The MHS offers many engaging programs and special events.

January

Public Program People before Highways Day Rally: 1969 + 50! 25 January 2019.Friday, 1:30PM - 2:45PM Please RSVP   Join activists, residents and our allies on the State House steps to mark the 50th anniversary of ...

Join activists, residents and our allies on the State House steps to mark the 50th anniversary of the successful movement to stop the Interstate-95 highway from tearing through greater Boston. Come remember this historic day and offer bold wishes for the future of the Commonwealth. We rally to honor our shared legacy of tireless grassroots activism and to reflect on the urgent work that remains unfinished. RAIN or SHINE

 

1:30 pm Assemble on State House steps

 

2:00 pm Enter State House

 

Collaborating Partners

Historic Boston, Inc.

MIT CoLab

Mel King Institute/Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations

Massachusetts Historical Society

Northeastern University Archives & Special Collections

Haymarket People’s Fund

Massachusetts Communities Action Network

More
Public Program The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Misremembered Molasses 31 January 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology; Gavin Kleespies, MHS; and moderator Rev. Stephen T. Ayres Please note: This program will be held at Old South Meeting House. The Great Molasses Flood of 1919, when remembered, is often interpreted in a dismissive, comical ...

The Great Molasses Flood of 1919, when remembered, is often interpreted in a dismissive, comical manner. How does this case compare with other incidences of historical events that are interpreted or "curated" at the expense of accuracy and respect for human experience? How can we bring complexity back to events that have long been relegated to the realm of local folklore? Local scholars will discuss the question of misunderstood history by looking at the Great Molasses Flood, the fight for women's suffrage and Leif Erickson.

This program is a collaboration between the MHS and Old South Meeting House. It will be held at Old South Meeting House at 310 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108.

This program is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute.

More
February
Public Program Mentioning Unmentionables: An Exploration of Victorian Underclothes 4 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Astrida Schaeffer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Nineteenth century fashion shaped and added to the body in a variety of ways. This inside tour of ...

Nineteenth century fashion shaped and added to the body in a variety of ways. This inside tour of the myths and realities of Victorian corsets, crinolines, bustles and more introduces ladies who challenge our stereotype of the tiny-waisted, fainting Victorian woman, shares what critics thought of these fashion trends, and reveals the clever illusions that made waists seem smaller than they really were.

 

 

More
Public Program Lincoln & the Jews: A History 11 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Historian Jonathan D. Sarna reveals how Lincoln’s remarkable relationship with American Jews ...

Historian Jonathan D. Sarna reveals how Lincoln’s remarkable relationship with American Jews impacted both his path to the presidency and his policy decisions as president. Expressing a uniquely deep knowledge of the Old Testament, employing its language and concepts in some of his most important writings, Lincoln also befriended Jews from a young age, promoted Jewish equality, and appointed numerous Jews to public office.

 

 

More
Public Program Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony 13 February 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Douglas L. Winiarski and Stephen Marini Registration is required at no cost. Please join us for a special evening in which Douglas L. Winiarski will receive the 2018 Gomes Prize ...

Please join us for a special evening in which Douglas L. Winiarski will receive the 2018 Gomes Prize for Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in 18th-Century New England. Winiarski will join historian Stephen Marini in a conversation about religious revivalism and the shaping influence of religious awakenings on faith and culture in eighteenth-century New England.

 

 

More
Public Program Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson & America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation 18 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Steve Luxenberg, Washington Post Associate Editor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Steve Luxenberg presents a myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced &ldquo ...

Steve Luxenberg presents a myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced “separation” and its pernicious consequences. Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first.

 

 

More
Public Program Uncivil Society 21 February 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julian E. Zelizer, Princeton University; Michael Tomasky, Democracy; and Robin Young, WBUR and NPR There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). American political discourse has become so dysfunctional it is hard to imagine reaching a national ...

American political discourse has become so dysfunctional it is hard to imagine reaching a national consensus on almost anything. Longstanding historical fault lines over income inequality, racial division, gender roles, and sexual norms coupled with starkly different senses of economic opportunity in rural and urban America have fueled a polarized political landscape. Julian E. Zelizer, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, and Michael Tomasky, If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved, and Robin Young, co-host of Here & Now on WBUR and NPR, will discuss how we got here and if there is a way back.

