Monday, June 3rd, 7:00 pm.
- Robert Weintraub, author of “The Victory Season: The End of World War II and the Birth of Baseball’s Golden Age”
In 1945 Major League Baseball had become a ghost of itself. Parks were half empty, the balls were made with fake rubber, and mediocre replacements roamed the fields, as hundreds of players, including the game’s biggest stars, were serving abroad, devoted to unconditional Allied victory in World War II.But by the spring of 1946, the country was ready to heal. The war was finally over, and as America’s fathers and brothers were coming home, so too were the sport’s greats. Ted Williams, Stan Musial, and Joe DiMaggio returned with bats blazing, making the season a true classic that ended in a thrilling seven-game World Series between the Boston Red Sox and the St. Louis Cardinals. America also witnessed the beginning of a new era in baseball-it was a year of attendance records, the first year Yankee Stadium held night games, the last year the Green Monster wasn’t green, and, most significant, Jackie Robinson’s first year playing in the Brooklyn Dodgers’ system.
The Victory Season brings to vivid life these years of baseball and war, including the little known “World Series” that servicemen played in a captured Hitler Youth stadium in the fall of 1945. Robert Weintraub’s extensive research and vibrant storytelling enliven the legendary season that embodies what we now think of as the game’s golden era.
Free Movie Mondays!
Experience what was going on during the 1940’s when, in conjunction with our “There’s a War On! The Falmouth Home Front, 1940-1945” exhibit, we will be showing movies that were playing in the theaters during that era.
And, the admission is free!
Here is what is on tap:
- June 24—“Casablanca” (Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, 1942)
- July 8—“Yankee Doodle Dandy (James Cagney, 1942)
- July 15—“Arsenic and Old Lace” (Cary Grant, 1944)
- July 22—“Meet Me in St. Louis” (Judy Garland, 1944)
- July 29—“Sergeant York” (Gary Cooper, 1941)
- Wednesday, June 12th, 7:00 pm: Lecture: Arlene Kay, author of “Die Laughing: A Cape Cod Mystery”
When a vicious murder shatters the peaceful Cape Cod town of Goodhaven, graduate student Nicole Nelson vows to find the culprit. She’s pitted against a cast of quirky local characters with buried secrets and motives aplenty. Did the victim know too much, or did someone covet her fabulous collection of high-end comics? Nicole joins forces with a snobbish lawyer and a gorgeous stranger to avenge her friend and find the murderer.
Thursday, June 20th, 7:00 pm
- Lecture: Casey Sherman, author of “Animal: The Bloody Rise and Fall of the Mob’s Most Feared Assassin”
Joe Barboza knew that there were two requirements for getting inducted into the Mafia. You had to be Sicilian. And you had to commit a contract killing. The New Bedford-born mobster was a proud Portuguese, not Sicilian, but his dream to be part of La Cosa Nostra proved so strong that he thought he could create a loophole. If he killed enough men, if he did enough of the Mafia’s dirtiest biddings, then they would have no choice but to make him a Made Man. Barboza’s brutal rise during one of the deadliest mob wars in U.S. history became the stuff of legend, both on the bloodied streets of Boston and in the offices of the FBI and the U.S. Attorney General. He took sick joy in his crimes, and it became increasingly difficult for the mob to keep the Animal on his leash. But soon the hunter became the hunted. Betrayed by the mob and now on the run, Boston’s most notorious contract killer forged a Faustian bargain with two unscrupulous FBI agents–a pact that would transform the U.S. criminal justice system. From false testimony and manipulated evidence that sent mob leaders to death row, to the creation of the Witness Protection Program so the feds could protect their prized, cold-blooded witness, this was the horrific, dramatic first act in a story of murder and FBI corruption still being played out today in the news and the courtroom with the capture and trial of Whitey Bulger. Barboza’s legacy, buried for years thanks to the murders or deaths of its participants, is finally coming to light and being told in its unvarnished brutality by one of America’s most respected true crime writers.
- Wednesday, June 26th, 7:00 pm: Lecture: Thomas Craughwell, author of “Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brulee: How a Founding Father and his slave introduced French cuisine to America”
This culinary biography recounts the 1784 deal that Thomas Jefferson struck with his slaves, James Hemings. The founding father was traveling to Paris and wanted to bring James along “for a particular purpose”— to master the art of French cooking. In exchange for James’s cooperation, Jefferson would grant his freedom.
Thus began one of the strangest partnerships in United States history. As Hemings apprenticed under master French chefs, Jefferson studied the cultivation of French crops (especially grapes for winemaking) so that they might be replicated in American agriculture. The two men returned home with such marvels as pasta, French fries, Champagne, macaroni and cheese, crème brûlée, and a host of other treats. This narrative history tells the story of their remarkable adventure—and even includes a few of their favorite recipes!
- Thursday, June 27th, 7:00 pm: Lecture: Stephanie Schorow, author of “Drinking Boston: A History of the City and its Spirits”
From the revolutionary camaraderie of the Colonial taverns to the saloons of the turn of the century; from Prohibition—a period rife with class politics, social reform, and opportunism—to a trail of nightclub neon so vast, it was called the “Conga Belt”, Drinking Boston is a tribute to the fascinating role alcohol has played throughout the city s history. Teasing out this curious relationship—in particular, the clash between a constrained Puritanism (lingering like a hangover today) and a raucous revolutionary spirit—Drinking Boston introduces the cast of characters who championed or vilified drinking and the places where they imbibed—legally and otherwise. Visiting some of Boston s most storied neighborhood bars, this pub crawl ends with Boston s distinct recipe for the current cocktail renaissance sweeping the nation. Stephanie Schorow serves up a remarkable cocktail representative of Boston s intoxicating story: its spirit of invention, its hardscrabble politics, its mythology, and the city s never-ending battle between personal freedom and civic reform.