July

John Adams letter July 3, 1776 Special Event "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations" 2 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM A special one-day display to celebrate America's independence On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ...

On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States." In a letter written to Abigail Adams on 3 July 1776, John Adams reflected on the event and summed up what it meant for Americans of his own time and in the future. He writes, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" and that the day will be celebrated with, "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Adams seems to have understood more clearly than any other member of the Continental Congress the momentous importance of the vote for independence on 2 July, 1776 and how it should be celebrated. He was right about everything except the date. In celebration of America's independence, join us on Saturday, 2 July to see a selection of letters from John and Abigail Adams relating to this important moment in United States history. 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 2 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2016.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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Brown Bag Passing Transcendental: Harvard, Heresy, and the Modern American Origins of Unbelief 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Faflik, University of Rhode Island Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists&rdquo ...

Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists” of greater Boston in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s articulated an alternative faith that was rooted in their principled commitments to liberal spiritual renewal, philosophical idealism, and social reform. However we reckon with transcendentalism today, in our current post-secular moment, we might take seriously the charge that the transcendentalists were indeed representative “infidels” in their day and in their way. Some would say New England’s historical transcendentalists were idiosyncratically spiritual; others would call them symptomatically secular. This project asks if we might also say that transcendentalism’s unique worldview constituted not only a kind of unorthodoxy, but outright unbelief. 

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Public Program Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Samuel Redman, UMASS Amherst In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. ...

In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the “bone rooms” of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory. Samuel Redman unearths the story of how human remains became highly sought-after artifacts for both scientific research and public display. Seeking evidence to support new theories of human evolution and racial classification, collectors embarked on a global competition to recover the best specimens of skeletons, mummies, and fossils. The Smithsonian Institution built the largest collection of human remains in the United States, edging out stiff competition from natural history and medical museums springing up in cities and on university campuses across America. Today, debates about the ethics of these collections continue, but the terms of engagement were largely set by the surge of collecting that was already waning by World War II.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 9 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Teacher Workshopbegins Teaching Three Centuries of History through MHS Collections 12 July 2016.Tuesday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to ...

Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to teachers and students. Participants will engage with items in our collections, learn from guest historians, and investigate different methods for using primary sources in the classroom. Together with MHS staff we will explore topics such as colonial encounters between English settlers and native peoples, urban politics in the era of the American Revolution, African American poetry and antebellum abolition efforts, and the woman’s suffrage movement.

Application Information:
Educators in grades 5 - 12 are welcome to apply.

Each participant will be expected to curate a set of classroom resources on a specific topic, and will receive a $500 stipend and two graduate credits.

For more information, including application instructions, contact education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557.

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Brown Bag The Great Peace of 1670 and the Forgotten Corner of the Iroquois Confederacy's Eastern Door 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had ...

In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had been allied with the southern New England Algonquians in a war with the Confederacy that for the New Englanders was not concluded until after King Philip’s War. The 1670 treaty is important for several reasons: it not only kept the New York Algonquians neutral during King Philip’s War, and thus abandoned their former allies, but it is the origin of the designation of the “Delaware” Indians (who did not yet exist as such) as “women” (a problematic term) that became so notorious in 18th century Pennsylvania. This project examines the origins of the treaty in the war against the Iroquois and the previously overlooked alliance between the Hudson Valley and New England Algonquians in the 1660s.

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Public Program Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Larry Tye, Author                 History remembers Robert F. Kennedy ...

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure. To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of Bobby's papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates--including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory evidence means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood.

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Teacher Workshopends Teaching Three Centuries of History through MHS Collections 14 July 2016.Thursday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM Please RSVP   Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to ...

Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to teachers and students. Participants will engage with items in our collections, learn from guest historians, and investigate different methods for using primary sources in the classroom. Together with MHS staff we will explore topics such as colonial encounters between English settlers and native peoples, urban politics in the era of the American Revolution, African American poetry and antebellum abolition efforts, and the woman’s suffrage movement.

Application Information:
Educators in grades 5 - 12 are welcome to apply.

