The Delaware Historical Society, together with Delaware Public Media, is proud to present History Matters. History Matters digs into the Delaware Historical Society's archives and collections to highlight people, places, and events of historical significance to Delaware and explore their connections to present-day news. Special thanks to Delaware Public Media for it's continued partnership in the production of these features and to the Delaware Public Archives, Hagley Museum and Library and the Lewes Historical Society for their participation and assistance.  Below are links to the original articles/videos/audio presentations, starting with the most current piece.

But thats not all - look what else we are up to...
click here for links to our blogs, additional videos, our American Map Experience, anniversary history & more!

 

 

Beauty Shop Politics in Wilmington

Estella's Beauty Salon_April_1939_Delaware Historical Society_Szymanski CollectionInspired by Dr. TIffany Gill's book, "Beauty Shop Politics: African American Women's Activism in the Beauty Industry," Megan Pauly spoke with Wilmington residents about their memories of Delaware's beauty shop industry. Click here for full article, images, and audio version.
March, 2017

 
 


The evolution of the kosher food industry

Kosher_USA_Courtesy of Roger HorowitzAuthor Roger Horowitz on the kosher controversies surrounding products from Coca-Cola to Jell-O to Oeros. Click here for full article, images, and audio version.
January, 2017

Image courtesy of Roger Horowitz

 
   
 
 


Brandywine Springs Park's hidden past as natural springs resort

Brandywine Springs_first hotel_Robert Shaw print_1909Brandywine Springs Park in New Castle County may look like a common park, but it has a rich – and unique - past: as both home to natural springs and an old historic amusement park during the late 1800s and early 1900s. Click here for full article, images, and audio version.
September, 2016

 

 
 
 
 


Wilmington & Western Railroad still chugging along

Wilmington & Western Railroad at Mt. Cuba in the late 19th century. Delaware Historical SocietyRailroads have always played an important role in state and national history.  The Wilmington & Western preserves that legacy. Click here for article and images.
August, 2016


 

 
 
 
 


Shipbuilding industry along the Wilmington riverfront

A 1931 photo showing the shipbuilding industries along the Christiana River in Wilmington, Courtesy Hagley Museum and LibraryDuring the industrial revolution and into the WWII era and beyond, shipbuilding played a key role in the evolution of industry and livelihood in Wilmington. Click here for article and images.
July, 2016

 

 
     
 
 
 


The orgin of shipbuilding in Sussex County

Building of the U.S.S. Gillis Ship in 1919, Delaware Historical SocietyA look at the history of shipbuilding in southern Delaware and a unique shipbuilding event that keeps the art of wooden shipbuilding alive.
June, 2016

Related stories: The Menhaden Fish | The U.S. Lifesaving Service

 

 
 
 
 


The story behind board games, and their connection to Delaware

All About Delaware Game_Delaware Historical Society CollectionAn insiders look at board games from the Delaware Historical Society's collection. May, 2016
 

 
 

 
 
 

University of Delaware's Women's College and its role in women's suffrage

University of Delaware's Women's College class of 1914, including students and faculty.  Delaware Historical Society CollectionsConclusion of the two part History Matters on the history of the fight for women’s rights in the First State. http://delawarepublic.org/post/history-matters-university-delawares-womens-college-and-its-role-womens-suffrage. 
May, 2016

 
 

 
 
 

The Hall of Fame of Delaware Women

The Hall of Fame of Delaware Women_Mega Pauly_DE Public MediaThe Hall of Fame of Delaware Women was established in 1981 by the Delaware Commission for Women with the purpose of recognize the lasting contributions and achievements of Delaware women in a variety of fields.
April, 2016

 
 
 
     
 

March toward Fort Miles museum continues

Fort Miles_Courtesy of Fort Miles Historical AssociationAn update on the efforts of the Fort Miles Historical Association and their efforts to create a museum at Fort Miles within Cape Henlopen State Park.
February, 2016
 

 
 
 
     
 

Jewish Historical Society of Delaware

Jewish Historical Society of Delaware logoThe Jewish Historical Society of Delaware's mission and work.
January, 2016

 
 
 
     
 

Voices of the Elders

Voices of the EldersA look at the series of short documentaries about prominent African Americans presented by the Delaware Historical Society's Center for African American Heritage.
December, 2015

 
 
 
     
 

Brewing beer in Delaware

Brewing beer in Delaware_Courtesy of Karl Malgiero_DE Public MediaExplore the roots of Delaware's brewing culture.
October, 2015
 

 

 
 
 
     
 

Delaware Historical Society honors Mike Castle and Bryan Stevenson

History Makers 2015_ Mike Castle and Bryan Stevenson_Photo by Anne Hoffman/DE Public Media2015 History Makers Awardees Mike Castle and Bryan Stevenson.
September, 2015

 

 
 
 
     
 

Digitizing the Freedmen's Bureau records

Digitizing the Freedmen's Bureau records_Courtesy of DiscoverFreedmen.orgLearn about the efforts to digitize the Freedmen's Bureau.
August, 2015
 

 
 
 
     
 

The evolution of gay rights legislation in Delaware

The evolution of gay rights legislation in DelawareThe continuing story of Delaware legislation and how the history of the LGBTQ community in Rehoboth served as a foundation for gay rights.
August, 2015

Second in a two-part series.

 
 
 
     
 

Delaware' Gay Beach

Sun, Sea and Surf at Rehoboth PostcardA brief history of the LGBTQ community's roots in Rehoboth.
July, 2015

First in a two-part series.
 

