This Week @MHS

This week we have a seminar, a brown-bag lunch, and a sneak preview of our upcoming exhibition. Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre opens to the public on Thursday, 31 October. Here is a look at what is planned:

On Tuesday, 29 October, at 5:15 PM: Sesame Street & the Cultural Politics of the Spoken Word in the 1970s with Kathryn Ostrofsky, Freelance Historian, and comment by Victoria Cain, Northeastern University. Sesame Street’s creators, audiences, and social activists all tried to use the popular television program as a tool to shape American society. The resulting discussions reveal that the sound of the spoken word played an important role in media representations of culture and community. People contested the messages conveyed by working-class accents, African American slang, and the Spanish language as they encouraged Sesame Street to embody Great Society liberalism or to engender a pluralistic society. This is part of the Boston Seminar on Modern American Society and Culture series. Seminars are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 30 October, at 12:00 PM: Inhuman Women & Puritanical Legacies in The VVitch 2015 with Amber Hodge, University of Mississippi. The VVitch (2015) visualizes historical oppression as an origin for present-day animalization and concordant disenfranchisement of women who operate outside of proscribed social norms. This talk connects MHS’s archives to The VVitch’s depiction of animality as both feminine and evil to demonstrate the legacy of patriarchal puritanism and possibilities for resistance. This is part of the Brown-bag lunch programBrown-bags are free and open to the public.

On Wednesday, 30 October, 6:00 PM: Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre Sneak Preview ReceptionOn March 5, 1770, British soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing five civilians. The incident quickly became known as the Boston Massacre. Through a selection of first-person accounts, artifacts, and trial notes, this exhibition explores what it meant to be living in an occupied city and how this flash point changed the course of American history. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Please note that registration has closed and this event is SOLD OUT.

Abigail Adams: Life & Legacy Pop-Up Display
Abigail Adams urged her husband to “Remember the Ladies” and made herself impossible to forget. But Abigail is memorable for more than her famous 1776 admonition. This final Remember Abigail display uses documents and artifacts through the ages to consider the way Abigail viewed her own legacy and to explore how and why we continue to Remember Abigail. Join us for a gallery talk on 22 November at 2:00 PM.

Fire! Voices from the Boston Massacre opens on Thursday, 31 October
On the evening of March 5, 1770, soldiers occupying the town of Boston shot into a crowd, killing or fatally wounding five civilians. In the aftermath of what soon became known as the Boston  Massacre, questions about the command to “Fire!” became crucial. Who yelled it? When and why? Because the answers would determine the guilt or innocence of the soldiers, defense counsel John Adams insisted that “Facts are stubborn things.” But what are the facts? The evidence, often contradictory, drew upon testimony from dozens of witnesses. Through a selection of artifacts, eyewitness accounts, and trial testimony—the voices of ordinary men and women—Fire! Voice from the Boston Massacre explores how this flashpoint changed American history. The exhibition is on display at the MHS October 31, 2019 through June 30, 2020, Monday and Wednesday through Saturday from 10:00 AM to 4:00 PM, and Tuesday from 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM.