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Delaware’s Dutch heritage to be featured among 18 free programs at the museums of the state of Delaware in April 2014

Date Posted: Thursday, February 6th, 2014
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs News

During the month of April 2014, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 19 special programs at the state of Delaware’s six museums. A full schedule of events is included below. All programs listed are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.

Delaware’s long-standing connection to the Netherlands—which stretches back in time to the state’s first European colony, Swanendael, established by the Dutch in 1631 in present-day Lewes—will be explored in a series of programs that will take place throughout the month at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes.

“Landing of the DeVries Colony at Swaanendael, Lewes, Delaware 1631” by Stanley M. Arthurs. Courtesy of the permanent collection of the University of Delaware. Delaware’s Dutch heritage will be explored in a series of programs at the Zwaanendael Museum during April 2014.

From Thursday to Saturday, April 10 to 12, the museum will feature Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics as part of the Lewes Tulip Festival, a city-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch roots. On April 19, the museum will celebrate Dutch-American Friendship Day which commemorates April 19, 1782, the day that John Adams, who would later become the second president of the United States, was received by the States General in The Hague and recognized as Minister Plenipotentiary of the United States of America. It was also the day that the house he had purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague was to become the first American embassy in the world. Finally, on Saturday, April 26, the museum will present King’s Day, a celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.

Other April highlights include “Delaware and the Underground Railroad Through Poetry,” an exploration of poetry written about the Underground Railroad by both popular and little-known poets including Thurman W. Adams of Seaford, Del. The program will take place at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 5, 2014 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green, in Dover. On Saturday, April 26, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present Colonial Games Day in which visitors will have an opportunity to experience the fun and exercise of 18th and 19th century games including rolling hoops, ring toss and game of graces.

Rolling hoops at the John Dickinson Plantation.

 Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the six museums of the state of Delaware—the New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, The Old State House, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through displays, exhibits and special programs, the museums explore how the state’s distinctive physical environment, in combination with the people who came to live there, gave Delaware an identity that is different from any other place.

Special events at the museums of the state of Delaware, April 2014

Thursday, April 3, 2014
“A Spy and a Hero: Delaware’s Allen McLane.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Tom Welch on Allen McLane of Smyrna, Del., a hero of the American Revolution, speaker of the state House of Representatives and delegate at Delaware’s Constitution Ratification Convention. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
“An 18th Century Sweet Tooth.” Hands-on workshop in which visitors will learn how to create 18th-century sweets and goodies. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–1 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
“Delaware and the Underground Railroad Through Poetry.” Program examines poetry written about the Underground Railroad by both popular and little-known poets including Thurman W. Adams of Seaford, Del. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, April 5, 2014
“The Environment in Colonial Delaware.”
Lecture by historic-site interpreter Alan Roth. Held in commemoration of Earth Day. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-645-1148 no later than April 2, 2014.

Saturday, April 5 and Friday, April 18, 2014
“1904 Fire at the Camden Plant.” Guided tours focus on the fire that devastated the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. plant in 1904, and the changes in safety and manufacturing that resulted from the tragedy. Tours will also feature a special blend of vintage recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, April 5 and Friday, April 18, 2014
“An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., Noon and 2 p.m. Museum
open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on April 5, 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. on April 18. 302-744-5055.

Thursday, April 10, 2014
“Last Call: The Early Temperance Movement in Delaware.” Lecture by Nancy Gardner on the Temperance movement in Delaware which sought to reduce or prohibit the consumption of alcoholic beverages. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Thursday–Saturday, April 10-12, 2014
Lewes Tulip Festival. City-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch heritage including Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics at the Zwaanendael Museum. Sponsored by the Lewes Chamber of Commerce. Downtown Lewes. 302-645-8073.

Saturday, April 12, 2014
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340   Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Thursday, April 17, 2014
“Murder and Mayhem: The Borders of Delaware.” Lecture by Brian Cannon, lead historic-site interpreter at the New Castle Court House Museum, on Delaware’s unique arched boundary and the factors that created a lawless area near the state’s ambiguous borders with Pennsylvania and Maryland. Part of the History Coffee-Hour Lecture Series. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 5:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Friday, April 18, 2014
“Freedom Tours.” Special guided tours focus on the unique stories of freedom and equality that impacted Delaware citizens. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Dutch-American Friendship Day. Discover Delaware’s Dutch roots and learn how that connection is alive today. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, April 19, 2014
Earth Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Explore the natural beauty at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution” and enjoy tours of the colonial-revival garden and the kitchen herb-and-vegetable garden. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Activities 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
King’s Day. Celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands including the presentation “From Koninginnedag to Koningsdag: A Transition in the Dutch Royal House of Orange” at 2 p.m. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Saturday, April 26, 2014
Colonial Games Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Experience the fun and exercise of 18th and 19th century games. Enjoy rolling hoops, ring toss and game of graces. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Activities 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.


Exhibits at the museums of the state of Delaware, April 2014

In addition to special programming, the museums of the state of Delaware are presenting the following exhibits:

Thru July 31, 2014
An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware.” Exhibit explores the First State’s role in the Underground Railroad by showcasing Thomas Garrett and Samuel D. Burris and the actions they took in following their consciences rather than the law. Presented in partnership with the Underground Railroad Coalition of Delaware. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30-4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.

Ongoing
Archaeology of the New Castle Court House.” The exhibit highlights the many phases of archaeological investigations at the New Castle Court House including artifacts representing over 300 years of continuous use of the building. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
Delaware and the War of 1812.” Exhibit examines the service and sacrifice of Delawareans of 1812 to 1815, and the important role that the state played in a conflict that helped shaped the development of the United   States. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. from Nov. 1–March 31. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. from April 1–Oct. 31. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing
Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey From Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad.” Exhibit chronicles the compelling story of Emeline Hawkins and her family and their 1845 odyssey on the Underground Railroad from slavery in Maryland, through Delaware to freedom in Pennsylvania. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Ongoing
A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World.Exhibit utilizes artifacts recovered from His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak, a British warship that sank off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798 to tell the story of the vessel, its crew and the historical context within which it operated in the Atlantic World of the late 18th century. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. from Nov. 1–March 31. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. from April 1–Oct. 31. 302-645-1148.

Ongoing
“Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel —that constitute the elementary building blocks of which all complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Contact:
Jim Yurasek
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs
Phone:  302-736-7413
E-mail:  Jim.Yurasek@state.de.us
Web:   http://history.delaware.gov

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