(DOVER, Del.—March 31, 2015)—During the month of April 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 20 special programs at sites across the state. Except where noted, all programs 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 three programs that will take place at the Zwaanendael Museum, located at 102 Kings Highway in Lewes.
From Thursday to Saturday, April 9 to 11, the museum will feature Dutch games, crafts and a display of Delftware ceramics as part of the Lewes Tulip Celebration, a city-wide series of activities celebrating Lewes’ Dutch roots. On Saturday, April 18, 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 25, the museum will present King’s Day, a celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
Other April highlights include living-history performances in which actors from the American Historical Theatre portray President Abraham Lincoln at 1 p.m. on Sunday, April 26 and author Louisa May Alcott at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 30. Both performances will be held in The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover.
Finally, on Wednesday, April 22, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., the John Dickinson Plantation, located at 340 Kitts Hummock Road in Dover, will present Earth Day at the John Dickinson Plantation in which visitors will have an opportunity to explore the natural beauty at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution,” enjoy tours of the colonial-revival garden and create a scented sachet.
Special events, April 2015
Thursday, April 2, 2015
“Play That Old-Time Country Music.” Musical program on Victor Records’ early recordings of country music, accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. 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 4, 2015
“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. 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, April 4, 2014
“Delaware Poetry: JoAnn Balingit, Poet Laureate of Delaware.” In celebration of National Poetry Month, Delaware’s poet laureate will discuss her passion and read some of her poetry. The program will also feature poets Lucian Mattison and Linda Blaskey and a panel discussion entitled “Poetry: The Language of Home.” 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.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
“Bells Across the Land: A Nation Remembers Appomattox.” Bells across Delaware including the New Castle Court House Museum and Dover’s Old State House will ring in commemoration of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox in 1865. 3:15 p.m. 302-544-6363 or 215-341-0032.
Thursday, April 9, 2015
“Sharing Delaware History: The Exploits of Allen McLane.” Living-history theatrical performance by museum historical-interpreter Tom Welch portraying Delaware’s Revolutionary War hero Allen McLane who will discuss his many intelligence-gathering activities during the conflict. 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 9–11, 2015
Lewes Tulip Celebration. 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. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-8073.
Friday–Saturday, April 10–11, 2015
Wildcat Prowl in Lewes. Explore one of America’s oldest towns including programs at the Zwaanendael Museum and tours of the DeBraak hull. Sponsored by the Wilmington University Alumni Association. Downtown Lewes. Admission fee. 302-295-1174.
Saturday, April 11, 2015
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 16, 2015
“The Doctor Is In.” Living-history theatrical performance by Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs historical interpreter Dennis Fisher exploring the life and times of Dr. James Sykes, an 18th to 19th-century Dover physician and statesman who served as Delaware’s governor for a short period. 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 17, 2015
“ ‘Over There’: How Victor’s Musical Industry Influenced the Nation During World War I.” Two-part program begins with a lecture on the contributions of the Victor Talking Machine Company to the war effort to be presented at the Dover Public Library, followed by a presentation at the Johnson Victrola Museum on Victor’s World War I era recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Partnership between the library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Program begins at 7 p.m. at the Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 302-736-7030.
Saturday, April 18, 2015
Dutch-American Friendship Day. Discover Delaware’s Dutch roots and learn how that connection is alive today. Event features a program at 2 p.m. on bicycling in the Netherlands and Delaware. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Saturday, April 18, 2014
“The Spring Storm: A Celebration of Spoken Word.” National Poetry Month program featuring Delaware’s own Spoken-Word artists—Amillion the Poet, SuiteFranchon, Gemele and the Twin Poets; plus a special presentation by Hannah Sturgis, Delaware’s winner of the 2015 Poetry Out Loud contest. The Spoken-Word genre utilizes performance-based poetry focusing on the aesthetics of word play and story-telling. Partnership between the divisions of the Arts, and Historical and Cultural Affairs. 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 18, 2015
“The Story of Dinah.” Program explores the life and craft of Dinah Patten, an accomplished spinner and enslaved person owned by the John Dickinson family. A hands-on activity will accompany the program in which the audience learns how to prepare wool for spinning. Partnership between the Dover Public Library and the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs. Dover Public Library, 35 Loockerman Plaza, Dover. 2 p.m. 302-736-7030.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015
Earth Day at the John Dickinson Plantation. Explore the natural beauty at the home of the “Penman of the Revolution,” enjoy tours of the colonial-revival garden and create a scented sachet. 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.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
“Women’s Words: Delaware’s Civil War Diarists.” Lecture brings to life the Civil-War-era diaries of Delawareans Elizabeth Dorsey and Anna Ferris. 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 25, 2015
King’s Day. Celebration of the birthday of King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands in a program that will also explore royal titles and Delaware’s Dutch connection. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Sunday, April 26, 2014
“Abraham Lincoln.” Living-history performance in which Robert Gleason of the American Historical Theatre portrays President Abraham Lincoln. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 12:30–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
“Freemasons in the Civil War.” Presentation by David Price, a 32nd-degree Freemason, on the participation of the fraternity’s members in the battles of First Manassas, Shiloh, Antietam, Gettysburg and Appomattox; as well as a story about Col. John Singleton Mosby and the draft lottery of 1864. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.
Wednesday, April 29, 2015
“Governor Ross of Delaware: Southern Sympathizer.” Claudia Leister, director of the Milford Museum will discuss the events and attitudes of the 19th-century Delaware governor. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Thursday, April 30, 2014
“Louisa May Alcott.” Living-history performance in which Pat Jordan of the American Historical Theatre portrays the American novelist Louisa May Alcott, best known for her book “Little Women.” Part of the Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 7 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5055.
Exhibits, April 2015
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits:
“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. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. from April 1–Oct. 31. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. from Nov. 1–March 31. Free admission. 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.
Items from the permanent collections. Designed by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the exhibit includes items from the permanent collections of the Laurel Historical Society including images from the Waller Photographic Collection. Laurel Heritage Museum, Mechanic St., Laurel. Mon.–Fri., 8 a.m.–Noon. 302-875-9319 or 302-875-1344.
Ongoing Thru spring 2015
“Middletown Goes To War.” Designed by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the exhibit spotlights the contributions of Middletown’s veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present. Middletown Historical Society, 216 N. Broad St., Middletown. Fri., 9 a.m.–3 p.m. First Sat. of each month, 9 a.m.–Noon. Third Wed. of each month, Noon–4 p.m. Other times by appointment. Free admission. 302-378-7466. Note change in closing date.
“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. Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. from April 1–Oct. 31. Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. from Nov. 1–March 31. Free admission. 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. Free admission. 302-739-3277.
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