January 20, 1 pm: Paula Reed Ward, “Death by Cyanide: The Murder of Dr. Autumn Klein

death-by-cyanideAt 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.

February 17, 3 pm: Kevin Gutzman, “Thomas Jefferson: Revolutionary”

thomasjefferson_revolutionaryThough 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.

Special Performance: Feb. 24, 2 pm: “My Wife Abigail Adams, the First Modern American Woman”

PART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON WOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIESmass-humanities-logo

 

 

 

The historical figure of John Adams,george-baker portrayed by George Baker, will present his views of the nation, history and family life in a humorous and inspiring speech. He will be dressed in the clothes he would have worn as the Second President of the United States 1797-1801.

John Adams talks with admiration, humor and affection about his wife, Abigail Adams, the First Modern American Woman and describes how Abigail defied the sexist conventions of her time, that married women could not own property, and with her amazing financial skills and insights made the Adams family prosperous.  She helped found the new nation and raised their son, John Quincy Adams, to become President.  This program is full of details of Abigail’s life which most people don’t know.  It is told from the perspective of a husband talking about his wife, and contains the story of their romance, challenges, trials and accomplishments which makes them sound like ordinary people living in extraordinary times.
To purchase tickets, click below:


Special Performance: “My Wife Abigail Adams”



 

Help Us Fund Our Fence!

PLEASE HELP CHANGE THIS:  TO THIS:

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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. 




 

March 9, 3 pm: Vasco Pires, “Cape Verdean History”

 

PART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON WOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIESmass-humanities-logo

 

 

 

How the Cape Verdean Community helped to shape Falmouth and Cape Cod

Vasco Pires lecture

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
Conference Book.
“ 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.”

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First CitizensOur March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit Union

March 16, 7 pm: Stephen Puleo, “American Treasures” (to be held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 81 Main Street, Falmouth)

american-treasures

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 UnionFirst Citizens

March 22, 7 pm: Larry Tye: “Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon” (To be Held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 81 Main Street, Falmouth)

bobby-kennedyHistory 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.

Our March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens

Saturday, March 25, 2 pm: Tom Farmer and Marty Foley, “A Murder in Wellesley”

greiniderOn 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.

Our March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens

Thursday, March 30, 7 pm: Steven Watts, “JFK and the Masculine Mystique”

jfkFrom 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.

Our March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens

April 4, 2 pm: Sen. George Mitchell, “A Path to Peace” (to be held at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church)

“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-mitchellGeorge 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.

RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

April 6, 7 pm: Michele McPhee: “Maximum Harm: The Tsarnaev Brothers, the FBI and the Road to the Marathon Bombing”

michele-mcpheeVeteran 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.

RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

April 11, 7 pm: Nina Sankovitch, “The Lowell’s of Massachusetts”


PART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON mass-humanities-logoWOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIES

 

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.

lowells-of-massachusettsThough 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.

RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

April 19, 6:30 pm: Roseann Sdoia, “Perfect Strangers: Friendship, Strength and Recovery after Boston’s Worst Day”

Roseann SdoiaAs 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.

This lecture sponsored by Rockland TrustRocklandTrust logo

April 21, 3 pm: Chandra Manning, “Troubled Refuge: Struggling for Freedom in the Civil War”

PART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON WOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIESmass-humanities-logo

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 troubled-refugethe 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.

Mass Cultural Logo 2This lecture made possible in part by a grant from the Falmouth Cultural Council and the Massachusetts Cultural Council

April 25, 7 pm: J. L Bell, “The Road to Concord: How Four Stolen Cannon Ignited the Revolutionary War”

road-to-concordIn the early spring of 1775, on a farm in Concord, Massachusetts, British army spies located four brass cannon belonging to Boston’s colonial militia that had gone missing months before. British general Thomas Gage had been searching for them, both to stymie New England’s growing rebellion and to erase the embarrassment of having let cannon disappear from armories under redcoat guard. Anxious to regain those weapons, he drew up plans for his troops to march nineteen miles into unfriendly territory. The Massachusetts Patriots, meanwhile, prepared to thwart the general’s mission. There was one goal Gage and his enemies shared: for different reasons, they all wanted to keep the stolen cannon as secret as possible. Both sides succeeded well enough that the full story has never appeared until now.
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.
RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

April 27, 7 pm: Larrie Ferriero, “Brothers at Arms: American Independence and the Men of France & Spain Who Saved It”

brothers-at-armsIn 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.

