On Saturday, July 22, 2017, students from Delaware State University will present free interactive, history-related activities at four historic sites located in Dover, Del. The programs were developed as a partnership between the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the First State Heritage Park and Delaware State University’s Jumpstart Program, an academic-enrichment and leadership-development initiative that provides opportunities for academically advanced, incoming freshmen to get a “jumpstart” on their college careers.
The featured programs are as follows:
“The Story of Freedom”
The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover, Del.
Program explores the stories of enslaved and free individuals as they navigated to freedom from slavery in Delaware. Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., five “stations” will be set up throughout the museum where visitors can interact with the students on the following topics: Factors that were at work to eliminate slavery, how manumission became instrumental in freeing enslaved persons, the role of the Underground Railroad, the ordeal of Samuel Burris and the aftermath of the Civil War. At 11 a.m., there will be a presentation in the State House’s court room in which all of the “stations” will be brought together into one program.
“The Development of Recorded Sound”
Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover, Del.
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., programs will explore how recording technology developed over the 100 years that recorded music has been available in the United States from E.R. Johnson’s Victrola to the revolution of sound recording using the microphone to the CD and the IPod. The program will also feature the story of Nipper, the dog who adorns the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice.”
“Escaping to Freedom”
First State Heritage Park’s John Bell House, 43 The Green, Dover, Del.
Between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., programs will tell the heroic story of the Dover Eight: a group of fugitives who narrowly escaped slavery in Dover in 1857. During the program, the students will help audiences explore the institution of slavery in Delaware, as well as the trials people faced as they escaped along the Underground Railroad.
“Stories of the Plantation”
John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover, Del.
Between 10 a.m. and 2:30 p.m., students will recreate the lives of people associated with the plantation. In this interactive program, visitors will meet people from the past and hear their stories as they move through the mansion house. Stories will include the lives of the Dickinson family members, tenant farms, free African Americans and enslaved people. A special hands on activity will be available at the visitor center to complement the tour.