Archive for the ‘ History ’ Category

filed under: History | death

North Burial Ground Project

8AM ON 16/04/2014
BY H.L. Parker

north burial ground (4.17) Head over to the Lippitt House Museum Thursday for “Unearthing the North Burial Ground: Online Walking Tours of Providence’s Largest Historic Public Cemetery” another of the Providence Preservation Society’s spring programs.

Professor Francis Leazes of Rhode Island College will discuss the North Burial Ground Project, an experiment in education that seeks to present a wide range of historic themes and perspectives related to the cemetery through a series of on-line tours.

Free and open to the public, 5:30pm reception, 6pm presentation, Thursday, April 17, Henry Lippitt House, 199 Hope Street

filed under: History | Religion

Pope And Mussolini At Athenaeum

8AM ON 09/04/2014
BY H.L. Parker

Pope & Mussolini (4.10) Historian David Kertzer will discuss his book The Pope And Mussolini: the Secret History of Pius XI and the Rise of Fascism in Europe Thursday evening at the Providence Athenaeum.

The Pope and Mussolini tells the story of two men who came to power in 1922, and together changed the course of twentieth-century history. Pius XI was scholarly and devout, “Il Duce” thuggish and profane. Yet they shared a distrust of democracy and a visceral hatred of Communism, were both fiercely protective of the powers of their offices, and each relied on the other to consolidate his power and achieve his political goals. In a challenge to the conventional history of this period, Kertzer shows Pius XI’s crucial role in making Mussolini’s dictatorship possible and keeping him in power. In exchange for Vatican support, Mussolini restored many of the privileges the Church had lost and gave in to the pope’s demands that the police enforce Catholic morality. Yet in the last years of his life—as the Italian dictator grew ever closer to Hitler—the pontiff’s faith in this treacherous bargain started to waver. With his health failing, he began to lash out at the Duce and threatened to denounce Mussolini’s anti-Semitic racial laws before it was too late. Horrified by the threat to the Church-Fascist alliance, the Vatican’s inner circle, including the future Pope Pius XII, struggled to restrain the headstrong pope from destroying a partnership that had served both the Church and the dictator for many years.

Free and open to the public, 7pm, Thursday, April 10, Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street

filed under: History |

‘Yesterday’s News’ at Lippitt House Museum

4PM ON 01/04/2014
BY Daily Dose

lippitt house (4.3) Fans of Providence history, old photographs, and architecture are probably already addicted to Sheila Lennon’s Time Lapse Blog at the Providence Journal. The before-and-after shots and well-researched commentary can be a huge time suck.

In ‘Yesterday’s News’ — a presentation sponsored by the Providence Preservation Society — Lennon reveals historic images from the Providence Journal’s archives that highlight extraordinary cases of urban renewal and landscape change throughout Rhode Island.

Providence native Lennon studied American history at both Wellesley College and Brown Graduate School.

Free for PPS & PRI members, $10 for non-members.

5:30pm reception, 6pm presentation, Thursday, April 3, Lippitt House Museum, 199 Hope Street

filed under: Democracy | History

Erik Chaput To Discuss Dorr At Statehouse

9AM ON 21/03/2014
BY Daily Dose

The People's Martyr (3.21) Head over to the Statehouse to celebrate the official opening of the Statehouse Visitor Center with Secretary of State Ralph Mollis and author, and Providence College alum, Erik Chaput.

Immediately following opening remarks by Secretary Mollis, author Erik Chaput will speak about his book, The People’s Martyr: Thomas Wilson Dorr and His 1842 Rhode Island Rebellion, then sign copies in the hall outside the visitor center. Chaput’s book discusses the national implications of the Dorr Rebellion, and is sold in the visitor center.

2pm, Friday, March 21, Governor’s State Room, 2nd floor, State House, 82 Smith Street

filed under: Fundraisers | History

‘Rum & Smuggling’ Seminar, Tasting, And Signing

4PM ON 12/03/2014
BY Daily Dose

smuggler nation (3.13) Join author Peter Andreas for a taste of a historically illicit spirit. Andreas, professor of political science and associate director of the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University, explains America’s long and surprising relationship with smuggling and illicit trade — starting right here in Rhode island.