Each participant will be expected to curate a set of classroom resources on a specific topic, and will receive a $500 stipend and two graduate credits.

For more information, including application instructions, contact education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 16 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Brown Bag Atlantic Abolitionism and National Reputation: The Intersection of Ethics and Policy in the United States and Britain 20 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University Drawn from the current book project, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and ...

Drawn from the current book project, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and Abolitionism in Britain and the United States,” this talk explores Atlantic abolitionism and the connection between ethics and public policy. Beginning immediately after Britain’s defeat in the Revolution, it frames the British movement to end slavery as a conscious effort to assert the country’s reputation and moral superiority over the United States. It advances that American abolitionism, in turn, became a direct response to the British challenge.

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Public Program Boston Historical 21 July 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Boston does not have a city historical society, but it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. ...

Boston does not have a city historical society, but it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. From the West End to the South Boston, Bostonians are steeped in local history and proud of their neighborhood’s identity. The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to invite the public and representatives of local organizations for a chance to mingle and share recent accomplishments or the great projects they are working on.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 23 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Teacher Workshopbegins SOLD OUT: Women in the Era of the American Revolution 26 July 2016.Tuesday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617 ...

This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0557.

Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence demonstrates that women like Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, and Mercy Otis Warren were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. They recorded important events of the day, and, in the case of Warren, interpreted those events for a public audience. Throughout the workshop we will explore the daily lives of revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: July 26-28, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register: This workshop is sold out!

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Society's newest exhibition Turning Points: Decisive Moments in American History
  • Explore letters, diaries, and images from the Society's collection and participate in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
  • Discuss the intimate nature of women's political, social, and economic networks in colonial Boston with Dr. Serena Zabin.
  • Analyze paintings and artifacts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Visit Old North Church investigate church records to discover untold stories of congregants, specifically women and African Americans.
  • Interpret life for colonial women through objects and structures at the Paul Revere House.
  • This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati

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Teacher Workshopends SOLD OUT: Women in the Era of the American Revolution 28 July 2016.Thursday, 9:00AM - 4:00PM THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617 ...

This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0557.

Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence demonstrates that women like Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, and Mercy Otis Warren were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. They recorded important events of the day, and, in the case of Warren, interpreted those events for a public audience. Throughout the workshop we will explore the daily lives of revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: July 26-28, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register: This workshop is sold out!

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Society's newest exhibition Turning Points: Decisive Moments in American History
  • Explore letters, diaries, and images from the Society's collection and participate in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
  • Discuss the intimate nature of women's political, social, and economic networks in colonial Boston with Dr. Serena Zabin.
  • Analyze paintings and artifacts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Visit Old North Church investigate church records to discover untold stories of congregants, specifically women and African Americans.
  • Interpret life for colonial women through objects and structures at the Paul Revere House.
  • This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati

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Public Program Augustus Saint-Gaudens Civil War Monuments 29 July 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Jack Curtis The greatest sculptor of the Beaux-Arts era, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), secured his place ...

The greatest sculptor of the Beaux-Arts era, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), secured his place in the pantheon of American artists with his dynamic portrayals of Civil War heroes. This survey of the life and work of the influential sculptor will focus on his heroic, yet compassionate 1887 Abraham Lincoln: The Man (or Standing Lincoln) in Chicago’s Lincoln Park as representative of Saint-Gaudens’s method, art, and time. By also looking at his first commission, the Admiral David Farragut Monument in New York’s Madison Square Park, and his final work, the General Sherman Monument at New York’s Central Park, and studying the magisterial Shaw Memorial/54th Massachusetts Regiment on the Boston Common, this talk will give students an appreciation of Saint-Gaudens’s pioneering integration of architecture, landscape design, and monumental sculpture.

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Teacher Workshop Civil War Seminar 30 July 2016.Saturday, 8:30AM - 2:30PM Please RSVP   Joseph Fornier, Rochester Institute of Technology This seminar will explore, through the use of primary source documents, three themes: how the Union ...

