The MHS offers many engaging programs and special events.

April 2019
Special Event Celebrating National History Day in Massachusetts at the State House 22 April 2019.Monday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM For questions and to register, contact Elyssa Tardif at etardif@masshist.org or 617-646-0576. Massachusetts State House (Grand Staircase) 24 Beacon Street, ...

Massachusetts State House (Grand Staircase)

24 Beacon Street, Boston

 

The Massachusetts Historical Society, the state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts, invites legislators, teachers, and the general public to learn more about the National History Day (NHD) program and its important impact on students across the Commonwealth. There will be a brief speaking program featuring student participants from NHD, followed by light refreshments. NHD is a year-long interdisciplinary program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for students in grades 6-12. Over 5,000 students participate across Massachusetts each year, honing 21st-century skills like writing, research, and critical thinking that prepare them for active citizenship and success in college and career.

Free and open to the public!

We are grateful for the support of our partners, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Mass Cultural Council, and Mass Humanities.

More
Can She Do It? Special Event, Member Event “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception 25 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please note: space at this event is limited. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It ...

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring items from the MHS collection, it illustrates in dynamic imagery the passion that surrounded both sides of the suffrage question.

Become a Member today!

 

Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor

 

 

 

More
Public Program Visual Culture of Suffrage 29 April 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology Registration is required at no cost. As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the ...

As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the posters featuring suffragists carried at the 2017 Women’s March, the visual culture of the suffrage movement still makes news today. Allison Lange will speak about the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power throughout the suffrage movement.

This program is a part of ArtWeek.

 

 

More
May 2019
Public Program Preserving Family Papers 4 May 2019.Saturday, 11:30AM - 1:00PM MHS staff: Kathy Griffin, Susan Martin, Oona Beauchard, Laura Lowell, and Elaine Heavey Registration is required at no cost. Do you have boxes full of family papers and photographs sitting in your closet, basement, or attic? ...

Do you have boxes full of family papers and photographs sitting in your closet, basement, or attic? Are you wondering how to best preserve those precious memories for generations to come? Let the experts at the MHS teach you simple steps you can take to preserve your paper-based materials. This workshop concludes with a behind-the-scenes tour including our conservation lab and library stacks.

More
Public Program The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality 4 May 2019.Saturday, 4:30PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:00. Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). John and John Quincy Adams were brilliant, prickly politicians and arguably the most independently ...

John and John Quincy Adams were brilliant, prickly politicians and arguably the most independently minded among leaders of the founding generation. Distrustful of blind allegiance to a political party, they brought skepticism of a brand-new system of government to the country’s first 50 years. Join Isenberg and Burstein as they boldly recast the historical role of the Adamses and reflect on how father and son understood the inherent weaknesses in American democracy.

More
Public Program Massachusetts in World War I 9 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Theodore Sedgwick There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). On February 24, 1919, Pres. Woodrow Wilson arrived in Boston after completing the negotiations of ...

On February 24, 1919, Pres. Woodrow Wilson arrived in Boston after completing the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. He was met by a thunderous crowd; the Boston Evening Globe wrote “it seemed that every noise-making instrument in Boston had been set in motion.” The Yankee Division of the Massachusetts National Guard had been one of the first U.S. units deployed in the war. Bay State residents were some of the most active in the war, both on the front lines and in shipyards outfitting navy ships; however, somehow the Great War is often forgotten. This program will explore the history of Massachusetts in WWI as well as why the forgotten war should be remembered.

More
Public Program Boston Women Designers: Then and Now 14 May 2019.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mikyoung Kim, Tamara Roy, Regan Shields Ives, Justine Orlando, and moderator Catherine Allgor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members, Fenway Alliance and Boston Preservation Alliance members, or EBT cardholders). Join us for a conversation with women working in architecture, design, and planning. They will ...

Join us for a conversation with women working in architecture, design, and planning. They will explore social and political landscapes for women designers in Boston today and when they got started, some challenges they overcame to get to where they are today, how Boston compares with other cities on the topic of gender equity, and if Boston is receptive to women in leadership roles.

More
Public Program Fenway Fans 16 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Richard Flavin, Bill Nowlin, and Larry Ruttman There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Red Sox poet laureate Dick Flavin, author Bill Nowlin, and chronicler of Red Sox history Larry ...

Red Sox poet laureate Dick Flavin, author Bill Nowlin, and chronicler of Red Sox history Larry Ruttman will gather to share stories and reminisce about some of the highs and lows in the thousands of Red Sox games they have attended. With the joy of winning the World Series fresh in our memory, these stalwart fans and prolific scribes will tell of behind-the-scenes moments not often heard. Perhaps a mystery guest will be there! Bring your own story to tell.

