Public Programs and Special Events

Extended
to May 26

Exhibition

The Private Jefferson

Explore Jefferson’s complexity through select correspondence and writings including the Declaration of Independence, records of farming at Monticello, and his architectural drawings.

Details

The MHS offers many engaging programs and special events.

May

Public Program Mad for Glory: The true story of two Americans and the fate of the Pacific world 7 May 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. Robert Booth, Author While researching Death of an Empire, which explored the rise and fall of merchant trade in Salem, ...

While researching Death of an Empire, which explored the rise and fall of merchant trade in Salem, Robert Booth came across the story of a naval vessel sent out under Capt. John Downes, who took unauthorized bloody reprisal for an incident at Sumatra involving a Salem merchant vessel. He wondered how this came about and found that 20 years earlier Downes had been lieutenant under Capt. David Porter on board the frigate Essex. Investigating the story, he found that Captain Porter had gone rogue with a U.S. Navy ship only to meet an American ambassador who had organized a new nation overseas and led its armies into the field. In 1813, during the confusion of the War of 1812, two charismatic Americans played out an astonishing drama of nation-building and imperialism in the Pacific.

More
Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson and His Gardens 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Andrea Wulf, Author For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined ...

For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. Andrea Wulf tells the story of Jefferson and the revolutionary generation from the unique perspective of their lives as gardeners, plant hobbyists, and farmers. She describes how George Washington wrote letters to his estate manager even as British warships gathered off Staten Island; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’ faith in their fledgling nation; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of environmentalism. Through these and other stories, Wulf reveals a fresh, nuanced portrait of Jefferson and the men who created our nation.

More
Cocktails with Clio 2016 Special Event Cocktails with Clio 12 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM Please RSVP   Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the sixth annual Cocktails with Clio! ...

Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the sixth annual Cocktails with Clio!

Thursday, 12 May 2016
6:00 PM

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, Massachusetts

Tickets are $300 per person

As part of the Society’s 225th anniversary celebrations, we invite you to join us for a festive evening that will raise funds in support of MHS outreach initatives and educational programs. The evening will begin with cocktails in the lovely pavilion space overlooking the harbor. A seated dinner will follow along with a conversation between the 71st Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and Boston radio and television personality Jim Braude. Sit back and listen as Governor Patrick reflects on his time in office, talks about how the Commonwealth’s great history affected his governorship, and makes connections between past and present leaders.

Purchase a ticket today!


Become a sponsor of Cocktails with Clio

Our sponsors are crucial to the success of the event. As a result of their generosity, the Society’s educational and outreach efforts continue to expand. The additional funding provided by Clio enables the MHS to offer a wide array of educational services including engaging workshops and hands-on student programs; online classroom tools; lesson plans and curricular resources; fellowships for students and teachers; and community partnerships. The Society also reaches out to students and teachers in its role as state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts. Become a sponsor and join with other history enthusiasts in demonstrating your commitment to promoting the study of American history and deepening our nation’s understanding of the diverse stories that define our past.  

For more information, visit www.masshist.org/clio/sponsor or e-mail cknauff@masshist.org.

More
Jefferson Series, Public Program Gallery Talk: Touch Art Gallery brings Jefferson to the Digital Age 13 May 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Andries van Dam and team, Brown University The Private Jefferson represents a significant new use of technology in MHS exhibitions. This was ...

The Private Jefferson represents a significant new use of technology in MHS exhibitions. This was made possible by Microsoft and a team of undergraduates at Brown University who created the Touch Art Gallery program. The faculty guide and the students who worked on the project will show the technology and explain how it was created.

More
Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson the Architect 16 May 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Thomas Jefferson was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President, ...

Thomas Jefferson was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President, but he was also an influential architect in the early republic. Although he is best known today for the design of his own house, Monticello, Jefferson was very important as a champion for and scholar of neoclassical design. His plans for the Virginia State Capital and the University of Virginia helped define how Americans thought of public spaces for the following century. Henry Adams will explore the impact of Jefferson in American architecture and the legacy he has left on our country's built environment. 

More
Public Program Innovation Hub: Mass Momentum 19 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School; Rob Go, NextView Ventures; Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge, and moderated by Robert Krim, Framingham State University This program will be held at MIT's Morss Hall at the Walker Memorial Building (142 Memorial ...

This program will be held at MIT's Morss Hall at the Walker Memorial Building (142 Memorial Drive - Cambridge)

Massachusetts is the birthplace of more world changing innovations than almost anywhere on earth. From the first modern anesthesia to the first venture capital firm to the legalization of same sex marriage, these innovations have shaped the world.  

