The Beehive: the official blog of the Massachusetts Historical Society

This Week @ MHS

It is a short and fairly quiet week here at the MHS with just a couple of items on tap.

Please note that the Society is closed on Monday, 26 May, in observance of Memorial Day. Normal hours resume on Tuesday, 27 May.

On Wednesday, 28 May, join us for a Brown Bag talk titled "Circulating Counterfeits: Making Money and Its Meaning in the Eighteenth-Century British Atlantic," presented by Katherine Smoak of Johns Hopkins University. Counterfeiting was a ubiquitous problem in the eighteenth-century British Atlantic, encouraged by the unstandardized and various nature of eighteenth-century currency. Counterfeiters formed regional and trans-Atlantic networks to produce and circulate debased and forged coin, both British and foreign, and faked reproductions of newly available paper notes.  Reconstructing these networks, I argue that counterfeiters shaped imperial economies in unexpected ways, impacting everything from daily economic practices to the course of economic development, and prompted complex discussions about value, worth and trust in an expanding commercial empire. This talk begins at noon and is free and open to the public.

Come back to the Society on Wednesday evening, 28 May, for "The Mantle of Command: FDR at War, 1941-1942," an author talk presented by Nigel Hamilton. Based on years of archival research and interviews with the last surviving aides and Roosevelt family members, Nigel Hamilton offers a definitive account of FDR’s masterful—and under-appreciated—command of the Allied war effort. Hamilton takes readers inside FDR’s White House Oval Study—his personal command center—and into the meetings where he battled with Churchill about strategy and tactics and overrode the near mutinies of his own generals and secretary of war. Nigel Hamilton is a bestselling and award-winning biographer of President John F. Kennedy, General Bernard “Monty” Montgomery, and President Bill Clinton, among other subjects. He is a Senior Fellow in the McCormack Graduate School, University of Massachusetts-Boston, and first president of the Biographers International Organization (BIO). There is a pre-talk reception beginning at 5:30PM with the talk starting at 6:00PM. Registration is required for this event at a cost of $10 (no fee for Fellows and Members). Click here to register online, or call the MHS reservations line at 617-646-0560.

Finally, on Saturday, 31 May, stop by for a tour of the Society's public rooms. Led by an MHS staff member or docent, the tour touches on the history and collections of the MHS and lasts approximately 90 minutes.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


permalink | Published: Sunday, 25 May, 2014, 12:00 PM