This seminar will explore, through the use of primary source documents, three themes: how the Union and the Confederacy justified secession and war; the idea of emancipation as a revolutionary form of war; and Lincoln's proposals for reconstruction the United States as the Civil War came to an end in 1865. This program is co-sponsored by the Ashbrook institute at Ashland University, with assistance from the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation.

This program is open to all  K-12 educators.

Register at the Ashbrook website:

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/event/forum-civil-war-boston-ma/

Contact education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557 for more information.

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August
Brown Bag Motherhood and the Court of Public Opinion: Transgressive Maternity in America, 1768-1868 1 August 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Cassandra Berman, Brandeis University This project examines the figure of the transgressive mother in the United States from 1768 to 1868 ...

This project examines the figure of the transgressive mother in the United States from 1768 to 1868, a period in which an idealized version of motherhood began to be seen as integral to the moral development of the nation. Many women violated these ideals, however, and transgressed both legal and social expectations as they did so. Moreover, these mothers fascinated ordinary Americans, who eagerly read of their crimes and indiscretions in the burgeoning mass media. This research shifts the focus away from ideals, and instead examines how the public judged those mothers who either could not or would not conform.

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Brown Bag "Missionary Nation": Imagining America's Role in the Post-Civil War World 3 August 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM James Shinn, Yale University How did the Civil War change the way Americans thought about their country's role in global affairs? ...

How did the Civil War change the way Americans thought about their country's role in global affairs? This talk examines how the struggle for the Union exercised a powerful and lasting--but deeply ambiguous--influence on the Republican foreign policy vision of the late 1860s and 1870s.

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Teacher Workshopbegins Whaling in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts 4 August 2016.Thursday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM Please RSVP   Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Investigate American whaling in the age of sail, and its effects on the politics, economy, and ...

Investigate American whaling in the age of sail, and its effects on the politics, economy, and culture of Massachusetts. Whaling provided men and women of the Commonwealth with new opportunities for financial and cultural exchange. Using documents from the MHS and Leventhal Map Center, we will explore the lives of sailors, whaling wives and entrepreneurs, and trace the expanding geographical horizons afforded by the whaling industry. On August 5th we will take a field trip to New Bedford, Massachusetts, the largest whaling port in the world by the 1830s. We will visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum to explore art and artifacts from whaling voyages that spanned the globe, and take a walking tour of the city whose whale oil "lit the world."

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Educators can earn 22.5 PDPs and one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Dates: August 4 & 5, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Fee: $75 per person

To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

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Teacher Workshopends Whaling in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts 5 August 2016.Friday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM Please RSVP   Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation. Investigate American whaling in the age of sail, and its effects on the politics, economy, and ...

Investigate American whaling in the age of sail, and its effects on the politics, economy, and culture of Massachusetts. Whaling provided men and women of the Commonwealth with new opportunities for financial and cultural exchange. Using documents from the MHS and Leventhal Map Center, we will explore the lives of sailors, whaling wives and entrepreneurs, and trace the expanding geographical horizons afforded by the whaling industry. On August 5th we will take a field trip to New Bedford, Massachusetts, the largest whaling port in the world by the 1830s. We will visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum to explore art and artifacts from whaling voyages that spanned the globe, and take a walking tour of the city whose whale oil "lit the world."

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Educators can earn 22.5 PDPs and one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Dates: August 4 & 5, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Fee: $75 per person

To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 6 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Teacher Workshopbegins SOLD OUT: The Maritime History of Massachusetts' North Shore 9 August 2016.Tuesday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM Please RSVP   THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617 ...

This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0557.

Explore Massachusetts's connections to the sea through the documents, artifacts, landscapes, and historic structures in Beverly, Gloucester, and Marblehead. Join us as we learn more about the original inhabitants of this region and their earliest encounters with European settlers. Tour the working waterfront of Gloucester, and learn how global trade has affected these communities over the past three centuries. View the region's past from an artistic perspective and discuss the works of Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, and other artists who found inspiration from the sea.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: August 9-11, 2016 

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register: This workshop is sold out!