 

 

 

More
Public Program You Are What You Wear? Navigating Fashion & Politics in New England, 1760s–1770s 27 February 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception 5:30. Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Our guest curator will explore the social values placed on luxury and thrift in New England in the ...

Our guest curator will explore the social values placed on luxury and thrift in New England in the late 18th century. What messages were telegraphed by a person’s clothing and how were these understood? Did everyone in society read these messages the same way or were there statements only meant to be understood by a select few?

 

 

More
Public Program The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Labor and the Molasses Flood 28 February 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell; and moderator Karilyn Crockett Please note: This program will be held at Old South Meeting House. After the collapse of an industrial tank of molasses left a North End neighborhood devastated, a ...

After the collapse of an industrial tank of molasses left a North End neighborhood devastated, a legal battle for reparations ensued, prompting questions about the role and responsibilities of businesses within a community. Using the Molasses Flood as an historical backdrop, this panel will explore questions around labor rights and safety, the function of government regulations and the relationship between the public and big business interests; issues that still resonate today as modern Bostonians grapple with a changing corporate landscape and city-wide gentrification.

This program is a collaboration between the MHS and Old South Meeting House. It will be held at Old South Meeting House at 310 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108.

This program is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute.

 

More
March
Public Program Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family 6 March 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception 5:30. Sara Georgini, MHS There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). Reflecting on his past, President John Adams mused that it was religion that had shaped his ...

Reflecting on his past, President John Adams mused that it was religion that had shaped his family’s fortunes and young America’s future. Globetrotters who chronicled their religious journeys extensively, the Adamses ultimately developed a cosmopolitan Christianity that blended discovery and criticism, faith and doubt. Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/abigail_adams_1764_image.jpgSara Georgini demonstrates how pivotal Christianity—as the different generations understood it—was in shaping the family’s decisions, great and small.

This event is part of our Remember Abigail programming.

 

 

More
Public Program The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Immigrants in an Industrial Accident 14 March 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Marilynn Johnson, Boston College; Jim Vrabel; and moderator Peter Drummey This program will be held at MHS. Nearly 60 percent of Italian immigrants living in the North End in the early 20th century lacked ...

Nearly 60 percent of Italian immigrants living in the North End in the early 20th century lacked legal citizenship, diminishing their political voice when the Purity Distilling Company erected a shoddily built molasses tank in their densely populated neighborhood. The tragedy that followed is a central event in Boston’s urban and immigrant history and still elicits questions as to the rights of non-citizen residents and the responsibilities of city governments to protect vulnerable communities. The final panel in our Molasses Flood Series will explore the social and political dimensions of immigration in Boston’s past, present and future.

The program is a collaboration between MHS and Old South Meeting House.

More
Public Program Primary Sources for Fashion & Costume History Research 16 March 2019.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire, and Sara Georgini, MHS Registration is required at no cost. Antique textiles, images of historical figures, and material culture hold a wealth of information ...

Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/abigail_adams_1764_image.jpgAntique textiles, images of historical figures, and material culture hold a wealth of information that can enrich personal stories, explain relationships, and contextualize the world that people occupied. However, these sources can seem daunting to explore. Two experts on fashion and material culture will guide you through unraveling the stories woven into history’s fabric.

This workshop is part of our Remember Abigail programming.

More
Public Program Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler 20 March 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Peter Shinkle There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders). This Cold War narrative brings a new dimension to our understanding of the inner-workings of the ...

This Cold War narrative brings a new dimension to our understanding of the inner-workings of the Eisenhower White House. It also shines a bright light on the indispensable contributions and sacrifices made by patriotic gay Americans in an era when Executive Order 10450 banned anyone suspected of “sexual perversion”, i.e. homosexuality, from any government job, and gays in the government were persecuted by the likes of Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn in the Senate, and J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson at the FBI.

