The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

Kicking off this week on Monday, 12 May, is a Brown Bag talk from short-term research fellow Katie Booth, University of Pittsburgh. Alexander Graham Bell believed that his most important contribution was not the telephone, but his work to liberate the deaf by destroying their community. He came to Boston in 1871 to teach deaf children through oralism, a method that forbade the use of Sign Language and instead taught deaf children to speak. He quickly became an international leader of the oralist movement, but for the deaf who believed he was robbing them of their language, he became the culture’s greatest enemy. "The Performance of Miracles: Alexander Graham Bell's Mission to Save the Deaf" begins at noon and is free and open to the public. 

After a couple quiet days, on Thursday, 15 May, is a special talk given by Chief Justice Margaret H. Marshall, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts and the first woman to serve in that role. In her talk, titled "An Historical Look at the Goodridge Same Sex Marriage Decision," Chief Justice Marshall will talk about the landmark decision reached in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, which stated that it was unconstitutional to allow only opposite-sex couples to marry. As a result of the ruling same-sex marriage in Massachusetts began on 17 May 2004. A pre-talk reception begins at 5:30PM followed by the program which begins at 6:00PM. Registration is required and there is a $10 fee (no charge for Fellows and Members).  Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

Then, on Friday, 16 May, there is another Brown Bag talk at 12:00PM. "Louisa Catherine Adams: One Woman, Many Voices," is a panel discussion about what we can learn about Louisa by listening to her different voices that emerged in letters, diaries, poetry, and memoirs. The panelists Judith Graham and Margaret Hogan are editors who have prepared Louisa's work for publication, and David Michelmore is a biographer who has used it. The discussion will be moderated by Beth Luey. This event is free and open to the public.

On Saturday, 17 May, is the MHS Tour: The History and Collections of the MHS. This 90-minute docent-led tour explores the public spaces of the Society's home at 1154 Boylston Street and touches on the art, architecture, history, and collections of the MHS. The tour is free and open to the public. No reservation is required for individuals or small groups. Parties of 8 or more should contact the MHS prior to attending a tour. For more information please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or

Finally, a reminder that time is running out to view our current exhbition, "Tell It with Pride: The 54th Massachusetts Regiment and Augustus Saint-Gaudens' Shaw Memorial" which officially ends on Friday, 23 May. The exhibit is free and open to the public Monday-Saturday, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

permalink | Published: Sunday, 11 May, 2014, 12:00 PM