    This program is funded in part by the Richard E. Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

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Teacher Workshopends SOLD OUT: The Maritime History of Massachusetts' North Shore 11 August 2016.Thursday, 9:00AM - 5:00PM Please RSVP   THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT. This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617 ...

This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0557.

Explore Massachusetts's connections to the sea through the documents, artifacts, landscapes, and historic structures in Beverly, Gloucester, and Marblehead. Join us as we learn more about the original inhabitants of this region and their earliest encounters with European settlers. Tour the working waterfront of Gloucester, and learn how global trade has affected these communities over the past three centuries. View the region's past from an artistic perspective and discuss the works of Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, and other artists who found inspiration from the sea.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: August 9-11, 2016 

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register: This workshop is sold out!

    This program is funded in part by the Richard E. Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 13 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Brown Bag Disciplining Freedom: Union Army Slave Rebels and Emancipation in the Civil War Courts-Martial 17 August 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jonathan Lande, Brown University This project offers a new interpretation of the history of black Union soldiers by placing the ...

This project offers a new interpretation of the history of black Union soldiers by placing the troops’ service in the context of slave-soldiers’ service and emancipation throughout the Atlantic. It reexamines the political structure involved in arming slaves and the experiences of soldiers serving in the U.S. Colored Troops.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 20 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 27 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

More
September
Library Closed, Galleries Open Labor Day 3 September 2016.Saturday, all day The MHS library is closed; the exhibition galleries are open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

The MHS library is closed; the exhibition galleries are open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Building Closed Labor Day 5 September 2016.Monday, all day The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 10 September 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS 24 September 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led ...

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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More events
Special Event "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations" this event is free 2 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM A special one-day display to celebrate America's independence John Adams letter July 3, 1776

On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States." In a letter written to Abigail Adams on 3 July 1776, John Adams reflected on the event and summed up what it meant for Americans of his own time and in the future. He writes, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" and that the day will be celebrated with, "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Adams seems to have understood more clearly than any other member of the Continental Congress the momentous importance of the vote for independence on 2 July, 1776 and how it should be celebrated. He was right about everything except the date. In celebration of America's independence, join us on Saturday, 2 July to see a selection of letters from John and Abigail Adams relating to this important moment in United States history. 

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 2 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2016.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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Brown Bag Passing Transcendental: Harvard, Heresy, and the Modern American Origins of Unbelief this event is free 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Faflik, University of Rhode Island

Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists” of greater Boston in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s articulated an alternative faith that was rooted in their principled commitments to liberal spiritual renewal, philosophical idealism, and social reform. However we reckon with transcendentalism today, in our current post-secular moment, we might take seriously the charge that the transcendentalists were indeed representative “infidels” in their day and in their way. Some would say New England’s historical transcendentalists were idiosyncratically spiritual; others would call them symptomatically secular. This project asks if we might also say that transcendentalism’s unique worldview constituted not only a kind of unorthodoxy, but outright unbelief. 

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Public Program Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums registration required 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Samuel Redman, UMASS Amherst

In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the “bone rooms” of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory. Samuel Redman unearths the story of how human remains became highly sought-after artifacts for both scientific research and public display. Seeking evidence to support new theories of human evolution and racial classification, collectors embarked on a global competition to recover the best specimens of skeletons, mummies, and fossils. The Smithsonian Institution built the largest collection of human remains in the United States, edging out stiff competition from natural history and medical museums springing up in cities and on university campuses across America. Today, debates about the ethics of these collections continue, but the terms of engagement were largely set by the surge of collecting that was already waning by World War II.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 9 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Teacher Workshop Teaching Three Centuries of History through MHS Collections Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 12 July 2016 to 14 July 2016 Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to teachers and students. Participants will engage with items in our collections, learn from guest historians, and investigate different methods for using primary sources in the classroom. Together with MHS staff we will explore topics such as colonial encounters between English settlers and native peoples, urban politics in the era of the American Revolution, African American poetry and antebellum abolition efforts, and the woman’s suffrage movement.

