Calendar of Events





The Delaware Historical Society's Response to COVID-19

To limit the spread of coronavirus, Delaware Historical Society sites are temporarily closed. Enjoy our virtual programs, which can be found on the calendar. The Read House & Gardens is open limited hours for walking tours and the gardens are open Thursday–Sunday, 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. We look forward to welcoming everyone back soon!



Missed a program? Check out Past Events for recordings of our virtual events!


Saturday, October 10, 2020, 1 p.m.-3 p.m.
Community Collecting in the Now
Registration via Zoom Webinar is required.

As communities in Delaware simultaneously juggle a pandemic, closed businesses, the Black Lives Matter Movement, home schooling, and the presidential election, some of us have begun collecting items that represent this time period such as masks, restaurant menus, signs, t-shirts, or art. What are you doing with the items you have been holding onto, discovering (or rediscovering), reusing, or creating? 

Join us for an afternoon of sharing and storytelling. We will feature historic objects from the DHS collection and reflect on what stories these objects tell in relation to the current environment. You are invited to tell fellow participants about items you are collecting and why. Together, we will consider what community collections can reveal about this unique moment in time.

Hosts Leigh Rifenburg, DHS Chief Curator, and Stephanie Lampkin, Director of the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage will lead the discussion and invite participation.

In addition, all participants are encouraged to submit their personal story about living through the pandemic to COVID Chronicles Delaware, an initiative of the Delaware History Society, asking participants to reflect on their experiences and capture them through writing, art, image, or song.

Submissions will become part of the permanent Delaware Historical Society digital collection to serve individually and collectively as primary sources for future generations. Some stories will be selected for publication and highlighted on our social media platforms.


Saturday, October 17, 2020, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Unequal Justice in Delaware Panel Discussion
Registration via Zoom is required.


The abolition of slavery did not bring an end to anti-Black violence, nor did it foster equality in civil rights, and as a result, Black Delawareans have continued to fight for justice for more than 100 years. Between 1861 and 1903, three documented instances of fatal racial terror reshaped Delaware’s landscape. These atrocities merit a reexamination of Delaware’s Civil War history, its status as a Union state during Reconstruction, and its modern legacy of slavery and social justice. Join our distinguished panelists as they discuss their research on this important topic in Delaware history, and their interest in developing an educational public history venture in the coming months called the Unequal Justice in Delaware project.

Panelists include Dr. James Jones, Dr. Stephanie Lampkin, Savannah Shepherd, Dr. Yohuru Williams, and will conclude with an announcement from Dr. David Young.

Dr. James Jones is the Trustees’ Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Psychological and Brain Sciences and Black American Studies and Director of the Center for the Study of Diversity at the University of Delaware. After earning his Ph.D. in psychology at Yale University, Dr. Jones taught at Harvard University. He is the author of Prejudice and Racism and The Psychology of Diversity: Beyond Prejudice and Racism. Dr. Jones serves as Executive Director for Public Interest of the American Psychological Association.

Dr. Stephanie Lampkin is the Director of the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage. She is formerly the Museum Collections Manager at the Science History Institute in Philadelphia. She holds a B.A. in History & Ethnic Studies from Cornell College, Mount Vernon, Iowa, and a Ph.D. in History from the University of Delaware.

Savannah Shepherd is a student at Swarthmore College and a social justice activist. Inspired by the opening of the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Alabama in 2018, Savannah founded the Delaware Social Justice Remembrance Coalition (DSJRC), a group of concerned citizens interested in acknowledging past incidents of racial terror and to raise awareness on the importance of remembering past injustices and how they impact life today. In conjunction with the Equal Justice Initiative’s Community Remembrance Project, DSJRC led the effort to erect a historical marker in Prices Corner, Delaware in memory of George White who was lynched in 1913.

Dr. Yohuru Williams is an education activist, professor of history, and dean at the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of St. Thomas in Minnesota. He was previously a professor at Fairfield University, Connecticut and former chief historian of the Jackie Robinson Foundation. Williams is a noted scholar of the Civil Rights Movement and Black Power movement. He is the author, editor, or co-editor of several books, including Black Politics/White Power: Civil Rights Black Power and Black Panthers in New HavenTeaching Beyond the Textbook: Six Investigative Strategies, and Liberated Territory: Toward a Local History of the Black Panther Party. He also served as general editor for The Color Line Revisited and The Souls of Black Folks: Centennial Reflections.

