Public Programs and Special Events

Exhibition

Turning Points in American History

10 June 2016 to 25 February 2017 Details

The MHS offers many engaging programs and special events.

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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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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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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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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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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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. 

close
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.

close
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.

close
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.

close
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.

close