Service, Suffrage, and Swing:
World War I Era in Delaware

19th Annual - June 18-22, 2017 - Lewes, Del.

Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs (HCA)

Featured Speakers

Neill Hartley portrait image

Neill Hartley (AHT) -
Woodrow Wilson

Neill Hartley earned a Master of Fine Arts from Temple University in acting. He was a faculty member of Temple University from 1989-2000; has been teaching acting since 2005; and has been on the faculty of the University of the Arts since 1994 teaching speech and voice. Neill is also much in demand as a speech and dialect coach for several professional theaters.

A much sought-after actor, performing with companies that include the Arden Theater, InterAct Theatre and the Philadelphia Shakespeare Festival, the multi-talented Mr. Hartley won a Barrymore Award for Ensemble for 1812 Productions’ “Batboy, The Musical.” Besides teaching, coaching and acting, Neill is a busy director for theaters that include Philadelphia Young Playwrights, University of the Arts, University of Pennsylvania, Arcadia University, Isis Productions, the Brick Theater and the Luna Theater. Serving as artistic director for Acting Without Boundaries, a theater company providing large-scale musical opportunities for physically-disabled teens and young adults, Neill does commercials, has roles in feature films and has enjoyed a longstanding commitment as the spokesperson for Spray-NGrow, an organic-gardening-products company.

The AFTRA/SAG/CORE theater professional joined the American Historical Theatre in 2000 with his one-person shows. Neill credits his voice and movement training from Temple University for his fluid “morphing” from one easily identifiable character to another. His programs have been tremendously popular at theaters and venues that include the Tweeter Center, Academy of Music, Act II Playhouse, Walnut Street Theater Studio 3, Congress Hall, Smithsonian Institution and the American Glider Council.

Keith Henley portrait image

Keith Henley (AHT) -
Sgt. Henry Johnson

Keith Henley’s background is one of great diversity. He graduated from South Carolina State College with a major in chemistry and minor in mathematics and biology. Later, he went on to study theatre education at Camden County College in Blackwood, N.J. He currently owns and operates J.O.Y. Productions, Queenie’s Homemade Sweets and Catering, and Alpha Designs. In addition, he is the artistic director and choreographer for Folkloric Heritage Culture Arts Company Inc. of Cherry Hill, N.J.

Keith began his historical-interpretation career with Historic Philadelphia Inc. and has since worked for American Historical Theatre and History First Hand, and has performed for the Smithsonian Associates Teaching American History program, Historic Germantown, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia as well as local libraries.

Pat Jordan portrait image

Patt Jordan (AHT) -
Carrie Chapman Catt

Pat Jordan is an accomplished actor, operatic singer and historian. She has worked with the American Historical Theatre since 1992. She earned a degree in theatre from Villanova, training at Juilliard Opera Workshops and has had years of experience with the German Theatre Guild and AHT. Ms. Jordan’s roles have included Shakespearean heroines, Victorian music hall comediennes and opera divas. A devoted teacher, Pat has led history camps, taught at the Institute for the Gifted and at Bryn Mawr College. She was honored in 2009 by the Darlington Arts Center for her many years of teaching as part of the award-winning Chester Youth Theatre Outreach Program.

Pat has appeared at venues that include the White House Visitors Center, Library of Congress, Smithsonian Institute, National Archives, Franklin Institute, Peddler’s Village (Cock & Bull Restaurant), National Constitution Center, Union League, National Portrait Gallery, Deshler-Morris House and at Mount Vernon, giving voice to the stories of courageous, inspirational women including Martha Washington, Mary Todd Lincoln, Clara Barton, Dorothea Dix, Louisa May Alcott and Amelia Earhart.

In 2017, in commemoration of the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Pat is proud to add American women suffragist Carrie Chapman Catt to her repertoire.

Commissioner Edwin L. Fountain portrait image

Commissioner
Edwin L. Fountain

Edwin Fountain of Arlington, Va. has served as general counsel of the American Battle Monuments Commission since March 2015. He was previously a partner in the Washington, D.C. office of the international law firm Jones Day, where he practiced for 24 years. He is the grandson of two World War I veterans.

In 2008, he co-founded the World War I Memorial Foundation which successfully advocated for funding to restore the District of Columbia's World War I memorial on the National Mall, and which has advocated for establishment of a national World War I memorial in the nation's capital. Edwin is a member of Leadership Arlington and is past president of the DC Preservation League, the leading historic preservation nonprofit in the nation's capital.

He was appointed to the commission by the former majority leader of the U.S. Senate, Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada.

What is a Chautauqua?

Chautauqua takes its name from a series of adult education programs that were first held at a campsite on the shores of Lake Chautauqua in upstate New York during the late 19th century. Chautauquas spread throughout America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries bringing speakers, teachers, musicians, entertainers, preachers and specialists of the day to a wide cross-section of the nation's rural and small-town population.

Circuit Chautauquas (also known as Tent Chautauquas) were an itinerant manifestation of the movement. Programs would be presented in tents pitched in a field near town. After several days, the Chautauqua would fold its tents and move on to the next community. The popularity of Chautauquas peaked in the mid-1920s, after which radio, movies and automobiles brought about the gradual disappearance of the movement by the 1940s.

Reborn in the 1970s as a vehicle for humanities education, modern Chautauquas are organized around a core program in which re-enactors take on the persona of celebrated historical figures, speaking and interacting with audiences.

