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Division to sponsor 13 special programs during May 2016

Written on: April 14th, 2016 in Archaeology Events Museums News Preservation

During the month of May 2016, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 13 special programs at sites across the state. Except where noted, all programs are free and open to the public.

Restored Senate chamber in Dover, Del.’s Old State House. The preservation of the historic building will be explored in programs from May 6 to 8. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

Restored Senate chamber in Dover, Del.’s Old State House. The preservation of the historic building will be explored in programs from May 6 to 8. Photo by Don Pearse Photographers.

Highlights of the month include several programs presented from May 6 to 8 as part of the 83rd Annual Dover Days Festival which is dedicated to promoting the heritage and culture of the state of Delaware and its capital city. The theme for the 2016 festival is historic preservation as reflected in Preservation50, the United States’ multi-year celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The act has transformed the face of communities from coast to coast as it established the legal framework and incentives to preserve historic buildings, landscapes and archaeology.

Pres50 small logo wstate small

In keeping with the historic-preservation theme, the division will be offering several programs celebrating the 1976 restoration of The Old State House which returned the venerable structure to its original 1791 appearance. Activities, which will take place at The Old State House, located at 25 The Green in Dover, include “There’s a Party in the House” on Friday, May 6 featuring 70s music and dancing; guided tours on Saturday, May 7 examining preservationist Mabel Lloyd Ridgely’s efforts in saving The Old State House from destruction; and the display “The Old State House: A True Restoration 1976-2016” which will be on-view beginning on May 4.

Other May activities of note include the ninth annual Symposium on the Early Colonial Archaeology of the Delaware Valley Region which will take place on Saturday, May 7 at the New Castle Court House Museum; and the fifth annual Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me” that will take place on Saturday, May 28 at the Zwaanendael Museum in Lewes.

Following is a complete listing of Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special programs taking place in May 2016:

Tuesday, May 3, 2016
“Preservation50—‘Preserving Sussex County History: The Green Book.’ ” Presentation by researcher Carlton Hall of the State Historic Preservation Office on the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. The program will explore the stories of African-Americans of the last century and their challenges living through the Jim Crow laws in Delaware from the 1920s to the 1960s. Presented in partnership with the Laurel Historical Society and the Laurel Public Library in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Laurel Public Library, 101 E. Fourth St., Laurel. 6:30 p.m. 302-875-3184.

Friday, May 6, 2016
“There’s a Party in the House.” Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Old State House restoration. Dress in 1970s clothes and party like its 1976. Event includes music, refreshments, dancing and tours. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 6–8 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, May 7, 2016
Dover Days at The Old State House. Guided tours celebrate the 40th anniversary of the restoration of The Old State House which took place during the nation’s bicentennial year. 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 7, 2016
Ninth annual Symposium on the Early Colonial Archaeology of the Delaware Valley Region. Featuring informal presentations, the program is designed to build a regional-level dialog that can identify the uniqueness of the early Colonial cultures of the Delaware Valley. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-323-4453. To reserve a place, send an e-mail to craig.lukezic@de.state.us.

Saturday, May 7, 2016
“Sounds of War: Patriotic Music.” Guided tours examine music’s influence during America’s wars when patriotic songs were composed throughout the nation. Hear music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines that was popularized during the Civil War and later recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company. 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 7, 2016
Dover Days at the John Dickinson Plantation. Celebrate the 60th anniversary of the John Dickinson Plantation as a museum! Activities include tours, Colonial games and hearth cooking utilizing 18th-century recipes. Part of the Dover Days Festival. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Sunday, May 8, 2016
Dover Days at The Old State House. In celebration of Preservation50, guided tours examine preservationist Mabel Lloyd Ridgely’s efforts in saving The Old State House from destruction. Part of the Dover Days Festival. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Sunday, May 8, 2016
“Sounds of War: Patriotic Music.” Guided tours examine music’s influence during America’s wars when patriotic songs were composed throughout the nation. Hear music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines that was popularized during the Civil War and later recorded by the Victor Talking Machine Company. Part of the Dover Days Festival. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 11 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016
“1774—The Continental-Congress Era Begins.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Bob Vander Decker. Part five of “The Founding of America in One Year,” a year-long series that examines important local and national events that led to the founding of the United States. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, May 14, 2016
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3277.

Friday, May 20, 2016
“Preservation50—‘African-American History in 20th Century Delaware: The Green Book.’ ” Presentation by researcher Carlton Hall of the State Historic Preservation Office on the “Green Book,” a travel and vacation guidebook for people of color during the segregation era. Presented in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the passage of the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966. Event co-sponsored by the city of Wilmington, Mayor’s Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Department of Planning’s Wilmington Preservation Roundtable. Third floor conference room, City of Wilmington offices, 800 N. French St., Wilmington. Noon. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required by calling 302-576-3107 no later than May 16.

Saturday, May 21, 2016
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. Admission free at the New Castle Court House Museum. Admission charge at other venues. 302-322-5774.

Saturday, May 28, 2016
Fifth Annual Zwaanendael Maritime Celebration: “A Sailor’s Life for Me.” Maritime-themed activities, games, displays by local organizations and more. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-645-1148.

Monday, May 30, 2016
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. 302-736-7400.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.


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