Press Releases

Monuments: Snapshots of an Ever-Changing Story

by Catherine Allgor, MHS President; Kanisorn Wongsrichanalai, MHS Director of Research; Elyssa Tardif, MHS Director of Education; and Kate Melchior, MHS Assistant Director of Education Americans have begun to reexamine the monuments that make up our civic landscape. While these discussions are not new, the recent protests over this country’s longstanding racial injustice have given them a new urgency and scope. Ultimately, each decision about the fate of a local monument will be decided by the people in that community, and we believe that the current dialogue is both valuable and timely. Indeed, as the nation’s first historical society, we applaud the increased interest in and conversations about historical artifacts, people, events, and monuments. As people in Massachusetts and across the country voice their understandings of the present-day ...

National History Day in Massachusetts Enables Students to Engage in Black History Topics

by Elyssa Tardif, MHS Director of Education, and Kate Melchior, MHS Assistant Director of Education Mayor Marty Walsh, when asked whether he would consider requiring Boston schools to teach Black history (“Ask the Mayor,” Boston Public Radio, 6/26/2020), made it clear that while educators make curriculum decisions, he believes that Massachusetts students need a “full understanding” of American history, which must include the “contributions [of] the Black community” and the “biases [they] faced.”  Unfortunately, Mayor Walsh conceded, there is only so much time in the day for teachers to spend on history and social studies. But there is good news:  we do not have to wait for an overhaul of the state’s curriculum to provide students with abundant opportunities to learn Black history. We have National ...

A Message from the MHS President

8 June 2020 Dear MHS Community, The Massachusetts Historical Society has taken time to reflect on and examine the events of the past week even as we grieved and raged. We are heartbroken at the brutal killing of George Floyd and share the outrage of those who took to our streets in protest. George Floyd is the latest in a long line of persons of color who have suffered torture, rape, and death since the beginnings of the United States of America. The recent murders of George Floyd, ...

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Upcoming Events

Online Event

The First Reconstruction: Black Politics in America from the Revolution to the Civil War

17May 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

It may be difficult to imagine that a consequential black electoral politics evolved in the United States before the Civil War, for as of 1860, the overwhelming majority ...

Online Event; Conversation; Racial Injustice Series

Confronting Racial Injustice: The War on Drugs in Massachusetts: The Racial Impact of the School ...

19May 6:00PM 2021
This is an online program

In the 1980s, Massachusetts embraced the War on Drugs, enacting harsh mandatory minimum sentences for nonviolent drug offenses. It took decades to confront the reality ...

Online Event

Of Thee I Sing: The Contested History of American Patriotism

26May 5:30PM 2021
This is an online program

When we talk about patriotism in America, we tend to mean one form: the version captured in shared celebrations like the national anthem and the Pledge of Allegiance. But ...

From our Blog

This Week @MHS

Join us for a program this week! Here is a look at what is going on: - Tuesday, 29 January, 5:15 PM: Better Teaching through Technology, 1945-1969, with Victoria Cain, Northeastern ...

Founder to Founder

Like so many good stories here at the Historical Society, it began with a reference question. Jeremy Belknap, hunting through his sources, asked Vice President John Adams for some help. Belknap, the ...

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