The Falmouth Historical Society and the Museums on the Green will be holding their Annual Members Meeting on Saturday, January 16th, beginning at 10:0 am, in the Museum’s Cultural Center, 55 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth. Members of the Historical Society will be discussing the business of the Society, voting on the 2016 slate of Governors, and will get a preview of what is forthcoming for the 2016 visitation season while also learning about the restoration efforts for the circa 1730 Conant House.
In the early morning darkness of August 2, 1943, during a chaotic nighttime skirmish amid the Solomon Islands, the Japanese destroyer Amagiri barreled through thick fog and struck the U.S. Navy’s motor torpedo boat PT 109, splitting the craft nearly in half and killing two American sailors instantly. The sea erupted in flames as the 109’s skipper, John F. Kennedy, and the ten surviving crewmen under his command desperately clung to the sinking wreckage; 1,200 feet of ink-black, shark-infested water loomed beneath. “All hands lost,” came the reports back to the Americans’ base: no rescue was coming for the men of PT 109. Their desperate ordeal was just beginning—so too was one of the most remarkable tales of World War II, one whose astonishing afterlife would culminate two decades later in the White House.
Drawing on original interviews with the last living links to the events, previously untapped Japanese wartime archives, and a wealth of archival documents from the Kennedy Library, including a lost first-hand account by JFK himself, bestselling author William Doyle has crafted a thrilling and definitive account of the sinking of PT 109 and its shipwrecked crew’s heroics. Equally fascinating is the story’s second act, in which Doyle explores in new detail how this extraordinary episode shaped Kennedy’s character and fate, proving instrumental to achieving his presidential ambitions: “Without PT 109, there never would have been a President John F. Kennedy,” declared JFK aide David Powers.
In August 2013, “Bac Guai” John Willis, also known as the “White Devil” because of his notorious ferocity, was sentenced to 20 years for drug trafficking and money laundering. Willis, according to prosecutors, was “the kingpin, organizer and leader of a vast conspiracy,” all within the legendarily insular and vicious Chinese mafia.
It started when John Willis was 16 years old . . . his life seemed hopeless. His father had abandoned his family years earlier, his older brother had just died of a heart attack, and his mother was dying. John was alone, sleeping on the floor of his deceased brother’s home. Desperate, John reached out to Woping, a young Chinese man Willis had rescued from a bar fight weeks before. Woping literally picks him up off the street, taking him home to live among his own brothers and sisters. Soon, Willis is accompanying Woping to meet his Chinese mobster friends, and starts working for them.
Journalist Bob Halloran tells the tale of John Willis, aka White Devil, the only white man to ever rise through the ranks in the Chinese mafia. Willis began as an enforcer, riding around with other gang members to “encourage” people to pay their debts. He soon graduated to even more dangerous work as a full-fledged gang member, barely escaping with his life on several occasions. Told to Halloran from Willis’s prison cell, White Devil is a shocking portrait of a man who was allowed access into a secret world, and who is paying the price for his hardened life. As a white man navigating an otherwise exclusively Asian world, Willis was at first an interesting anomaly, but his ruthless devotion to his adopted culture eventually led to him emerging as a leader. He organized his own gang of co-conspirators and began an extremely lucrative criminal venture selling tens of thousands of oxycodone pills. A year-long FBI investigation brought him down, and John pleaded guilty to save the love of his life from prosecution. He has no regrets. White Devil explores the workings of the Chinese mafia, and he speaks frankly about his relationships with other gang members, the crimes he committed, and why he’ll never rat out any of his brothers to the cops.
Join us as we celebrate the 104th birthday of the Girl Scouts with a short film presentation and talk by Alecia Orsini. Alecia will narrate the 1918 silent film “The Golden Eaglet,” which explores the history of the organization. She will also discuss the exciting renaissance that’s happening in girl scouting in Falmouth.
Alecia Orsini has been girl scouting for 27 years. A lifetime member of GSUSA, she started as a Daisy, became a leader, and ran scouting for her home town. She also spent seven years as an educator and guide at the Juliette Low Birthplace in Savannah. Alecia will share insights into “the original J Low,” the spirited woman whose belief in the potential of every young girl ultimately changed the world when she founded the Girl Scouts in 1912.
This family-friendly event will be held in the Cultural Center, 55 Palmer Avenue, and refreshments will be provided. Admission is free but donations to the Falmouth Girl Scout program will be accepted and cookies will be available for purchase!
The struggle between individual rights and the good of the community as a whole has been the basis of nearly every major disagreement in our history, from the debates at the Constitutional Convention and in the run up to the Civil War to the fights surrounding the agendas of the Federalists, the Progressives, the New Dealers, the civil rights movement, and the Tea Party. In American Character, Colin Woodard traces these two key strands in American politics through the four centuries of the nation’s existence, from the first colonies through the Gilded Age, Great Depression and the present day, and he explores how different regions of the country have successfully or disastrously accommodated them. The independent streak found its most pernicious form in the antebellum South but was balanced in the Gilded Age by communitarian reform efforts; the New Deal was an example of a successful coalition between communitarian-minded Eastern elites and Southerners.
Woodard argues that maintaining a liberal democracy, a society where mass human freedom is possible, requires finding a balance between protecting individual liberty and nurturing a free society. Going to either libertarian or collectivist extremes results in tyranny. But where does the “sweet spot” lie in the United States, a federation of disparate regional cultures that have always strongly disagreed on these issues?
The 2016 Heritage Award Dinner, held on April 13, 2016, is made possible in part to the efforts of our most gracious sponsors:
The year was 1922: World War I had just come to a close, the Ottoman Empire was in decline, and Asa Jennings, a YMCA worker from upstate New York, had just arrived in the quiet coastal city of Smyrna to teach sports to boys. Several hundred miles to the east in Turkey’s interior, tensions between Greeks and Turks had boiled over into deadly violence. Mustapha Kemal, now known as Ataturk, and his Muslim army soon advanced into Smyrna, a Christian city, where a half a million terrified Greek and Armenian refugees had fled in a desperate attempt to escape his troops. Turkish soldiers proceeded to burn the city and rape and kill countless Christian refugees. Unwilling to leave with the other American civilians and determined to get Armenians and Greeks out of the doomed city, Jennings worked tirelessly to feed and transport the thousands of people gathered at the city’s Quay.
With the help of the brilliant naval officer and Kentucky gentleman Halsey Powell, and a handful of others, Jennings commandeered a fleet of unoccupied Greek ships and was able to evacuate a quarter million innocent people—an amazing humanitarian act that has been lost to history, until now. Before the horrible events in Turkey were complete, Jennings had helped rescue a million people.
Boston’s history is checkered with violence and heinous crimes. In 1845, a woman lured into prostitution was murdered at the hands of her jealous lover who used sleepwalking as his defense at trial. A leg was found floating along the Boston Harbor, wrapped in a burlap bag that would later be connected to a woman who was brutally murdered and dismembered by her handyman. In the 1970s, a string of seemingly unconnected murders led to a killer who became known as the Giggler. Christopher Daley explores the tragic events that turned peaceful Boston neighborhoods into disturbing crime scenes.
Mathews County, Virginia, is a remote outpost on the Chesapeake Bay with little to offer except unspoiled scenery—but it sent one of the largest concentrations of sea captains and U.S. merchant mariners of any community in America to fight in World War II. The Mathews Men tells that heroic story through the experiences of one extraordinary family whose seven sons (and their neighbors), U.S. merchant mariners all, suddenly found themselves squarely in the cross-hairs of the U-boats bearing down on the coastal United States in 1942. From the late 1930s to 1945, virtually all the fuel, food and munitions that sustained the Allies in Europe traveled not via the Navy but in merchant ships. After Pearl Harbor, those unprotected ships instantly became the U-boats’ prime targets. And they were easy targets—the Navy lacked the inclination or resources to defend them until the beginning of 1943. Hitler was determined that his U-boats should sink every American ship they could find, sometimes within sight of tourist beaches, and to kill as many mariners as possible, in order to frighten their shipmates into staying ashore. As the war progressed, men from Mathews sailed the North and South Atlantic, the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, the Mediterranean, the Indian Ocean, and even the icy Barents Sea in the Arctic Circle, where they braved the dreaded Murmansk Run. Through their experiences we have eyewitnesses to every danger zone, in every kind of ship. Some died horrific deaths. Others fought to survive torpedo explosions, flaming oil slicks, storms, shark attacks, mine blasts, and harrowing lifeboat odysseys—only to ship out again on the next boat as soon as they’d returned to safety.
History is right under our feet; we just need to dig a little to find it. Though not the most popular construction project, Boston’s Big Dig has contributed more to our understanding and appreciation of the city’s archaeological history than any other recent event. Joseph M. Bagley, city archaeologist of Boston, uncovers a fascinating hodgepodge of history—from ancient fishing grounds to Jazz Age red-light districts—that will surprise and delight even longtime residents. Each artifact is shown in full color and accompanied by description of the item’s significance to its site location and the larger history of the city. From cannonballs to drinking cups and from ancient spears to chinaware, A History of Boston in 50 Artifacts offers a unique and accessible introduction to Boston’s history and physical culture while revealing the ways objects can offer a tantalizing entrée into our past.
After being accidentally rammed by the Coast Guard destroyer USS Paulding on December 17, 1927, the USS S-4 submarine sank to the ocean floor off Cape Cod with all forty crew aboard. Only six sailors in the forward torpedo room survived the initial accident, trapped in the compartment with the oxygen running out.
Author and naval historian Joseph A. Williams has delved into never-revealed archival sources to tell the compelling narrative of the S-4 disaster, the first attempt to rescue survivors stranded aboard a modern submarine. As navy deep sea divers struggled to save the imprisoned men, a winter storm raged at the surface, creating some of the worst diving conditions in American history. Circumstances were so terrible that one diver, Fred Michels, became trapped in the wreckage while trying to attach an air hose to the sunken sub—the rescuer now needed to be rescued. It was only through the bravery of a second diver, Thomas Eadie, that Michels was saved. As detailed in Seventeen Fathoms Deep, lessons learned during this great tragedy moved the US Navy to improve submarine rescue technology, which resulted in later successful rescues of other downed submariners.
Whiskey has profoundly influenced America’s political, economic, and cultural destiny, just as those same factors have inspired the evolution and unique flavor of the whiskey itself. Unraveling the many myths and misconceptions surrounding America’s most iconic spirit, Bourbon Empire traces a history that spans frontier rebellion, Gilded Age corruption, and the magic of Madison Avenue. Taking readers behind the curtain of an enchanting—and sometimes exasperating—industry, the work of writer Reid Mitenbuler crackles with attitude and commentary about taste, choice, and history. Few products better embody the United States, or American business, than bourbon.
Walk for History—Sunday, May 22, 2016, 8:00-11:00 am
FALMOUTH HISTORY WALK IS ON FOR MAY 22!
The Museums on the Green invites you to the first “Falmouth History Walk” on Sunday, May 22nd. Along the 5k (3.1 miles) walk you will meet costumed characters from Falmouth’s history. You can come in costume, too, or just come as you are. Prizes will be awarded for best costumes, but chiefly the walk is intended for all, especially families, to participate and appreciate our local history. Beginning and ending at the Museums on the Green, the path will travel past a number of historic homes and sites in Falmouth. Along the way, at various venues, there will be costumed re-enactors and signs to signifythat the particular location is of historical importance. You are going to meet pirates, complete with their ship, along the route.
Walkers can go at their own pace. Self-timed runners are also welcome. Refreshments and a takeaway item will be presented at the finish line. All funds benefit the Museums on the Green, home of the Falmouth Historical Society.
Registration begins at 8:00 a.m.. The walk begins at 9 a.m. Participants are asked to park at the Lawrence School, 113 Lakeview, Falmouth, and walk across the field to the registration area at the Museums on the Green. There is no on-street parking available, and no parking in the Congregational Church parking lot.