Our region’s future as a global innovation hub can’t be taken for granted.  Five leaders from divergent sectors who focus on innovation will address critical questions about how to keep our region innovative:

Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

Rob Go, NextView Ventures

Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge

Moderated by Robert Krim, Dir., Innovation Center, Framingham State University

 

They will tackle questions such as:

  • What innovation drivers have consistently been a part of our region and what can we do to strengthen them for the future?
  • Why have major social innovations, from being the 1st state to abolish slavery to the 1st state to legalize gay marriage (and many others) happened here?
  • What can our region learn from previous losses?
    • The 1st decade of the auto industry was centered in Boston & Hartford. How did we lose it?
    • Greater Boston was the center of early computer development (in the ‘40’s), the transistor revolution of the ‘50’s as well as some early digital breakthroughs in the 1960’s. Why did the next wave of innovation move west?
  • How did waves of innovation in each of four centuries bring the region back from depression to national and global innovative leadership? 
  • How can these lessons help retain the current “innovation generation” in this region?

 

Presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society working with MIT, the Russell Museum at MGH, Cambridge Innovation Center, Framingham State University and faculty from Suffolk University.

More
Public Program A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts 24 May 2016.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joseph Bagley, Boston Archaeologist & Author History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Boston’s Big Dig has ...

History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents.

More
June
Public Program The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents 6 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Stephen Kendrick, Author When the Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the ...

When the Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture—lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation’s history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn’s founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers.

More
Public Program The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton 11 June 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. William E. Leuchtenburg, Author The American President is an account of American presidential actions from the assassination of ...

The American President is an account of American presidential actions from the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 to Bill Clinton's last night in office. William Leuchtenburg, one of the great presidential historians of the century, portrays each of the presidents in a chronicle sparkling with anecdote and wit. He offers a nuanced assessment of their conduct in office, preoccupations, and temperament. This book charts the enormous growth of presidential power from its lowly state in the late nineteenth century to the imperial presidency of the twentieth. That striking change was manifested both at home in periods of progressive reform and abroad, notably in two world wars, Vietnam, and the war on terror.

More
Public Program On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Daniel Coquillette and Bruce Kimball, Harvard Law School Harvard Law School is the oldest and, arguably, the most influential law school in the nation. ...

Harvard Law School is the oldest and, arguably, the most influential law school in the nation. During its first century, Harvard Law School pioneered revolutionary educational ideas, including professional legal education within a university, Socratic questioning and case analysis, and the admission and training of students based on academic merit. But the school struggled to navigate its way through the many political, social, economic, and legal crises of the century, and it earned both scars and plaudits as a result. On the Battlefield of Merit offers a candid, critical, definitive account of a unique legal institution during its first century of influence. Daniel R. Coquillette and Bruce A. Kimball examine the school’s deep involvement in the Civil War, its reluctance to admit minorities and women, its anti-Catholicism, and its financial missteps at the turn of the twentieth century. Currently working on the second volume that will bring the story to the present, the authors will also relate this history to recent challenges faced by the school including questions of the relation of its seal to a fortune made on the backs of slaves.

More
Public Program The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America 20 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Ethan Michaeli, Author Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great ...

Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a "Modern Moses," becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost without The Defender’s support. Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.

More
Public Program A New Perspective on the 19th Century Rivalry between New York and Boston 29 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Michael Wheeler, Ph.D Changing technology has introduced tools that can change the way we see and understand history. Dr. ...

Changing technology has introduced tools that can change the way we see and understand history. Dr. Wheeler has degrees in history, computer science, international relations, and earned a PhD by using Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS) to develop three-dimensional, animated maps for studying historical events. During the 19th Century urban rivalry between New York and Boston, small topographic features had large transportation effects that created winners and losers. The bigger surprises come from understanding the timing and motivations for canal and railroad construction – through the act of correctly positioning internal improvements in space and time, we uncover new insights into 19th Century urban rivals, transportation profits, and international trade.

More
More events
Public Program Mad for Glory: The true story of two Americans and the fate of the Pacific world registration required 7 May 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. Robert Booth, Author

While researching Death of an Empire, which explored the rise and fall of merchant trade in Salem, Robert Booth came across the story of a naval vessel sent out under Capt. John Downes, who took unauthorized bloody reprisal for an incident at Sumatra involving a Salem merchant vessel. He wondered how this came about and found that 20 years earlier Downes had been lieutenant under Capt. David Porter on board the frigate Essex. Investigating the story, he found that Captain Porter had gone rogue with a U.S. Navy ship only to meet an American ambassador who had organized a new nation overseas and led its armies into the field. In 1813, during the confusion of the War of 1812, two charismatic Americans played out an astonishing drama of nation-building and imperialism in the Pacific.