RocklandTrust logoOur April lectures are sponsored by Rockland Trust

May 2, 7 pm: Douglas Smith, “Rasputin: Faith, Power and the Twilight of the Romanovs”

rasputinA 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.

RocklandTrust logoThis lecture sponsored by Rockland Trust

 

 

 

 

 

Saturday,May 6, 2:00 pm: Allison Lange, “Women’s Suffrage and the Modern Political Campaign”

mass-humanities-logoPART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON WOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIES

“Beyond Susan B. Anthony: What You Missed in History Class about the Woman Suffrage Movement”womens-suffrage

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

Cape Cod Five logo 2

Sunday, May 7, 2 pm: Kate Moore, “The Radium Girls: The Dark Story of America’s Shining Women”

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Part of the series of lectures on Women’s History, made possible in part by a grant from Mass Humanities

Radium GirlsThe 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

Cape Cod Five logo 2

May 24, 7 pm: James B. Conroy, “Lincoln’s White House: The People’s House in Wartime”

lincolns-white-houseLincoln’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

Cape Cod Five logo 2

June 7, 7 pm: Michael Klarman, “The Framers’ Coup: The Making of the American Constitution”

framers-coupBoth 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.

Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod logoOur June lectures are sponsored by the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

 

 

 

June 10, 2 pm: Stephen Kinzer, “The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain and the Birth of American Empire”

True FlagHow 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.

Our March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens

June 14, 7 pm: Nigel Hamilton, “Commander in Chief: FDR’s Battle with Churchill”

commander-in-chiefNigel 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.

Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod logoOur June lectures are sponsored by the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

Heritage Award Dinner: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 5:30 pm, Coonamessett Inn, Falmouth

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 (please note: $ 35 of the admission price is tax-deductible):


Heritage Dinner June 21, 2017
Dinner Choice




 
 

 

 

Unable to attend the Heritage Dinner but still want to make a donation to assist the event?  You can do that as well. Just click the “Donate” button below and you choose the amount you would like to give:




 





 

 

 

 

June 22, 7 pm: Robert Strauss, “Worst. President. Ever”

worst-president-everWorst. 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.

Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod logoOur June lectures are sponsored by the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

June 27, 7 pm: Michael Tougias, combo program: “The Finest Hours” and “So Close to Home”

michael-tougiasNY 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.

michael-tougias-2 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.  Thismichael-tougias-1 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.

Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod logoOur June lectures are sponsored by the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

June 29, 7 pm: Terry Ann Knopf, “The Golden Age of Boston Television”

Golden Age of Boston TelevisionThere 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.

Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod logoOur June lectures are sponsored by the Cooperative Bank of Cape Cod

July 7, 2 pm: Gioia Dimock, “Whaling in Massachusetts”

Massachusetts’ Whaling History in Vintage Photographs
whaling in massachusetts
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

Marthas Vineyard Savings logo

July 12, 7 pm: Paul Staiti, “Of Arms and Artists: The American Revolution Through Painters’ Eyes”

of-arms-and-artistsThe 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

Marthas Vineyard Savings logo

July 26, 7 pm: Joseph Starita, “A Warrior of the People: How Susan La Flesche Overcame Racial and Gender Inequality to Become America’s First Indian Doctor”

Susan-LaFlesche-Picotte-1889On 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

Marthas Vineyard Savings logo

Friday, July 28: Teddy Bear Picnic and Tea—Build Your Own Bear!

Teddy Bear Picnic and Tea, Friday, July 28, 10:00 am

Teddy Bear Picnic 2013 019Our 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)

This program made possible in part by the sponsorship of Cooperative Bank of Cape CodCBCC logo


To purchase tickets for the Teddy Bear Picnic, click below:


Teddy Bear Picnic 2016




 

August 2, 7 pm: Yudhijit Bhattacharjee, “The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell”

“The Spy Who Couldn’t Spell: A Dyslexic Traitor, an Unbreakable Code, and the FBI’s Hunt for America’s Stolen Secrets

 

spy-who-could-not-spellBefore 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

Marthas Vineyard Savings logo

Special Movie Screening: “Patriot’s Day” with Mark Wahlberg

RECOVERING CHAMPIONS TO HOST SPECIAL SCREENING OF PATRIOTS DAY WITH NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR CASEY SHERMAN   

SPECIAL SCREENING PLANNED FOR FALMOUTH MUSEUMS ON THE GREEN

Recovering Champions, a substance abuse treatment center with locations in Falmouth and Sandwich, will host a special screening and discussion of the acclaimed film “Patriots Day” with celebrated author Casey Sherman on Thursday, August 3 2017 at beginning at 6 p.m. at the Falmouth Museums on the Green.