- Katharine Lee Bates Road to Shore Road extension
- Cross Main Street to Shore Street
- Shore Street to Surf Drive
- Surf Drive to Mill Road
- Mill Road to Locust Street
- Locust Street to West Main Street
- West Main Street to Hewins Street to Museums on the Green
Advance registration fee is $ 15 per entrant; $ 30 for immediate families of three or more. Registration fee at the event is $20 per entrant or $40 for immediate families of three or more. To register, fill out the information below, or print registration form and mail with check to Museums on the Green, PO Box 174, Falmouth, MA 02541.
Please click HERE to read FALMOUTH WALK FOR HISTORY 2016 RELEASE FORM
Fill in the information below to register online with Paypal.
Beards—they’re all the rage these days. Take a look around: from hip urbanites to rustic outdoorsmen, well-groomed metrosexuals to post-season hockey players, facial hair is everywhere. The New York Times traces this hairy trend to Big Apple hipsters circa 2005 and reports that today some New Yorkers pay thousands of dollars for facial hair transplants to disguise patchy, juvenile beards. And in 2014, blogger Nicki Daniels excoriated bearded hipsters for turning a symbol of manliness and power into a flimsy fashion statement. The beard, she said, has turned into the padded bra of masculinity. Of Beards and Men makes the case that today’s bearded renaissance is part of a centuries-long cycle in which facial hairstyles have varied in response to changing ideals of masculinity. Christopher Oldstone-Moore explains that the clean-shaven face has been the default style throughout Western history—see Alexander the Great’s beardless face, for example, as the Greek heroic ideal. But the primacy of razors has been challenged over the years by four great bearded movements, beginning with Hadrian in the second century and stretching to today’s bristled resurgence. The clean-shaven face today, Oldstone-Moore says, has come to signify a virtuous and sociable man, whereas the beard marks someone as self-reliant and unconventional. History, then, has established specific meanings for facial hair, which both inspire and constrain a man’s choices in how he presents himself to the world. This fascinating and erudite history of facial hair cracks the masculine hair code, shedding light on the choices men make as they shape the hair on their faces. Oldstone-Moore adeptly lays to rest common misperceptions about beards and vividly illustrates the connection between grooming, identity, culture, and masculinity. To a surprising degree, we find, the history of men is written on their faces.
The Beatles arrived in the United States on February 7, 1964, and immediately became a constant, compelling presence in fans’ lives. For the next six years, the band presented a nonstop deluge of sounds, words, images, and ideas, transforming the childhood and adolescence of millions of baby boomers.
Beatleness explains how the band became a source of emotional, intellectual, aesthetic, and spiritual nurturance in fans’ lives, creating a relationship that was historically unique. Looking at that relationship against the backdrop of the sexual revolution, the Vietnam War, political assassinations, and other events of those tumultuous years, the book examines critically the often-heard assertion that the Beatles “changed everything” and shows how—through the interplay between the group, the fans, and the culture—that change came about.
A generational memoir and cultural history based on hundreds of hours of in-depth interviews with first-generation fans, Beatleness allows readers to experience—or re-experience—what it was like to be a young person during those eventful and transformative years. Its fresh approach offers many new insights into the entire Beatle phenomenon and explains why the group still means so much to so many.
Ada Gobetti’s Partisan Diary is both diary and memoir. From a political and military point of view, the Partisan Diary provides firsthand knowledge of how the partisans in Piedmont fought, what obstacles they encountered, and who joined the struggle against the Nazis and the Fascists. The mountainous terrain and long winters of the Alpine regions (the site of many of their battles) and the ever-present threat of reprisals by German occupiers and their fascist partners exacerbated problems of organization among the various partisan groups. So arduous was their fight,that key military events–Italy’s declaration of war on Germany, the fall of Rome, and the Allied landings on D-Day –appear in the diary as remote and almost unrelated incidents. Ada Gobetti writes of the heartbreak of mothers who lost their sons or watched them leave on dangerous missions of sabotage, relating it to worries about her own son Paolo.
Monday, June 6, 2016: “Around the Sound Cruise” with the Island Queen,
A Cruise Around Vineyard Sound as we explore the Sound on the way to the Vineyard, while celebrating the season
(Actual route will be determined that evening)
Complimentary Appetizers and Light Fare (provided by Atria Woodbriar of Falmouth)
Cash Bar (beer, wine, soft drinks, tea, coffee)
A unique opportunity to see and learn about some of the special sights of Cape Cod.
Do Not Miss the Boat!
The dock for the Island Queen is at 75 Falmouth Heights Road, Falmouth, MA.
Be there by 5 PM to check-in and board. Island Queen leaves at 5:30 sharp and returns at 7:30 PM. Exact route is dependent on weather and tides. Please carpool. Free dockside parking is limited.
Casual Dress. Recommended to bring a windbreaker and/or sweater and to wear rubber-soled shoes.
To purchase tickets for this special cruise:
If the Island Queen cannot sail, such as in the case of severe weather, the cruise will be postponed until the fall of 2016. If the Island Queen is unable to sail on the designated fall rain date, the cruise will be cancelled. You can then choose to convert your payment to a 100% donation or have your payment refunded. We will post notices of a postponement or cancellation on our website, www.museumsonthegreen.org. We will endeavor to arrange to have such notices also posted on the Island Queen website: www.islandqueen.com
In 1916, at the height of World War One, came Verdun–considered by many to be the greatest and lengthiest in world history. Never before or since has there been a battle of such duration, involving so many men on such a small plot of land. The conflict, which lasted from 21 February 1916 to 19 December 1916, led to casualties estimated at over 700,000 killed, wounded or missing. The battlefield itself was not even 10 square kilometers in size. From a strategic point of view, there could be no justification for these atrocious losses. The battle degenerated into a matter of prestige and principle for two nations, Germany and France, who continued fighting simply for the sake of fighting.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS LECTURE WILL BE HELD AT THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH, 68 MAIN STREET, FALMOUTH
In September 1776, the vulnerable Continental Army under an unsure George Washington (who had never commanded a large force in battle) evacuates New York after a devastating defeat by the British Army. Three weeks later, near the Canadian border, one of his favorite generals, Benedict Arnold, miraculously succeeds in postponing the British naval advance down Lake Champlain that might have ended the war. Four years later, as the book ends, Washington has vanquished his demons and Arnold has fled to the enemy after a foiled attempt to surrender the American fortress at West Point to the British. After four years of war, America is forced to realize that the real threat to its liberties might not come from without but from within.
Valiant Ambition is a complex, controversial, and dramatic portrait of a people in crisis and the war that gave birth to a nation. The focus is on loyalty and personal integrity, evoking a Shakespearean tragedy that unfolds in the key relationship of Washington and Arnold, who is an impulsive but sympathetic hero whose misfortunes at the hands of self-serving politicians fatally destroy his faith in the legitimacy of the rebellion. As a country wary of tyrants suddenly must figure out how it should be led, Washington’s unmatched ability to rise above the petty politics of his time enables him to win the war that really matters.
2016 is the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare’s death. Harvard educated Misha Teramura looks at what it was like to be a playwright in Renaissance London; some of the actors for whom Shakespeare wrote; his friends and rivals, his patrons and publishers; and other aspects of “The Bard’s” life.
Betty Pack was a dazzling American debutante became an Allied spy during WWII and was hailed by OSS chief General “Wild Bill” Donovan as “the greatest unsung heroine of the war.” She was charming, beautiful and intelligent—and she knew it. As an agent for Britain’s MI-6 and then America’s OSS during World War II, these qualities proved crucial to her success. This is the remarkable story of this “Mata Hari from Minnesota” and the passions that ruled her tempestuous life—a life filled with dangerous liaisons and death-defying missions vital to the Allied victory.
For decades, much of Betty’s career working for MI-6 and the OSS remained classified. Through access to recently unclassified files, Howard Blum discovers the truth about the attractive blond, codenamed “Cynthia,” who seduced diplomats and military attachés across the globe in exchange for ciphers and secrets; cracked embassy safes to steal codes; and obtained the Polish notebooks that proved key to Alan Turing’s success with Operation Ultra.Beneath Betty’s cool, professional determination, Blum reveals a troubled woman conflicted by the very traits that made her successful: her lack of deep emotional connections and her readiness to risk everything. The Last Goodnight is a mesmerizing, provocative, and moving portrait of an exceptional heroine whose undaunted courage helped to save the world.
Thursday, June 16, 7 pm: Appalachian Trail Adventures
There are two ways to hike the 2,190-mile Appalachian Trail – thru-hiking it all at once or section hiking it one part at a time. Museums on the Green will feature four men who have done it both ways during a unique Appalachian Trail program at the Cultural Center. Three young college men and friends from Mashpee – Michael Demanche, Brett Depolo and Sam Kooharian – will share their experiences of thru-hiking the trail together from Georgia to Maine in 2015. Jim Haskell of Ipswich, MA, will recount his stories of section hiking the entire trail, trekking roughly 100 miles a year, during 21 consecutive years. His book about his experiences, Two Tents: Twenty-one Years of Discovery on the Appalachian Trail, will be available. The men’s recollections of the people and places they encountered, their photographs of the stunning vistas they viewed, as well as a generous offering of the trail’s nearly 100-year history, promises to provide an informative and entertaining evening.
The Essex—the famous shipwreck that inspired Moby Dick—and its aftermath is a captivating story of a ship’s crew battered by whale attack, broken by four months at sea, and forced—out of necessity—to make meals of their fellow survivors. Dowling delves into the ordeal’s submerged history—the survivors’ lives, ambitions and motives, their pivotal actions during the desperate moments of the wreck itself, and their will to reconcile those actions and their consequences.
At the dawn of the nineteenth century, as Britain, France, Spain, and the United States all jockeyed for control of the vast expanses west of the Mississippi River, the stakes for American expansion were incalculably high. Even after the American purchase of the Louisiana Territory, Spain still coveted that land and was prepared to employ any means to retain it. With war expected at any moment, Jefferson played a game of strategy, putting on the ground the only Americans he could: a cadre of explorers who finally annexed it through courageous investigation.
Responsible for orchestrating the American push into the continent was President Thomas Jefferson. He most famously recruited Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, who led the Corps of Discovery to the Pacific, but at the same time there were other teams who did the same work, in places where it was even more crucial. William Dunbar, George Hunter, Thomas Freeman, Peter Custis, and the dauntless Zebulon Pike—all were dispatched on urgent missions to map the frontier and keep up a steady correspondence with Washington about their findings.
But they weren’t always well-matched—with each other and certainly not with a Spanish army of a thousand soldiers or more. These tensions threatened to undermine Jefferson’s goals for the nascent country, leaving the United States in danger of losing its foothold in the West. Deeply researched and inspiringly told, Jefferson’s America rediscovers the robust and often harrowing action from these seminal expeditions and illuminates the president’s vision for a continental America.
HOW DO HABITATS IMPACT OUR EXISTENCE?
The Cape’s habitats impact science, technology, art, music, history–every part of our daily existence. This summer, your child will explore the many habitats found right here in Falmouth and how they have influenced those who inhabit them.
We invite your child to engage their curiosity as the Cape Cod Conservatory, the Falmouth Art Center, the Falmouth Museums on the Green, Salt Pond Areas Bird Sanctuaries and the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration partner with the Falmouth Public Schools to explore the Cape’s habitats.
Guided by teachers and local experts, your child will embark on a five-day hands-on adventure to understand the role and importance of HABITATS on our world and culture.
Join us Monday, June 27th through Friday, July 1st, 9 am to 1 pm.
Register Early: Enrollment is limited to 25 students. $ 175 per student.
For more information, call email [email protected] or call 508-540-0611
This program made possible by a grant from the Edward Bangs Kelley and Elza Kelley Foundation, Inc., and the Gordon T. Heald Fund.
It will be an evening of salty songs on the Falmouth Historical Society lawn, Thursday, June 23, 6:00PM, when The New Bedford Harbor Sea Chantey Chorus and The Shifty Sailors, a musical crew from the Pacific Northwest, join Falmouth’s own Rum-Soaked Crooks for a proper “gam” and sing-song.
