State offering cultural and historical events throughout fall

The Delaware Division of Historical & Cultural Affairs will be sponsoring 59 special events between September and December 2014 at the state of Delaware’s six museums (the New Castle Court House Museum, the John Dickinson Plantation, the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, the Old State House, the Johnson Victrola Museum and the Zwaanendael Museum). Except for the September lecture/tours of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak, admission for all programs is free and open to the public.

• Monday, Sept. 1 — “An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First State Heritage Park Welcome Center & Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055. Note change in museum hours.

• Monday, Sept. 1 — “The Star Spangled Banner: Then and Now.” Programs examine the development of America’s national anthem, featuring original recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Programs at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Monday, Sept. 1 — “The Test of Time: The Relationship Between the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware and the Swedish Royal Family.” Elected Chief Dennis Coker discusses the rekindling of that relationship after 300 years and the advancements made by both communities. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Thursdays, Sept. 4, 11, 18 and 25 — “Taper Thursdays.” Learn to make your own candle and help the plantation dip 200 candles that John Dickinson would have required from his tenants are part of their leases. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Sept. 6 — “Drums, Drums, Drums.” Guided tours explore Victor Talking Machine Company founder E.R. Johnson’s role in making music a fundamental subject in public education and in helping children to become familiar with the most popular musical instruments. In this program, visitors will learn about the significance of drums as both a means of communication and as entertainment, featuring original recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Sept. 6 — “An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Sept. 6 — “Delaware’s Native People and Archaeological Study.” Program examines Native-American artifacts from the collections of the state of Delaware and how those artifacts interpret the rich culture of the first residents of the First State. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Mondays, Sept. 8, 15, 22 and 29 — Lecture/tour of His Majesty’s Sloop DeBraak. Explore the history of the DeBraak which was capsized and lost off the Delaware coast on May 25, 1798. Program includes a trip to the hull facility in nearby Cape Henlopen State Park for a tour of the surviving section of the ship’s hull.Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Programs at 10 a.m. and 1 p.m. Limited seating. Admission $10 in advance by reservation through the Shop Delaware website. For additional information, call (302) 645-1148.

• Saturday, Sept. 13 — “The First People of the First State: A Lenape Celebration of Heritage.” Third annual celebration featuring the Lenape Indian Tribe of Delaware as they honor mother earth and Native-American culture with dancing and demonstrations. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Celebration 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055. (Note time change.)

• Saturdays, Sept. 13, Nov. 8 and Dec. 13 — 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. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Sept. 20 — “Hearth Cooking Basics.” Hands-on workshop. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday Sept. 20 — “Lost and Found: Native American Identity in Delaware’s Public Schools.” Panel discussion examines the challenges that Delaware’s Native-American students faced during segregation and the subsequent integration of the public schools. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Sept. 27 — “Arts in the Estuary.” Celebrate National Estuaries Day from the artistic viewpoint including the work of artisans, performers and authors. Partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road and St. Jones Reserve, 818 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Sept. 27 — “Smoked, Pickled and Salted for Survival.” Learn how smoked, pickled and salted meats helped stretch food reserves in the winter, and participate in pickling meats with brine and smoking meats in the plantation’s smokehouse. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Sept. 27 — “Surviving Invasion: Learning About the First Peoples of the First State.” Based on the research of Dr. Cara Blume, this lecture will explore Delaware’s Native-American communities of the past and present. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Sept. 27 — Native-American-themed program. Speaker TBD. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 645-1148.

• Saturday, Oct. 4 2014 — “The Declaration of Independence.” Guided tours focus on the document in which the newly born United States declared its independence from Great Britain, and the Delaware signers who made this one of the most important documents in American history. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Oct. 4 — “An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First Saturday in the First State program. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., noon and 3:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055. Note change in program time.

• Saturday, Oct. 4 — River Towns Ride and Festival. Festivals in historic New Castle and Delaware City frame a bicycling event between the two cities. Family-oriented festival held from noon to 5 p.m. at the New Castle Court House Museum and The Green in New Castle will feature music, rides, attractions, games, tours, vendors, craft beers, food and drink. (302) 323-4453.

