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African American History Month programs among 16 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware during February 2017

Date Posted: Friday, January 20th, 2017
Categories:  Historical and Cultural Affairs Kent County New Castle County News Sussex County

Updated: Feb. 1, 2017

(DOVER, Del.—Jan. 20, 2017)—During the month of February 2017, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 16 special events at the museums of the State of Delaware. Eleven of these events 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 United States. All programs listed are free and open to the public.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten, who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation. “A World Apart” tours during the month of February 2017 will explore the lives of African Americans who lived on the plantation in the 18th century.

Mannequin depicting Dinah Patten, who was enslaved at the John Dickinson Plantation. “A World Apart” tours during the month of February 2017 will explore the lives of African Americans who lived on the plantation in the 18th century.

Highlights of the month include “A World Apart,” a series of guided tours exploring the lives of African-Americans who lived in slavery and servitude at the home of John Dickinson, one of the founding fathers of the United States and “Penman of the Revolution.” Tours will take place between 10 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover.

On Saturday, Feb. 18, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, will present Fats Waller: A Man of Many Talents,” guided tours focusing on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines and a short clip of the pianist in performance.

The life of Fats Waller will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 18, 2017.

The life of Fats Waller will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 18, 2017.

Finally, on Saturday, Feb. 18, between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, will present Fats Waller: A Man of Many Talents,” guided tours focusing on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines and a short clip of the pianist in performance.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House 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. Go to the following for a long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, February 2017

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
“Marian Anderson: Her Achievements and Contributions.” African American History Month guided tours explore the life, achievements and political views of operatic contralto and Civil Rights activist Marian Anderson, accompanied by 78-rpm 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. 302-739-3262.

The life of Marian Anderson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 4, 2017.

The life of Marian Anderson will be explored at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Feb. 4, 2017.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
“The Old State House: A Network to Freedom.” African American History Month interpretive tours examine the story of Samuel D. Burris and his work on Underground Railroad, an event in the history of Delaware’s historic capitol that led to its designation as a Network to Freedom site by the National Park Service. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
“A World Apart.” Guided tours explore the 18th-century African-American experience on the plantation. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 4, 2017
“Listen Up! African American History.” Local youth, working with Delaware spoken-word artist Brock Kalim, perform their own spoken-word compositions that bring to light Delaware’s African-American history. Part of the “Listen Up!” series that features young people who utilize poetry, theater, dance and song to create compositions that celebrate different aspects of Delaware history. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Performance at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054. Program rescheduled to March 11, 2017.

Friday, Feb. 10, 2017
Concert by Me & My Friend Phyllis. Bluegrass/old-time music. Presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
“Songs of Love.” In celebration of Valentine’s Day, guided tours explore the variety of songs about love recorded by Victor Records. Tours will be accompanied by 78-rpm recordings of those songs played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
“A World Apart.” Guided tours explore the 18th-century African-American experience on the plantation. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
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.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 11, 2017
“African-American History: State Historic Preservation in Delaware.” Presentation explores Delaware’s rich African American culture, history and legacy. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
“Fats Waller: A Man of Many Talents.” African American History Month guided tours focus on the life and achievements of the noted jazz musician, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines and a short clip of the pianist in performance. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
“A World Apart.” Guided tours explore the 18th-century African-American experience on the plantation. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
“Baseball, Churches, and Schools: Delaware’s African American History Through the Eyes of the National Register.” Presentation by Madeline Dunn, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ historian and National Register of Historic Places coordinator, on historic properties listed in the National Register since the 1980s that are significant to African American communities throughout the state. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 18, 2017
“Buccaneers, Bluebloods and Bonapartes.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Kaitlyn Dykes. Part three of “Ship to Shore Saturdays,” a four-part series that chronicles local Lewes history. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. on the museum’s 2nd floor (entry via staircase; no elevator). 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 Feb. 17, 2017.

Sunday Feb. 19, 2017
“Washington vs. Lincoln.” President’s Day theatrical presentation will pit Washington and Lincoln buffs against each other to determine who was the best president of the United States. Audience members will cast their votes in favor of their preferred candidate. After the verdict is announced, a reception will be held in which apple pie (Lincoln’s favorite) and cherry pie (associated with Washington) will be served. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 2 p.m. Museum open 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Monday, Feb. 20, 2017
Presidents Day. The following museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. The following museums will be closed: The John Dickinson Plantation, the New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum. 302-744-5054.

Wednesday, Feb. 22, 2017
Washington’s Birthday. All museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum and The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
“Paul Robeson.” African American History Month tours focus on the biography and family of bass vocalist Paul Robeson, and his achievements as they pertain to his struggle as a 20th-century black artist. The program will feature Robeson’s Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
“A World Apart.” Guided tours explore the 18th-century African-American experience on the plantation. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, Feb. 25, 2017
“Preserving African-American History in Delaware: Highlighting Vibrant Communities Through Research and the ‘Green Book.’ ” Presentation by researcher Carlton Hall of the State Historic Preservation Office on the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. The program will explore the stories of African-Americans of the last century and their challenges living through the Jim Crow laws in Delaware from the 1920s to the 1960s. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Exhibits and displays, February 2017
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays:

Thru mid-April, 2017
The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first state capitol building was restored to its original appearance in 1976. 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. 302-744-5054.

Ongoing
Discovering Delaware’s Maritime Past.” Display explores the DeBraak, a shipwrecked 18th-century British warship including a photo of the hull recovery, reproductions of items aboard ship, and a model of the vessel. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 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. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Sun., 1:30 p.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Section of the exhibit, “Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey From Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad,” on display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Section of the exhibit, “Emeline Hawkins: Her Journey From Slavery to Freedom on the Underground Railroad,” on display at the New Castle Court House Museum.

Ongoing
Sculpture by Charles Parks. Display of works by the noted Wilmington artist featuring historical and political figures including a Minute Man, and presidents Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford and George W. Bush. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 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. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Artistic rendition of the capsizing of the DeBraak by Peggy Kane, 1990. The story of the ship is explored in the exhibit, “A Seaborne Citizenry: The DeBraak and Its Atlantic World” at the Zwaanendael Museum.

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 many more-complicated machines are composed. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Oct. 1–March 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. April 1–Sept. 30: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

-End-

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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