Dr. David W. Young is the Executive Director of the Delaware Historical Society. He previously served as Executive Director of Cliveden, a historic site of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Johnson House Historic Site, both located in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He received his Ph.D. in history from Ohio State University. Young is the author of The Battles of Germantown: Effective Public History in America.


Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 7 p.m.
Women, Politics, and Activism
Registration via Zoom is required.


After the success of the July panel discussion, the Delaware Historical Society and Lewes Public Library are co-hosting a second to take a deeper look into women’s rights and issues. A diverse panel of socially conscious women activists will give short presentations on a specific topic. Dr. Emerald Christopher-Byrd, Assistant Professor, Women & Gender Studies, University of Delaware will moderate the discussion that follows. Bring your questions and comments, audience participation is encouraged!

Panelists include:

Beatrice “Bebe” Coker, is Community Activist and Educator for more than 50 years who continues to make an impact in Delaware. She is the Founding Director for the Black Heritage Educational/Theater Group, is a playwright and lyricist. She is a graduate of Morgan State University and has worked in social services, public and community relations and diversity training. In 2019, Coker was awarded the John H. Taylor, Jr. Education Leadership Award which sustained community leadership in advancing Delaware education.

ShanéDarby, Founder, Black Mothers in Power is a proud mother of three girls. Born and raised in Wilmington by immigrant parents, Shanégraduated from Temple University where she also completed the master’s program in Africana Studies. She recently purchased a lot in her neighborhood to begin controlling of the narrative of her community and plans to transform these spaces to Community Art Gardens. Shanéis especially concerned about Maternal Healthcare for Black Women and Reproductive Justice, advocating for doulas in prisons, and increase the number of certified Black doulas/midwives in Delaware to decrease maternal health risks.

Kerri Evelyn Harris, Community Advocate and Organizer is a U.S. Air Force veteran and 2018 candidate for the U.S. Senate who uplifts causes that advance social and economic justice.

Kerri workers directly with impacted communities and in concert with local and national organizations such as the Methodist Action Program, Delaware Center for Justice, Working Hero Action, and Center for Popular Democracy among others. Kerri is also proudly leading efforts to rebuild the people-centered organization Delaware Alliance for Community Advancement.

She is also the National Committeewoman for the Delaware Democratic Party.

Melanie Ross Levin, is Director of the Office of Women’s Advancement and Advocacy (OWAA) an organization that supports Delaware women and girls through public policy, research, and action. In 2018, under Melanie's leadership, OWAA helped to pass the most generous paid parental leave benefit for state workers in the United States and the country's first state-wide ban on child marriage. In 2019, OWAA advocated for the successful passage of Delaware's groundbreaking Equal Rights Amendment. Previously, Melanie served as the Director of Engagement and Mobilization at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC) where she led a number of advocacy campaigns, including the Title IX education campaign Let Her Learn and the early learning campaign Strong Start for Children. She also led NWLC’s effort to pass the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act.

This program is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Wednesday, October 21, 2020, 6 p.m.
Women, Politics, and Activism
"Crafting Dissent & Cocktails: Craft Your Candidate and Wear Your Vote on Your Sleeve"
Registration via Zoom is required.


Join Hinda Mandell, editor ofCrafting Dissent: Handicraft as Protest from the American Revolution to the Pussyhats, for an online crafting workshop.

Participants are invited to a knit, crochet, stitch, quilt, embroider, or fabric a likeness of their preferred 2020 presidential candidate, and to proudly wear their completed handwork for all to see. By displaying their craftwork on a sleeve or lapel, participants will have the opportunity to initiate or respond to conversations about who they support as the next President of the United States and why this candidate has your support. This workshop positions craft as central to civics, community, and cultural dialogue, and welcomes participants of all backgrounds and beliefs. It also offers an opportunity for individuals who are not eligible to vote to sound their voices through making anddialogue. Participants provide their own craft materials.

