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July 2016

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                        • Public ProgramBoston Historical
                          Public ProgramBoston Historical
                          6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. registration required at no cost More
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                                • Teacher WorkshopCivil War Seminar
                                  Teacher WorkshopCivil War Seminar
                                  8:30AM - 2:30PM Joseph Fornier, Rochester Institute of Technology Please RSVP   registration required at no cost More
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                                  Exhibition Turning Points in American History this event is free 10 June 2016 to 25 February 2017 Open Monday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM Turning Points

                                  Turning Points in American History examines 15 decisive moments when everything suddenly changed or a process began that would change what followed. These are not the only, or even the most important, events in American history, but turning points described in eyewitness accounts and personal records, or commemorated by "dumb witnesses"--artifacts found in the Society's enormous collections. The exhibition begins with an account of sailing a small boat through New York Harbor on 11 September 2001 and then travels back in time to the opening of the American West in the 19th century; the abolitionist movement and the Civil War; the American Revolution and the birth of the United States; and culminates with John Winthrop's account of setting sail for New England in 1630. The exhibition opens on 10 June.

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                                  Special Event "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations" this event is free 2 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 4:00PM A special one-day display to celebrate America's independence John Adams letter July 3, 1776

                                  On 2 July 1776, the Continental Congress resolved "That these United Colonies are, and of right, ought to be, Free and Independent States." In a letter written to Abigail Adams on 3 July 1776, John Adams reflected on the event and summed up what it meant for Americans of his own time and in the future. He writes, "The Second Day of July 1776, will be the most memorable Epocha, in the History of America" and that the day will be celebrated with, "Bells, Bonfires and Illuminations from one End of this Continent to the other." Adams seems to have understood more clearly than any other member of the Continental Congress the momentous importance of the vote for independence on 2 July, 1776 and how it should be celebrated. He was right about everything except the date. In celebration of America's independence, join us on Saturday, 2 July to see a selection of letters from John and Abigail Adams relating to this important moment in United States history. 

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                                  MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 2 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                                  The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                  While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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                                  Building Closed Independence Day 4 July 2016.Monday, all day

                                  The MHS library and exhibition galleries are closed.

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                                  Brown Bag Passing Transcendental: Harvard, Heresy, and the Modern American Origins of Unbelief this event is free 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM David Faflik, University of Rhode Island

                                  Dismissed in some quarters as “infidels,” the so-called “transcendentalists” of greater Boston in the 1830s, 1840s, and 1850s articulated an alternative faith that was rooted in their principled commitments to liberal spiritual renewal, philosophical idealism, and social reform. However we reckon with transcendentalism today, in our current post-secular moment, we might take seriously the charge that the transcendentalists were indeed representative “infidels” in their day and in their way. Some would say New England’s historical transcendentalists were idiosyncratically spiritual; others would call them symptomatically secular. This project asks if we might also say that transcendentalism’s unique worldview constituted not only a kind of unorthodoxy, but outright unbelief. 

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                                  Public Program Bone Rooms: From Scientific Racism to Human Prehistory in Museums registration required 6 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Samuel Redman, UMASS Amherst

                                  In 1864 a U.S. army doctor dug up the remains of a Dakota man who had been killed in Minnesota. Carefully recording his observations, he sent the skeleton to a museum in Washington, DC, that was collecting human remains for research. In the “bone rooms” of this museum and others like it, a scientific revolution was unfolding that would change our understanding of the human body, race, and prehistory. Samuel Redman unearths the story of how human remains became highly sought-after artifacts for both scientific research and public display. Seeking evidence to support new theories of human evolution and racial classification, collectors embarked on a global competition to recover the best specimens of skeletons, mummies, and fossils. The Smithsonian Institution built the largest collection of human remains in the United States, edging out stiff competition from natural history and medical museums springing up in cities and on university campuses across America. Today, debates about the ethics of these collections continue, but the terms of engagement were largely set by the surge of collecting that was already waning by World War II.

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                                  MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 9 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                                  The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                  While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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                                  Teacher Workshop Teaching Three Centuries of History through MHS Collections Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 12 July 2016 to 14 July 2016 Funded by the Richard Saltonstall Charitable Foundation.

                                  Celebrate the Society’s 225th anniversary and help us make our collections more accessible to teachers and students. Participants will engage with items in our collections, learn from guest historians, and investigate different methods for using primary sources in the classroom. Together with MHS staff we will explore topics such as colonial encounters between English settlers and native peoples, urban politics in the era of the American Revolution, African American poetry and antebellum abolition efforts, and the woman’s suffrage movement.

                                  Application Information:
                                  Educators in grades 5 - 12 are welcome to apply.

                                  Each participant will be expected to curate a set of classroom resources on a specific topic, and will receive a $500 stipend and two graduate credits.

                                  For more information, including application instructions, contact education@masshist.org or call 617-646-0557.

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                                  Brown Bag The Great Peace of 1670 and the Forgotten Corner of the Iroquois Confederacy's Eastern Door this event is free 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Evan Haefeli, Texas A&M University

                                  In a little known treaty conference, the Iroquois made peace with the Hudson Valley tribes who had been allied with the southern New England Algonquians in a war with the Confederacy that for the New Englanders was not concluded until after King Philip’s War. The 1670 treaty is important for several reasons: it not only kept the New York Algonquians neutral during King Philip’s War, and thus abandoned their former allies, but it is the origin of the designation of the “Delaware” Indians (who did not yet exist as such) as “women” (a problematic term) that became so notorious in 18th century Pennsylvania. This project examines the origins of the treaty in the war against the Iroquois and the previously overlooked alliance between the Hudson Valley and New England Algonquians in the 1660s.