Formed in 2000, under the direction of Tom Goux, the 25 voice chorus presents a repertoire that reflects the rich maritime heritage of New Bedford and the region. Weaving musical traditions connected to New Bedford Harbor and the New England seafarer, their performances feature the chanteys (work songs) of the Yankee sailor and whaler, ballads and ditties of global mariners and songs of coastwise fisherfolk in North America, the Cape Verde Islands and the British Isles.
The Shifty Sailors hail from Whidbey Island – famed and framed in Puget Sound, just northwest of Seattle, Washington. For over two decades, this group, much like the local singers on the program, has manifested their passion for maritime history and heritage in collecting and sharing their music in concert at festivals, civic events, and charitable organizations in Maine, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, California, Oregon, Hawaii, British Columbia, Ireland and, of course, Washington State. The “Shifties” have also found their way to stages in Europe – the Baltic Sea Countries, France, Prague, the British Isles, and Ireland.
The Rum Soaked Crooks ~ Tom Goux, Jacek Sulanowski, Dan Lanier and Iain Geddes-– have been cruising the New England shoreline (and beyond) for the last three decades and have inflicted much musical and poetic damage with a pungent mix of sailors’ chanteys, ballads and ditties. There is often irrefutable evidence left in their wake: victims leaving the scene with toes tapping and choruses ringing in their heads, as they happily hum and whistle all the way home.
The Crooks have shared their songs and stories, both historical and contemporary, at festivals and maritime events across the country and in Europe, and have recorded on the Smithsonian-Folkways and Whaling City Sound labels. Their repertoire spans three centuries of seafaring melody and verse, featuring an exceptional sampling of Cape and Islands sea songs and poetry.
Hydrangeas are the signature flower of Cape Cod, and the inaugural Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival will celebrate these beautiful blue, pink and white blooms at their peak!
Take a glimpse into some of Cape Cod’s most spectacular gardens during the Cape Cod Hydrangea Festival, from July 10-17, 2016. The festival will include tours of all types of private gardens organized by local nonprofits and museums, along with special hydrangea-themed events and promotions.
The Museums on the Green will be a participant in this event as well. Five locations are scheduled to take part on behalf of the Museums, and will be open on Wednesday, July 13, from 10 am to 4 pm. Those locations are:
Captain’s Manor Inn, 27 W. Main Street, Falmouth (Wednesday, July 13)
The Inn was originally built in 1849 by Captain Albert Nye as a family home. The second owner, Captain John Robinson Lawrence had a son H. V. Lawrence who became a well known horticulturist and the first florist on Cape Cod. The grounds of the Inn bear witness to his talents with many unique trees that survive to this day. The property hosts gardens in the front and back of the Inn on 1.2 acres. There are hydrangeas and azaleas in both the front and back gardens and numerous varieties of day lilies, roses, hostas, bell flowers, peonies, pansies, dahlias etc.
28 Sady’s Lane, East Falmouth (Wednesday, July 13)
This garden was featured in Cape Cod Home magazine in fall 2015 and be featured in a national gardening magazine in 2017. Visitors will experience surprising vistas and vignettes while strolling the winding garden paths. A stone patio walled by espaliered pear trees and dogwood, archways of beech trees and hydrangea, and a small pond are some of the features of the thirty year old garden. The summer garden includes collections of daylilies, hosta, and hydrangea. Annuals, tropical plants, and container plants accent the garden borders
383 Boxberry Hill Road, East Falmouth (Wednesday, July 13)
This site and the restored home were part of the original 19th century Silas Hatch Homestead (giving the village the name Hatchville) and became the agricultural center of Falmouth. In the 1920’s it became the largest dairy farm east of the Mississippi and remains of that activity can be found on the property. Today the Hidden House Farm grows organic vegetables and fruits along with a modest selection of common New England herbs with a bit of a contemporary touch. It has, say some old timers, more “boxberry trees” on this property than anywhere else. This site was once part of a working farm. The home is not on the main road but fronts on a bridal path that is hidden from view and surrounded by horse farms, 300 acres of local conservation to the east and 600 acres of protected state land to the north.
Palmer House Inn, 81 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth (Wednesday, July 13)
At the Inn, there are four buildings and four small gardens. Before going to see the gardens, stop at the Inn’s side veranda to enjoy lemonade and cookies. The first, garden is the T.W Burgess Garden that is home to several rabbits and is a cool shady spot for guests to relax on a warm summer’s afternoon. Next, there is the H.D.Thoreau Cottage Garden that gives this secluded cottage suite its own private bit of nature. Third, the Innkeeper’s Cottage garden is a pleasant shade garden located at the back of the inn’s property. Last but not least, one can walk through the inn’s herb garden, where the organically grown herbs are located in individual stone bordered beds. The herbs are used in the inn’s sumptuous breakfasts. We suggest that those coming to view the garden, park at the Falmouth Museums on the Green parking lot on Katharine Lee Bates Road. After parking one can stroll through the Museum’s lovely colonial gardens. Upon exiting the garden gate, turn right and take the sidewalk to the Palmer House Inn.
37 Arthur Street, North Falmouth (Wednesday, July 13)
This is a woodland garden on a 2 acre, hilly site where winding lawns are bordered by mixed beds of flowering trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals. There are many of the standbys – kousas, vibernums, day lilies, hostas by the dozens, heuchera, peonies, iris, roses, sedges, candelabra primulas, lambs ears, grasses, salvias, ageratum, nicotianas, cannas, astilbes – and some less standard – filipendula, jack in the pulpits, podophyllum. This years’ experiment is lilies of several kinds, missing for several years because of red beetles but willing to try again. Wear walking shoes – there are woodland paths down to a pond and uphill to an overview of the largest part of the garden.
Each venue will cost $ 5 to attend per person. Tickets can be purchased at each venue or by going to the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. You can also purchase tickets here:
To learn more about this event Cape-wide, click on http://www.capecodchamber.org/hydrangea-fest
Flight technician Frank Williams and Judy, a purebred pointer, met in the most unlikely of places: a World War II internment camp in the Pacific. Judy was a fiercely loyal dog, with a keen sense for who was friend and who was foe, and the pair’s relationship deepened throughout their captivity. When the prisoners suffered beatings, Judy would repeatedly risk her life to intervene. She survived bombings and other near-death experiences and became a beacon not only for Frank but for all the men, who saw in her survival a flicker of hope for their own. Judy’s devotion to those she was interned with was matched by their love for her, which helped keep the men and their dog alive despite the ever-present threat of death by disease or the rifles of the guards. At one point, deep in despair and starvation, Frank contemplated killing himself and the dog to prevent either from watching the other die. But both were rescued, and Judy spent the rest of her life with Frank. She became the war’s only official canine POW, and after she died at age fourteen, Frank couldn’t bring himself to ever have another dog. Their story–of an unbreakable bond forged in the worst circumstances–is one of the great undiscovered sagas of World War II.
Received historical wisdom casts abolitionists as mostly white reformers burdened by racial paternalism and economic conservatism. University of Massachusetts Professor Manisha Sinha overturns this image, broadening her scope beyond the antebellum period usually associated with abolitionism and recasting it as a radical social movement in which men and women, black and white, free and enslaved found common ground in causes ranging from feminism and utopian socialism to anti-imperialism and efforts to defend the rights of labor. Drawing on extensive archival research, including newly discovered letters and pamphlets, Sinha documents slave resistance in shaping the ideology and tactics of abolition. It illustrates how the abolitionist vision ultimately linked the slave’s cause to the struggle to redefine American democracy and human rights across the globe.
This groundbreaking dual biography brings to life a pioneering English feminist and the daughter she never knew. Mary Wollstonecraft and Mary Shelley have each been the subject of numerous biographies, yet no one has ever examined their lives in one book—until now. In Romantic Outlaws,Charlotte Gordon reunites the trailblazing author who wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman and the Romantic visionary who gave the world Frankenstein—two courageous women who should have shared their lives, but instead shared a powerful literary and feminist legacy.
In 1797, less than two weeks after giving birth to her second daughter, Mary Wollstonecraft died, and a remarkable life spent pushing against the boundaries of society’s expectations for women came to an end. But another was just beginning. Wollstonecraft’s daughter Mary was to follow a similarly audacious path. Both women had passionate relationships with several men, bore children out of wedlock, and chose to live in exile outside their native country. Each in her own time fought against the injustices women faced and wrote books that changed literary history. The private lives of both Marys were nothing less than the stuff of great Romantic drama, providing fabulous material for Charlotte Gordon, an accomplished historian and a gifted storyteller. Taking readers on a vivid journey across revolutionary France and Victorian England, she seamlessly interweaves the lives of her two protagonists in alternating chapters, creating a book that reads like a richly textured historical novel. Gordon also paints unforgettable portraits of the men in their lives, including the mercurial genius Percy Shelley, the unbridled libertine Lord Byron, and the brilliant radical William Godwin.
This masterful history encompasses the heart of the Pacific War―the period between mid-1942 and mid-1944―when parallel Allied counteroffensives north and south of the equator washed over Japan’s far-flung island empire like a “conquering tide,” concluding with Japan’s irreversible strategic defeat in the Marianas. It was the largest, bloodiest, most costly, most technically innovative and logistically complicated amphibious war in history, and it fostered bitter interservice rivalries, leaving wounds that even victory could not heal.Often overlooked, these are the years and fights that decided the Pacific War. Historian Ian W. Toll’s battle scenes―in the air, at sea, and in the jungles―are simply riveting. He also takes the reader into the wartime councils in Washington and Tokyo where politics and strategy often collided, and into the struggle to mobilize wartime production, which was the secret of Allied victory. Brilliantly researched, the narrative is propelled and colored by firsthand accounts―letters, diaries, debriefings, and memoirs―that are the raw material of the telling details, shrewd judgment, and penetrating insight of this magisterial history.
“A History of the Falmouth Road Race: Running Cape Cod” written by Massachusetts runner and author Paul C. Clerici – is a thoroughly entertaining and well-researched historical chronicle of the famous seven-mile road race. Featuring over 40 years worth of stories, anecdotes, tales, and tidbits, finally there is a book that tells this compelling story from the beginning. It features nearly 80 photographs that span the decades – some of which published here for the first time – and through dozens of interviews specific for this book, there are countless detailed recollections and insights from the likes of longtime volunteers; sponsors; founder Tommy Leonard; organizers John and Lucia Carroll, Rich and Kathy Sherman; local runners such as Olympic gold medalist Colleen Coyne, NASA astronaut Sunita “Suni” Williams; and legendary athletes including Bill Rodgers, Frank Shorter, Alberto Salazar, Rod Dixon, Craig Virgin, Henry Rono, Joan Benoit Samuelson, Jen Rhines, Lynn Jennings, Lornah Kiplagat, Catherine Ndereba, Craig Blanchette, Tatyana McFadden, Suzy Favor Hamilton, Jordan McNamara, and many others. In addition is a foreword by Tommy Leonard
HISTORIC TROLLEY TOURS OF FALMOUTH BEGIN SEPTEMBER 7TH!
RESERVATIONS REQUIRED! To make a reservation, call 508-548-4857, ext. 11!
Enjoy an historic trolley tour of Falmouth on Wednesday mornings at 10am. Five different dates are available: September 7, 14, 21 & 28, as well as October 5. Trolleys are enclosed and climate-controlled, allowing the tours to take place rain or shine.
These narrated tours will take visitors along some of the oldest thoroughfares in Falmouth, traveling through downtown Falmouth, Falmouth Heights, Woods Hole and other scenic locales, and will engage those on board about the seafaring history of the town. A stop will also be made at Highfield Hall & Gardens. Tickets for the two-hour excursion are $ 25 for Historical Society members and $ 30 for non-members. Reservations are required and these tours have sold out in the past. To make a reservation, email [email protected] or call 508-548-4857. Tours begin and end at the Falmouth Museums on the Green, 55 & 65 Palmer Avenue. Those taking the tour should be at the Museums’ Hallett Barn no later than 9:45 am the morning of their reservation.