More
Public Program American States of Nature: The Origins of Independence, 1761-1775 22 May 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Somos There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings ...

In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings before or without political association, appeared thousands of times in juridical, theological, medical, political, economic, and other texts from 1630 to 1810. But by the 1760s, a distinctively American state-of-nature discourse started to emerge. In laws, resolutions, petitions, sermons, broadsides, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, the American states of nature came to justify independence at least as much as colonial formulations of liberty, property, and individual rights did. The founding generation transformed this flexible concept into a powerful theme that shapes their legacy to this day. No constitutional history of the Revolution can be written without it.

More
Public Program Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas 29 May 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Budiansky There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Oliver Wendell Holmes twice escaped death as a young Union officer in the Civil War when musket ...

Oliver Wendell Holmes twice escaped death as a young Union officer in the Civil War when musket balls missed his heart and spinal cord by a fraction of an inch at the Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Antietam. He lived ever after with unwavering moral courage, unremitting scorn for dogma, and an insatiable intellectual curiosity. Named to the Supreme Court by Theodore Roosevelt at age sixty-one, he served for nearly three decades, writing a series of famous, eloquent, and often dissenting opinions that would prove prophetic in securing freedom of speech, protecting the rights of criminal defendants, and ending the Court’s reactionary resistance to social and economic reforms.

 

More
June 2019
Public Program Sale of the Century: How the Red Sox Peddled Babe Ruth to the Yankees 1 June 2019.Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception and display viewing at 2:00 Gordon Edes, Boston Red Sox historian; Jane Leavy; Leigh Montville; and John Thorn, official historian of Major League Baseball There is a $25 per person fee ($10 for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). At 24, Babe Ruth was already regarded as one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball, having ...

At 24, Babe Ruth was already regarded as one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball, having helped deliver three World Series titles to the Red Sox in just four seasons. In 1919, he was coming off a season in which he successfully transitioned to outfielder and shattered the Major League record for home runs in a season. Then, on December 26, 1919, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee agreed to sell Ruth to the Yankees for an astronomical sum. In pinstripes, Ruth became the most famous player in baseball history setting a course in which the Yankees won 40 American League pennants and 27 World Series titles. The Red Sox, however, went 86 years without winning a World Series. This drought became known as “The Curse of the Bambino.” Join us as our panel discusses the deal that altered the face of baseball history. A display of Ruth related artifacts will be part of the reception.

More
Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/calendar/gala-thin.jpg Special Event Making History Gala 2019 5 June 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM Featuring David McCullough in conversation with NPR’s Meghna Chakrabarti Wednesday, June 5 5:00 pm: Sponsor VIP Reception 6:00 pm ...

Wednesday, June 5

5:00 pm: Sponsor VIP Reception

6:00 pm: Cocktails and Dinner Program

Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Avenue, Boston

 

David McCullough has been acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history.” He is twice winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. David’s new book,The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, will be released in May 2019.

General admission tickets are $500 per person.

Purchase tickets here

More
Public Program Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, & the Fight for the Right to Vote 10 June 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Tina Cassidy There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). In 1913, on the eve of his presidential oath of office, Woodrow Wilson landed in Washington, D.C., ...

In 1913, on the eve of his presidential oath of office, Woodrow Wilson landed in Washington, D.C., to witness 8,000 protesting suffragists, led by Alice Paul. From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Wilson, this narrative reveals the inspiring near-death journey, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, it took to grant women the right to vote in America.

More
Public Program The Presidents: Noted Historians on the Lives and Leadership of America's Best and Worst Chief Executives 13 June 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Brian Lamb, Susan Swain, and James Traub, Moderated by Peter Drummey There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of ...

Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of America’s presidents across a variety of categories—their ability to persuade the public, their leadership skills, their moral authority, and more. The crucible of the presidency has forged some of the very best and very worst leaders, along with much in between. Brian Lamb and Susan Swain will discuss presidential leadership qualities with historian James Traub, who is featured in the book, and Peter Drummey, MHS.

More
Public Program Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote 18 June 2019.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Susan Ware There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). The history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the tale of a few iconic ...

The history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the tale of a few iconic leaders, all white and native born. But there is a much broader and more diverse story waiting to be told. This talk is a tribute to the many activists who worked tirelessly out of the spotlight in communities across the nation, protesting, petitioning, and insisting on their right to full citizenship.

More
More events
Special Event Celebrating National History Day in Massachusetts at the State House this event is free 22 April 2019.Monday, 10:00AM - 11:00AM For questions and to register, contact Elyssa Tardif at etardif@masshist.org or 617-646-0576.