The $20 tickets (for sale at Bottles Fine Wine) include rums and light snacks. Proceeds go to Save the Bay.

After the tasting Andreas will sign copies of his latest book, “Smuggler Nation: How Illicit Trade Made America.”

6pm to 8pm, Thursday, March 13, Save the Bay, 100 Save the Bay Drive

filed under: History | art

Happy Presidents Day

12AM ON 17/02/2014
BY H.L. Parker

abraham lincoln This statue of Abraham Lincoln, erected in Roger Williams Park in 1958, was the work of Rhode Island School of Design sculpture professor Gilbert Franklin (b.1919 – d.2004); he also served as Chairman of the Division of Fine Arts at the school.

In 1963 Gilbert was asked to submit designs for a fountain for Frazier Terrace on Benefit Street; his ‘Orpheus Ascending’ was selected. By 1968 Gilbert had left figurative art behind in his abstract ‘Daybreak’ one block north of Orpheus at the busy intersection of Benefit, Angell, and Waterman Streets (aka RISD Beach).

Now, go buy a mattress and a car.

filed under: Animals | History

Giraffomania — New Friday Salon Series At Athenaeum

9AM ON 06/02/2014
BY Daily Dose

la girafe (2.7) The Providence Athenaeum hosts historian and author John Tresch for “Transformative Milieu: The Paris of Geoffroy’s Giraffe,” part one of ‘What use is the giraffe?’ — The Evolution of Science, Society, and Spectacle in the Cosmopolitan 19th Century.

In the summer of 1827 a very young giraffe arrived in Paris, a gift for King Charles X from Muhammad Ali, the Pasha of Egypt, who had reason to curry political favor from the ruler of France. . . she had arrived by ship from Alexandria in the fall of 1826, and where she and the two men who had attended her on the voyage – one a Beduoin and one of Sudanese origin – had spent the winter. . . The giraffe’s journey took 41 days, paced in part to accommodate the increasing and frenzied crowds of thousands, even tens of thousands, of eager spectators that she attracted in towns along the way.  Shortly after arriving in Paris she was presented to the King, and thereafter made her home in the Jardin des Plantes, where for over a year she created an unprecedented sensation, sending Parisians into a state of delirious “giraffomania.”

Copies of Tresch’s 2012 book The Romantic Machine: Utopian Science and Technology After Napoleon will be available for sale and signing. New library exhibit — Zarafa: Spectacle of the Giraff, 1826-1839.

Public welcome, 5pm to 7pm, Friday, February 7th, Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street

filed under: Good Ideas | History

Donate Blood

4PM ON 04/02/2014
BY Daily Dose

blood drive (2.6) C’mon, you got plenty. Head over to the Brown University Social Hall and let the Rhode Island Blood Center have a pint. All are welcome, not just students. You can even make an appointment although it is probably not necessary.

It’s Black History Month so let’s honor the work done by Charles Drew whose system for storing blood plasma revolutionized medicine.

African American surgeon Charles Richard Drew (1904-1950) has been called “the father of the blood bank,” for his outstanding role in conceiving, organizing, and directing America’s first large-scale blood banking program during the early years of World War II. While best known for the blood bank work, Drew devoted much of his career to raising the standards of African American medical education at Howard University, where he trained a generation of outstanding surgeons, and worked to break through the barriers that segregation imposed on black physicians.

11am to 6pm, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, February 4th, 5th, 6th, Hillel House, 80 Brown Street (corner of Brown and Waterman Streets)

filed under: History | Readings & Lectures

Hannibal Lecture At Brown

1PM ON 27/01/2014
BY H.L. Parker

richard miles (1.29) “Cosmopolitanism and the Cult of the Martyrs in Late Antique North Africa” will be the topic Wednesday at Brown University. Archaeologist and historian, Richard Miles, is the senior lecturer and research director for the Department of Classics at the University of Sydney, and author of several books including “Carthage must be Destroyed.”

Best known for his BBC television series “Ancient Worlds,” Miles has just completed filming a new three-part series for the beebs on the history of archaeology.