Modern Chautauquas have been presented annually in Delaware since 1999 featuring a wide variety of historical figures including Teddy Roosevelt; Abigail Adams; Abraham Lincoln; Amelia Earhart; Dolley Madison; Eleanor Roosevelt; Edgar Allan Poe; the Lone Ranger; John Philip Sousa; and Delaware's own Pvt. James Elbert, Maj. Allen McLane, F.O.C. Darley and Clifford Brown.

Delaware’s 2017 Chautauqua is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Heritage Commission and by a World War I and America grant from the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. It is being presented as a partnership between the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the Lewes Historical Society, the Lewes Parks and Recreation Commission and the Lewes Chamber of Commerce.

This program is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Event Schedule

Zwaanendael Park

12:00 p.m.

"USS Delaware" - A powerful World-War-I-era U.S. Navy battleship

Bill Manthorpe, author, Navy captain (Ret.)

1:15 p.m.

"USS Delaware Silver Collection"

Ann Horsey, curator of collections (HCA)

2:30 p.m.

“John G, Townsend, Jr., Gov. of Delaware from 1917-1921”

Richard B. Carter, author and Delaware Senate staff member

3:45 p.m.

“Over There”: World War I and the Victor Talking Machine Company

Gavin Malone, historical interpreter (HCA)

6:00 p.m.

Dixie Ramblers

Dixieland ensemble of the Newark Community Band

7:15 p.m.

Opening Remarks

Commissioner Edwin L. Fountain, vice chair, World War I Centennial Commission, with a special introduction by the newly crowned Miss Delaware

Zwaanendael Park

12:00 p.m.

"Delaware in World War I"

Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Kennard R. Wiggins Jr.

1:15 p.m.

"Prohibition"

Mike Dixon, writer and historian

2:30 p.m.

"Prohibition"

Mike Rasmussen, Painted Stave Distilling, Smyrna, Del.

3:45 p.m.

"Woodrow Wilson House"

Frank Aucella, historic preservation author and former executive director of the Woodrow Wilson House Museum in Washington, D.C.

6:00 p.m.

WW Tunes

Band performing music from the first and second world wars

7:15 p.m.

"Woodrow Wilson"

Neill Hartley, American Historical Theatre, portrays President Woodrow Wilson

Lewes Public Library

“Coming Home, the Toll of War” - 1:00 p.m. - 4:15 p.m.

Richard Claypoole, Lewes Historical Society and Vietnam War veteran will facilitate this two-part program.

Starts at 1:00 p.m.

Part 1: “Soldier’s Home” by Ernest Hemingway

Discussion of Hemingway’s story found in "World War I and America: Told by the Americans Who Lived It." Reading material for the discussion may be obtained here. Additional material regarding World War I in America can be found here.

This fictional context provides for a conversation regarding the lives of veterans returning home following World War I and how that compares with today’s veterans’ experience

Starts at 2:45 p.m.

Part 2: “License to Remember”

Viewing and discussion of the Delaware Humanities Forum’s 17-minute film focusing on the homecoming reception received by some Delaware veterans and how this experience of returning from war has changed in the last 100 years

Stango Park (Behind Lewes Public Library)

Starts at 7:00 p.m.

“Delmarva Big Band” - Part of the Lewes Summer Concert Series

This 18-piece jazz ensemble has been performing across the Mid-Atlantic region since 2005, and before that as the Len Gray Orchestra which can trace its lineage directly to the hallowed Big Band era. Comprised of some of the Peninsula's finest professional musicians and educators, the group performs both legacy and contemporary musical arrangements in the exciting and dynamic Big Band format

Lewes Historical Society

12:00 p.m.

"DuPont and World War I"

Lucas Clawson, archivist and historian, Hagley Museum and Library

1:15 p.m.

"59th Pioneer Infantry" - Formed from the Delaware National Guard in 1918

Frank Silcott, historian

2:30 p.m.

"Defending Delaware Bay in World War I"

Bill Manthorpe, author, Navy captain (Ret.)

3:45 p.m.

"Ebony Doughboys"

Steven Jones, writer and director of development for the Ebony Doughboys

6:00 p.m.

“How You Gonna Keep ‘em Down on the Farm?”

DonDel Productions, Don and Delores Blakey and company perform early 20th century musical treats

7:15 p.m.

"Sgt. Henry Johnson"

Keith Henley, American Historical Theatre, portrays Sgt. Henry Johnson, African American soldier and Medal of Honor recipient

Lewes Historical Society

12:00 p.m.

"Anacostia Flats"

Mike Rawl, executive director, Greater Lewes Foundation and author

1:15 p.m.

"Suffrage"

Mike Dixon, writer and historian

2:30 p.m.

"World War I Bag Pipers"

Andrew Lyter, historical interpreter (HCA)

3:45 p.m.

“Delaware National Guard and Its Time on the US/Mexican border in 1916-17”

Lucas Clawson, archivist and historian, Hagley Museum and Library

6:00 p.m.

"Burns and Allen"

Old-time radio show by the Possum Point Players Radio Theater Company

7:15 p.m.

"Carrie Chapman Catt"

Pat Jordan, American Historical Theatre, portrays Carrie Chapman Catt, activist and suffragist

Contact Us

Zwaanendael Museum

Event Locations

Zwaanendael Park

Lewes Public Library

Lewes Historical Society

  • Address: 110 Shipcarpenter St., Lewes, DE 19958
  • Phone: (302) 645-7670

Stango Park