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Programs on America’s struggle for independence among 20 special events sponsored by the division during July 2016


During the month of July 2016, the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be offering 20 special events at sites across the state including five programs focusing on America’s struggle for independence. A full schedule of events is listed below.

Historical interpreters will recite the Declaration of Independence from the steps of Dover’s Old State House on July 4, 2016.
Historical interpreters will recite the Declaration of Independence from the steps of Dover’s Old State House on July 4, 2016.

Highlights of the month include a series of patriotic-themed activities held on Monday, July 4, 2016 at The Old State House located at 25 The Green in Dover. At 1 p.m., the museum will present a spoken-word performance by area youth on Delaware’s role in the 13 Colonies’ fight for independence from England. The performance is part of “Listen Up!,” a year-long series of activities in which participants research and develop their own spoken-word presentations based on events in Delaware history. At 2 and 4 p.m., the bell of The Old State House will ring in celebration of the nation’s birthday, followed immediately by site interpreters, dressed in period clothing, who will recite the Declaration of Independence aloud from the spot where the document was first read to the citizens of Dover in 1776.

Between 9 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. on Saturday July 2 and Monday, July 4, 2016, the Johnson Victrola Museum, located at 375 S. New St. in Dover, will present “Stars and Stripes,” special guided tours that explore some of Victor Records’ many recordings of patriotic music accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines.

Finally, on Wednesday, July 13 at 7 p.m., the New Castle Court House Museum, located at 211 Delaware St. in historic downtown New Castle, will present “1776—Independence Declared,” a lecture by historic-site interpreter Bob Vander Decker. The lecture is part seven of “The Founding of America in One Year,” a year-long series that examines important local and national events that led to the founding of the United States.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special programs, July 2016

Saturday July 2, 2016
“Independence Day.” Screening of the film “Thunder and Rain” about Caesar Rodney’s historic ride to Philadelphia to break the tie for the Declaration of Independence. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Film screenings at 11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m. Free admission. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday July 2 and Monday, July 4, 2016
“Stars and Stripes.” In celebration of Independence Day, guided tours explore some of Victor Records’ many recordings of patriotic music accompanied by 78-rpm records played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3262.

Monday, July 4, 2016
Independence Day.
All museums of the State of Delaware will be open: The Johnson Victrola Museum, open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m.; The Old State House, open 9 a.m.–6 p.m.; the John Dickinson Plantation, New Castle Court House Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum, open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-736-7400.

Monday, July 4, 2016
“Independence Day.” Performance at 1 p.m. by youth participating in the “Listen Up!” spoken-word program on Delaware’s role in the 13 Colonies’ fight for independence from England. At 2 and 4 p.m., the bell of The Old State House will ring in celebration of the nation’s birthday, followed immediately by site interpreters, dressed in period clothing, who will recite the Declaration of Independence aloud from the spot where the document was first read to the citizens of Dover in 1776. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Museum open 9 a.m.–6 p.m. Free admission. 302-744-5054.

Wednesdays and Thursdays, July 6, 7, 13, 14, 20, 21, 27 and 28, 2016
Lost Off Lewes: The British Warship DeBraak.” Special tours explore the 18th-century history, artifacts and the surviving hull section of this shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 9 a.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 by reservation only through the Shop Delaware website (go to http://shop.delaware.gov and click on “Tours” in the “Categories” column). For additional information, call 302-645-1148.

Thursdays, July 7, 14, 21 and 28, 2016
“Thirsty on Thursdays.” Learn how to make cool 18th-century drinks including switchels, lemonade and tea. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m.–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, July 9, 2016
Demonstrations by the Thistledown Fiber Arts Guild. Program explores spinning, weaving, knitting and other fabric arts. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 1–3 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016
“1776—Independence Declared.” Lecture by historic-site interpreter Bob Vander Decker. Part seven of “The Founding of America in One Year,” a year-long series that examines important local and national events that led to the founding of the United States. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 7 p.m. Free admission. 302-323-4453.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
Summer Bridge Service Project Day. History-related activities presented by Delaware State University students as part of the school’s Jumpstart Program. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, July 23, 2016
“Movie Night on the Lawn.” Screening of the film “Honey I Shrunk the Kids” plus live music, food trucks, outdoor activities and a photo booth. Buena Vista Conference Center, 661 S. Dupont Highway (Route 13), New Castle. 6–10 p.m. Admission $3 per person. 302-323-4430.

Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.


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