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Women’s history celebrated at division museums during March 2020


Note: In keeping with Gov. Carney’s declaration of a state of emergency due to the coronavirus pandemic, the museums of the State of Delaware are closed until further notice.

(The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs will be hosting eight special programs during the month of March 2020 at the museums of the State of Delaware. Six of these events will be presented in celebration of National Women’s History Month. A full schedule is included below. All programs are free and open to the public.

Photo of a women's suffrage button

Designated by joint resolutions of the United States House of Representatives and Senate and proclaimed by the American president, National Women’s History Month is an opportunity to honor and celebrate women’s lives and historic achievements. Each year National Women’s History Month employs a unifying theme and recognizes national honorees whose work and lives testify to that theme. For 2020, the theme is “Valiant Women of the Vote” which commemorates the 100th anniversary of the passage of the 19th Amendment guaranteeing women’s right to vote.

Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs special programs, March 2020

Saturday, March 7, 2020
“The Road to the Vote.” In celebration of Women’s Vote Centennial, guided tours will explore the women’s suffrage movement in Delaware, the 19th Amendment and the discussions held in Delaware’s historic capitol regarding its passage. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, March 7, 2020
“The Women of Victor.” National Women’s History Month guided tours focus on the talented female vocalists of the Victor Talking Machine Company and how they paved the way for the divas of today, accompanied by early recordings of those artists played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020
“The Harriet Tubman Living History Experience.” In celebration of both National Harriet Tubman Day and National Women’s History Month, actress Millicent Sparks will bring to life the noted Underground Railroad conductor who helped more than 70 enslaved African Americans escape to freedom prior to the American Civil War. Organized by the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage and partially funded by a grant from Delaware Humanities. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 6–8 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are suggested by calling 302-744-5054.

Photo of Millicent Sparks as Harriet Tubman
Millicent Sparks will portray Harriet Tubman at The Old State House on March 10, 2020.

Friday, March 13, 2020
Concert by Joey Fulkerson. Guitarist presented in partnership with the Delaware Friends of Folk and the First State Heritage Park. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 7:30 p.m. 302-744-5054.

Saturday, March 14, 2020
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. 302-739-3277.

Saturday, March 14, 2020
“Country Music: A Woman’s Voice.”
National Women’s History Month program highlights the role that female artists played in the evolution of country music. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 1 p.m. in the museum’s 2nd floor gallery (entry via staircase; no elevator). Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-739-3262.

Photo of the Carter Family in 1927
Maybelle Carter (bottom left) and Sara Carter of the Carter Family will be among the female artists explored in the “Country Music: A Woman’s Voice” program at the Johnson Victrola Museum on March 14, 2020.

Saturday, March 21, 2020
POSTPONED: “The Kidnapping of Bathsheba Bungy.” Through monologue and song, this theatrical presentation by Valarie Petty Boyer, Ph.D. tells the story of the kidnapping of an African American girl from New Castle who was taken to Maryland to be sold into slavery. National Women’s History Month program explores the story of Bungy’s ordeal and escape, and the New Castle Court House trial of the kidnappers. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. Performance at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are recommended by calling 302-323-4453. NOTE: This program has been postponed. Date to be determined.

Photo of Valarie Petty Boyer Ph.D.
Valarie Petty Boyer, Ph.D. will tell the story of Bathsheba Bungy at the New Castle Court House Museum on March 21, 2020.

Saturday, March 28, 2020
POSTPONED: “The First Women of the First State.”
National Women’s History Month program by Theo Braunskill, citizen and Elders Council member of the Lenapé Indian Tribe of Delaware, and Nena Todd, manager of the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ downtown Dover museums, explores Native American women, lifeways, culture, challenges and successes—both past and present. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m.–4:30 p.m. 302-744-5054. NOTE: This program has been postponed. Date to be determined.

Administered by the Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs, the five museums of the State of Delaware—the John Dickinson Plantation, the Johnson Victrola Museum, the New Castle Court House Museum, The Old State House and the Zwaanendael Museum—tell the story of the First State’s contributions to the history and culture of the United States. Through tours, exhibits, school programs and hands-on activities, the museums shine a spotlight on Delaware’s unique history and the diverse people who came to live there. The museums are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums. The New Castle Court House Museum and the John Dickinson Plantation are partner sites of the First State National Historical Park. The Old State House is located on the Dover Green, another partner site of the park. Go to the following for a comprehensive, long-term calendar of division-sponsored events.

Photo of the American Alliance of Museums accreditation logo

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