Massachusetts State House (Grand Staircase)

24 Beacon Street, Boston

 

The Massachusetts Historical Society, the state sponsor of National History Day in Massachusetts, invites legislators, teachers, and the general public to learn more about the National History Day (NHD) program and its important impact on students across the Commonwealth. There will be a brief speaking program featuring student participants from NHD, followed by light refreshments. NHD is a year-long interdisciplinary program focused on historical research, interpretation, and creative expression for students in grades 6-12. Over 5,000 students participate across Massachusetts each year, honing 21st-century skills like writing, research, and critical thinking that prepare them for active citizenship and success in college and career.

Free and open to the public!

We are grateful for the support of our partners, The Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education, the Mass Cultural Council, and Mass Humanities.

close

Special Event, Member Event “Can She Do It?” Massachusetts Debates a Woman’s Right to Vote: Sneak Preview Reception registration required at no cost 25 April 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 8:00PM Please note: space at this event is limited. This event is open only to MHS Fellows and Members. Can She Do It?

MHS Fellows and Members are invited to the sneak preview reception for “Can She Do It?” The exhibition explores the activism and debate around women’s suffrage in Massachusetts. Featuring items from the MHS collection, it illustrates in dynamic imagery the passion that surrounded both sides of the suffrage question.

Become a Member today!

 

Special thanks to our exhibition sponsor

 

 

 

close

Public Program Visual Culture of Suffrage registration required at no cost 29 April 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology Registration is required at no cost.

As we have seen from the portraits of women selected to appear on the new ten-dollar bill to the posters featuring suffragists carried at the 2017 Women’s March, the visual culture of the suffrage movement still makes news today. Allison Lange will speak about the ways that women’s rights activists and their opponents used images to define gender and power throughout the suffrage movement.

This program is a part of ArtWeek.

 

 

close

Public Program Preserving Family Papers registration required at no cost 4 May 2019.Saturday, 11:30AM - 1:00PM MHS staff: Kathy Griffin, Susan Martin, Oona Beauchard, Laura Lowell, and Elaine Heavey Registration is required at no cost.

Do you have boxes full of family papers and photographs sitting in your closet, basement, or attic? Are you wondering how to best preserve those precious memories for generations to come? Let the experts at the MHS teach you simple steps you can take to preserve your paper-based materials. This workshop concludes with a behind-the-scenes tour including our conservation lab and library stacks.

close

Public Program The Problem of Democracy: The Presidents Adams Confront the Cult of Personality registration required 4 May 2019.Saturday, 4:30PM - 6:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 4:00. Nancy Isenberg and Andrew Burstein There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

John and John Quincy Adams were brilliant, prickly politicians and arguably the most independently minded among leaders of the founding generation. Distrustful of blind allegiance to a political party, they brought skepticism of a brand-new system of government to the country’s first 50 years. Join Isenberg and Burstein as they boldly recast the historical role of the Adamses and reflect on how father and son understood the inherent weaknesses in American democracy.

close

Public Program Massachusetts in World War I registration required 9 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Theodore Sedgwick There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

On February 24, 1919, Pres. Woodrow Wilson arrived in Boston after completing the negotiations of the Treaty of Versailles that ended World War I. He was met by a thunderous crowd; the Boston Evening Globe wrote “it seemed that every noise-making instrument in Boston had been set in motion.” The Yankee Division of the Massachusetts National Guard had been one of the first U.S. units deployed in the war. Bay State residents were some of the most active in the war, both on the front lines and in shipyards outfitting navy ships; however, somehow the Great War is often forgotten. This program will explore the history of Massachusetts in WWI as well as why the forgotten war should be remembered.

close

Public Program Boston Women Designers: Then and Now registration required 14 May 2019.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mikyoung Kim, Tamara Roy, Regan Shields Ives, Justine Orlando, and moderator Catherine Allgor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members, Fenway Alliance and Boston Preservation Alliance members, or EBT cardholders).

Join us for a conversation with women working in architecture, design, and planning. They will explore social and political landscapes for women designers in Boston today and when they got started, some challenges they overcame to get to where they are today, how Boston compares with other cities on the topic of gender equity, and if Boston is receptive to women in leadership roles.

close

Public Program Fenway Fans registration required 16 May 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Richard Flavin, Bill Nowlin, and Larry Ruttman There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Red Sox poet laureate Dick Flavin, author Bill Nowlin, and chronicler of Red Sox history Larry Ruttman will gather to share stories and reminisce about some of the highs and lows in the thousands of Red Sox games they have attended. With the joy of winning the World Series fresh in our memory, these stalwart fans and prolific scribes will tell of behind-the-scenes moments not often heard. Perhaps a mystery guest will be there! Bring your own story to tell.