“Patriots Day” starring Mark Wahlberg and Kevin Bacon, is based on Sherman’s bestselling book “Boston Strong” (with Dave Wedge) and recounts both the terrifying and inspirational moments and days following the Boston Marathon Bombings in 2013.

“Patriots Day” was named one of the year’s best films by the National Board of Review. Boston Strong has been honored by the National Crime Museum as the definitive book on the marathon bombings. Sherman will introduce the film and participate in a Q&A session following the screening.

“We are very excited to present this important film here on Cape Cod,” said Ken Weber, CEO, Recovering Champions. “The marathon survivors continue to inspire us and show us that like people battling addiction, recovery is a journey, a marathon.”

“Addiction impacts all of us,” said author Casey Sherman. “Recovering Champions does amazing work giving people the treatment and long term tools needed to lead healthy and productive lives. I’m proud to support this worthy organization.”

Casey Sherman is international bestselling author of ten books including “The Finest Hours”, which was also adapted into a feature film for Disney starring Chris Pine and Casey Affleck.

 

Doors open at 6 pm. Screening will begin at 6:30 pm

Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at www.museumonthegreen.org

About Recovering Champions:

 Recovering Champions is a substance abuse treatment facility with locations in Falmouth and Sandwich, Massachusetts. They tailor their treatment plans to fit the unique physiological, psychological and spiritual makeup of each client. Recovering Champions teaches and reinforces the life-changing principles and practices of the 12 steps to recovery. More information is available online at recoveringchampions.com or by calling (844) 888-5391

August 9, 4:00 pm: Martha Hall Kelly, “Lilac Girls”

kell_9781101883075_are_all_r1.inddNew 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

Marthas Vineyard Savings logo

Thursday, Aug. 10, 5:30 pm: Katharine Lee Bates Poetry Fest

Thursday, August 10, 5:30-7:00 pmKatharine Lee Bates Age 41 Professor at Wellesley College

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:

KLB Poetry contest cover letter 2017

KLB Poetry Fest Entry Form for Adults 2017

KLB Poetry Fest Entry Form for Students 2017

 

Rose Kennedy play August 12-13

Rose Kennedy during "Rose Parade" Benefiting Special Olympics at State House in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

Rose Kennedy during “Rose Parade” Benefiting Special Olympics at State House in Boston, Massachusetts, United States. (Photo by Ron Galella/WireImage)

The Woods Hole Theater Company and the Museums on the Green are pleased to present the one-woman play “Rose” by Laurence Leamer. The play features Linda Monchik as Rose Kennedy and is directed by Joan Edstrom. This is the first cooperative venture between the two organizations and is done in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the birth of President John F. Kennedy.

The scene is the Kennedy home in Hyannisport, where the matriarch of America’s First Family is granting an interview to a Mr. Coughlan. We see this mother of perhaps the favorite son of Massachusetts, discussing her marriage and family, and among other things, the tragic events surrounding Ted Kennedy’s accident at Chappaquiddick.

“Rose” is a remarkable portrait of a woman who played the hand she was dealt without ever looking back.’–LightingandSoundAmerica.com

Performances are on August 12th at 7:30 pm and August 13th at 2:00 pm at the Museums on the Green’s Cultural Center.  Seating is limited. Admission is $ 15. There will also be performances at the Community Hall in Woods Hole on August 18 and August 19 at 7:30 and on August 20 at 2:00 pm. Tickets are also $ 15 for those performances.