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                                  Public Program Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon registration required 13 July 2016.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm. Larry Tye, Author

                                   History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure. To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of Bobby's papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates--including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory evidence means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood.

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                                  MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 16 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                                  The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                  While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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                                  Brown Bag Atlantic Abolitionism and National Reputation: The Intersection of Ethics and Policy in the United States and Britain this event is free 20 July 2016.Wednesday, 12:00PM - 1:00PM Craig Bruce Smith, William Woods University

                                  Drawn from the current book project, “Redemption: The American Revolution, Ethics, and Abolitionism in Britain and the United States,” this talk explores Atlantic abolitionism and the connection between ethics and public policy. Beginning immediately after Britain’s defeat in the Revolution, it frames the British movement to end slavery as a conscious effort to assert the country’s reputation and moral superiority over the United States. It advances that American abolitionism, in turn, became a direct response to the British challenge.

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                                  Public Program Boston Historical registration required at no cost 21 July 2016.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:00PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30pm.

                                  Boston does not have a city historical society, but it has a wealth of neighborhood organizations. From the West End to the South Boston, Bostonians are steeped in local history and proud of their neighborhood’s identity. The Massachusetts Historical Society is pleased to invite the public and representatives of local organizations for a chance to mingle and share recent accomplishments or the great projects they are working on.

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                                  MHS Tour The History and Collections of the MHS this event is free 23 July 2016.Saturday, 10:00AM - 11:30AM

                                  The History and Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society Tour is a 90-minute docent-led walk through our public rooms. The tour is free, open to the public, with no need for reservations. If you would like to bring a larger party (8 or more), please contact Curator of Art Anne Bentley at 617-646-0508 or abentley@masshist.org.

                                  While you're here you will also have the opportunity to view our current exhibition: Turning Points in American History.

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                                  Teacher Workshop SOLD OUT: Women in the Era of the American Revolution registration closed 26 July 2016 to 28 July 2016 THIS EVENT IS SOLD OUT.

                                  This event is sold out. If you would like to be placed on the waiting list, please call 617-646-0557.

                                  Study the revolution through the words and artifacts of the women who lived it. Correspondence demonstrates that women like Abigail Adams, Hannah Winthrop, and Mercy Otis Warren were vital consumers (and boycotters) of imported goods, and functioned as heads of household while their male family members served in the military or traveled on political missions. They recorded important events of the day, and, in the case of Warren, interpreted those events for a public audience. Throughout the workshop we will explore the daily lives of revolutionary women, including those who served as soldiers and secret agents, or followed the army as cooks and laundresses.

                                  This program is open to educators and history enthusiasts. Teachers can earn 45 PDPs and two graduate credits (for an additional fee).

                                  Dates: July 26-28, 2016

                                  Times: 9:00am - 4:00pm

                                  Fee: $35 per person

                                  To Register: This workshop is sold out!

                                  Program Highlights

                                  • Tour the Society's newest exhibition Turning Points: Decisive Moments in American History
                                  • Explore letters, diaries, and images from the Society's collection and participate in a hands-on activity that will engage your detective skills.
                                  • Discuss the intimate nature of women's political, social, and economic networks in colonial Boston with Dr. Serena Zabin.
                                  • Analyze paintings and artifacts at the Museum of Fine Arts.
                                  • Visit Old North Church investigate church records to discover untold stories of congregants, specifically women and African Americans.
                                  • Interpret life for colonial women through objects and structures at the Paul Revere House.
                                  • This program is funded in part by the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati

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                                  Public Program Augustus Saint-Gaudens Civil War Monuments this event is free 29 July 2016.Friday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Jack Curtis

                                  The greatest sculptor of the Beaux-Arts era, Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907), secured his place in the pantheon of American artists with his dynamic portrayals of Civil War heroes. This survey of the life and work of the influential sculptor will focus on his heroic, yet compassionate 1887 Abraham Lincoln: The Man (or Standing Lincoln) in Chicago’s Lincoln Park as representative of Saint-Gaudens’s method, art, and time. By also looking at his first commission, the Admiral David Farragut Monument in New York’s Madison Square Park, and his final work, the General Sherman Monument at New York’s Central Park, and studying the magisterial Shaw Memorial/54th Massachusetts Regiment on the Boston Common, this talk will give students an appreciation of Saint-Gaudens’s pioneering integration of architecture, landscape design, and monumental sculpture.

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                                  Teacher Workshop Civil War Seminar Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 30 July 2016.Saturday, 8:30AM - 2:30PM Joseph Fornier, Rochester Institute of Technology

                                  This seminar will explore, through the use of primary source documents, three themes: how the Union and the Confederacy justified secession and war; the idea of emancipation as a revolutionary form of war; and Lincoln's proposals for reconstruction the United States as the Civil War came to an end in 1865. This program is co-sponsored by the Ashbrook institute at Ashland University, with assistance from the Lincoln and Therese Filene Foundation.

                                  This program is open to all  K-12 educators.

                                  Register at the Ashbrook website:

                                  http://teachingamericanhistory.org/event/forum-civil-war-boston-ma/

                                  Contact education@masshist.org or 617-646-0557 for more information.

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