• Saturday, Oct. 4 — “His Majesty’s Sloop of War DeBraak.” Held in conjunction with Lewes’ annual Boast the Coast festival, the event will feature a day-long slate of maritime-history and -archaeology activities including block-and-tackle demonstrations and a 2 p.m. presentation on the DeBraak shipwreck. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Museum open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 645-1148.

• Saturday, Oct. 4 — “Pioneers in the Music Industry.” Oliver Berliner, grandson of inventor Emile Berliner, will discuss his grandfather’s life, his inventions (including the gramophone) and his major contributions to society. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. Program at 2:30 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Oct. 11 — “A Day in the Life of the John Dickinson Plantation.” Visitors of all ages will enjoy a day of music, food, entertainment and hands-on activities from Colonial trades to hearth cooking in the 18th-century setting of the home of the “Penman of the Revolution.” The featured performers will be the Swordmasters demonstrating Colonial muskets and rifles, and giving fencing demonstrations. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Free admission. (302) 739-3277.

• Friday, Oct. 24 — “Lantern Tours of the Plantation.” Programs explore the parties, games, dances and entertainment that would have abounded at the plantation during the nighttime in the 18th century. Activities will also include wagon-ride guided-tours conducted by staff of the St. Jones Reserve exploring the nocturnal life of the estuary. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Programs 6-7 p.m. and 7:30-8:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required, by calling (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Oct. 25 — William Penn Day. Series of programs commemorating the 332nd anniversary of Penn’s disembarkment at New Castle, his first landing in the New World. Activities at the New Castle Court House and The Green include a re-enactment of the Livery of Seizen ritual in which Penn received possession of New Castle and a 12-mile circle of land surrounding it; “Tea With Mrs. Penn”; a performance by De Blokfluiters recorder/flute ensemble; and “The Trial of William Penn,” a historical play exploring Penn’s trial on religious freedom and the rights of English subjects under the law. New Castle Court House Museum, 211 Delaware St., New Castle. 10 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Free admission. (302) 323-4453.

• Saturday, Oct. 25 — “An 18th-Century Sweet Tooth.” Hands-on workshop in which visitors can learn how to create 18th-century sweets and goodies. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Oct. 25 — “Mysteries of History.” Walking tour explores the unusual tombstones of St. Peter’s cemetery in Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Tour leaves from the museum at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 645-1148.

• Saturday, Nov. 1 — “Man’s Best Friend.” Guided tours explore one of the most celebrated canines in the world — Nipper, the dog who adorns the Victor trademark, “His Masters Voice.” Programs will also include original Victor recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Nov. 1 — “18th Century Market Fair.” Programs explore an era when The Green served as the focal point of life in Dover as historical interpreters explore the goods, wares and political attitudes of the 1700s. The Old State House will celebrate the fair with special tours and appearances by historical re-enactors. Sponsored by the First State Heritage Park. The Green, Dover. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (302) 739-9194.

• Saturday, Nov. 1 — “An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First Saturday in the First State program. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Tuesday, Nov. 4 — “Swing.” Guided tours explore Victor Records’ original recordings of “swing music,” played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 11 — “An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at 10 a.m., noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Tuesdays, Nov. 4 and 11 — “The People’s House.” In recognition of Election Day, guided tours will explore the significance of The Old State House and the many state and county governmental functions that were conducted there between 1791 and 1933. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Thursdays, Nov. 6, 13, and 20 — John Dickinson’s Birthday Month. Visitors celebrate the birth of John Dickinson by helping to make a great cake and decorate it using royal icing and shaped marzipan. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Nov. 8 — “Delaware’s Decades—the 1970s: ‘Coastal Zone Act of 1971.’” Lecture by Kevin Coyle, principal planner for the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, on the landmark state-legislation that limited industrial development in Delaware’s coastal areas. Part five of an eight-part series exploring decades in Delaware’s history. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Program at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Free admission but, due to space restrictions, reservations are required, by calling (302) 645-1148, no later than Nov. 6. Note additional program info.

