SUBSCRIBE NOW

Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs announces February events

Delaware News Desk
Smyrna/Clayton Sun-Times

The Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will offer 14 special events at sites across the state during February, eight of which will be presented in commemoration of African American History Month, an annual observance celebrating the invaluable contributions that the black community has made to the culture and history of the U.S.

On Presidents Day, Feb. 17, the Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House will be open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum will be closed.

Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.

Saturday, Feb. 1, 2020

— “Lost By One Vote”: 1 p.m. Feb. 1, The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Interactive historical theater presentation that features the pros and cons of Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware and the nation. First Saturday in the First State program. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 744-5054.

— “The Big Bang”: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Feb. 1, Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Screening and discussion of episode one of the three-part PBS documentary “American Epic” which explores how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make records for the first time. Screening in the second floor gallery. First Saturday in the First State program. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 739-3262.

— “The Summers Family: A Generational Story”: 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Feb. 8, The Old State House. African American History Month guided tours explore the true story of the manumission — granting of freedom — of two slave children, Ruth and Thomas Summers, which took place in 1797 in the Kent County Recorder of Deeds office, located in what is now called The Old State House. The children were manumitted by their own father, James Summers, a free African American, who had obtained them from their former owner. 744-5054.

— “Blood and Soil”: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., Johnson Victrola Museum. Screening and discussion of episode two of the three-part PBS documentary “American Epic” which explores how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make records for the first time. Screening in the second floor gallery. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 739-3262.

— Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild: 1-3 p.m. Feb. 8, John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. Museum open 10 a.m.to 4:30 p.m. 739-3277.

— “With Malice Toward None: Abraham Lincoln in Words and Pictures.”: 6 p.m. Feb. 12, The Old State House. Historian Dan Pritchett will discuss Lincoln’s love of language and his ability to use words to influence and inspire people and to transform the nation. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 744-5054.

— Concert by Ronn McFarlane: 7:30 p.m. Feb. 14, The Old State House. Lute player presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. 744-5054.

“African Americans on the Eastern Shore”: 2 p.m. Feb. 15, Lewes Public Library, 111 Adams Ave. Lecture by Jim Blackwell of the Seaford Museum exploring Eastern Shore history, slavery, the Ross family and Harriet Tubman. Free; reservations required by Feb. 14 to 645-1148.

— “Out of the Many, the One”: 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m., Johnson Victrola Museum. Screening and discussion of the final episode of the three-part PBS documentary “American Epic” which explores how the ordinary people of America were given the opportunity to make records for the first time. Screening in the second floor gallery. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 739-3262.

— “The African American Experience in Delaware”: 1 p.m. Feb. 15, The Old State House. Historic-site interpreter Dennis Fisher explores Delaware’s rich African American culture, history and legacy from the 18th to the 20th century. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 744-5054.

— “Revisiting the Founding Era”: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., tour at 1:30 p.m., New Castle Court House, 424 Delaware St. Presentation by Bob Vander Decker, historical interpreter for the New Castle Court House Museum and Boy Scouts of America district leader. Presented in partnership with the New Castle Public Library. Boy Scouts can earn requirements for several scout-related merit badges by attending the program. Girl Scouts and all interested youths ages 12-18 are welcome. Program 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.; tour of the New Castle Court House Museum at 1:30 p.m. Lunch provided. Free; registration required to 328-1995 or 323-4453.

— “The Women’s Suffrage Movement: Below the Color-Line”: 1 p.m. Feb. 22, The Old State House. African American History Month program by historian Syl Woolford explores the struggle for women to gain the right to vote and the role played by black women in the movement. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. 744-5054.

— “Coffee, Cross Stitch and Conversation”: 2 p.m. Feb. 22, Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Stitch-along program with guidance from museum historical interpreter and cross stitcher Madeline Golden. One of two original patterns featuring the Zwaanendael Museum will be available for participants as they enjoy refreshments and conversation while working on their chosen design. Appropriate for beginners and advanced cross stitchers. Program on museum’s second floor, entry via staircase; no elevator. Museum open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. $10 includes materials for visitors to create their own cross stitch. Must register by Feb. 15 to 645-1148.

— “George Washington’s Unique Skill in Picking Top Talent”: 2 p.m. Feb. 23, The Old State House. Presentation by Sam Hoff of Delaware State University and museum historical interpreter Tom Welch on the men that Washington chose to serve in the military, in his spy networks, in his cabinet and on the Supreme Court. Museum open 1:30 to 4:30 p.m. Free; registration required to 744-5054.

For more, visit history.delaware.gov.