Application Information:
Educators in grades 5 - 12 are welcome to apply.

Each participant will be expected to curate a set of classroom resources on a specific topic, and will receive a $500 stipend and two graduate credits.

For more information, including application instructions, contact education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557.

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Brown Bag The Great Peace of 1670 and the Forgotten Corner of the Iroquois Confederacy's Eastern Door this event is free 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University

In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had been allied with the southern New England Algonquians in a war with the Confederacy that for the New Englanders was not concluded until after King Philip’s War. The 1670 treaty is important for several reasons: it not only kept the New York Algonquians neutral during King Philip’s War, and thus abandoned their former allies, but it is the origin of the designation of the “Delaware” Indians (who did not yet exist as such) as “women” (a problematic term) that became so notorious in 18th century Pennsylvania. This project examines the origins of the treaty in the war against the Iroquois and the previously overlooked alliance between the Hudson Valley and New England Algonquians in the 1660s.

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Public Program Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon registration required 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Larry Tye, Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure. To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of Bobby's papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates--including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory evidence means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 16 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Brown Bag Atlantic Abolitionism and National Reputation: The Intersection of Ethics and Policy in the United States and Britain this event is free 20 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University

Drawn from the current book project, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and Abolitionism in Britain and the United States,” this talk explores Atlantic abolitionism and the connection between ethics and public policy. Beginning immediately after Britain’s defeat in the Revolution, it frames the British movement to end slavery as a conscious effort to assert the country’s reputation and moral superiority over the United States. It advances that American abolitionism, in turn, became a direct response to the British challenge.

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Public Program Boston Historical registration required at no cost 21 July 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

Boston does not have a city historical society, but it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. From the West End to the South Boston, Bostonians are steeped in local history and proud of their neighborhood’s identity. The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to invite the public and representatives of local organizations for a chance to mingle and share recent accomplishments or the great projects they are working on.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 23 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Teacher Workshop SOLD OUT: Women in the Era of the American Revolution registration closed 26 July 2016 to 28 July 2016 THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0557.

Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence demonstrates that women like Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, and Mercy Otis Warren were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. They recorded important events of the day, and, in the case of Warren, interpreted those events for a public audience. Throughout the workshop we will explore the daily lives of revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: July 26-28, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register: This workshop is sold out!

Program Highlights

  • Tour the Society's newest exhibition Turning Points: Decisive Moments in American History
  • Explore letters, diaries, and images from the Society's collection and participate in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
  • Discuss the intimate nature of women's political, social, and economic networks in colonial Boston with Dr. Serena Zabin.
  • Analyze paintings and artifacts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
  • Visit Old North Church investigate church records to discover untold stories of congregants, specifically women and African Americans.
  • Interpret life for colonial women through objects and structures at the Paul Revere House.
  • This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati

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Public Program Augustus Saint-Gaudens Civil War Monuments this event is free 29 July 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Jack Curtis

The greatest sculptor of the Beaux-Arts era, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), secured his place in the pantheon of American artists with his dynamic portrayals of Civil War heroes. This survey of the life and work of the influential sculptor will focus on his heroic, yet compassionate 1887 Abraham Lincoln: The Man (or Standing Lincoln) in Chicago’s Lincoln Park as representative of Saint-Gaudens’s method, art, and time. By also looking at his first commission, the Admiral David Farragut Monument in New York’s Madison Square Park, and his final work, the General Sherman Monument at New York’s Central Park, and studying the magisterial Shaw Memorial/54th Massachusetts Regiment on the Boston Common, this talk will give students an appreciation of Saint-Gaudens’s pioneering integration of architecture, landscape design, and monumental sculpture.

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Teacher Workshop Civil War Seminar Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 30 July 2016.Saturday, 8:30AM - 2:30PM Joseph Fornier, Rochester Institute of Technology

This seminar will explore, through the use of primary source documents, three themes: how the Union and the Confederacy justified secession and war; the idea of emancipation as a revolutionary form of war; and Lincoln's proposals for reconstruction the United States as the Civil War came to an end in 1865. This program is co-sponsored by the Ashbrook institute at Ashland University, with assistance from the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation.