Credit card reservations should be made at least 48 hours in advance to guarantee that there is room on the trolley. To make a reservation via credit card, click below:
Love them or hate them, what the New England Patriots have been able to do over the past fifteen years is nothing short of remarkable. In addition to their four Super Bowl championships, the Patriots have the best coach in the league, a smart and savvy front office, and a future Hall of Fame quarterback who is internationally recognized as the face of the NFL. The longer the Patriots continue to dominate on the field as well as in the media and the American pop culture landscape, the harder it becomes for anyone to remember them as something other than a model franchise and the ultimate paradigm of success and accomplishment.
Anyone, that is, except for Jerry Thornton. It wasn’t always sunshine and roses for the Patriots; in fact, for the bulk of their existence, it was exactly the opposite. Though difficult to fathom now, the New England Patriots of old weren’t just bad—they were laughably bad. Not so long ago, the Pats were the laughingstock of not only the NFL but also the entire sporting world.
From Darkness to Dynasty tells the unlikely history of the New England Patriots as it has never been told before. From their humble beginnings as a team bought with rainy-day money by a man who had no idea what he was doing to the fateful season that saw them win their first Super Bowl, Jerry Thornton shares the wild, humiliating, unbelievable, and wonderful stories that comprised the first forty years of what would ultimately become the most dominant franchise in NFL history. Witty, hilarious, and brutally honest, From Darkness to Dynasty returns to the thrilling, perilous days of yesteryear—a welcome corrective for those who hate the Patriots and a useful reminder for those who love them that all glory is fleeting.
On Tuesday, September 20 at 9:00 am, the Museums on the Green will host a bus trip to the Museum of World War II in Natick, MA. The largest and most comprehensive private collection of World War II artifacts found anywhere in the world, the Museum of World War II makes it its mission to uniquely show the human story interwoven with the military and political events thru all of the artifacts that made up life, from everyday, to the most momentous decisions during the war.
Space is limited for this special event. Tickets for this are $ 60 each and include transportation to and from Natick as well as Museum admission. Lunch will be separate and held at the Natick Mall.
Please send in a check for $ 60 for each person going NO LATER than September 2, 2016. Checks should be made out to: Falmouth Historical Society, PO Box 174, Falmouth, MA 02541. You can also pay by credit card below:
Beginning in January 1692, Salem Village in colonial Massachusetts witnessed the largest and most lethal outbreak of witchcraft in early America. Villagers–mainly young women–suffered from unseen torments that caused them to writhe, shriek, and contort their bodies, complaining of pins stuck into their flesh and of being haunted by specters. Believing that they suffered from assaults by an invisible spirit, the community began a hunt to track down those responsible for the demonic work. The resulting Salem Witch Trials, culminating in the execution of 19 villagers, persists as one of the most mysterious and fascinating events in American history.
Historians have speculated on a web of possible causes for the witchcraft that stated in Salem and spread across the region-religious crisis, ergot poisoning, an encephalitis outbreak, frontier war hysteria–but most agree that there was no single factor. Rather, as Emerson Baker illustrates in this seminal new work, Salem was “a perfect storm”: a unique convergence of conditions and events that produced something extraordinary throughout New England in 1692 and the following years, and which has haunted us ever since.Baker shows how a range of factors in the Bay colony in the 1690s, including a new charter and government, a lethal frontier war, and religious and political conflicts, set the stage for the dramatic events in Salem. Engaging a range of perspectives, he looks at the key players in the outbreak–the accused witches and the people they allegedly bewitched, as well as the judges and government officials who prosecuted them–and wrestles with questions about why the Salem tragedy unfolded as it did, and why it has become an enduring legacy
The riveting true story of the women who launched America into space.
In the 1940s and 50s, when the newly minted Jet Propulsion Laboratory needed quick-thinking mathematicians to calculate velocities and plot trajectories, they didn’t turn to male graduates. Rather, they recruited an elite group of young women who, with only pencil, paper, and mathematical prowess, transformed rocket design, helped bring about the first American satellites, and made the exploration of the solar system possible.
For the first time, Rise of the Rocket Girls tells the stories of these women–known as “human computers”–who broke the boundaries of both gender and science. Based on extensive research and interviews with all the living members of the team, Rise of the Rocket Girls offers a unique perspective on the role of women in science: both where we’ve been, and the far reaches of space to which we’re heading.
An impassioned defense of intellectual freedom and a clarion call to intellectual responsibility, Galileo’s Middle Finger is one American’s eye-opening story of life in the trenches of scientific controversy. For two decades, historian Alice Dreger has led a life of extraordinary engagement, combining activist service to victims of unethical medical research with defense of scientists whose work has outraged identity politics activists. With spirit and wit, Dreger offers in Galileo’s Middle Finger an unforgettable vision of the importance of rigorous truth seeking in today’s America, where both the free press and free scholarly inquiry struggle under dire economic and political threats.
Between 1911 and 1922, a series of wars would engulf the Ottoman Empire and its successor states, in which the central conflict, of course, is World War I—a story we think we know well. As Sean McMeekin shows us in this revelatory new history of what he calls the “wars of the Ottoman succession,” we know far less than we think. The Ottoman Endgame brings to light the entire strategic narrative that led to an unstable new order in postwar Middle East—much of which is still felt today.
McMeekin also brilliantly reconceives our inherited Anglo-French understanding of the war’s outcome and the collapse of the empire that followed. He chronicles the emergence of modern Turkey and the carve-up of the rest of the Ottoman Empire offering a new perspective on such issues as the ethno-religious bloodletting and forced population transfers which attended the breakup of empire, the Balfour Declaration, the toppling of the caliphate, and the partition of Iraq and Syria—bringing the contemporary consequences into clear focus.
Falmouth Museums on the Green, home of the Falmouth Historical Society, is proud to partner with Cape Cod Life to present the Inaugural Falmouth Historic Homes Tour on Sunday, October 9 from noon to 4 PM. This walking tour of Falmouth Village will showcase nine diverse locations, including private homes, inns, and the historic First Congregational Church of Falmouth. Tickets will include a fabulous swag bag full of goodies from local retailers.
TOUR STARTS AT HISTORICAL SOCIETY’S CULTURAL CENTER, 55 PALMER AVENUE. COME THERE TO PICK UP YOUR TICKET AND YOUR SWAG BAG!
Ticket prices are $ 25 in advance of the House Tour and $ 35 on the day of the event.
Parking for the House Tour will be available in our parking lot off Katharine Lee Bates Road and at the 1st Congregational Church, 68 Main Street, Falmouth.
To purchase tickets on day of event, come to Museums on the Green’s Cultural Center, 55 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth
When Firing Line premiered on American television in 1966, just two years after Barry Goldwater’s devastating defeat, liberalism was ascendant. Though the left seemed to have decisively won the hearts and minds of the electorate, the show’s creator and host, William F. Buckley—relishing his role as a public contrarian—made the case for conservative ideas, believing that his side would ultimately win because its arguments were better. As the founder of the right’s flagship journal, National Review, Buckley spoke to likeminded readers. With Firing Line, he reached beyond conservative enclaves, engaging millions of Americans across the political spectrum.
Each week on Firing Line, Buckley and his guests—the cream of America’s intellectual class, such as Tom Wolfe, Noam Chomsky, Norman Mailer, Henry Kissinger, and Milton Friedman—debated the urgent issues of the day, bringing politics, culture, and economics into American living rooms as never before. Buckley himself was an exemplary host; he never appealed to emotion and prejudice; he engaged his guests with a unique and entertaining combination of principle, wit, fact, a truly fearsome vocabulary, and genuine affection for his adversaries.
Drawing on archival material, interviews, and transcripts, Open to Debate provides a richly detailed portrait of this widely respected ideological warrior, showing him in action as never before. Much more than just the story of a television show, Hendershot’s book provides a history of American public intellectual life from the 1960s through the 1980s—one of the most contentious eras in our history—and shows how Buckley led the way in drawing America to conservatism during those years.
In 1933, Adolf Hitler became Chancellor of Germany. A year later, all parties but the Nazis had been outlawed, freedom of the press was but a memory, and Hitler’s dominance seemed complete. Yet over the next few years, an unlikely clutch of conspirators emerged – soldiers, schoolteachers, politicians, diplomats, theologians, even a carpenter – who would try repeatedly to end the Fuhrer’s genocidal reign. This dramatic and deeply researched book tells the full story of those noble, ingenious, and doomed efforts. This is history at its most suspenseful, as we witness secret midnight meetings, crises of conscience, fierce debates among old friends about whether and how to dismantle Nazism, and the various plots themselves being devised and executed.
Orbach’s fresh research takes advantage of his singular skills as linguist and historian to offer profound insight into the conspirators’ methods, motivations, fears, and hopes. Though we know how this story ends, we’ve had no idea until now how close it came – several times – to ending very differently. The Plots Against Hitler fundamentally alters our view of World War II and sheds bright – even redemptive – light on its darkest days.
The America we live in today was born, not on July 4, 1776, but on December 7, 1941, when an armada of 354 Japanese warplanes supported by aircraft carriers, destroyers, and midget submarines suddenly and savagely attacked the United States, killing 2,403 men—and forced America’s entry into World War II. Pearl Harbor: From Infamy to Greatness follows, moment by moment, the sailors, soldiers, pilots, diplomats, admirals, generals, emperor, and president as they engineer, fight, and react to this stunningly dramatic moment in world history.
Beginning in 1914, bestselling author Craig Nelson maps the road to war, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, then the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (and not yet afflicted with polio), attending the laying of the keel of the USS Arizona at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. Writing with vivid intimacy, Nelson traces Japan’s leaders as they lurch into ultranationalist fascism, which culminates in their insanely daring yet militarily brilliant scheme to terrify America with one of the boldest attacks ever waged. Within seconds, the country would never be the same.
In addition to learning the little understood history of how and why Japan attacked Hawaii, we hear an abandoned record player endlessly repeating “Sunrise Serenade” as bombs shatter the decks of the California; we feel cold terror as lanky young American sailors must anxiously choose between staying aboard their sinking ships or diving overboard into harbor waters aflame with burning ship fuel; we watch as Navy wives tearfully hide with their children in caves from a rumored invasion, and we understand the frustration and triumph of a lone American teenager as he shoots down a Japanese bomber, even as the attack destroys hundreds of US airplanes and dozens of ships.
Backed by a research team’s five years of work, which produced nearly a million pages of documents, as well as Nelson’s thorough re-examination of the original evidence assembled by federal investigators, this page-turning and definitive work provides a thrilling blow-by-blow account from both the Japanese and American perspectives, and is historical drama on the grandest scale. Nelson delivers all the terror, chaos, violence, tragedy, and heroism of the attack in stunning detail, and offers surprising conclusions about the tragedy’s unforeseen and resonant consequences that linger even today.
Pie has been a delectable centerpiece of Yankee tables since Europeans first landed on New England’s shores in the seventeenth century. With a satisfying variety of savory and sweet, author Robert Cox takes a bite out of the history of pie and pie-making in the region. From the crackling topmost crust to the bottom layer, explore the origin and evolution of popular ingredients like the Revolutionary roots of the Boston cream. One month at a time, celebrate the seasonal fixings that fill New Englanders’ favorite dessert from apple and cherry to pumpkin and squash. With interviews from local bakers, classic recipes and some modern twists on beloved standards, this mouthwatering history of New England pies offers something for every appetite.
WINNER OF THE BANCROFT PRIZE
PULITZER PRIZE FINALIST
The empire of cotton was, from the beginning, a fulcrum of constant global struggle between slaves and planters, merchants and statesmen, workers and factory owners. Sven Beckert makes clear how these forces ushered in the world of modern capitalism, including the vast wealth and disturbing inequalities that are with us today.
In a remarkably brief period, European entrepreneurs and powerful politicians recast the world’s most significant manufacturing industry, combining imperial expansion and slave labor with new machines and wage workers to make and remake global capitalism. The result is a book as unsettling as it is enlightening: a book that brilliantly weaves together the story of cotton with how the present global world came to exist.
Reporting from the West Wing briefing room since 2008, Brandus—the most followed White House journalist on Twitter (@WestWingReport)—weaves together stories of the presidents, their families, the events of their time—and an oft-ignored major character, the White House itself.
