Reflecting on history in Spring 2024: Revisiting HCA events

This spring welcomed many notable events at Delaware’s historic sites and museums, including many that have helped educate the next generation.

That included several education-focused events hosted by the Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs (HCA), like First State Heritage Parks’ inaugural Homeschool Field Day this May on The Green in Dover. Three HCA sites participated, including the New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation and The Old State House. At the John Dickinson Plantation, attendees created their own potpourri (and created their own sachet to take home) and learned about the historic uses of plants and herbs. The New Castle Court House brought their Swedish trunk and students had an opportunity to envision life as a Swedish immigrant and interact with historic reproductions. The Old State House staff used faux bricks to illustrate the different brick bonds used to build buildings. Students had an opportunity to learn about different architectural styles, brick making and created their own wall.

This May, The Green also hosted the Saving the Past, Shaping the Future field trips. The Old State House staffed a station discussing early capitols of Delaware and historic preservation, and invited the students to participate in an activity in which they drew their own capitol.

An outdoor event at a historic site

Meanwhile, in New Castle this June, the annual celebration of Separation Day marks when Delaware formally separated from Great Britain and, therefore, Pennsylvania — a move that was formally decided on the second floor of the New Castle Court House Museum in 1776. The day is now celebrated with a parade, vendors and fireworks. The parade, which was announced by former radio personality Jim Stoddard and held on June 8 this year, stops directly in front of the museum and this year included appearances by Governor John Carney, Lt. Governor Bethany Hall-Long and New Castle Mayor Valarie Leary as well as HCA staff members Chris Merrill and Christian Reith representing the Citizen Hose Company Band and Blaise Glowiak representing the Delaware 1st Regiment.

After the parade, people were invited to tour the room where separation happened and learn more about the history of the day. The following Saturday, the New Castle Court House Museum celebrated the true anniversary of Separation Day on June 15 with a mock vote and an opportunity to *learn about the history of the nation’s founding.

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