Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs to sponsor five special events during May 2019
(DOVER, Del.—April 26, 2019)—During the month of May 2019, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring five special programs at sites across the state. A full schedule is included below. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.
Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special events, May 2019
Saturday, May 4, 2019
Dover Days at The Old State House. Guided tours explore Delaware’s historic capitol building constructed in 1791. Part of the Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.
Saturday, May 4, 2019
“Sounds of War: Patriotic Music.” Guided tours examine music’s influence during America’s wars when patriotic songs were composed throughout the nation, accompanied by 78-rpm recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Part of the Dover Days Festival. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.
Saturday, May 11, 2019
“Mary Ann Shadd Cary, Delaware’s Forgotten Daughter.” Presentation by Lora Englehart on the life of Mary Ann Shadd Cary, a Wilmington, Del.–born abolitionist, activist, journalist and educator who was first African-American woman to run a newspaper in North America. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453.
Saturday, May 18, 2019
A Day in Old New Castle. The oldest house and garden tour in the nation includes programs at the New Castle Court House Museum and the New Castle Green. Downtown New Castle. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Admission free at the New Castle Court House Museum. Admission charge at other venues. 302-322-5774. 302-322-5774.
Saturday, May 25, 2019
“A Sailor’s Life for Me”—Zwaanendael Museum’s 8th Annual Maritime Celebration. Maritime-themed activities including displays, demonstrations, tours, lectures and more. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m.–4 p.m. 302-645-1148.
Monday, May 27, 2019
Memorial Day. 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.
Exhibits and displays, May 2019
In addition to special programming, the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is sponsoring the following exhibits and displays. Admission is free and open to the public:
“Delaware Railroads: Elegant Travel and Timely Transport.” Exhibit explores the history of rail travel and transport in the First State emphasizing the New Castle and Frenchtown Railroad (1832), the Delaware Railroad (1852), the Junction and Breakwater Railroad (1857) and the Queen Anne’s Railroad (1896). 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.
“Drawing America to Victory: The Persuasive Power of the Arts in World War I.” Online exhibit revolves around 27 World War I posters from the collections of the State of Delaware.
“Five Stories.” Display explores the varied lives of people who lived on the plantation including Dickinson family members, tenant farmers, tradesmen, free blacks, indentured servants and enslaved individuals. John Dickinson Plantation Welcome Center, 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.
“Letters From a Farmer in Pennsylvania.” Online exhibit explores the life of Founding Father John Dickinson on the 250th anniversary of the publication of his essays that described Colonial American grievances with the British government.
“New Castle: Three Forts, One Community.” Exhibit examines the 17th-century struggle for control of New Castle by the Dutch, Swedes and English, and the strongholds that they built to maintain their power. 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.
“The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016.” Display explores preservation work that has been conducted since Delaware’s first permanent capitol building in Dover 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.
“The Path to Freedom: A History of the Underground Railroad in Delaware.” Exhibit explores Delaware’s role in the clandestine network that transported American slaves to freedom including the true journey of the Hawkins family from bondage in Maryland, through Delaware, to freedom in Pennsylvania. Part II of the display explores some of the challenges faced by Black Delawareans after the Civil War, and showcases Delaware trailblazers who helped break racial and gender barriers. 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. Free admission. 302-323-4453.
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.
“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. April 1–Oct. 31: Tue.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; Sun., 1:30–4:30 p.m. Nov. 1–March 31: Wed.–Sat., 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 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. 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.
“When Janie Comes Marching Home: Women’s Fight to Serve.” Display explores the participation of women in America’s armed conflicts from the Revolutionary War to the present, and their fight to be allowed to serve their country during wartime. Legislative Hall, 411 Legislative Ave., Dover. Limited visitation hours; call 302-739-9194 before planning a visit.
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 tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.
The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs is an agency of the State of Delaware. The division enhances Delaware’s quality of life by preserving the state’s unique historical heritage, fostering community stability and economic vitality and providing educational programs and assistance to the general public on Delaware history and heritage. The division’s diverse array of services includes operation of five museums which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, administration of the State Historic Preservation Office, conservation of the state’s archaeological and historic-objects collections, operation of a conference center and management of historic properties across the state. Primary funding for division programs and services is provided by annual appropriations from the Delaware General Assembly and grants from the National Park Service, Department of the Interior, a federal agency. However, the contents and opinions expressed in the division’s programs and services do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the Department of the Interior.