From George Washington—who selected the winning design for the White House—to the current occupant, Barack Obama—the story of the White House is the story of America itself. Through triumph and tragedy, boom and bust, secrets and scandals, Brandus takes you to the presidential bedroom, movie theater, Situation Room, Oval Office and more. Under This Roof is a “sensuous account of the history of both the home of the President, and the men and women who designed, inhabited, and decorated it.
Join us in the Cultural Center for a festive and relaxed evening of local shopping and tastings from Cape Cod Winery. Stock up on unique gifts for the whole family from Cape Cod artists, artisans, and farmers. Apparel, artwork, jewelry, jam, and more!
Featuring: Cape Cloth, Cabo Cado, Wampanoag Shells, Wicked Weird Story Starters, Melefant
The epic, inside story of the rise and dominance of Tom Brady, Bill Belichick, and the New England Patriots.
SPECIAL STARTING TIME: 7:30 pm
THIS LECTURE TO BE HELD AT ST. BARNABAS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 91 MAIN STREET, FALMOUTH
Featuring interviews from Patriots players and coaches,WEEI’s Michael Holley presents a fascinating portrait of the partnership between Tom Brady, the Patriots’ star quarterback, and Bill Belichick, the team’s prolific coach. Chockful of behind-the-scenes anecdotes and information exploring how they have strategized and weathered controversies, all culminating into four Superbowl rings, this is required reading for any Patriots fan and students of the game of football.
By examining how the relationship between this dynamic quarterback and coach duo, Holley explores exactly how these two men have formed the core of the greatest dynasty in the modern-day NFL.
At just forty-one years old, Dr. Autumn Klein, a neurologist specializing in seizure disorders in pregnant women, had already been named chief of women’s neurology at Pittsburgh’s largest health system. More than just successful in her field, Dr. Klein was beloved—by her patients, colleagues, family, and friends. She collapsed suddenly on April 17, 2013, writhing in agony on her kitchen floor, and died three days later. The police said her husband, Dr. Robert Ferrante, twenty-three years Klein’s senior, killed her through cyanide poisoning. Though Ferrante left a clear trail of circumstantial evidence, Klein’s death from cyanide might have been overlooked if not for the investigators who were able to use Ferrante’s computer, statements from the staff at his lab, and his own seemingly odd actions at the hospital during his wife’s treatment to piece together what appeared to be a long-term plan to end his wife’s life.
In Death by Cyanide, Paula Reed Ward, reporter for the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, describes the murder investigation and the trial in this sensational case, taking us from the poisoning and the medical staff’s heroic measures to save Klein’s life to the investigation of Ferrante and the emotion and drama inside the courtroom.
Though remembered chiefly as author of the Declaration of Independence and the president under whom the Louisiana Purchase was effected, Thomas Jefferson was a true revolutionary in the way he thought about the size and reach of government, which Americans who were full citizens and the role of education in the new country. In his new book, Kevin Gutzman gives readers a new view of Jefferson―a revolutionary who effected radical change in a growing country.
Jefferson’s philosophy about the size and power of the federal system almost completely undergirded the Jeffersonian Republican Party. His forceful advocacy of religious freedom was not far behind, as were attempts to incorporate Native Americans into American society. His establishment of the University of Virginia might be one of the most important markers of the man’s abilities and character.
He was not without flaws. While he argued for the assimilation of Native Americans into society, he did not assume the same for Africans being held in slavery while―at the same time―insisting that slavery should cease to exist. Many still accuse Jefferson of hypocrisy on the ground that he both held that “all men are created equal” and held men as slaves. Jefferson’s true character, though, is more complex than that as Kevin Gutzman shows in his new book about Jefferson, a revolutionary whose accomplishments went far beyond the drafting of the Declaration of Independence.
PLEASE HELP CHANGE THIS: TO THIS:
Our goal is to install one fence style along Palmer Avenue in front of the 1790 Dr. Francis Wicks House and the 1730 Conant House so that both properties are identifiable as part of the Museums on the Green. We will be constructing an historically appropriate design that will be durable and not subject to splitting and rot. As we are in historic district, it will be made from cedar and stained white.
Here is how you can help:
Pickets: Over 400 Opportunities!
$ 30 for one picket/ $ 80 for 3 pickets
Horizontal Sections: $ 100 each
Posts: $ 200 each
Gates with Posts: 2 posts for $ 1000.00 each/ 1 post for $ 1500.00
To participate in this opportunity to upgrade our fencing and increase our ‘curb appeal’, please make a payment to Falmouth Historical Society, PO Box 174, Falmouth, MA 02541, or simply click below. Your gift will be acknowledged in the Annual Report. Names will not be appearing on the fence itself. We truly appreciate all gifts of all sizes. Your gift is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. If you have questions, call 508-548-4857 and ask for Executive Director Mark Schmidt.
How the Cape Verdean Community helped to shape Falmouth and Cape Cod
On September 18, 2010 Vasco Pires was invited to an international Conference in the city
of Noli, Italy to present a paper on the “550 Year History of Cabo Verde and its
impact on the United States.” He shares with you a presentation based on that paper
presented at the Antoni DiNoli Conference in Noli, Italy and published in The
“ 550 years seems like a long time, however this period, a mere five and half centuries
when condensed into a series of experiences and accounts, a history that has affected
our world, like no other period.
If history has any value at all, it should teach us how we have allowed, our greed,
stupidity and foolishness to rule our actions in creating misery and destruction to our
fellow human beings and environment, all in the name of religion or the quest for power
and dominion over others.”
On December 26, 1941, Secret Service Agent Harry E. Neal stood on a platform at Washington’s Union Station, watching a train chug off into the dark and feeling at once relieved and inexorably anxious. These were dire times: as Hitler’s armies plowed across Europe, seizing or destroying the Continent’s historic artifacts at will, Japan bristled to the East. The Axis was rapidly closing in.
So FDR set about hiding the country’s valuables. On the train speeding away from Neal sat four plain-wrapped cases containing the documentary history of American democracy: the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Gettysburg Address, and more, guarded by a battery of agents and bound for safekeeping in the nation’s most impenetrable hiding place.
American Treasures charts the little-known journeys of these American crown jewels. From the risky and audacious adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776 to our modern Fourth of July celebrations, American Treasures shows how the ideas captured in these documents underscore the nation’s strengths and hopes, and embody its fundamental values of liberty and equality. Stephen Puleo weaves in exciting stories of freedom under fire – from the Declaration and Constitution smuggled out of Washington days before the British burned the capital in 1814, to their covert relocation during WWII – crafting a sweeping history of a nation united to preserve its definition of democracy.
The lecture made possible in part by a grant from First Citizens Federal Credit Union
History remembers Robert F. Kennedy as a racial healer, a tribune for the poor, and the last progressive knight of a bygone era of American politics. But Kennedy’s enshrinement in the liberal pantheon was actually the final stage of a journey that had its beginnings in the conservative 1950s. In Bobby Kennedy, Larry Tye peels away layers of myth and misconception to paint a complete portrait of this singularly fascinating figure.
To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years. He conducted hundreds of interviews with RFK intimates—including Bobby’s widow, Ethel, his sister Jean, and his aide John Siegenthaler—many of whom have never spoken to another biographer. Tye’s determination to sift through the tangle of often contradictory opinions means that Bobby Kennedy will stand as the definitive one-volume biography of a man much beloved, but just as often misunderstood.
Bobby Kennedy’s transformation from cold warrior to fiery liberal is a profoundly moving personal story that also offers a lens onto two of the most chaotic and confounding decades of twentieth-century American history. The first half of RFK’s career underlines what the country was like in the era of Eisenhower, while his last years as a champion of the underclass reflect the seismic shifts wrought by the 1960s. Nurtured on the rightist orthodoxies of his dynasty-building father, Bobby Kennedy began his public life as counsel to the red-baiting senator Joseph McCarthy. He ended it with a noble campaign to unite working-class whites with poor blacks and Latinos in an electoral coalition that seemed poised to redraw the face of presidential politics. Along the way, he turned up at the center of every event that mattered, from the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis to race riots and Vietnam.
On Halloween morning in 1999, Mabel Greineder was savagely murdered along a wooded trail in the well-heeled community of Wellesley, Massachusetts. As the shock following the brutal killing slowly subsided, the community was further shaken when the focus of the investigation turned to her husband, Dirk Greineder, a prominent physician and family man who was soon revealed to be leading a secret double life involving prostitutes, pornography, and trysts solicited through the Internet.
A Murder in Wellesley takes the reader far beyond the headlines and national news coverage spawned by “May” Greineder’s killing and tells the untold story of the meticulous investigation led by Marty Foley, the lead State Police detective on the case, from the morning of the murder through Dirk Greineder’s ultimate conviction. Exhaustive interviews with key figures in the case, including many who have not talked publicly until now, contribute to an unprecedented behind-the-scenes account of how investigators methodically built their case against Greineder and how the sides taken by Dirk and May’s relatives aided the investigation but bitterly divided their families.
A fascinating true-crime procedural that is also a deeply unsettling tale of the psychopath you thought you knew, of deceptions and double lives, and of families torn apart by an unthinkable crime. Culminating in one of the most dramatic courtroom spectacles in recent memory (aired nationally on Court TV), A Murder in Wellesley reveals the truth behind the murder that gripped a nation.
From very early on in his career, John F. Kennedy’s allure was more akin to a movie star than a presidential candidate. Why were Americans so attracted to Kennedy in the late 1950s and early 1960s―his glamorous image, good looks, cool style, tough-minded rhetoric, and sex appeal?
As Steve Watts argues, JFK was tailor made for the cultural atmosphere of his time. He benefited from a crisis of manhood that had welled up in postwar America when men had become ensnared by bureaucracy, softened by suburban comfort, and emasculated by a generation of newly-aggressive women. Kennedy appeared to revive the modern American man as youthful and vigorous, masculine and athletic, and a sexual conquistador. His cultural crusade involved other prominent figures, including Frank Sinatra, Norman Mailer, Ian Fleming, Hugh Hefner, Ben Bradlee, Kirk Douglas, and Tony Curtis, who collectively symbolized masculine regeneration.
JFK and the Masculine Mystique is not just another standard biography of the youthful president. By examining Kennedy in the context of certain books, movies, social critiques, music, and cultural discussions that framed his ascendancy, Watts shows us the excitement and sense of possibility, the optimism and aspirations, that accompanied the dawn of a new age in America.
“A Path to Peace: A Brief History of Israeli-Palestinian Negotiations and a Way Forward in the Middle East”
THIS LECTURE TO BE HELD AT ST. BARNABAS EPISCOPAL CHURCH, 81 MAIN STREET, FALMOUTH
George Mitchell knows how to bring peace to troubled regions. He was the primary architect of the 1998 Good Friday Agreement for peace in Northern Ireland. But when he served as US Special Envoy for Middle East Peace from 2009 to 2011—working to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict—diplomacy did not prevail. Now, for the first time, Mitchell offers his insider account of how the Israelis and the Palestinians have progressed (and regressed) in their negotiations through the years and outlines the specific concessions each side must make to finally achieve lasting peace. This unflinching look at why the peace process has failed, and what must happen for it to succeed, is an important, essential, and valuable insight as to how the process works.
Veteran investigative journalist Michele R. McPhee unravels the complex story behind the public facts of the Boston Marathon bombing. She examines the bombers’ roots in Dagestan and Chechnya, their struggle to assimilate in America, and their growing hatred of the United States—a deepening antagonism that would prompt federal prosecutors to dub Dzhokhar Tsarnaev “America’s worst nightmare.” The difficulties faced by the Tsarnaev family of Cambridge, Massachusetts, are part of the public record. Circumstances less widely known are the FBI’s recruitment of the older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, as a “mosque crawler” to inform on radical separatists here and in Chechnya; the tracking down and killing of radical Islamic separatists during the six months he spent in Russia—travel that raised eyebrows, since he was on several terrorist watchlists; the FBI’s botched deals and broken promises with regard to his immigration; and the disenchantment, rage, and growing radicalization of Tamerlan and Dzhokhar, along with their mother, sisters, and Tamerlan’s wife, Katherine.