Produced  by special arrangement with Dramatists play Service

To purchase tickets, click below:


Rose Kennedy Play Saturday August 12 7:30 pm



 


Rose Kennedy Play Sunday August 13, 2:00 pm



August 12, 2 pm: Melinda Ponder, “Katharine Lee Bates: From Sea to Shining Sea”

Melinda PonderOn 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

Marthas Vineyard Savings logo

August 16, 7 pm: Peter Cozzens, “The Earth is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West”

earth-is-weepingWith 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

Marthas Vineyard Savings logo

Annual Antique Show and Sale, Saturday, August 26,10am-4pm

Saturday, August 26, 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!

September 6, 7 pm: Leigh Montville, “Sting Like a Bee: Muhammad Ali vs. the United States of America, 1966-1971

Leigh MontvilleWith 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

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Sept. 13, 7 pm: Michael McNaught: “Britain’s Calvary: The Battle of the Somme, 1916”

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.

Battle-of-the-SommeThe 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

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Saturday, September 16, 2 pm: Dava Sobel, “The Glass Universe”

PART OF THE ‘WHY DIDN’T I KNOW ABOUT THIS?’ SERIES OF LECTURES ON mass-humanities-logoWOMEN’S HISTORY, SPONSORED BY MASSHUMANITIES

 

 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.

glass-universeThe “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.

Our March lectures are sponsored by First Citizens Federal Credit UnionFirst Citizens

Wednesday, Sept. 20, 7 pm: Glenn Frankel, “High Noon: The Hollywood Blacklist and the Making of An American Classic”

High NoonIt’s one of the most revered movies of Hollywood’s golden era. Starring screen legend Gary Cooper and Grace Kelly in her first significant film role, High Noon was shot on a lean budget over just thirty-two days but achieved instant box-office and critical success. It won four Academy Awards in 1953, including a best actor win for Cooper. And it became a cultural touchstone, often cited by politicians as a favorite film, celebrating moral fortitude.

Yet what has been often overlooked is that High Noon was made during the height of the Hollywood blacklist, a time of political inquisition and personal betrayal. In the middle of the film shoot, screenwriter Carl Foreman was forced to testify before the House Committee on Un-American Activities about his former membership in the Communist Party. Refusing to name names, he was eventually blacklisted and fled the United States. (His co-authored screenplay for another classic, The Bridge on the River Kwai, went uncredited in 1957.) Examined in light of Foreman’s testimony, High Noon‘s emphasis on courage and loyalty takes on deeper meaning and importance.

In this book, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Glenn Frankel tells the story of the making of a great American Western, exploring how Carl Foreman’s concept of High Noon evolved from idea to first draft to final script, taking on allegorical weight. Both the classic film and its turbulent political times emerge newly illuminated

Our September lectures are sponsored by Cape Cod Five

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Thursday, September 28, 7 pm: Fred Morin & John Galluzzo, “A History of Massachusetts Aviation”

Explore the Bay State’s Aviation History

mass-aviationShortly 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 

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October 5, 7 pm: William J. Mann, “The War of the Roosevelts: The Ruthless Rise of America’s Greatest Political Family”

war-of-the-rooseveltsThe 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.

October 7, 2 pm: Noah Isenberg, “We’ll Always Have Casablanca: The Life, Legend and Afterlife of America’s Most Beloved Movie”

CasablancaCasablanca was first released in 1942, just two weeks after the city of Casablanca itself surrendered to American troops led by General Patton. Featuring a pitch-perfect screenplay, a classic soundtrack, and unforgettable performances by Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, and a deep supporting cast, Casablanca was hailed in the New York Times as “a picture that makes the spine tingle and the heart take a leap.” The film won Oscars for best picture, best director, and best screenplay, and would go on to enjoy more revival screenings than any other movie in history. It became so firmly ensconced in the cultural imagination that, as Umberto Eco once said, Casablanca is “not one movie; it is ‘movies.’ ”

We’ll Always Have Casablanca is celebrated film historian Noah Isenberg’s rich account of this most beloved movie’s origins. Through extensive research and interviews with filmmakers, film critics, family members of the cast and crew, and diehard fans, Isenberg reveals the myths and realities behind Casablanca’s production, exploring the transformation of the unproduced stage play into the classic screenplay, the controversial casting decisions, the battles with Production Code censors, and the effect of the war’s progress on the movie’s reception. Isenberg particularly focuses on the central role refugees from Hitler’s Europe played in the production (nearly all of the actors and actresses cast in Casablanca were immigrants).