close
Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson and His Gardens registration required 11 May 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Andrea Wulf, Author

For the Founding Fathers, gardening, agriculture, and botany were elemental passions: a conjoined interest as deeply ingrained in their characters as the battle for liberty and a belief in the greatness of their new nation. Andrea Wulf tells the story of Jefferson and the revolutionary generation from the unique perspective of their lives as gardeners, plant hobbyists, and farmers. She describes how George Washington wrote letters to his estate manager even as British warships gathered off Staten Island; how a tour of English gardens renewed Thomas Jefferson’s and John Adams’ faith in their fledgling nation; and why James Madison is the forgotten father of environmentalism. Through these and other stories, Wulf reveals a fresh, nuanced portrait of Jefferson and the men who created our nation.

close
Special Event Cocktails with Clio Please RSVP   registration required 12 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM Cocktails with Clio 2016

Feast, sip, and celebrate history at the sixth annual Cocktails with Clio!

Thursday, 12 May 2016
6:00 PM

John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum
Columbia Point
Boston, Massachusetts

Tickets are $300 per person

As part of the Society’s 225th anniversary celebrations, we invite you to join us for a festive evening that will raise funds in support of MHS outreach initatives and educational programs. The evening will begin with cocktails in the lovely pavilion space overlooking the harbor. A seated dinner will follow along with a conversation between the 71st Governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick and Boston radio and television personality Jim Braude. Sit back and listen as Governor Patrick reflects on his time in office, talks about how the Commonwealth’s great history affected his governorship, and makes connections between past and present leaders.

Purchase a ticket today!


Become a sponsor of Cocktails with Clio

Our sponsors are crucial to the success of the event. As a result of their generosity, the Society’s educational and outreach efforts continue to expand. The additional funding provided by Clio enables the MHS to offer a wide array of educational services including engaging workshops and hands-on student programs; online classroom tools; lesson plans and curricular resources; fellowships for students and teachers; and community partnerships. The Society also reaches out to students and teachers in its role as state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts. Become a sponsor and join with other history enthusiasts in demonstrating your commitment to promoting the study of American history and deepening our nation’s understanding of the diverse stories that define our past.  

For more information, visit www.masshist.org/clio/sponsor or e-mail cknauff@masshist.org.

close
Jefferson Series, Public Program Gallery Talk: Touch Art Gallery brings Jefferson to the Digital Age this event is free 13 May 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Andries van Dam and team, Brown University

The Private Jefferson represents a significant new use of technology in MHS exhibitions. This was made possible by Microsoft and a team of undergraduates at Brown University who created the Touch Art Gallery program. The faculty guide and the students who worked on the project will show the technology and explain how it was created.

close
Public Program, Jefferson Series Jefferson the Architect registration required 16 May 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

Thomas Jefferson was not just the author of the Declaration of Independence and the third President, but he was also an influential architect in the early republic. Although he is best known today for the design of his own house, Monticello, Jefferson was very important as a champion for and scholar of neoclassical design. His plans for the Virginia State Capital and the University of Virginia helped define how Americans thought of public spaces for the following century. Henry Adams will explore the impact of Jefferson in American architecture and the legacy he has left on our country's built environment. 

close
Public Program Innovation Hub: Mass Momentum registration required 19 May 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe; Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School; Rob Go, NextView Ventures; Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge, and moderated by Robert Krim, Framingham State University

This program will be held at MIT's Morss Hall at the Walker Memorial Building (142 Memorial Drive - Cambridge)

Massachusetts is the birthplace of more world changing innovations than almost anywhere on earth. From the first modern anesthesia to the first venture capital firm to the legalization of same sex marriage, these innovations have shaped the world.  

Our region’s future as a global innovation hub can’t be taken for granted.  Five leaders from divergent sectors who focus on innovation will address critical questions about how to keep our region innovative:

Scott Kirsner, Boston Globe

Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School

Rob Go, NextView Ventures

Carmichael Roberts, North Bridge

Moderated by Robert Krim, Dir., Innovation Center, Framingham State University

 

They will tackle questions such as:

  • What innovation drivers have consistently been a part of our region and what can we do to strengthen them for the future?
  • Why have major social innovations, from being the 1st state to abolish slavery to the 1st state to legalize gay marriage (and many others) happened here?
  • What can our region learn from previous losses?
    • The 1st decade of the auto industry was centered in Boston & Hartford. How did we lose it?
    • Greater Boston was the center of early computer development (in the ‘40’s), the transistor revolution of the ‘50’s as well as some early digital breakthroughs in the 1960’s. Why did the next wave of innovation move west?
  • How did waves of innovation in each of four centuries bring the region back from depression to national and global innovative leadership? 
  • How can these lessons help retain the current “innovation generation” in this region?

