The MHS offers many engaging programs and special events.

February

Public Program Growing Up with the Country 20 February 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kendra Field, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Following the lead of her own ancestors, Kendra Field’s epic family history chronicles the ...

Following the lead of her own ancestors, Kendra Field’s epic family history chronicles the westward migration of freedom’s first generation in the 50 years after emancipation. She traces their journey out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black towns and settlements. When statehood, oil speculation, and segregation imperiled their lives, some launched a back-to-Africa movement while others moved to Canada and Mexico. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field’s narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shaped the pursuit of freedom.

More
Public Program For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers in the Post-Civil War Era 22 February 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Rennella After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: ...

After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: what’s next? For cultural leaders like Charles Eliot Norton and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Reconstruction left them feeling directionless and betrayed. Shunning the Whig narrative of history, these “Boston Cosmopolitans” researched Europe’s long past to discover and share examples of civil society shaped by high ideals.

More
Public Program Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court 26 February 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Paul Finkelman, Gratz College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The three most important Supreme Court Justices before the Civil War Chief Justices John Marshall ...

The three most important Supreme Court Justices before the Civil War Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger B. Taney and Associate Justice Joseph Story upheld the institution of slavery in ruling after ruling. These opinions cast a shadow over the Court and the legacies of these men, but historians have rarely delved deeply into the personal and political ideas and motivations they held. In Supreme Injustice Paul Finkelman establishes an authoritative account of each justice’s proslavery position, the reasoning behind his opposition to black freedom, and the incentives created by his private life.

More
March
Dinner with Dolley Special Event Dinner with Dolley 1 March 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle Members. Catherine Allgor, MHS President MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to a festive evening with good food,fine wine, and lively ...

MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to a festive evening with good food,fine wine, and lively conversation inspired by Dolley Madison. During dinner, MHS President Catherine Allgor, who is known for her published work on Dolley Madison, will provide history and fun facts about dining with Mrs. Madison. 

Dinner tickets are $100 per person. Please note that no tickets will be mailed; a master guest list will be at the door. 

Registration will open on 29 January.

This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle Members. Join a Giving Circle today at www.masshist.org/support/mhsfund

More
Public Program Chicago Renaissance: Literature & Art in the Midwest Metropolis 7 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Liesl Olson, Newberry Library There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The remarkable cultural history of the great Midwestern city of Chicago contains some exceptional ...

The remarkable cultural history of the great Midwestern city of Chicago contains some exceptional modernist credentials. From the 1893 World’s Fair through mid-century, Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the 20th century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. Olson’s enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic “renaissance” moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens and the creative ferment of the “Black Metropolis” of Bronzeville.

More
Public Program Grappling with Legacy 14 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Sylvia Brown in conversation with Edward Widmer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of ...

What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of our culture and its story can be told through a colorful, multifaceted family whose actions mirror America’s attitudes towards giving. Between 1638 and today, the Browns of Rhode Island have provided community leaders, endowed academic institutions, and transformed communities through art and architecture. However, they also have wrestled with society’s toughest issues slavery, immigration, child labor, inequality and with their own internal tensions. Sylvia Brown, of the family’s 11th generation, and Edward Widmer will explore this story.

More
Public Program People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, & A New Movement for City Making 20 March 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Karilyn Crockett There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1948, inspired by changes to federal law, Massachusetts officials started to plan highways ...

In 1948, inspired by changes to federal law, Massachusetts officials started to plan highways circling and cutting through the heart of Boston. But when officials began to hold hearings in 1960 the people pushed back. The story of how an unlikely multiracial coalition of urban and suburban residents, planners, and activists emerged to stop a highway is one full of suspenseful twists and surprises. And yet the victory and its aftermath are undeniable: federally funded mass transit expansion, a linear central city park, and a highway-less urban corridor that serves as a daily reminder of the power of citizen-led city-making and has had lasting national implications.

More
Public Program Protest & Citizenship 29 March 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Crystal Feimster, Yale University; John Stauffer, Harvard University; and Chad Williams, Brandeis University This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities. Throughout American history many groups have struggled to establish their rights as citizens. While ...