This program is open to all  K-12 educators.

Register at the Ashbrook website:

http://teachingamericanhistory.org/event/forum-civil-war-boston-ma/

Contact education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557 for more information.

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Brown Bag Motherhood and the Court of Public Opinion: Transgressive Maternity in America, 1768-1868 this event is free 1 August 2016.Monday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Cassandra Berman, Brandeis University

This project examines the figure of the transgressive mother in the United States from 1768 to 1868, a period in which an idealized version of motherhood began to be seen as integral to the moral development of the nation. Many women violated these ideals, however, and transgressed both legal and social expectations as they did so. Moreover, these mothers fascinated ordinary Americans, who eagerly read of their crimes and indiscretions in the burgeoning mass media. This research shifts the focus away from ideals, and instead examines how the public judged those mothers who either could not or would not conform.

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Brown Bag "Missionary Nation": Imagining America's Role in the Post-Civil War World this event is free 3 August 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM James Shinn, Yale University

How did the Civil War change the way Americans thought about their country's role in global affairs? This talk examines how the struggle for the Union exercised a powerful and lasting--but deeply ambiguous--influence on the Republican foreign policy vision of the late 1860s and 1870s.

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Teacher Workshop Whaling in Nineteenth-Century Massachusetts Please RSVP   registration required 4 August 2016 to 5 August 2016 Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

Investigate American whaling in the age of sail, and its effects on the politics, economy, and culture of Massachusetts. Whaling provided men and women of the Commonwealth with new opportunities for financial and cultural exchange. Using documents from the MHS and Leventhal Map Center, we will explore the lives of sailors, whaling wives and entrepreneurs, and trace the expanding geographical horizons afforded by the whaling industry. On August 5th we will take a field trip to New Bedford, Massachusetts, the largest whaling port in the world by the 1830s. We will visit the New Bedford Whaling Museum to explore art and artifacts from whaling voyages that spanned the globe, and take a walking tour of the city whose whale oil "lit the world."

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Educators can earn 22.5 PDPs and one graduate credit (for an additional fee).

Dates: August 4 & 5, 2016

Times: 9:00am - 5:00pm

Fee: $75 per person

To Register / For more information: complete this registration form, or contact the education department at education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557.

Program Highlights

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 6 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Teacher Workshop SOLD OUT: The Maritime History of Massachusetts' North Shore Please RSVP  registration closed 9 August 2016 to 11 August 2016 THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0557.

Explore Massachusetts's connections to the sea through the documents, artifacts, landscapes, and historic structures in Beverly, Gloucester, and Marblehead. Join us as we learn more about the original inhabitants of this region and their earliest encounters with European settlers. Tour the working waterfront of Gloucester, and learn how global trade has affected these communities over the past three centuries. View the region's past from an artistic perspective and discuss the works of Winslow Homer, Fitz Henry Lane, and other artists who found inspiration from the sea.

This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

Dates: August 9-11, 2016 

Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

Fee: $35 per person

To Register: This workshop is sold out!

    This program is funded in part by the Richard E. Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 13 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Brown Bag Disciplining Freedom: Union Army Slave Rebels and Emancipation in the Civil War Courts-Martial this event is free 17 August 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Jonathan Lande, Brown University

This project offers a new interpretation of the history of black Union soldiers by placing the troops’ service in the context of slave-soldiers’ service and emancipation throughout the Atlantic. It reexamines the political structure involved in arming slaves and the experiences of soldiers serving in the U.S. Colored Troops.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 20 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

close
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 27 August 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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Library Closed, Galleries Open Labor Day 3 September 2016.Saturday, all day

The MHS library is closed; the exhibition galleries are open, 10:00AM-4:00PM.

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Building Closed Labor Day 5 September 2016.Monday, all day

The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 10 September 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

close
MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 24 September 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

close