Beginning in January 2015, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering a variety of public programs at the Dover Public Library located at 35 Loockerman Plaza in Dover. The programs, which will include first-person historical interpretation, lectures and children’s activities, are part of the division’s outreach efforts in communities across the state. All programs, which are listed below, are free and open to the public. For additional information, contact the division at 302-744-5055 or the Dover Public Library at 302-736-7030.
The launch of the division’s Dover Public Library programs will coincide with the opening of “Changing America: The Emancipation Proclamation, 1863 and the March on Washington, 1963,” a traveling exhibit that will be on display at the library from Jan. 10 to Feb. 20, 2015. The exhibit explores two great moments in American history—separated by 100 years—when individuals united and took courageous steps to fulfill the promise of democracy. The grand opening of the exhibit will take place on Saturday, Jan. 10 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and will include an 11 a.m. performance of “Lost By One Vote,” a program in which division historical-interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware.
In addition to the public programming, a large number of art works from the collections of the state of Delaware are currently on display in the library including several paintings by Hispanic artists from the Norma Varisco de García Collection which was donated to the state of Delaware in 2012.
Upcoming division-sponsored programs at the Dover Public Library include:
Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015
“Lost By One Vote.” Division historical interpreters Tom Welch and Dennis Fisher take on the personas of prominent Delaware congressmen Nathaniel B. Smithers and James A. Bayard Jr. as they debate Abraham Lincoln’s Compensated Emancipation Plan of 1862 that would have abolished slavery in Delaware. 11 a.m.
Monday, Jan. 19, 2015
“Local Profiles of Courage for the Struggle for Freedom.” Three-part program beginning with a lecture at the Dover Public Library on the Underground Railroad in Delaware, followed by the “Tales of Slavery and Freedom” walking tour and ending with a “Freedom Tour” at The Old State House that highlights the lives of James Summers and Samuel D. Burris. 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015
“Follow the Drinking Gourd.” Interactive Underground Railroad program for children Pre-K through 2nd grade based on the book of the same name by Jeanette Walker. 2 p.m.
Friday, Feb. 20, 2015
“McLane and Washington.” Living-history theatrical performance by division historical interpreter Tom Welch exploring the relationship between General George Washington and Col. Allen McLane, the Revolutionary War hero from Duck Creek (Smyrna, Del.). 7 p.m.
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. 7 p.m.
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. 2 p.m.
Friday, June 19, 2015
“The Doctor Is In.” Living-history theatrical performance by division historical interpreter Dennis Fisher exploring the life and times of Dr. James Sykes, an 18th to 19th-century Dover physician. 7 p.m.