Throughout American history many groups have struggled to establish their rights as citizens. While the United States was a grand experiment in republican government, in the beginning only a small percentage was allowed to participate. Over time, citizenship has grown, but this has often not been a simple or a smooth process. Join MHS for a panel discussion that will explore this history of citizenship and protest. How have groups throughout American history used agitation to help change the dialog about their position as citizens? How can this history help inform our views and reactions to the changing political climate we see today?

This program is made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities

More
April
Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: Private Land 4 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 This program is supported by the Barr Foundation There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Some of the early efforts to preserve open space for the physical and spiritual benefits offered by ...

Some of the early efforts to preserve open space for the physical and spiritual benefits offered by access to nature came from private organizations. Mount Auburn Cemetery was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in North America and as such began the rural cemetery movement that later led to public parks. In 1853 the Laurel Hill Association was founded in Stockbridge, inspiring a national Village Improvement Society movement. Later generations have benefited from the first private, statewide conservation and preservation organization, The Trustees of Reservations. Historic New England has saved traditional farms and Mass Audubon and other private organizations preserve and manage open space across the state. How common is this preservation by private organizations? How sustainable is this concept for future generations?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

More
Public Program Lexington & Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World 19 April 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. George C. Daughan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to ...

The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to the narrative of the American Revolution. However, the economic forces that propelled these iconic battles are another vital part of this history. When Benjamin Franklin wrote home describing the living conditions in Britain and Ireland, his country men were appalled. Could the Crown’s motive be to reduce the prosperous American colonies to such serfdom? This threat inspired the vast turnout of Patriot militiamen that so shocked the British and led the colonists to victory in the first armed conflictsof the War of Independence.

More
More events
Public Program Growing Up with the Country 20 February 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 Kendra Field, Tufts University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Following the lead of her own ancestors, Kendra Field’s epic family history chronicles the westward migration of freedom’s first generation in the 50 years after emancipation. She traces their journey out of the South to Indian Territory, where they participated in the development of black towns and settlements. When statehood, oil speculation, and segregation imperiled their lives, some launched a back-to-Africa movement while others moved to Canada and Mexico. Interweaving black, white, and Indian histories, Field’s narrative explores how ideas about race and color powerfully shaped the pursuit of freedom.

close
Public Program For the Union Dead: Bostonians Travel East in Search of Answers in the Post-Civil War Era registration required at no cost 22 February 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Rennella

After the Civil War, artists and writers from Boston faced a question that haunted America: what’s next? For cultural leaders like Charles Eliot Norton and Isabella Stewart Gardner, Reconstruction left them feeling directionless and betrayed. Shunning the Whig narrative of history, these “Boston Cosmopolitans” researched Europe’s long past to discover and share examples of civil society shaped by high ideals.

close
Public Program Supreme Injustice: Slavery in the Nation’s Highest Court registration required 26 February 2018.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Paul Finkelman, Gratz College There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The three most important Supreme Court Justices before the Civil War Chief Justices John Marshall and Roger B. Taney and Associate Justice Joseph Story upheld the institution of slavery in ruling after ruling. These opinions cast a shadow over the Court and the legacies of these men, but historians have rarely delved deeply into the personal and political ideas and motivations they held. In Supreme Injustice Paul Finkelman establishes an authoritative account of each justice’s proslavery position, the reasoning behind his opposition to black freedom, and the incentives created by his private life.

close
Special Event Dinner with Dolley registration required 1 March 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle Members. Catherine Allgor, MHS President Dinner with Dolley

MHS Fund Giving Circle members are invited to a festive evening with good food,fine wine, and lively conversation inspired by Dolley Madison. During dinner, MHS President Catherine Allgor, who is known for her published work on Dolley Madison, will provide history and fun facts about dining with Mrs. Madison. 

Dinner tickets are $100 per person. Please note that no tickets will be mailed; a master guest list will be at the door. 

Registration will open on 29 January.

