Programs and Events

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The Museums on the Green offers a full range of adult and family programs, including our Lecture Series. Costs to most lectures are $ 5 for members and $ 8 for non-members, and our held at our Cultural Center, 55 Palmer Avenue, Falmouth.

To find out what is coming up in our lecture series, click here

Our annual Antique Sale happens on Saturday, August 27 from 10 am to 4 pm. Learn more here

Historic Trolley Tours of Falmouth begin in September. To learn more, click here

A special Bus Tour to the Museum of World War II will happen on September 20. To learn more, click here

 

Recent Posts

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.

  1. February 23, 6:30 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.

  2. 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”




     

  3. 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

    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

  4. March 15, 7 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

  5. March 16, 7 pm: Stephen Puleo, “American Treasures”

    american-treasuresOn 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

  6. Sunday, March 19, 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

  7. March 22, 7 pm: Larry Tye: “Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon”

    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