Maximum Harm is also a compelling examination of the Tsarnaev brothers’ movements in the days leading up to the Boston Marathon bombing on April 15, 2013, the subsequent investigation, the Tsarnaevs’ murder of MIT police officer Sean Collier, the high-speed chase and shootout that killed Tamerlan, and the manhunt in which the authorities finally captured Dzhokhar, hiding in a Watertown backyard. McPhee untangles the many threads of circumstance, coincidence, collusion, motive, and opportunity that resulted in the deadliest attack on the city of Boston to date.
The Lowells of Massachusetts were a remarkable family. They were settlers in the New World in the 1600s, revolutionaries creating a new nation in the 1700s, merchants and manufacturers building prosperity in the 1800s, and scientists and artists flourishing in the 1900s. For the first time, Nina Sankovitch tells the story of this fascinating and powerful dynasty in The Lowells of Massachusetts.
Though not without scoundrels and certainly no strangers to controversy , the family boasted some of the most astonishing individuals in America’s history: Percival Lowle, the patriarch who arrived in America in the seventeenth to plant the roots of the family tree; Reverend John Lowell, the preacher; Judge John Lowell, a member of the Continental Congress; Francis Cabot Lowell, manufacturer and, some say, founder of the Industrial Revolution in the US; James Russell Lowell, American Romantic poet; Lawrence Lowell, one of Harvard’s longest-serving and most controversial presidents; and Amy Lowell, the twentieth century poet who lived openly in a Boston Marriage with the actress Ada Dwyer Russell.
The Lowells realized the promise of America as the land of opportunity by uniting Puritan values of hard work, community service, and individual responsibility with a deep-seated optimism that became a well-known family trait. Long before the Kennedys put their stamp on Massachusetts, the Lowells claimed the bedrock.
As Roseann Sdoia waited to watch her friend cross the finish line of the Boston Marathon in 2013, she had no idea her life was about to change-that in a matter of minutes she would look up from the sidewalk, burned and deaf, staring at her detached foot, screaming for help amid the smoke and blood.
In the chaos of the minutes that followed, three people would enter Roseann’s life and change it forever. The first was Shores Salter, a college student who, when the bomb went off, instinctively ran into the smoke while his friends ran away. He found Roseann lying on the sidewalk and, using a belt as a tourniquet, literally saved her life that day. Then, Boston police officer Shana Cottone arrived on the scene and began screaming desperately at passing ambulances, all full, before finally commandeering an empty paddy wagon. Just then a giant appeared, in the form of Boston firefighter Mike Materia, who carefully lifted her into the fetid paddy wagon. He climbed in and held her burned hand all the way to the hospital. Since that day, he hasn’t left her side, and today they are planning their life together.Perfect Strangers is about recovery, about choosing joy and human connection over anger and resentment, and most of all, it’s about an unlikely but enduring friendship that grew out of the tragedy of Boston’s worst day.
Even before shots were fired at Fort Sumter, slaves recognized that their bondage was at the root of the war they knew was coming, and they began running to the Union army. By the war’s end, nearly half a million had taken refuge behind Union lines in improvised “contraband camps.” These were crowded and dangerous places, with conditions approaching those of a humanitarian crisis. Yet families and individuals—some 12 to 15 percent of the Confederacy’s slave population—took unimaginable risks to reach them, and they became the first places where many Northerners would come to know former slaves en masse, with reverberating consequences for emancipation, its progress, and the Reconstruction that followed.
Drawing on records of the Union and Confederate armies, the letters and diaries of soldiers, transcribed testimonies of former slaves, and more, Chandra Manning allows us to accompany the black men, women, and children who sought out the Union army in hopes of achieving autonomy for themselves and their communities. Ranging from the stories of individuals to those of armies on the move to debates in the halls of Congress, Troubled Refuge probes the particular and deeply significant reality of the contraband camps: what they were really like and how former slaves and Union soldiers warily united there, forging a dramatically new but highly imperfect alliance between the government and African Americans. That alliance, which would outlast the war, helped destroy slavery and warded off the very acute and surprisingly tenacious danger of re-enslavement. It also raised, for the first time, humanitarian questions about refugees in wartime and legal questions about civil and military authority with which we still wrestle, as well as redefined American citizenship, to the benefit but also to the lasting cost of African Americans.
The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War by historian J. L. Bell reveals a new dimension to the start of America’s War for Independence by tracing the spark of its first battle back to little-known events beginning in September 1774. The author relates how radical Patriots secured those four cannon and smuggled them out of Boston, and how Gage sent out spies and search parties to track them down. Drawing on archives in the United States, United Kingdom, and Canada, the book creates a lively, original, and deeply documented picture of a society perched on the brink of war.
In this groundbreaking, revisionist history, Larrie Ferreiro shows that at the time the first shots were fired at Lexington and Concord the colonists had little chance, if any, of militarily defeating the British. The nascent American nation had no navy, little in the way of artillery, and a militia bereft even of gunpowder. In his detailed accounts Ferreiro shows that without the extensive military and financial support of the French and Spanish, the American cause would never have succeeded. France and Spain provided close to the equivalent of $30 billion and 90 percent of all guns used by the Americans, and they sent soldiers and sailors by the thousands to fight and die alongside the Americans, as well as around the world.
Ferreiro adds to the historical records the names of French and Spanish diplomats, merchants, soldiers, and sailors whose contribution is at last given recognition. Instead of viewing the American Revolution in isolation, Brothers at Arms reveals the birth of the American nation as the centerpiece of an international coalition fighting against a common enemy.
A hundred years after his murder, Rasputin continues to excite the popular imagination as the personification of evil. Numerous biographies, novels, and films recount his mysterious rise to power as Nicholas and Alexandra’s confidant and the guardian of the sickly heir to the Russian throne. His debauchery and sinister political influence are the stuff of legend, and the downfall of the Romanov dynasty was laid at his feet.
But as the prizewinning historian Douglas Smith shows, the true story of Rasputin’s life and death has remained shrouded in myth. A major new work that combines probing scholarship and powerful storytelling, Rasputin separates fact from fiction to reveal the real life of one of history’s most alluring figures. Drawing on a wealth of forgotten documents from archives in seven countries, Smith presents Rasputin in all his complexity–man of God, voice of peace, loyal subject, adulterer, drunkard. Rasputin is not just a definitive biography of an extraordinary and legendary man but a fascinating portrait of the twilight of imperial Russia as it lurched toward catastrophe.
Did you know that Victoria Woodhull became the first woman to run for president in 1872? Have you heard of Bostonian Lucy Stone, who published the longest-running and most successful suffrage newspaper? Did you learn that Ida B. Wells defied orders and racially integrated the 1913 suffrage parade in Washington, DC? Have you heard that suffragists staged the first-ever picket of the White House in 1917?
Though Susan B. Anthony is probably the most familiar suffragist, this talk will highlight these important–but less familiar–stories of the movement. Women’s votes aren’t controversial today, but suffragists organized for nearly 100 years to win this right. “Beyond Susan B. Anthony” will feature colorful nineteenth-century political cartoons that lampooned the activists as well as the visual propaganda that suffragists created to convince Americans that women needed the vote. In 2020, we will commemorate the centennial of the Nineteenth Amendment, which granted women the right to cast ballots. Let’s celebrate the suffragists with a better understanding of all that they accomplished.
Our May Lectures are sponsored by Cape Cod Five Savings Bank
Part of the series of lectures on Women’s History, made possible in part by a grant from Mass Humanities
The Curies’ newly discovered element of radium makes gleaming headlines across the nation as the fresh face of beauty, and wonder drug of the medical community. From body lotion to tonic water, the popular new element shines bright in the otherwise dark years of the First World War.
Meanwhile, hundreds of girls toil amidst the glowing dust of the radium-dial factories. The glittering chemical covers their bodies from head to toe; they light up the night like industrious fireflies. With such a coveted job, these “shining girls” are the luckiest alive ― until they begin to fall mysteriously ill.
But the factories that once offered golden opportunities are now ignoring all claims of the gruesome side effects, and the women’s cries of corruption. And as the fatal poison of the radium takes hold, the brave shining girls find themselves embroiled in one of the biggest scandals of America’s early 20th century, and in a groundbreaking battle for workers’ rights that will echo for centuries to come.
Written with a sparkling voice and breakneck pace, The Radium Girls fully illuminates the inspiring young women exposed to the “wonder” substance of radium, and their awe-inspiring strength in the face of almost impossible circumstances. Their courage and tenacity led to life-changing regulations, research into nuclear bombing, and ultimately saved hundreds of thousands of lives…
Our May lectures are sponsored by Cape Cod Five Savings
Lincoln’s White House is the first book devoted to capturing the look, feel, and smell of the executive mansion from Lincoln’s inauguration in 1861 to his assassination in 1865. James Conroy brings to life the people who knew it, from servants to cabinet secretaries. We see the constant stream of visitors, from ordinary citizens to visiting dignitaries and diplomats. Conroy enables the reader to see how the Lincolns lived and how the administration conducted day-to-day business during four of the most tumultuous years in American history. Relying on fresh research and a character-driven narrative and drawing on untapped primary sources, he takes the reader on a behind-the-scenes tour that provides new insight into how Lincoln lived, led the government, conducted war, and ultimately, unified the country to build a better government of, by, and for the people.
Our May lectures are sponsored by Cape Cod Five Savings Bank
Both the Constitution’s content and its ratification process raise troubling questions about democratic legitimacy. The Federalists were eager to avoid full-fledged democratic deliberation over the Constitution, and the document that was ratified was stacked in favor of their preferences. And in terms of substance, the Constitution was a significant departure from the more democratic state constitutions of the 1770s. Definitive and authoritative, The Framers’ Coup explains why the Framers preferred such a constitution and how they managed to persuade the country to adopt it. We have lived with the consequences, both positive and negative, ever since.
The Framers’ Coup is more than a compendium of great stories, however, and the powerful arguments that feature throughout will reshape our understanding of the nation’s founding. Simply put, the Constitutional Convention almost didn’t happen, and once it happened, it almost failed. And, even after the convention succeeded, the Constitution it produced almost failed to be ratified. Just as importantly, the Constitution was hardly the product of philosophical reflections by brilliant, disinterested statesmen, but rather ordinary interest group politics. Multiple conflicting interests had a say, from creditors and debtors to city dwellers and backwoodsmen. The upper class overwhelmingly supported the Constitution; many working class colonists were more dubious. Slave states and nonslave states had different perspectives on how well the Constitution served their interests.
How should the United States act in the world? Americans cannot decide. Sometimes we burn with righteous anger, launching foreign wars and deposing governments. Then we retreat―until the cycle begins again.
No matter how often we debate this question, none of what we say is original. Every argument is a pale shadow of the first and greatest debate, which erupted more than a century ago. Its themes resurface every time Americans argue whether to intervene in a foreign country.
Revealing a piece of forgotten history, Stephen Kinzer transports us to the dawn of the twentieth century, when the United States first found itself with the chance to dominate faraway lands. That prospect thrilled some Americans. It horrified others. Their debate gripped the nation.
The country’s best-known political and intellectual leaders took sides. Theodore Roosevelt, Henry Cabot Lodge, and William Randolph Hearst pushed for imperial expansion; Mark Twain, Booker T. Washington, and Andrew Carnegie preached restraint. Only once before―in the period when the United States was founded―have so many brilliant Americans so eloquently debated a question so fraught with meaning for all humanity.
All Americans, regardless of political perspective, can take inspiration from the titans who faced off in this epic confrontation. Their words are amazingly current. Every argument over America’s role in the world grows from this one. It all starts here.
