Programs and Events

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The Museums on the Green offers a full range of adult and family programs, including our 2017 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.

We also have a special series on Women’s History entitled “Why Didn’t I Know About This?” These lectures are made possible through a grant from Mass Humanities. To learn more about these offerings, click here

 

 

Recent Posts

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To capture the full arc of his subject’s life, Tye draws on unpublished memoirs, unreleased government files, and fifty-eight boxes of papers that had been under lock and key for the past forty years.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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. April 4, 2 pm: Sen. George Mitchell, “A Path to Peace”

    “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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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