 

 

More
More events
Public Program People before Highways Day Rally: 1969 + 50! Please RSVP   registration required at no cost 25 January 2019.Friday, 1:30PM - 2:45PM

Join activists, residents and our allies on the State House steps to mark the 50th anniversary of the successful movement to stop the Interstate-95 highway from tearing through greater Boston. Come remember this historic day and offer bold wishes for the future of the Commonwealth. We rally to honor our shared legacy of tireless grassroots activism and to reflect on the urgent work that remains unfinished. RAIN or SHINE

 

1:30 pm Assemble on State House steps

 

2:00 pm Enter State House

 

Collaborating Partners

Historic Boston, Inc.

MIT CoLab

Mel King Institute/Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations

Massachusetts Historical Society

Northeastern University Archives & Special Collections

Haymarket People’s Fund

Massachusetts Communities Action Network

close
Public Program The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Misremembered Molasses registration required at no cost 31 January 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Allison Lange, Wentworth Institute of Technology; Gavin Kleespies, MHS; and moderator Rev. Stephen T. Ayres Please note: This program will be held at Old South Meeting House.

The Great Molasses Flood of 1919, when remembered, is often interpreted in a dismissive, comical manner. How does this case compare with other incidences of historical events that are interpreted or "curated" at the expense of accuracy and respect for human experience? How can we bring complexity back to events that have long been relegated to the realm of local folklore? Local scholars will discuss the question of misunderstood history by looking at the Great Molasses Flood, the fight for women's suffrage and Leif Erickson.

This program is a collaboration between the MHS and Old South Meeting House. It will be held at Old South Meeting House at 310 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108.

This program is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute.

close
Public Program Mentioning Unmentionables: An Exploration of Victorian Underclothes registration required 4 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Astrida Schaeffer There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Nineteenth century fashion shaped and added to the body in a variety of ways. This inside tour of the myths and realities of Victorian corsets, crinolines, bustles and more introduces ladies who challenge our stereotype of the tiny-waisted, fainting Victorian woman, shares what critics thought of these fashion trends, and reveals the clever illusions that made waists seem smaller than they really were.

 

 

close
Public Program Lincoln & the Jews: A History registration required 11 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Jonathan D. Sarna, Brandeis University There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Historian Jonathan D. Sarna reveals how Lincoln’s remarkable relationship with American Jews impacted both his path to the presidency and his policy decisions as president. Expressing a uniquely deep knowledge of the Old Testament, employing its language and concepts in some of his most important writings, Lincoln also befriended Jews from a young age, promoted Jewish equality, and appointed numerous Jews to public office.

 

 

close
Public Program Peter J. Gomes Memorial Book Prize Ceremony registration required at no cost 13 February 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Douglas L. Winiarski and Stephen Marini Registration is required at no cost.

Please join us for a special evening in which Douglas L. Winiarski will receive the 2018 Gomes Prize for Darkness Falls on the Land of Light: Experiencing Religious Awakenings in 18th-Century New England. Winiarski will join historian Stephen Marini in a conversation about religious revivalism and the shaping influence of religious awakenings on faith and culture in eighteenth-century New England.

 

 

close
Public Program Separate: The Story of Plessy v. Ferguson & America’s Journey from Slavery to Segregation registration required 18 February 2019.Monday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Steve Luxenberg, Washington Post Associate Editor There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Steve Luxenberg presents a myth-shattering narrative of how a nation embraced “separation” and its pernicious consequences. Plessy v. Ferguson, the Supreme Court case synonymous with “separate but equal,” created remarkably little stir when the justices announced their near-unanimous decision on May 18, 1896. Yet it is one of the most compelling and dramatic stories of the nineteenth century, whose outcome embraced and protected segregation, and whose reverberations are still felt into the twenty-first.

 

 

close
Public Program Uncivil Society registration required 21 February 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Julian E. Zelizer, Princeton University; Michael Tomasky, Democracy; and Robin Young, WBUR and NPR There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

American political discourse has become so dysfunctional it is hard to imagine reaching a national consensus on almost anything. Longstanding historical fault lines over income inequality, racial division, gender roles, and sexual norms coupled with starkly different senses of economic opportunity in rural and urban America have fueled a polarized political landscape. Julian E. Zelizer, Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974, and Michael Tomasky, If We Can Keep It: How the Republic Collapsed and How it Might Be Saved, and Robin Young, co-host of Here & Now on WBUR and NPR, will discuss how we got here and if there is a way back.