Nigel Hamilton’s Mantle of Command, long-listed for the National Book Award, drew on years of archival research and interviews to portray FDR in a tight close up, as he determined Allied strategy in the crucial initial phases of World War II. Commander in Chief reveals the astonishing sequel — suppressed by Winston Churchill in his memoirs — of Roosevelt’s battles with Churchill to maintain that strategy. Roosevelt knew that the Allies should take Sicily but avoid a wider battle in southern Europe, building experience but saving strength to invade France in early 1944. Churchill seemed to agree at Casablanca — only to undermine his own generals and the Allied command, testing Roosevelt’s patience to the limit. Churchill was afraid of the invasion planned for Normandy, and pushed instead for disastrous fighting in Italy, thereby almost losing the war for the Allies. In a dramatic showdown, FDR finally set the ultimate course for victory by making the ultimate threat. Commander in Chief shows FDR in top form at a crucial time in the modern history of the West.
James Bond has nothing on British double agent Dusko Popov. As an operative for the Abwehr, SD, MI5, MI6, and FBI during World War II, Popov seduced countless women―including agents on both sides―spoke five languages, and was a crack shot, all while maintaining his cover as a Yugoslav diplomat...
On a cool August evening in 1941, a Serbian playboy created a stir at Casino Estoril in Portugal by throwing down an outrageously large baccarat bet to humiliate his opponent. The Serbian was a British double agent, and the money―which he had just stolen from the Germans―belonged to the British. From the sideline, watching with intent interest was none other than Ian Fleming…The Serbian was Dusko Popov. As a youngster, he was expelled from his London prep school. Years later he would be arrested and banished from Germany for making derogatory statements about the Third Reich. When World War II ensued, the playboy became a spy, eventually serving three dangerous masters: the Abwehr, MI5 and MI6, and the FBI.
On August 10, 1941, the Germans sent Popov to the United States to construct a spy network and gather information on Pearl Harbor. The FBI ignored his German questionnaire, but J. Edgar Hoover succeeded in blowing his cover. While MI5 desperately needed Popov to deceive the Abwehr about the D-Day invasion, they assured him that a return to the German Secret Service Headquarters in Lisbon would result in torture and execution. He went anyway…
Into the Lion’s Mouth is a globe-trotting account of a man’s entanglement with espionage, murder, assassins, and lovers―including enemy spies and a Hollywood starlet. It is a story of subterfuge and seduction, patriotism, and cold-blooded courage. It is the story of Dusko Popov―the inspiration for James Bond.
Established in 2000 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Historical Society, the award recognizes individuals or organizations who have provided outstanding leadership over time to help preserve the character, culture, stories, vistas or other aspect of Falmouth’s rich history, or have inspired others to do so, resulting in a lasting legacy.
In 2017, we will be honoring two groups who work for the beautification and betterment of Falmouth!
Our 2017 Heritage Award Recipients:
The Falmouth Garden Club: Founded in 1931 and working with the Falmouth Historical Society since 1947, the Falmouth Garden Club is one of the oldest and largest clubs in the Garden Club Federation of Massachusetts. Throughout its 86 year history, the club has contributed to the civic and residential communities, centering their projects and workshops on horticulture, conservation and design.
Old Stone Dock Association: For over 50 years this neighborhood association has worked with town leaders for improvements in beautification, safety, and road maintenance around Surf Drive Beach and Bathhouse on behalf of all Falmouth residents. In recognition of the 200th anniversary of the Old Stone Dock (1817-2017), the members of the Association have worked to create town-wide appreciation for that piece of our maritime heritage.
Each honoree has contributed to Falmouth’s culture by their work at community improvement and beautification. We salute both of these hard-working organizations!
The 2017 Heritage Award Dinner will be held on Wednesday, June 21st at the Coonamessett Inn, Falmouth. Dinner will be chicken piccatta or, if needed, a vegetarian option.
To purchase tickets, click below:
Worst. President. Ever. flips the great presidential biography on its head, offering an enlightening—and highly entertaining!—account of poor James Buchanan’s presidency to prove once and for all that, well, few leaders could have done worse.
But author Robert Strauss does much more, leading readers out of Buchanan’s terrible term in office—meddling in the Dred Scott Supreme Court decision, exacerbating the Panic of 1857, helping foment the John Brown uprisings and “Bloody Kansas,” virtually inviting a half-dozen states to secede from the Union as a lame duck, and on and on—to explore with insight and humor his own obsession with presidents, and ultimately the entire notion of ranking our presidents. He guides us through the POTUS rating game of historians and others who have made their own Mount Rushmores—or Marianas Trenches!—of presidential achievement, showing why Buchanan easily loses to any of the others, but also offering insights into presidential history buffs like himself, the forgotten “lesser” presidential sites, sex and the presidency, the presidency itself, and how and why it can often take the best measures out of even the most dedicated men.
NY Times bestselling Author Michael Tougias will appear at the Falmouth Museums on the Green on Tuesday, June 27 at 7 pm. . He will give a two part multi-media presentation. The first part covers his new book So Close To Home: A True Story of an American Family’s Fight for Survival During WWII. The second part of the program features his bestseller The Finest Hours: The True Story of the U.S. Coast Guard’s Most Daring Sea Rescue. The Disney Corporation has made a movie based on the book, starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck. The program is suitable for all ages.
For The Finest Hours, Tougias will use slides of the storm, the sinking oil tankers, the rescues, the victims, the survivors and the heroes to tell the story of this historic event which took place in February of 1952. He will describe the harrowing attempts to rescue the seamen, especially focusing on four young Coast Guardsmen who must overcome insurmountable odds to save the lives of 32 crewmen stranded aboard the stern of the Pendleton. Standing between the men and their mission were towering waves that reached 70 feet, blinding snow, and one of the most dangerous shoals in the world, the dreaded Chatham Bar. The waters along the outer arm of Cape Cod are called “the graveyard of the Atlantic” for good reason, yet this rescue defies all odds.
Tougias says, “This event was–and still is– the greatest and most daring sea rescue ever performed by the Coast Guard, and it happened right here off the New England coast. I felt this episode of heroism and tragedy needed to be told in its entirety because it’s an important piece of overlooked history.
For So Close To Home, Tougias will also tell the story through a series of slides. This event happened in the Gulf of Mexico in 1942 when a Uboat sank a ship carrying the Downs family. Tougias describes the family’s incredible fight for survival adrift at sea, but also includes the story of the daring Uboat commander who patrolled the Gulf, even going into the mouth of the Mississippi River. A book signing will follow the program.
“I enjoy doing these programs,” says Tougias, “because I like to transport the audience into the heart of the storm so that they ask themselves ‘what would I have done.’ I don’t like to do author readings because I think they are boring, but with a slide presentation, the viewer can visually relive the adventure.”
Michael Tougias is the author and coauthor of 24 books including Fatal Forecast: An Incredible True Tale of Disaster and Survival at Sea, which the Los Angeles Times called “breathtaking…a marvelous and terrifying tale.” Tougias’ previous book Ten Hours Until Dawn: The True Story of Heroism and Tragedy Aboard the Can Do During the Blizzard of ‘78 received an Editor’s Choice Selection from the American Library Association which selected it as one of the top books of the year.
There are some two hundred TV markets in the country, but only one—Boston, Massachusetts—hosted a Golden Age of local programming. In this lively insider account, Terry Ann Knopf chronicles the development of Boston television, from its origins in the 1970s through its decline in the early 1990s. During TV’s heyday, not only was Boston the nation’s leader in locally produced news, programming, and public affairs, but it also became a model for other local stations around the country. It was a time of award-winning local newscasts, spirited talk shows, thought-provoking specials and documentaries, ambitious public service campaigns, and even originally produced TV films featuring Hollywood stars. Knopf also shows how this programming highlighted aspects of Boston’s own history over two turbulent decades, including the treatment of highly charged issues of race, sex, and gender—and the stations’ failure to challenge the Roman Catholic Church during its infamous sexual abuse scandal.
Laced with personal insights and anecdotes, The Golden Age of Boston Television offers an intimate look at how Boston’s television stations refracted the city’s culture in unique ways, while at the same time setting national standards for television creativity and excellence.
Massachusetts’ Whaling History in Vintage Photographs
The popular novel Moby-Dick first spurred young and old alike to romanticize the whaling industry. Author Herman Melville wrote his story based on the exploits of the Essex whaleship, and he documented his travels aboard the Acushnet, which departed from a Massachusetts whaling port. In the early 1700s, Massachusetts residents caught whales from the shore before embarking on offshore voyages for several weeks. Later, these trips would extend over many years, bringing home an average of 1,500 barrels of whale oil and thousands of pounds of whalebone in the 1800s. New Bedford and Nantucket were the founding towns for the whaling industry, but little known are the other Massachusetts towns that sent out whalers, built the ships, and outfitted them. Essex, Mattapoisett, and Falmouth were shipbuilding communities; Fairhaven began as a whaling town but quickly took to outfitting whalers; Gloucester made the yellow slickers that were rubbed with sperm whale oil to waterproof them; and Provincetown and Boston were among the many ports that sent out whaling ships.
Our July lectures sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank
The images accompanying the founding of the United States–of honored Founders, dramatic battle scenes, and seminal moments–gave visual shape to Revolutionary events and symbolized an entirely new concept of leadership and government. Since then they have endured as indispensable icons, serving as historical documents and timeless reminders of the nation’s unprecedented beginnings.
As Paul Staiti reveals in Of Arms and Artists, the lives of the five great American artists of the Revolutionary period–Charles Willson Peale, John Singleton Copley, John Trumbull, Benjamin West, and Gilbert Stuart–were every bit as eventful as those of the Founders with whom they continually interacted, and their works contributed mightily to America’s founding spirit. Living in a time of breathtaking change, each in his own way came to grips with the history being made by turning to brushes and canvases, the results often eliciting awe and praise, and sometimes scorn. Ever since the passing of the last eyewitnesses to the Revolution, their imagery has connected Americans to 1776, allowing us to interpret and reinterpret the nation’s beginning generation after generation. The collective stories of these five artists open a fresh window on the Revolutionary era, making more human the figures we have long honored as our Founders, and deepening our understanding of the whirlwind out of which the United States emerged.
Our July lectures sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank
On Wednesday, July 19 at 7 pm, the Museums on the Green welcomes Sergei Khrushchev to Falmouth. The son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, Sergei resides in the United States where he is a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University. This appearance will be a part of the continuing commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy.
Dr. Khrushchev will be discussing how his father and President Kennedy worked together to prevent nuclear war during the Cuban Missile Crisis, 1962. Additionally, Dr. Khrushchev can discuss how the United States and Russia are co-existing in 2017.
The discussion will be led by Mindy Todd, the host and producer of “The Point” on WCAI. This event will be held at Falmouth Academy. There will also be a special VIP event held in advance of the talk. Tickets are limited for the VIP event.
To purchase tickets, click below:
To purchase VIP tickets, click below:
(VIP Tickets allow bearer to go to a special Meet and Greet with Dr. and Mrs. Khrushchev, where they can ask questions in advance, and get tickets to the front rows of the program.)
On March 14, 1889, Susan La Flesche Picotte received her medical degree―becoming the first Native American doctor in U.S. history. She earned her degree thirty-one years before women could vote and thirty-five years before Indians could become citizens in their own country.
By age twenty-six, this fragile but indomitable Indian woman became the doctor to her tribe. Overnight, she acquired 1,244 patients scattered across 1,350 square miles of rolling countryside with few roads. Her patients often were desperately poor and desperately sick―tuberculosis, small pox, measles, influenza―families scattered miles apart, whose last hope was a young woman who spoke their language and knew their customs.
This is the story of an Indian woman who effectively became the chief of an entrenched patriarchal tribe, the story of a woman who crashed through thick walls of ethnic, racial and gender prejudice, then spent the rest of her life using a unique bicultural identity to improve the lot of her people―physically, emotionally, politically, and spiritually.
Joe Starita’s A Warrior of the People is the moving biography of Susan La Flesche Picotte’s inspirational life and dedication to public health, and it will finally shine a light on her numerous accomplishments.
Our July lectures sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank
Teddy Bear Picnic and Tea, Friday, July 28, 10:00 am
Our most popular children’s event is a true “make and take affair!” This program is for children and grown-ups alike! Parents and grandparents can bring their child and build their own teddy bear. You can name it, dress it and take it home. Once it is built, we will take it for tea. Reservations are required for this event.
