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Hartford historical happenings: Calendar of events for May 2014

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Doing your part to support local history

May is National Historic Preservation Month. While to some, this might evoke images of strenuous restoration projects, dusty archives, and clashes between preservationists and developers over the historical validity of a particular site or landscape, the notion of historic preservation can be much less complicated, and much more fun! According to the National Trust for Historic Preservation, acts of conservation can be as simple as volunteering at or visiting a local historic site, taking a tour of a historic home, noticing designated historic sites in your area, or stopping to appreciate local architecture. Throughout the month, historical organizations around the Hartford area will be hosting a number of events that reflect the diverse nature of public involvement in historical preservation. Featured amongst such events are a poetry ‘read in’ held at one of the area’s most historic homes, a number of engaging public lectures and discussions, a Mother’s Day tea with a revolutionary flare, and a Revolutionary War encampment at another of the area’s storied homes. Check out this month’s ‘Hartford historical happenings’ to see how you may do your part in supporting the preservation of the area’s historical treasures!

May 4: Poetry Read-In
May 4: Poetry Read-In Image: Noah Webster House & West Hartford Historical Society

May 4: Poetry Read-In

Well-known poets Sherri Bedingfield (pictured) and Marilyn Johnston will lead an afternoon of poetry at the Noah Webster House to begin the month of May. Hosted by West Hartford poet laureate emeritus Maria Sassi, the afternoon will also include an open mike portion, at which poets are encouraged to read their own works. Event begins at 2 p.m. and is free to the general public. For more information, visit https://www.noahwebsterhouse.org/programs/public/ 

May 10: Mother’s Day Tea with Elizabeth Hale
May 10: Mother’s Day Tea with Elizabeth Hale Image: Connecticut Landmarks

May 10: Mother’s Day Tea with Elizabeth Hale

Looking for something to do with your mother or someone special on Mother’s Day weekend? Look no further than the local homestead of one of the Revolutionary War’s most storied figures. Immortalized in American lore as the ‘martyr-spy’ of the patriot cause, Nathan Hale’s own mother, Elizabeth, died when he was but twelve years old. However, in honor of Mother’s Day, the Connecticut Landmarks’ Nathan Hale Homestead is opening its doors to visitors for the unique opportunity to learn 18th-century tea etiquette and hear stories from the woman of the house herself. Admission is $12 per person. Limited space available- call (860) 742-6917 to book your reservation.

May 13: Manchester Historical Society’s Genealogy Group welcomes Dick Roberts who will present ‘Genealogy Resources at CT State Library’
May 13: Manchester Historical Society’s Genealogy Group welcomes Dick Roberts who will present ‘Genealogy Resources at CT State Library’ (stock photo)

May 13: Manchester Historical Society’s Genealogy Group welcomes Dick Roberts who will present ‘Genealogy Resources at CT State Library’

Interested in genealogy? Come learn more about what resources are available at the Connecticut State Library to help you discover your own family tale. Mr. Roberts served as head of the head of History and Genealogy Unit at the library. For more information, visit http://www.manchesterhistory.org/MHS3_Events.html

May 13 Special Author Event: From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story with Ron Tanner
May 13 Special Author Event: From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story with Ron Tanner Image: Connecticut Historical Society

May 13 Special Author Event: From Animal House to Our House: A Love Story with Ron Tanner

In honor of National Historic Preservation Month, the Connecticut Historical Society welcomes author Ron Tanner for a discussion of his book, which chronicles the experiences of restoring a Baltimore row house with his then-girlfriend (and now wife). For more information, call (860) 236-5621 x289 or email Jennifer_steadman@chs.org

May 20: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The Labor Movement in Connecticut
May 20: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The Labor Movement in Connecticut Image: Connecticut's Old State House

May 20: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs: The Labor Movement in Connecticut

As part of the Conversations at Noon series, the Old State House in Hartford will welcome Dr. Cecelia Bucki, Professor of History at Fairfield University. Dr. Bucki will explore how workers responded to the Industrial Revolution and formed unions to fight for better working conditions. In addition to the talk, a panel discussion will discuss jobs of the past, present and future in Connecticut. For more information, visit http://www.ctosh.org/calendar.asp

 May 24: The British are coming! (Again) British Attack, 5th Connecticut Regiment, and 18th-Century Horsemanship at Webb Deane Stevens Museum Revolutionary War Encampment
May 24: The British are coming! (Again) British Attack, 5th Connecticut Regiment, and 18th-Century Horsemanship at Webb Deane Stevens Museum Revolutionary War Encampment Image: Webb-Deane-Stevens Museum

May 24: The British are coming! (Again) British Attack, 5th Connecticut Regiment, and 18th-Century Horsemanship at Webb Deane Stevens Museum Revolutionary War Encampment

As a part of their Revolutionary War Encampment, the Webb Deane Stevens Museum will allow visitors of all ages the chance to interact closely with members of the Fifth Connecticut Regiment in full Colonial costume. In addition to a discussion of medical and surgical techniques of the period and an exhibit on period clothing and fashions, the day will include entertaining demonstrations of marching and musket firing, 18th-century open-fire cookery, period trade goods for sale courtesy of the Big Bear Trading Company, and period music. The British 54th Regiment of Foot are expected to attack at 1 p.m. For more information, visit http://webb-deane-stevens.org/18th-century-horsemanship-with-arms-and-expanded-british-attack-at-revolutionary-war-encampment-at-webb-deane-stevens-museum/

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Do you know of an upcoming cultural or historical event in your area that isn’t listed or have an event you would like to see appear on next month’s historical happenings? Contact Patrick at p.mahoney2@outlook.com

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