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July 2019

Wolf Peaches, Poisoned Peas, and Madame Pompadour’s Underwear: The Surprising History of Common Garden Vegetables

July 17
7:00 pm
Image of garden vegetables

Common garden vegetables have long and fascinating histories. Science and history writer Rebecca Rupp will discuss the stories behind many of our favorites, among them the much-maligned tomato and potato, the (mostly) popular pumpkin, and Vermont’s dynamic duo of kale and Gilfeather turnip. Read More »

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Vermont History through Song

July 19
7:30 pm
Image of Linda Radtke

Singer and researcher Linda Radtke, joined by pianist Arthur Zorn, brings Vermont history to life with engaging commentary about the songs found in the Vermont Historical Society's collection of sheet music. Read More »

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Aaron Copland’s America

July 24
7:00 pm
Image of man at piano

Pianist Michael Arnowitt offers a program surveying the music of Aaron Copland, who created what is considered today to be a distinctively American sound in classical music. Copland's landmark compositions from the 1930’s and 1940’s used energetic jazz rhythms and folk song material from different regions of the United States and Mexico, blended into his own classical music writing style. Read More »

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Vermont, 1800 and Froze to Death: The Cold Year of 1816

July 24
7:00 pm
Image of Vermont field in winter

1816 has long been known as the year without summer. Vermonters still call it “1800 and Froze to Death,” a year of frosts every month, dark skies, and mysterious lights that caused a widespread belief that a higher power was displeased. In this talk, historian Howard Coffin includes scores of anecdotes on the dark year of failed crops, scarce food, and religious revival. Read More »

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Bees Besieged: A History of Beekeeping

July 25
6:00 pm
Image of beekeeper with hive

Bill Mares, writer, and a beekeeper for 45 years, will tell of the origins and evolution of beekeeping, sometimes referred to as "farming for intellectuals," with a particular emphasis on his research in Vermont.  Read More »

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Kitchen Tunks and Parlor Songs

July 25
6:30 pm
Image of men playing fiddles in a circle

In the 1980s, Mark Greenberg interviewed and recorded old-time, grassroots Vermont musicians and produced both a video documentary, The Unbroken Circle (1985), and a CD anthology, Kitchen Tunks and Parlor Songs (2003). In this presentation, he discusses collecting oral histories in Vermont and examines how earlier music survived in the twentieth century and how it was affected by social and technological developments. Read More »

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Levi Allen: Ethan’s Black Sheep Brother

July 29
7:00 pm
Image of Levi Allen's signature

Levi Allen was an outsider within his own family. Though he supported his brother Ethan at the taking of Ticonderoga, the two fell out during the American Revolution. Historian Vincent Feeney presents a vivid picture of the turmoil that a prominent American family experienced during the formative years of Vermont and the American Republic. Read More »

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Kitchen Tunks and Parlor Songs

July 30
6:30 pm
Image of men playing fiddles in a circle

In the 1980s, Mark Greenberg interviewed and recorded old-time, grassroots Vermont musicians and produced both a video documentary, The Unbroken Circle (1985), and a CD anthology, Kitchen Tunks and Parlor Songs (2003). In this presentation, he discusses collecting oral histories in Vermont and examines how earlier music survived in the twentieth century and how it was affected by social and technological developments. Read More »

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Catching People’s Stories

July 31
7:00 pm
Image of two people talking on a porch

Jane Beck has used the recorded interview as her major source of material for exhibits, media and written materials throughout her career. This is a reflective talk on why people tell stories, what they mean to an individual, and examples of how they are used. Read More »

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August 2019

Indian Wars of New England

August 2
7:00 pm
Image of colonial battle blockprint

Michael Tougias offers a slide lecture on the conflicts between New England's Native Americans and colonists. Tougias takes the audience on a historic journey from the Pilgrims' first arrival in New England to the closing days of the French and Indian War, as the colonists and Indians fought for control of New England. Read More »

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