($15 admission for children – Reservations required)
“The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets
Before Edward Snowden’s infamous data breach, the largest theft of government secrets was committed by an ingenious traitor whose intricate espionage scheme and complex system of coded messages were made even more baffling by his dyslexia. His name is Brian Regan, but he came to be known as The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell.
In December of 2000, FBI Special Agent Steven Carr of the bureau’s Washington, D.C., office received a package from FBI New York: a series of coded letters from an anonymous sender to the Libyan consulate, offering to sell classified United States intelligence. The offer, and the threat, were all too real. A self-proclaimed CIA analyst with top secret clearance had information about U.S. reconnaissance satellites, air defense systems, weapons depots, munitions factories, and underground bunkers throughout the Middle East. Rooting out the traitor would not be easy, but certain clues suggested a government agent with a military background, a family, and a dire need for money. Leading a diligent team of investigators and code breakers, Carr spent years hunting down a dangerous spy and his cache of stolen secrets.
In this fast-paced true-life spy thriller, Yudhijit Bhattacharjee reveals how the FBI unraveled Regan’s strange web of codes to build a case against a man who nearly collapsed America’s military security.
Our August lectures sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank
New York socialite Caroline Ferriday has her hands full with her post at the French consulate and a new love on the horizon. But Caroline’s world is forever changed when Hitler’s army invades Poland in September 1939—and then sets its sights on France.
An ocean away from Caroline, Kasia Kuzmerick, a Polish teenager, senses her carefree youth disappearing as she is drawn deeper into her role as courier for the underground resistance movement. In a tense atmosphere of watchful eyes and suspecting neighbors, one false move can have dire consequences.
For the ambitious young German doctor, Herta Oberheuser, an ad for a government medical position seems her ticket out of a desolate life. Once hired, though, she finds herself trapped in a male-dominated realm of Nazi secrets and power.
The lives of these three women are set on a collision course when the unthinkable happens and Kasia is sent to Ravensbrück, the notorious Nazi concentration camp for women. Their stories cross continents—from New York to Paris, Germany, and Poland—as Caroline and Kasia strive to bring justice to those whom history has forgotten.
Our August lectures are sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank
Born in Falmouth, Katharine Lee Bates wrote “America the Beautiful” in 1893, as well as many other works. She celebrated her life in Falmouth throughout her writings and we honor her memory by allowing others to create original pieces of poetry. This annual celebration of her life and works allows local schoolchildren and adults to submit their original works in her honor. There will be judging and winners will be informed well in advance of the program. This event is free and open to all!
To submit an entry: Please print off entry form below. Each original poem must be 25 lines or less. Each poet can submit up to 3 original entries. Poems should be on a separate page, unsigned, ready for photocopying.
Deadline for submission: May 25, 2017
Click below to upload entry forms and rules:
On August 12, the birthday of Katharine Lee Bates (1859-1929), poet of “America the Beautiful,” biographer Melinda M. Ponder will talk about her new book, Katharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining Sea.
It tells the story of this brilliant trail-blazing woman—poet, teacher, community builder, and patriot—who challenged Americans to make their country the best it could become in its values and literature.
Drawing on extensive research in Bates family diaries, letters, and memoirs, this biography brings Katharine to life in her journeys from her childhood in Falmouth, where she felt she had been “rock’d in a clamshell,” to Wellesley College, Boston, Oxford, Spain and Egypt. Although her passion was poetry, Katharine’s three alluring suitors (two men and a woman) pulled her into major reform movements in a changing America. She was a dynamic woman with public triumphs, an anti-war activist poet during America’s tumultuous growth into a world power, who suffered personal heartaches as a single woman faced with choosing between marriage and a career. She refused to let an impoverished childhood in a Cape Cod village or the closed doors of the male-only bastions of the ministry, graduate schools, or the Yankee literary establishment prevent her from creating an inspiring life. This book is for those who love her song and those who root for the unlikely triumph of a complicated women “from sea to shining sea.”
Our August lectures sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank
With the end of the Civil War, the nation recommenced its expansion onto traditional Indian tribal lands, setting off a wide-ranging conflict that would last more than three decades. In an exploration of the wars and negotiations that destroyed tribal ways of life even as they made possible the emergence of the modern United States, Peter Cozzens gives us both sides in comprehensive and singularly intimate detail. He illuminates the encroachment experienced by the tribes and the tribal conflicts over whether to fight or make peace, and explores the squalid lives of soldiers posted to the frontier and the ethical quandaries faced by generals who often sympathized with their native enemies.
Our August lectures sponsored by Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank
Saturday, August 29, 10:00 am-4:00 pm
ADMISSION: $ 6
EARLY BIRD ADMISSION (9:00 am): $ 15
Looking for a great bargain on a wide swath of antiques? Come and visit our 47th annual Antique sale featuring over 30 different New England dealers. Your support of the Antique Sale helps with the Historical Society’s education programs as well as providing you with some great deals!
With the death of Muhammad Ali in June, 2016, the media and America in general have remembered a hero, a heavyweight champion, an Olympic gold medalist, an icon, and a man who represents the sheer greatness of America. New York Times bestselling author Leigh Montville goes deeper, with a fascinating chronicle of a story that has been largely untold. Muhammad Ali, in the late 1960s, was young, successful, brash, and hugely admired—but with some reservations. He was bombastic and cocky in a way that captured the imagination of America, but also drew its detractors. He was a bold young African American in an era when few people were as outspoken. He renounced his name—Cassius Clay—as being his ‘slave name,’ and joined the Nation of Islam, renaming himself Muhammad Ali. And finally in 1966, after being drafted, he refused to join the military for religious and conscientious reasons, triggering a fight that was larger than any of his bouts in the ring. What followed was a period of legal battles, of cultural obsession, and in some ways of being the very embodiment of the civil rights movement located in the heart of one man. Muhammad Ali was the tip of the arrow, and Leigh Montville brilliantly assembles all the boxing, the charisma, the cultural and political shifting tides, and ultimately the enormous waft of entertainment that always surrounded Ali. Muhammed Ali vs. the United States of America is an important and incredibly engaging book.
Our September lectures are sponsored by Cape Cod Five Savings
The Battle of the Somme, also known as the Somme Offensive, was one of the largest battles of the First World War. Fought between July 1 and November 1, 1916 near the Somme River in France, it was also one of the bloodiest military battles in history. On the first day alone, the British suffered more than 57,000 casualties, and by the end of the campaign the Allies and Central Powers would lose more than 1.5 million men.
The Somme campaign in 1916 was the first great offensive of World War I for the British, and it produced a more critical British attitude toward the war. During and after the Somme, the British army started a real improvement in tactics. Also, the French attacked at the Somme and achieved greater advances on July 1 than the British did, with far fewer casualties. But it is the losses that are most remembered. The first day of the Somme offensive, July 1, 1916, resulted in 57,470 British casualties, greater than the total combined British casualties in the Crimean, Boer, and Korean wars. In contrast, the French, with fewer divisions, suffered only around 2,000 casualties. By the time the offensive ended in November, the British had suffered around 420,000 casualties, and the French about 200,000. German casualty numbers are controversial, but may be about 465,000.
Our September lectures are sponsored by Cape Cod Five Savings
In the mid-nineteenth century, the Harvard College Observatory began employing women as calculators, or “human computers,” to interpret the observations their male counterparts made via telescope each night. At the outset this group included the wives, sisters, and daughters of the resident astronomers, but soon the female corps included graduates of the new women’s colleges—Vassar, Wellesley, and Smith. As photography transformed the practice of astronomy, the ladies turned from computation to studying the stars captured nightly on glass photographic plates.
The “glass universe” of half a million plates that Harvard amassed over the ensuing decades—through the generous support of Mrs. Anna Palmer Draper, the widow of a pioneer in stellar photography—enabled the women to make extraordinary discoveries that attracted worldwide acclaim. They helped discern what stars were made of, divided the stars into meaningful categories for further research, and found a way to measure distances across space by starlight. Their ranks included Williamina Fleming, a Scottish woman originally hired as a maid who went on to identify ten novae and more than three hundred variable stars; Annie Jump Cannon, who designed a stellar classification system that was adopted by astronomers the world over and is still in use; and Dr. Cecilia Helena Payne, who in 1956 became the first ever woman professor of astronomy at Harvard—and Harvard’s first female department chair.
Explore the Bay State’s Aviation History
Shortly after the Wright brothers took to the air, aviation fever gripped Massachusetts. The biggest names in the industry, including Wilbur Wright, Glenn Curtiss, and Claude Graham-White, among others, flew in for the first major air shows, further exciting the people of the Bay State about the potential of manned flight in the realms of military tactics, the expansion of commerce, and even personal transportation. By the 1920s, Massachusetts had become home to the first Naval Air Reserve Base, in Quincy; one of the first Coast Guard Air Stations, in Gloucester; and the Boston Airfield, which would become the largest international airport in New England. Within a few decades, individuals like Edward Lawrence Logan, Frank Otis, Oscar Westover, and Laurence G. Hanscomb would permanently leave their names on the Massachusetts landscape in connection with the airports and airfields still used today.
Our September lectures are sponsored by Cape Cod Five Savings
The award-winning author presents a provocative, thoroughly modern revisionist biographical history of one of America’s greatest and most influential families—the Roosevelts—exposing heretofore unknown family secrets and detailing complex family rivalries with his signature cinematic flair.
Drawing on previously hidden historical documents and interviews with the long-silent “illegitimate” branch of the family, William J. Mann paints an elegant, meticulously researched, and groundbreaking group portrait of this legendary family. Mann argues that the Roosevelts’ rise to power and prestige was actually driven by a series of intense personal contest that at times devolved into blood sport. His compelling and eye-opening masterwork is the story of a family at war with itself, of social Darwinism at its most ruthless—in which the strong devoured the weak and repudiated the inconvenient.
Mann focuses on Eleanor Roosevelt, who, he argues, experienced this brutality firsthand, witnessing her Uncle Theodore cruelly destroy her father, Elliott—his brother and bitter rival—for political expediency. Mann presents a fascinating alternate picture of Eleanor, contending that this “worshipful niece” in fact bore a grudge against TR for the rest of her life, and dares to tell the truth about her intimate relationships without obfuscations, explanations, or labels.
Mann also brings into focus Eleanor’s cousins, TR’s children, whose stories propelled the family rivalry but have never before been fully chronicled, as well as her illegitimate half-brother, Elliott Roosevelt Mann, who inherited his family’s ambition and skill without their name and privilege. Growing up in poverty just miles from his wealthy relatives, Elliott Mann embodied the American Dream, rising to middle-class prosperity and enjoying one of the very few happy, long-term marriages in the Roosevelt saga. For the first time, The Wars of the Roosevelts also includes the stories of Elliott’s daughter and grandchildren, and never-before-seen photographs from their archives.
Friday, October 30, 2015 6:00‐9:00 pm
Strange spirits haunt the town of Falmouth, and those that visit will be treated to interactions all throughout the 1790 Dr. Francis Wicks House as this mildly scary haunted experience comes to life.
Recommended for families with children age 6 and higher.
Admission Prices: Adults, $ 10, Children (12 and younger), $ 7, Families of 4: $ 25
Reservations NOT required but visitors should expect a short wait before touring.
The 26th “Yankee” Division, composed of units from the National Guards of the New England states, was the first full US Army division to arrive in France in 1917. Approximately, 15,000 Massachusetts men served in the 26th making it the largest unit the state sent to the war. Virtually, every town had men serving in the 26th. General Kondratiuk will speak about the Yankee Division’s role in World War I.
Travel back in time to Christmas 1895 with Victoria Yule as your hostess.
Victoria Yule will welcome you into her parlor, complete with an antique chair, table and props, and share her plans for the upcoming Christmas festivities. Learn the history of many Christmas traditions from stories passed down to her from “Grandmama and Grandpapa”. She’ll read Dickens, display toys and handmade gifts her family will be exchanging around the Christmas tree, and in her clear soprano, sing carols of the season. Travel back in time to Christmas 1895 with this fun, creative and engaging performance.