• Tuesday, Nov. 11 — “The Victors of World War I: The Power of Music.” In celebration of Veterans Day, this lively program examines music’s influence during World War I when patriotic songs were being composed throughout America. Hear 78 rpm recordings of this inspirational music played on authentic Victor Talking Machines, and explore how the Victor Talking Machine Company’s Camden, N.J. factory led the fight to make the world safe for democracy. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Nov. 15 — Candle-making workshops. Bayberry-candle workshop from 10 a.m. to noon examines bayberries and their use in creating bayberry candles. Presented in partnership with the St. Jones Reserve. Reservations required, by calling the St. Jones Reserve at (302) 739-3436. “Light Me Up!” workshop on candle dipping and discussion of lighting devices of the 18th century from 1 to 3 p.m. Reservations required, by calling (302) 739-3277 no later than Nov. 14. Museum also open for visitation 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover.

• Saturday, Nov. 15 — Dutch-American Heritage Day. Learn about the contributions that the Dutch have made to the economic, social, political and cultural life of Delaware and the United States. Program will include a lecture by Delaware Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs archaeologist Craig Lukezic.Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. Lecture at 2 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 645-1148.

• Saturday, Nov. 29 — “Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can learn to create and decorate cards through the art of paper quilling and stenciling, and write a personal note with a quill pen. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Thursday, Dec. 4 — “Hospitality Night.” Holiday-themed program featuring festive décor, music, demonstrations and seasonal refreshments.Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 6-9 p.m. (302) 645-1148.

• Saturday, Dec. 6 — “A Taste of Jazz: From the Beginning.” Guided tours explore the sounds of the Jazz Age and the role played by Delaware’s native son E.R. Johnson in jazz-music history, accompanied by early-jazz recordings played on authentic Victor Talking Machines. First Saturday in the First State program. Johnson Victrola Museum, 375 S. New St., Dover. 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Dec. 6 — “Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a sachet with herbs and spices. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program at 2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.

• Saturday, Dec. 6 — “Tour Zwaanendael Museum.” Enjoy the museum’s festive holiday-décor. Event held in conjunction with the Lewes Historical Society’s Christmas Tour of Lewes. Zwaanendael Museum, 102 Kings Highway, Lewes. 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (302) 645-1148.

• Saturday, Dec. 6 — “Simple Pleasures: Picnic, Play and Dance.” Utilizing authentic clothing and objects from the collections of the state of Delaware, Ann Baker Horsey, Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs’ curator of collections, will discuss Edwardian and Roaring ’20s fall and winter recreational activities and their associated fashions that reflected the spirit of the liberated “modern” woman. First Saturday in the First State program. The Old State House, 25 The Green, Dover. Program at 1 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Dec. 6 — “An Illegal Activity.” Utilizing the exhibit “An Illegal Activity: The Underground Railroad in Delaware” as a backdrop, guided tours will explore Delaware’s crucial role in the Underground Railroad and on two Delaware leaders who aided in this “freedom enterprise.” First Saturday in the First State program. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, Delaware Public Archives building, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Tours at noon and 2 p.m. Museum open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (302) 744-5055.

• Saturday, Dec. 6 — Delaware Day awards ceremony. Event honors participants in the Delaware Department of State’s 13th annual Delaware Day Fourth Grade Competition which challenges students to create displays that help illustrate and explain the U.S. Constitution and the role played by Delawareans in the writing and ratification of the nation’s founding document. First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries, 121 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Dover. Time TBA. 302­–739–4111.

• Saturday, Dec. 13 — Spirit of Christmas in New Castle. One of the best preserved Colonial-era towns in America will feature tours of historic homes bedecked in holiday decorations, activities at museums including the New Castle Court House Museum, crafts, musical entertainment and more. Festivities will conclude at 5 p.m. with the annual Christmas tree lighting at Market Square. Downtown New Castle. 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (302) 328-3279.

• Saturday, Dec. 20 — “Handmade for the Holidays.” Seasonal program in which visitors can create a plaster ornament. John Dickinson Plantation, 340 Kitts Hummock Road, Dover. Program 11–2:30 p.m. Museum open 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (302) 739-3277.