close

Public Program American States of Nature: The Origins of Independence, 1761-1775 registration required 22 May 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Mark Somos There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In the British colonies, the phrase “state of nature,” or the condition of human beings before or without political association, appeared thousands of times in juridical, theological, medical, political, economic, and other texts from 1630 to 1810. But by the 1760s, a distinctively American state-of-nature discourse started to emerge. In laws, resolutions, petitions, sermons, broadsides, pamphlets, letters, and diaries, the American states of nature came to justify independence at least as much as colonial formulations of liberty, property, and individual rights did. The founding generation transformed this flexible concept into a powerful theme that shapes their legacy to this day. No constitutional history of the Revolution can be written without it.

close

Public Program Oliver Wendell Holmes: A Life in War, Law, and Ideas registration required 29 May 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Budiansky There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Oliver Wendell Holmes twice escaped death as a young Union officer in the Civil War when musket balls missed his heart and spinal cord by a fraction of an inch at the Battles of Ball’s Bluff and Antietam. He lived ever after with unwavering moral courage, unremitting scorn for dogma, and an insatiable intellectual curiosity. Named to the Supreme Court by Theodore Roosevelt at age sixty-one, he served for nearly three decades, writing a series of famous, eloquent, and often dissenting opinions that would prove prophetic in securing freedom of speech, protecting the rights of criminal defendants, and ending the Court’s reactionary resistance to social and economic reforms.

 

close

Public Program Sale of the Century: How the Red Sox Peddled Babe Ruth to the Yankees registration required 1 June 2019.Saturday, 3:00PM - 4:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception and display viewing at 2:00 Gordon Edes, Boston Red Sox historian; Jane Leavy; Leigh Montville; and John Thorn, official historian of Major League Baseball There is a $25 per person fee ($10 for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

At 24, Babe Ruth was already regarded as one of the best left-handed pitchers in baseball, having helped deliver three World Series titles to the Red Sox in just four seasons. In 1919, he was coming off a season in which he successfully transitioned to outfielder and shattered the Major League record for home runs in a season. Then, on December 26, 1919, Red Sox owner Harry Frazee agreed to sell Ruth to the Yankees for an astronomical sum. In pinstripes, Ruth became the most famous player in baseball history setting a course in which the Yankees won 40 American League pennants and 27 World Series titles. The Red Sox, however, went 86 years without winning a World Series. This drought became known as “The Curse of the Bambino.” Join us as our panel discusses the deal that altered the face of baseball history. A display of Ruth related artifacts will be part of the reception.

close

Special Event Making History Gala 2019 registration required 5 June 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 9:00PM Featuring David McCullough in conversation with NPR’s Meghna Chakrabarti Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/calendar/gala-thin.jpg

Wednesday, June 5

5:00 pm: Sponsor VIP Reception

6:00 pm: Cocktails and Dinner Program

Fairmont Copley Plaza, 138 St. James Avenue, Boston

 

David McCullough has been acclaimed as a “master of the art of narrative history.” He is twice winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, and has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian award. David’s new book,The Pioneers: The Heroic Story of the Settlers Who Brought the American Ideal West, will be released in May 2019.

General admission tickets are $500 per person.

Purchase tickets here

close

Public Program Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait? Alice Paul, Woodrow Wilson, & the Fight for the Right to Vote registration required 10 June 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Tina Cassidy There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

In 1913, on the eve of his presidential oath of office, Woodrow Wilson landed in Washington, D.C., to witness 8,000 protesting suffragists, led by Alice Paul. From solitary confinement, hunger strikes, and mental institutions to sitting right across from President Wilson, this narrative reveals the inspiring near-death journey, spearheaded in no small part by Paul’s leadership, it took to grant women the right to vote in America.

close

Public Program The Presidents: Noted Historians on the Lives and Leadership of America's Best and Worst Chief Executives registration required 13 June 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Brian Lamb, Susan Swain, and James Traub, Moderated by Peter Drummey There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Over a period of decades, C-SPAN has surveyed leading historians on the best and worst of America’s presidents across a variety of categories—their ability to persuade the public, their leadership skills, their moral authority, and more. The crucible of the presidency has forged some of the very best and very worst leaders, along with much in between. Brian Lamb and Susan Swain will discuss presidential leadership qualities with historian James Traub, who is featured in the book, and Peter Drummey, MHS.

close

Public Program Why They Marched: Untold Stories of the Women Who Fought for the Right to Vote registration required 18 June 2019.Tuesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Susan Ware There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

The history of how American women won the right to vote has been told as the tale of a few iconic leaders, all white and native born. But there is a much broader and more diverse story waiting to be told. This talk is a tribute to the many activists who worked tirelessly out of the spotlight in communities across the nation, protesting, petitioning, and insisting on their right to full citizenship.

close


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