 

 

 

close
Public Program You Are What You Wear? Navigating Fashion & Politics in New England, 1760s–1770s registration required 27 February 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception 5:30. Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Our guest curator will explore the social values placed on luxury and thrift in New England in the late 18th century. What messages were telegraphed by a person’s clothing and how were these understood? Did everyone in society read these messages the same way or were there statements only meant to be understood by a select few?

 

 

close
Public Program The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Labor and the Molasses Flood registration required at no cost 28 February 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-program reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Robert Forrant, UMass Lowell; and moderator Karilyn Crockett Please note: This program will be held at Old South Meeting House.

After the collapse of an industrial tank of molasses left a North End neighborhood devastated, a legal battle for reparations ensued, prompting questions about the role and responsibilities of businesses within a community. Using the Molasses Flood as an historical backdrop, this panel will explore questions around labor rights and safety, the function of government regulations and the relationship between the public and big business interests; issues that still resonate today as modern Bostonians grapple with a changing corporate landscape and city-wide gentrification.

This program is a collaboration between the MHS and Old South Meeting House. It will be held at Old South Meeting House at 310 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02108.

This program is made possible with funding from the Lowell Institute.

 

close
Public Program Household Gods: The Religious Lives of the Adams Family registration required 6 March 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception 5:30. Sara Georgini, MHS There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

Reflecting on his past, President John Adams mused that it was religion that had shaped his family’s fortunes and young America’s future. Globetrotters who chronicled their religious journeys extensively, the Adamses ultimately developed a cosmopolitan Christianity that blended discovery and criticism, faith and doubt. Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/abigail_adams_1764_image.jpgSara Georgini demonstrates how pivotal Christianity—as the different generations understood it—was in shaping the family’s decisions, great and small.

This event is part of our Remember Abigail programming.

 

 

close
Public Program The Great Molasses Flood Revisited: Immigrants in an Industrial Accident registration required at no cost 14 March 2019.Thursday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Stephen Puleo; Marilynn Johnson, Boston College; Jim Vrabel; and moderator Peter Drummey This program will be held at MHS.

Nearly 60 percent of Italian immigrants living in the North End in the early 20th century lacked legal citizenship, diminishing their political voice when the Purity Distilling Company erected a shoddily built molasses tank in their densely populated neighborhood. The tragedy that followed is a central event in Boston’s urban and immigrant history and still elicits questions as to the rights of non-citizen residents and the responsibilities of city governments to protect vulnerable communities. The final panel in our Molasses Flood Series will explore the social and political dimensions of immigration in Boston’s past, present and future.

The program is a collaboration between MHS and Old South Meeting House.

close
Public Program Primary Sources for Fashion & Costume History Research registration required at no cost 16 March 2019.Saturday, 2:00PM - 3:00PM Kimberly Alexander, University of New Hampshire, and Sara Georgini, MHS Registration is required at no cost.

Image entitled /2012/juniper/assets/section37/abigail_adams_1764_image.jpgAntique textiles, images of historical figures, and material culture hold a wealth of information that can enrich personal stories, explain relationships, and contextualize the world that people occupied. However, these sources can seem daunting to explore. Two experts on fashion and material culture will guide you through unraveling the stories woven into history’s fabric.

This workshop is part of our Remember Abigail programming.

close
Public Program Ike’s Mystery Man: The Secret Lives of Robert Cutler registration required 20 March 2019.Wednesday, 6:00PM - 7:30PM There will be a pre-talk reception at 5:30. Peter Shinkle There is a $10 per person fee (no charge for MHS Fellows and Members or EBT cardholders).

This Cold War narrative brings a new dimension to our understanding of the inner-workings of the Eisenhower White House. It also shines a bright light on the indispensable contributions and sacrifices made by patriotic gay Americans in an era when Executive Order 10450 banned anyone suspected of “sexual perversion”, i.e. homosexuality, from any government job, and gays in the government were persecuted by the likes of Joseph McCarthy and Roy Cohn in the Senate, and J. Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson at the FBI.

 

 

close

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