The museums of the State of Delaware will be sponsoring 17 special events during the month of November 2014. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public. For additional information, call 302-744-5055.
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, November 2014
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
“Man’s Best Friend.” Guided tours explore one of the most celebrated canines in the world—Nipper, the dog who adorns the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice.” Programs will also include original Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014
“18th Century Market Fair.” Programs explore an era when The Green served as the focal point of life in Dover as historical interpreters explore the goods, wares and political attitudes of the 1700s. The Old State House will celebrate the fair with special tours and appearances by historical re-enactors. Sponsored by the First State Heritage Park. The Green, Dover. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-739-9194.
Saturday, Nov. 1, 2014, and Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 11, 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 Saturday in the First State program. 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. 302-744-5055.
Tuesday, Nov. 4, 2014
“Swing.” Guided tours explore Victor Records’ original recordings of “swing music,” played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 11, 2014
“The People’s House.” Guided tours will explore the significance of The Old State House and the many state and county governmental functions that were conducted there between 1791 and 1933. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Thursdays, Nov. 6, 13 and 20, 2014
John Dickinson’s Birthday Month. Visitors celebrate the birth of John Dickinson by helping to make a great cake and decorate it using royal icing and shaped marzipan. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Saturday, Nov. 8, 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.
Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014
“Delaware’s Decades—the 1970s: ‘Coastal Zone Act of 1971.’ ” Program description TBA. Lecture by Kevin Coyle, principal planner for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, on the landmark state-legislation that limited industrial development in Delaware’s coastal areas. Part five of an eight-part series exploring decades in Delaware’s history. 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 Nov. 6, 2014. Note additional program info.
Tuesday, Nov. 11, 2014
“The Victors of World War I: The Power of Music.” In celebration of Veterans Day, this lively program examines music’s influence during World War I when patriotic songs were being composed throughout America. Hear 78 rpm recordings of this inspirational music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, and explore how the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. factory led the fight to make the world safe for democracy. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
Candle-making workshops. Bayberry-candle workshop from 10 a.m.–noon examines bayberries and their use in creating bayberry candles. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. Reservations required by calling the St. Jones Reserve at 302-739-3436. “Light Me Up!” workshop on candle dipping and discussion of lighting devices of the 18th century from 1–3 p.m. Reservations required by calling 302-739-3277 no later than Nov. 14. Museum also open for visitation 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover.
Saturday, Nov. 15, 2014
Dutch-American Heritage Day. Learn about the contributions that the Dutch have made to the economic, social, political and cultural life of Delaware and the United States. Program will include a lecture by Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Lecture at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Saturday, Nov. 29, 2014
“Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can learn to create and decorate cards through the art of paper quilling and stenciling, and write a personal note with a quill pen. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
Exhibits and displays, November 2014
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is presenting the following exhibits and displays:
Thru Dec. 7, 2014 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. Note change in closing date.
“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.
“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.
“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.
“Simple Machines.” Exhibit demonstrating the six “simple machines”—incline ramp, screw, wedge, pulley, lever and wheel—that constitute the elementary building blocks of which many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–3:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.
“Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance.” Display of original Edwardian and roaring 20s fashions that reflect the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman as depicted in the Downton Abbey television series. From the collections of the state of Delaware. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Mon.–Sat., 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
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