 
 
 
     
 

Delaware's Forgotten Folks - Part 1 / Part 2

Nanticoke Indian Museum_Delaware Public MediaA two-part, in-depth look at the Nanticoke Tribe in Delaware.
June, 2015

Part 1 | Part 2
 

 
 
 
     
 

Colored Conventions

Colored ConventionsAn examination of the University of Delaware's interdisciplinary academic project called Colored Conventions - an effort to digitize the meeting minutes of the nation's first black meetings and conventions that were held between 1830 through post Civil War.
May, 2015

 
 
 
     
 

Hagley Museum's "Unraveling Stories" exhibit

"Unraveling Stores" Courtesy of Hagley Museum and library and Delaware Public MediaA spotlight on a hooked rug made by Nancy Dupont Reynolds Cooch in the 1940s as shown during the 2015 "Unraveling Stories" exhibit at Hagley Museum and Library.
March, 2015

 
 
 
     
 

Wilmington's Southbridge neighborhood

South Wilmington_courtesy of Delaware Public MediaAn examination of Southbridge's history and efforts of Southbridge Connects to bring the neighborhood to life today.
 
February, 2015 
 

 
 
 
     
 

Hagley Powder Yard

Hagley Powder Yard_Courtesy of Hagley MuseumThe Hagley Museum lies on a plot of land on the western bank of The Brandywine River just north of where it intersects with Route 141. A trip back to the 19th century mills.
November, 2014

 
 
 
     
 

Delaware during World War II exhibit

Delaware during World War II exhibit_Courtesy of DE Public Archives_2014A visit to the Delaware Public Archives during the "Delaware during World War II" exhibit that was open from July-December, 2014.
July, 2015

 
 
 
     
 

Wilmington's Little Italy

Wilmington's Little ItalyA look at Wilmington's Little Italy, the home of the annual St. Anthony's Italian Festival.
May, 2014

 
 
 
     
 

The History of the Delaware Historical Society

The History of the Delaware Historical Society_view of Market StreetSee how the Delaware Historical Society came to be, where it is now, and where the organization plans to go in the future.
April, 2014

 

 
 
 
     
 

The Thelma Young Collection

The Thelma Young CollectionTake a look at the life and legacy of Thelma Young, a woman who helped pave the way for women and African Americans in Delaware.
March, 2014

 
 
 
     
 

Lost DSU catalogs

Delaware State University catalogs_Image courtesy of Delaware Public MediaNew insight into Delaware State University's past.
February, 2014.

 
 
 
     
 

David Sarnoff Library Collection

David Sarnoff Collection at Hagley Museum & LIbrary, Photo from the David Sarnoff CollectionA look at how one man can impact communication technology through the David Sarnoff collection at Hagley Museum and Library.
January, 2014

 
 
 
     
 

Delaware's role in African American churches

Forging Faith, Building FreedomA visit to the Delaware Historical Society's exhibition (now closed) "Forging Faith, Building Freedom: African American Faith Experiences in Delaware.
November, 2013

Please visit the Society's on-line version of "Forging Faith" by clicking here.

 
 
 
     
 

Currier and Ives

Currier and IvesA visit to an exhibit on the legacy of Currier and Ives (previously) on exhibit at the Biggs Museum of American Art in Dover.
August, 2013

 
 
 
     
 

The Rehoboth Art League

Rehoboth Art League; image by Delaware Public Media

A look at the Rehoboth Art League and the historic Peter Marsh House that it occupies.
July, 2013

 
 
 
     
 

Wilmington's Old Town Hall

Old Town Hall, now owned and operated by the Delaware Historical Society; photo by Delaware Public Media

Explore the history and the role of Wilmington's Old Town Hall.
June, 2013

 
 
 
     
 

John Dickinson Plantation

John DickinsonPlanation_Photo Courtesy of Delaware Public MediaA look at the John Dickinson Plantation, Delaware home of a signer of the United States Constitution.
April, 2013
 

 
 
 
     
 

State Park back stories

Delaware State Park_Photo by Delaware Public MediaA look into some of the histories of Delaware State Parks - including three man made mill pounds in each county: Lums Pond in New Castle, Killens Pond in Kent, and Trap Pond in Sussex.  Story by Ben Szmidt of Delaware Public Media.
September, 2012

 
 
 
     
 

A Picture is worth a thousand words

A picture is worth a thousand wordsA look at the efforts of Paul Preston Davis and Andy McKay as they connect a Civil War photograph of the First Delaware Regiment color guard to the flags in the Delaware Historical Society archives.
July, 2012

 
 
 
     
 

Fort Delaware Sketches

Fort Delaware SketchesA different view of the former Civil War prison as part of the 150th anniversary of the War Between the States; one from those who were actually there.
April, 2012

 
 
 
     
 

Judy Johnson

Judy JohnsonThe life and legacy of Wilmington baseball great Judy Johnson, who died in 1989.
February, 2012

 
 
 
     
 

Envelopes and stationary provide unique Civil War Perspective

Civil War Envelopes and stationaryA look into the Delaware Historical Society's collection of 250 Civil War era envelopes and stationary.
January, 2012

 
 
 
     
 

History Matters: Christmas Seals - The Legacy of Emily Bissell

Christmas Seals - The Legacy of Emily BissellThe First History Matters focused on a long-standing Christmas tradition: Christmas Seals. The origin of Christmas Seals in the United States traces back to the First State in 1907. That year, Wilmington native Emily Bissell took an idea that had found success in Denmark and brought it to America where it is still raising money for the American Lung Association today.
December, 2011  

 

 

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The Delaware Historical Society is the statewide, non-profit organization that explores, preserves, shares, and promotes Delaware history, heritage, and culture to strengthen our community.