This program is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Materials list

  1. Four different colored yarns for the facial features of your candidates (hair, lips, etc.)
  2. One light and one dark color yarn your candidates' eyes
  3. A hook or needle to match your yarn weight
  4. Stitch marker
  5. Embellishments - for earrings, hair decorations (or masks!) for your candidates
  6. Darning needles
  7. Scissors
Want to get into the crafting spirit? Consider this Craft Your Candidate Cocktail recipe courtesy of Sarah Thompson of Rochester, New York.
6oz apple cider
2 oz whiskey
6 oz ginger ale
  1. Boil apple cider until it reduces and thickens a little. Keep an eye on it!
  2. Pour 2 oz whiskey in a highball glass over ice.
  3. Add 6 oz ginger ale.
  4. Drizzle apple cider syrup over top.
  5. Stir gently and cheers!







Thursday, November 10, 2020, 7 p.m.
Recasting the Vote: Native American Activism, Past and Present

Registration via Zoom Webinar is required.

While we think we know the story of women’s suffrage in the United States, new research illustrates that the fight for women’s voting rights is a much richer story. A truly diverse group of women from Chinatown, Native American reservations, African American clubs, and Spanish-speakers in New Mexico worked for more than 40 years to build a movement that would eventually include all women. In Recasting the Vote, author Dr. Cathleen D. Cahill recounts the actions of a multiracial group who pushed the national suffrage movement toward a more inclusive vision of equal rights, which remains an unfinished struggle that extends into the 21st century.

Dr. Cahill will be joined by Jessica Renae Locklear for a conversation about 20th century Philadelphia-area native histories and communities’ issues of concern.

Cathleen D. Cahill, an associate professor of History at Penn State University, is the author of Recasting the Vote: How Women of Color Transformed the Suffrage Movement (University of North Carolina Press 2020). Her first book, Federal Fathers and Mothers: A Social History of the United States Indian Service, 1869-1933 (UNC 2011), won the Labriola Center for American Indian National Book Award and was finalist for the David J. Weber and Bill Clements Book Prize. She is also steering committee chair for the Coalition for Western Women's History.

Jessica R. Locklear is a PhD student in the department of history at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jessica graduated from Temple University in May 2020, where she studied public history. Her master's thesis documents the history of Lumbee migrations to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania in the twentieth century and the community that was established there. Jessica started an oral history project that documents Lumbee and other American Indian experiences in Greater Philadelphia. These interviews are housed at the Southern Oral History Program at UNC, where she now works as a field scholar.

This program is partially funded by a grant from the Delaware Humanities, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.


Saturday, November 14, 2020, 7:30 p.m.
The Battles of Germantown: Effective Public History in America

Registration via Zoom Webinar is required.

Dr. David Young will share how a neighborhood known for its ties to the American Revolution and Colonial period expanded the histories it considers significant in ways that engaged the surrounding neighbors, including making difficult topics such as discrimination, slavery, and economic decline relevant--and the lessons Germantown has for communities across the country.

David Young has a B.A. in German from Northwestern and M.A. and Ph.D. from Ohio State University, where he won a Fulbright fellowship to support research on local politics, culture, and economics in postwar Germany. Executive Director of the Delaware Historical Society since July 2018, Young has led historical organizations in the Mid-Atlantic Region, winning local and national awards for his work at the Salem County Historical Society, the Johnson House Historic Site, and Cliveden of the National Trust for Historic Preservation in the Germantown section of Philadelphia. He has taught at colleges in Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as for ten years in the Graduate Program in Historic Preservation at the University of Pennsylvania and the History Leadership Institute of the American Association of State and Local History in Indianapolis. He has served as an officer of the Historic Germantown consortium of museums, the Philadelphia Cultural Fund, and on the Landmarks Committee of the National Park Service Advisory which makes recommendations about National Historic Landmarks. Young is the author of The Battles of Germantown: Effective Public History in America (Temple University Press, 2019), which was awarded the 2020 Philip S. Klein Book Prize by the Pennsylvania Historical Association for best history of Pennsylvania published in the previous two years.


Sunday, November 15, 2020, 3:00 p.m.
The Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage

Registration via Zoom Webinar is required.

Join Kobe Baker, outreach coordinator for the Jane and Littleton Mitchell Center for African American Heritage, for a presentation on the Mitchell Center. The presentation will include an overview of the Journey to Freedom exhibition and current initiatives.



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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.