Finally, Isenberg turns to Casablanca’s long afterlife and the reasons it remains so revered. From the Marx Brothers’ 1946 spoof hit, A Night in Casablanca, to loving parodies in New Yorker cartoons, Saturday Night Live skits, and Simpsons episodes, Isenberg delves into the ways the movie has lodged itself in the American psyche.

Filled with fresh insights into Casablanca’s creation, production, and legacy, We’ll Always Have Casablanca is a magnificent account of what made the movie so popular and why it continues to dazzle audiences seventy-five years after its release.

October 11, 7 pm: Tom Schachtman, “How the French Saved America”

Americans today have a love/hate relationship with France, but author Tom Shachtman shows that without France’s aid during the American Revolution, there might not be a United States of America today. To the rebelling colonies, French assistance made the difference between looming defeat and eventual triumph.

This aid, however, is often downplayed in history’s retelling of the event as we often like to think of our forefathers as achieving independence by themselves. Even before the Declaration of Independence was issued, King Louis XVI and French foreign minister Vergennes were aiding the rebels. After the Declaration, that assistance broadened to include:

 Wages for our troops

 Guns, cannon, and ammunition

 Engineering expertise that enabled victories and prevented defeats

 Diplomatic recognition

 Safe havens for privateers

 Battlefield leadership by veteran officers

 The army and fleet that made possible the Franco-American victory at Yorktown.

Nearly ten percent of those who fought and died for the American cause were French. Those who fought and survived, in addition to the well-known Lafayette and Rochambeau, include François de Fleury, who won a Congressional Medal for valor, Louis Duportail, who founded the Army Corps of Engineers, and Admiral de Grasse, whose sea victory sealed the fate of Yorktown. HOW THE FRENCH SAVED AMERICA captures the outsize characters of our European brothers, their battlefield and diplomatic bonds and clashes with Americans, and the monumental role they played in America’s fight for independence and democracy.

Saturday, October 28 : A Visit from the Night Watchman

NightWatch10Friday, 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. 

Nov. 1, 7 pm: James McGrath Morris, “The Ambulance Drivers: Hemingway, Dos Passos, and a Friendship Made & Lost in War”

Ambulance DriversAfter meeting for the first time on the front lines of World War I, two aspiring writers forge an intense twenty-year friendship and write some of America’s greatest novels, giving voice to a “lost generation” shaken by war.

Eager to find his way in life and words, John Dos Passos first witnessed the horror of trench warfare in France as a volunteer ambulance driver retrieving the dead and seriously wounded from the front line. Later in the war, he briefly met another young writer, Ernest Hemingway, who was just arriving for his service in the ambulance corps. When the war was over, both men knew they had to write about it; they had to give voice to what they felt about war and life.

Their friendship and collaboration developed through the peace of the 1920s and 1930s, as Hemingway’s novels soared to success while Dos Passos penned the greatest antiwar novel of his generation, Three Soldiers. In war, Hemingway found adventure, women, and a cause. Dos Passos saw only oppression and futility. Their different visions eventually turned their private friendship into a bitter public fight, fueled by money, jealousy, and lust.

Rich in evocative detail–from Paris cafes to the Austrian Alps, from the streets of Pamplona to the waters of Key West–The Ambulance Drivers is a biography of a turbulent friendship between two of the century’s greatest writers, and an illustration of how war both inspires and destroys, unites and divides.

Friday, November 10, 2 pm: Leonid Kondratiuk, “Massachusetts Goes to War: The 26th Yankee Division in World War One”

Yankee DivisionThe 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.

November 15, 7 pm: Joseph Williams, “The Sunken Gold: A Story of World War One, Espionage, and the Greatest Treasure Salvage in History”

Laurentic“The Sunken Gold” is the story of how a British ship, HMS Laurentic, laden with forty-four tons of Allied gold bound for the United States, was sunk off the coast of Ireland by Germany and the epic struggle by divers from the British Navy to recover the treasure. The book also describes the underwater spywork conducted by the divers by breaking into sunken U-boats looking for codes, ciphers, and other secret documents. Their mission to recover the gold was highly successful and the divers recovered 99% of the treasure. However, there are still twenty bars of gold left in the wreck, waiting to be discovered.

Special Performance: Anne Barrett as Victoria Yule, December 9, 2 pm

Travel back in time to Christmas 1895 with Victoria Yule as your hostess.

anne-barrettVictoria 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.