UPCOMING VIRTUAL PROGRAMS + EVENTS
We always have something planned to celebrate our state’s dynamic culture, its communities from the mountains to the ocean, and the connections we all share! Click below on our exciting events for 2020 and stay tuned for details still to come.
History @ High Noon: Variety Vacationland: Behind the Scenes
Presenter: Katie Edwards, Curator of Popular Culture, North Carolina Museum of History
Wednesday, May 12
Learn about our new photography exhibit, Are We There Yet? North Carolina’s Variety Vacationland, 1930s–1970s, which looks back at an era when tourism boomed thanks largely to a state-run marketing effort called “Variety Vacationland.” The Variety Vacationland campaign was successful in creating a unified tourism industry in North Carolina from the 1930s to the 1970s by depicting our state as both modern and progressive, but with strong ties to its past. However, true to the Jim Crow era, most sites promoted were marketed (and accessible) to White tourists only; people of color were neglected and even exploited at times, an attitude this exhibit attempts to point out where possible.
Building the White House: Irish and Scottish Connections
Presenter: Stewart D. McLaurin, President, White House Historical Association
Wednesday, May 12
If you look beneath the paint that gives the walls of the White House its name and focus your attention on their placement, marks, scars, carvings, and shapes, you might think about the hundreds of individuals who transformed raw outcroppings of Virginia stone into building blocks that resulted in a monumental home for America’s presidents. McLaurin will uncover some of the stories behind construction of the White House, including contributions of immigrants—detailed in James Hoban: Designer and Builder of the White House and A White House of Stone: Building America’s First Ideal in Architecture (both available in the Museum Shop)—and enslaved workers, a key focus of recent research.
History + Highballs: Meshugganah
Presenter: Rob Clement, Owner of Meshugganah
Thursday, May 13
Known as the “head mensch”—a person who can be relied on to act with honor and integrity and who is kind and considerate, with self-restraint and humility—at Meshugganah deli, Clement will focus on a few specific dishes and how Jewish cuisine relates to food in the South. And, if you’re wondering what the term meshugganah means, he says it’s a Yiddish word for someone that is a little crazy; he adds that anyone who knows him understands why he chose it to name his Charlotte deli.
Longleaf Film Festival 2021 Q&A with Filmmakers
Saturday, May 15th
Join us for this live conversation with Longleaf 2021 Official Selection filmmakers, moderated by Laura Boyes. Bring your questions and popcorn!
Laura Boyes’ work has included serving as film curator at the North Carolina Museum of Art for 20 years, organizer of the Moviediva Film Series at the Carolina Theatre of Durham, and long-time member of the selection committee for Durham’s Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. She was a monthly contributor to WUNC’s Movies on the Radio segment of “The State of Things” with host Frank Stasio.
History @ High Noon: The Colonial Inn, Hillsborough
Presenter: Cathleen Turner, Regional Director, Piedmont Office, Preservation North Carolina
Wednesday, May 19
Since 1838, this historic inn has graced downtown Hillsborough, providing facilities for travelers during most of that time—including the years that North Carolina promoted Variety Vacationland sites to tourists. Renovated in the past year, the inn is now a 28-room boutique hotel, with indoor and outdoor event space and other amenities.
“Nazi” POWs in the Tar Heel State, 1942–1946
Presenter: Dr. Robert D. Billinger, Author and Professor Emeritus, Wingate University
Wednesday, May 19
More than 10,000 German prisoners of war were interned in 18 camps across North Carolina during World War II, working at military bases, on local farms, and in agricultural industries—especially pulpwood harvesting—when civilian labor was not available. Yet, apart from the guards, civilian workers, and FBI and local police who tracked escapees, most people were—and remain—unaware of their presence. Using interviews with former prisoners and their guards, Red Cross and US military reports, German-language camp newspapers, local print media, letters, memoirs, and other archival sources, Billinger has chronicled the German POW experience in North Carolina during WWII to reveal that both the POWs and the citizens of North Carolina came to realize that enemies are human, uniforms conceal diversity, and wartime enemies can become life-long friends.
History + Highballs: Edgewater
Presenter: Grant S. Quertermous, Curator and Director of Collections, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust
Thursday, May 20
Edgewater, a historic early-19th-century home located in the Hudson River valley of New York, was purchased by Robert and Susan Gaston Donaldson of Fayetteville, in 1852; their descendants owned the estate until 1902. In Fayetteville, Donaldson, a recent architecture graduate at the University of North Carolina, constructed the Lafayette Hotel in preparation for the 1825 visit of General Lafayette to the town named after him. After purchasing Edgewater, Donaldson added a chapel, a library, and other buildings with architect Alexander Jackson Davis, who had worked with Donaldson on projects at UNC and on the state Capitol in Raleigh. During their half-century, the Donaldsons also hosted artists of the Hudson River School.
In addition to Edgewater, Classical American Homes Preservation Trust owns, protects, and operates Ayr Mount (featured in a November 2020 History and Highballs program)—a Federal-style plantation house built in 1815 near Hillsborough that was considered one of the finest residential structures of the Piedmont—and other historic houses in New York and South Carolina.
Coffee with a Curator: “Glory” Hancock: New York Socialite to WWI Nurse
Presenter: Charles R. Knight, Curator of Military History, North Carolina Museum of History
Tuesday, May 25
Knight will examine the colorful life of Madelon “Glory” Hancock, of Asheville. Hancock was the first North Carolinian to volunteer for service in World War I, and her contributions as a nurse on the battlefields of Europe entitled her to be named the most decorated woman of the war.
History Hunters: Blackbeard—A Tale of Two Ships
Wednesday, June 16
How can one ship be two? Blackbeard’s flagship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge, had a previous life as La Concorde, a French slave-trading vessel. Learn some (formerly) hidden history with Elise Carroll, our guest speaker from the Queen Anne’s Revenge Conservation Lab.
History at Home!
Experience the North Carolina Museum of History digitally!
Explore exhibits, engage the collections, tune into a podcast, check out blog posts and enrich your learning of Tar Heel history with our History-at-Home learning packets.