Free and open to the public, 5:30pm, Wednesday, January 29, Rhode Island Hall, Room 108, 60 George Street (directions)

filed under: History | metal

American Safe & Lock Closes After 100 Years

12PM ON 30/12/2013
BY H.L. Parker

north main st Now where in the hell are we supposed to buy our vaults? (Always check Benny’s first.)

Barry Fain writes in the January East Side Monthly that the American Safe and Lock Company on North Main Street  — run by the Wolferseder family for generations — has closed its doors after 100 years in business! It was always so cool that this type of operation — a place of utility and heavy metal and keys, and the latest tumbler locks for outwitting safe-crackers — was tucked between trendy restaurants and bars where people now sip appletinis. A handwritten sign in the window says:

To our valued customers: Thank you very much for your business over the years. February 1913 – November 2013.

Also in the news in 1913: Woodrow Wilson succeeded Howard Taft as President; American Civil War veterans gathered in Pennsylvania to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg; the Armory Show opened in New York; and Richard Nixon was an adowable little baby . . . yes he was. Inventions that year included; the crossword puzzle, the zipper, and packaged cigarettes (Camels). So that’s what the early Wolferseders might have been talking about (although they probably didn’t know the Nixons).

Go here for the January East Side Monthly. They also have a great story on the history of the Avon; the cover is a lovely impressionistic oil on linen illustration of the familiar streetscape and marquee by Providence artist Anthony Tomaselli.

filed under: Brown | History

Archaeology Lecture Monday — Tel Hazor

12PM ON 24/11/2013
BY Beth Comery

Tel Hazor (11.25) Archaeology in northern Israel has been making big news lately with the recent discovery of an ancient Canaanite wine cellar, circa 1700 B.C. The New York Times reports,

. . . archaeologists who have been exploring the Canaanite site, known as Tel Kabri, announced on Friday that they had found one of civilization’s oldest and largest wine cellars. The storage room held the equivalent of about 3,000 bottles of red and white wines, they said — and they suspected that this was not the palace’s only wine cellar.

Coincidentally, the Tel Hazor archaelogical site will be the subject of a lecture Monday at Brown. [I'm not too clear on whether Tel Kabri and Tel Hazor are adjacent, over-lapping, or what. The Times article explains "Canaan was a confederation of city-states, the most important of which seems to have been Hazor." Several palaces have been found in Hazor. BC] The Department of Egyptology and Ancient Western Asian Studies presents a lecture by Shlomit Bechar titled “New Finds at Tel Hazor.” Bechar, graduate student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, will discuss some of the recent findings at Area M, located on the northern part of the ancient city, including the discovery of a residential palace from the Late Bronze Age and an Egyptian sphinx with the name Menkaure, the builder of the third pyramid of Giza. A reception will follow the discussion.

Free and open to the public, 6pm to 8pm, Monday, November 25, Brown University, Rhode Island Hall, Room 108, 60 George Street, directions

filed under: History | Television

Fifty Years Ago

10AM ON 22/11/2013
BY Beth Comery

what cheer? vintage (11.22) Television coverage of this anniversary has been intense with the most compelling work airing on PBS. For the forensic approach to the evidence, and analysis of the various conspiracy theories, check out NOVA’s “Cold Case JFK.”

Frontline producers have unearthed rare footage of an irrational and energetic Lee Harvey Oswald mixing things up with Cubans in New Orleans; they have also located the former KGB agents and Russian officials who had to deal with this naive wingnut when he showed up on their doorstep. Watch “Who was Lee Harvey Oswald.”

Can’t get enough old footage? is going all in starting today at 1:38pm ET with four straight days of a live-streaming of their original broadcast. Go here for the schedule.

And let us reflect on how important it is to have a reasonably competent vice president on deck.

(Pictured here: some of the memorabilia available at What Cheer Antiques and Vintage, 180 Angell Street.)

filed under: History | art

Napoleon In Egypt — Athenaeum Salon

5PM ON 04/11/2013
BY Daily Dose

L'Egypte Frontispiece (11.8) The Athenaeum hosts a salon Friday featuring Brown University Assistant Professor of Archaeology and Egyptology & Ancient Western Asian Studies Laurel Bestock on “The Lure of the Exotic: Egyptomania in the wake of the Napoleonic expedition.”