 

Presented by the Massachusetts Historical Society working with MIT, the Russell Museum at MGH, Cambridge Innovation Center, Framingham State University and faculty from Suffolk University.

close
Public Program A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts registration required 24 May 2016.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Joseph Bagley, Boston Archaeologist & Author

History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents.

close
Public Program The Lively Place: Mount Auburn, America's First Garden Cemetery, and Its Revolutionary and Literary Residents registration required 6 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Stephen Kendrick, Author

When the Mount Auburn Cemetery was founded, in 1831, it revolutionized the way Americans mourned the dead by offering a peaceful space for contemplation. This cemetery, located not far from Harvard University, was also a place that reflected and instilled an imperative to preserve and protect nature in a rapidly industrializing culture—lessons that would influence the creation of Central Park, the cemetery at Gettysburg, and the National Parks system. Even today this urban wildlife habitat continues to connect visitors with nature and serves as a model for sustainable landscape practices. Stephen Kendrick celebrates this vital piece of our nation’s history, as he tells the story of Mount Auburn’s founding, its legacy, and the many influential Americans interred there, from religious leaders to abolitionists, poets, and reformers.

close
Public Program The American President: From Teddy Roosevelt to Bill Clinton registration required 11 June 2016.Saturday, 5:00PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:30pm. William E. Leuchtenburg, Author

The American President is an account of American presidential actions from the assassination of William McKinley in 1901 to Bill Clinton's last night in office. William Leuchtenburg, one of the great presidential historians of the century, portrays each of the presidents in a chronicle sparkling with anecdote and wit. He offers a nuanced assessment of their conduct in office, preoccupations, and temperament. This book charts the enormous growth of presidential power from its lowly state in the late nineteenth century to the imperial presidency of the twentieth. That striking change was manifested both at home in periods of progressive reform and abroad, notably in two world wars, Vietnam, and the war on terror.

close
Public Program On the Battlefield of Merit: Harvard Law School, the First Century registration required 15 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Daniel Coquillette and Bruce Kimball, Harvard Law School

Harvard Law School is the oldest and, arguably, the most influential law school in the nation. During its first century, Harvard Law School pioneered revolutionary educational ideas, including professional legal education within a university, Socratic questioning and case analysis, and the admission and training of students based on academic merit. But the school struggled to navigate its way through the many political, social, economic, and legal crises of the century, and it earned both scars and plaudits as a result. On the Battlefield of Merit offers a candid, critical, definitive account of a unique legal institution during its first century of influence. Daniel R. Coquillette and Bruce A. Kimball examine the school’s deep involvement in the Civil War, its reluctance to admit minorities and women, its anti-Catholicism, and its financial missteps at the turn of the twentieth century. Currently working on the second volume that will bring the story to the present, the authors will also relate this history to recent challenges faced by the school including questions of the relation of its seal to a fortune made on the backs of slaves.

close
Public Program The Defender: How the Legendary Black Newspaper Changed America registration required 20 June 2016.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Ethan Michaeli, Author

Giving voice to the voiceless, the Chicago Defender condemned Jim Crow, catalyzed the Great Migration, and focused the electoral power of black America. Robert S. Abbott founded The Defender in 1905, smuggled hundreds of thousands of copies into the most isolated communities in the segregated South, and was dubbed a "Modern Moses," becoming one of the first black millionaires in the process. His successor wielded the newspaper’s clout to elect mayors and presidents, including Harry S. Truman and John F. Kennedy, who would have lost without The Defender’s support. Drawing on dozens of interviews and extensive archival research, Ethan Michaeli constructs a revelatory narrative of race in America and brings to life the reporters who braved lynch mobs and policemen’s clubs to do their jobs, from the age of Teddy Roosevelt to the age of Barack Obama.

close
Public Program A New Perspective on the 19th Century Rivalry between New York and Boston registration required 29 June 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Michael Wheeler, Ph.D

Changing technology has introduced tools that can change the way we see and understand history. Dr. Wheeler has degrees in history, computer science, international relations, and earned a PhD by using Historical Geographic Information Systems (HGIS) to develop three-dimensional, animated maps for studying historical events. During the 19th Century urban rivalry between New York and Boston, small topographic features had large transportation effects that created winners and losers. The bigger surprises come from understanding the timing and motivations for canal and railroad construction – through the act of correctly positioning internal improvements in space and time, we uncover new insights into 19th Century urban rivals, transportation profits, and international trade.

close