitively with one of the most difficult-to-teach subjects of all time. They also have a fascinating program where interested guests can follow the life of an individual throughout the museum, which is a sobering and heart-wrenching experience. It has been emulated many times, notably by the Titanic traveling exhibit. 
  • The Museum of Popular Culture (Seattle, WA) is an exceptional space, though decidedly non-traditional. It does excellent work in exploring current events and detailing how phenomena like Game of Thrones, cell phones, or Star Wars shape the world and the mindset of the people who live in it.

I do not mean to leave any out, but these are the ones that I have seen or that have been recommended to me by those I trust and know. 

 

 

Posted By on


August 9, 2017

Our historic travel challenge to the birthplaces and homes of the signers of the Declaration of Independence

Be the first one to post a picture of yourself in your new 1776 Signers Road Trip t-shirt at one of the Birthplaces and Homes of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence featured in our Historic America Road Trip and we'll send you coupon good for $10 off anything in The History List Store. (One coupon code per person per historic site.)

map-signers-of the-declaration-of-independence

Just add your photo as a comment on our recent post announcing our Historic Travel Challenge, post your photo to our Facebook page, or send it to us and we'll confirm that you're the first at that site and send you your coupon code.

Betsy Elms Havens got this started with her great list featuring the Homes of America's Founding Fathers and Shauna McDonald Johnson's recent trip to Boston inspired this Challenge when she claimed four sites as a result of her single trip:

Pictured below, from left to right: The site where John Hancock's house once stood; John Quincy Adams's birthplace, not a Signer, though his home is just a stone's throw from his father's, who was a Signer; and, Peace Field, where they both lived.

You can get your own shirt "1776 Historic America Road Trip to the Birthplaces and Homes of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence" t-shirt here.

 

Shauna Johnson at the sites for the Hancock Manor and the birthplaces and homes of John Adams and John Quincy Adams

 

These birthplaces and homes of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence

  • John Hancock's House Site—Boston, Massachusetts - Shauna Johnson (8/6/17)
  • Thomas Stone National Historic Site—Port Tobacco, Maryland
  • Morrisania—Bronx, New York
  • Fragments of Franklin Court—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Edward Rutledge House—Charleston, South Carolina
  • Heyward-Washington House—Charleston, South Carolina
  • Charles Carroll House—Annapolis, Maryland
  • Governor Stephen Hopkins House—Providence, Rhode Island
  • The Common Man—Merrimack, New Hampshire
  • John Witherspoon House—Princeton, New Jersey
  • Middleton Place—Charleston, South Carolina
  • Summerseat—Morrisville, Pennsylvania
  • Thomas Jefferson's Poplar Forest—Forest, Virginia
  • Wythe House—Williamsburg, Virginia
  • Abraham Clark Memorial House—Roselle, New Jersey
  • Nash-Hooper House—Hillsborough, North Carolina
  • Morven Museum & Garden—Princeton, New Jersey
  • Meadow Garden—Augusta, Georgia - Betsy Elms Havens (11/6/2017)
  • William Williams House—Lebanon, Connecticut
  • Francis Hopkinson House—Bordentown, New Jersey
  • Oliver Wolcott Library—Litchfield, Connecticut
  • William Paca House & Garden—Annapolis, Maryland
  • Josiah Bartlett House—Kingston, New Hampshire
  • Samuel Huntington Birthplace—Scotland, Connecticut
  • William Floyd Estate—Mastic Beach, New York
  • Benjamin Harrison Presidential Site—Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Menokin—Warsaw, Virginia
  • George Read House—New Castle, Delaware
  • Stonehurst, the Robert Treat Paine Estate—Waltham, Massachusetts
  • Shadwell—Shadwell, Virginia
  • Button Gwinnett House—St. Catherines Island, Georgia
  • George Taylor House—Catasauqua, Pennsylvania
  • Morton Homestead—Prospect Park, Pennsylvania
  • Hopsewee Plantation—Georgetown, South Carolina
  • Nelson House—Yorktown, Virginia
  • John Hart Homestead—Hopewell Borough, New Jersey
  • Moffatt-Ladd House & Garden—Portsmouth, New Hampshire
  • Stratford Hall, home of the Lees of Virginia—Stratford, Virginia
  • Elsing Green—Elsing Green, Virginia
  • Chase - Lloyd House—Annapolis, Maryland
  • Fort Wilson—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Byfield—Dover, Delaware
  • Benjamin Franklin Birthplace Site—Boston, Massachusetts - Shauna Johnson (8/6/17)
  • Samuel Adams House Site—Boston, Massachusetts
  • Matthew Thornton House—Derry, New Hampshire
  • Monticello—Charlottesville, Virginia
  • John Adams Birthplace - Adams National Historical Park—Quincy, Massachusetts - Shauna Johnson (8/3/17)
  • Joseph Hewes House—Edenton, North Carolina
  • Thomas McKean House Site—New London, Pennsylvania
  • John Penn's House—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • Elbridge Gerry House—Marblehead, Massachusetts
  • Roger Sherman Town Hall—New Milford, Connecticut
  • Benjamin Rush House—Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
  • “Hall's Knoll” Home of Dr. Lyman Hall—Midway, Georgia

Updated August 8, 2017

 

If you visited one of these that hasn't been claimed, post your photo to our Facebook page or send it to us, and if we have missed any birthplace or home, send us a note.  And if you'd like your own "1776 Historic America Road Trip" t-shirt, you'll find it here.

 

Posted By on