When Napoleon invaded Egypt at the turn of the 19th century, his forces included a group of scholars, artist, engineers, and other scientists assigned to document everything from the flora and fauna to the architecture and antiquities they found. Their work culminated in the publication between 1809 and 1829 of the Description de l’Egypte, a large-format, multi-volume, comprehensive description, complete with detailed engravings, of ancient and modern Egypt, including its natural history. The dissemination of this monumental work sparked “Egyptomania” – a veritable craze for ancient Egyptian culture – throughout the Western world; its influence could be traced through everything from literature to fashion in the early to mid-nineteenth century.

The Athenaeum was able to purchase a copy of the Description in 1836; it is still available for viewing by the public today. This Salon serves as prequel to a series that will continue in spring 2014 (when a related exhibit will open as well) on 19th century developments in travel, exploration, and natural history, including how their influence found cultural expression during that time.

5pm to 7pm, Friday, November 8, Providence Athenaeum, 251 Benefit Street

filed under: History |

On This Day In History

12AM ON 28/10/2013
BY Daily Dose

pres. truman 10.28.48

On October 28th, 1948, President Harry S. Truman addressed the crowd from the steps of City Hall while campaigning through the northeast. Picture from the State Archives.

filed under: History | Preservation

State Archives Now Online

1PM ON 17/10/2013
BY H.L. Parker

SoS Archives:Providence, RI Students, historians, journalists, and researchers can now go online and check out the state’s catalog of historically significant — and insignificant, but fun — records, documents, and images. Check out the current exhibit, “A Lively Experiment: Rhode Island’s Colonial Charter, 1661-1843.”

Commemorating the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island’s Royal Charter of 1663, this exhibit features an array of original documents including the 1721 recorded copy of the 1643 Parliamentary Patent that preceded the Charter, remnant sections of the wax and resin Great Seal of Charles II that was originally appended to the Charter and the legislative proceedings around the Charter’s arrival in Rhode Island and its first reading to the General Assembly. Other featured items include a published transcript of the Charter printed in England in 1719 and contemporary documents written in the hands of Roger Williams and John Clarke.

Keep in mind, you can see this full exhibit for yourself at the Rhode Island State Archives, 337 Westminster Street, through December 2013. The office is open weekdays from 8:30am to 4:30pm, and free, two-hour validated parking is available at the nearby In-Town Parking lot at the corner of Snow and Westminster Streets. And don’t forget to look up as you approach this fabulous building (seen here in December of 2008 being retouched, repointed, and restored).

filed under: History | Ideas

‘Action Speaks’ Returns To AS220 With Birth Of Vegas

9AM ON 01/10/2013
BY Daily Dose

Action Speaks (10.3) Action Speaks is a series of contemporary topic-driven panel discussions centered around “Underappreciated Dates that Changed America.” This season is organized around the theme, Utopia/Dystopia. This week’s the topic will be “The Birth of Las Vegas!”

Born as a ‘pass through’ for those on the way to the West Coast, Las Vegas’ fortune’s soared with the creation of the Hoover Dam. Its workers needed a place to ‘let off steam’ and Las Vegas was it. Gambling and ‘girls’ became the centerpiece of Vegas’ economy and through its various incarnations it hasn’t strayed too far from its origins. Cowboys, gamblers, the Rat Pack, smaller ‘versions’ of some of the World’s great cities and sites and smoothly working corporate monoliths, Las Vegas has been never been too far from America’s dreams and nightmares. A quick ‘buck’, an illicit affair, a quick and easy divorce or marriage, a ’walk on the wild side’, a democratically inspired ‘people’s architecture’, a retirees sad walk from a machine that just ‘stole’ their future … we can’t escape the images of utopias and dystopias that this neon parched desert city has given us.

For 17 years Action Speaks has provided a live venue for thoughtful discussions of history, culture and current events. The panels are hosted by Marc Levitt, recorded, edited and broadcast online and on radio stations across the country. More on the history of Las Vegas available at the UNLV Center for Gaming Research.

Doors 5:30pm, show 6pm to 7:30pm, Thursday, October 3, AS220, 115 Empire Street, Facebook event page



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