This event is open only to MHS Fund Giving Circle Members. Join a Giving Circle today at www.masshist.org/support/mhsfund

close
Public Program Chicago Renaissance: Literature & Art in the Midwest Metropolis registration required 7 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Liesl Olson, Newberry Library There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The remarkable cultural history of the great Midwestern city of Chicago contains some exceptional modernist credentials. From the 1893 World’s Fair through mid-century, Chicago writers revolutionized literary forms during the first half of the 20th century, a period of sweeping aesthetic transformations all over the world. Olson’s enthralling study bridges the gap between two distinct and equally vital Chicago-based artistic “renaissance” moments: the primarily white renaissance of the early teens and the creative ferment of the “Black Metropolis” of Bronzeville.

close
Public Program Grappling with Legacy registration required 14 March 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Sylvia Brown in conversation with Edward Widmer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

What fuels a family’s compulsion for philanthropy? Charitable giving is an intrinsic part of our culture and its story can be told through a colorful, multifaceted family whose actions mirror America’s attitudes towards giving. Between 1638 and today, the Browns of Rhode Island have provided community leaders, endowed academic institutions, and transformed communities through art and architecture. However, they also have wrestled with society’s toughest issues slavery, immigration, child labor, inequality and with their own internal tensions. Sylvia Brown, of the family’s 11th generation, and Edward Widmer will explore this story.

close
Public Program People before Highways: Boston Activists, Urban Planners, & A New Movement for City Making registration required 20 March 2018.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Karilyn Crockett There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1948, inspired by changes to federal law, Massachusetts officials started to plan highways circling and cutting through the heart of Boston. But when officials began to hold hearings in 1960 the people pushed back. The story of how an unlikely multiracial coalition of urban and suburban residents, planners, and activists emerged to stop a highway is one full of suspenseful twists and surprises. And yet the victory and its aftermath are undeniable: federally funded mass transit expansion, a linear central city park, and a highway-less urban corridor that serves as a daily reminder of the power of citizen-led city-making and has had lasting national implications.

close
Public Program Protest & Citizenship registration required at no cost 29 March 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Kantrowitz, University of Wisconsin – Madison; Crystal Feimster, Yale University; John Stauffer, Harvard University; and Chad Williams, Brandeis University This program is funded in part by Mass Humanities.

Throughout American history many groups have struggled to establish their rights as citizens. While the United States was a grand experiment in republican government, in the beginning only a small percentage was allowed to participate. Over time, citizenship has grown, but this has often not been a simple or a smooth process. Join MHS for a panel discussion that will explore this history of citizenship and protest. How have groups throughout American history used agitation to help change the dialog about their position as citizens? How can this history help inform our views and reactions to the changing political climate we see today?

This program is made possible by a grant from Mass Humanities

close
Public Program This Land is Your Land Series: Private Land registration required 4 April 2018.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30 This program is supported by the Barr Foundation There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Some of the early efforts to preserve open space for the physical and spiritual benefits offered by access to nature came from private organizations. Mount Auburn Cemetery was the first large-scale designed landscape open to the public in North America and as such began the rural cemetery movement that later led to public parks. In 1853 the Laurel Hill Association was founded in Stockbridge, inspiring a national Village Improvement Society movement. Later generations have benefited from the first private, statewide conservation and preservation organization, The Trustees of Reservations. Historic New England has saved traditional farms and Mass Audubon and other private organizations preserve and manage open space across the state. How common is this preservation by private organizations? How sustainable is this concept for future generations?

MHS is proud to partner with the Trustees of Reservations, the Department of Conservation and Recreation, Mount Auburn Cemetery, the Emerald Necklace Conservancy, and the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center to plan this programming.

close
Public Program Lexington & Concord: The Battle Heard Round the World registration required 19 April 2018.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. George C. Daughan There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The mounting political tensions that ignited the battles of Lexington and Concord are critical to the narrative of the American Revolution. However, the economic forces that propelled these iconic battles are another vital part of this history. When Benjamin Franklin wrote home describing the living conditions in Britain and Ireland, his country men were appalled. Could the Crown’s motive be to reduce the prosperous American colonies to such serfdom? This threat inspired the vast turnout of Patriot militiamen that so shocked the British and led the colonists to victory in the first armed conflictsof the War of Independence.

close

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