National History

Maplewood Remembers World War I

November 11, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Durand-Hedden will observe the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice of World War I with an expanded exhibit on the newly rediscovered stories of the eight young men who lost their lives and for whom there is a memorial in Memorial Park, the efforts at the home front, and how the use of propaganda, including posters by nationally known artists, promoted patriotism. Reenactors will provide opportunities to learn about the lives of soldiers in the Great War, hear music of the period played by an authentically attired drum and bugle corps, and be persuaded by actress Theda Bara to buy war bonds.

Medicinal Plants of the Civil War

September 30, 2018, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Learn how plants played a role in the outcome of the Civil War - on the battlefield and the homefront in both the North and the South. Audiences are often surprised to see how many "Civil War" plants they are already growing, and the haunting historic images create a compelling tale of interest to history lovers as well as gardeners.

Maplewood Remembers World War I

November 19, 2017, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Durand-Hedden will observe the centennial year of America’s involvement in World War I with an exhibit on the newly rediscovered stories of the eight young men who lost their lives and for whom there is a memorial in Memorial Park and opportunities to learn about the lives of soldiers in the Great War, hear music of the period played by an authentically attired drum and bugle corps, and be persuaded by actress Theda Bara to buy war bonds. Young visitors will be able to participate in interactive activities such as creating their own persuasive patriotic propaganda for the war and making red paper poppies which symbolize remembrance.


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Meet Harriet Tubman, a First-Person Historical Interpretation

March 5, 2017, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Inspiring actress and educator, Dr. Daisy Century of the American Historical Theater, will vividly portray Harriet Tubman, the well-known escaped slave, American abolitionist, humanitarian, and armed Union scout and spy during the Civil War. Tubman was a remarkable woman who found freedom for herself and then made sure others were brought to freedom.

Jefferson School, 518 Ridgewood Road, Maplewood

Revolutionary War Muster

May 15, 2016, 11:00 AM - 5:00 PM

Back by popular demand, the Third New Jersey Regiment re-enactment group returns to Grasmere Park surrounding the Durand-Hedden house to set up a living history camp for visitors. The well-known reenactors will accurately demonstrate 18th century military and civilian life activities include tent building, military drills, musket firing, natural dyeing, and weaving. They will also offer the opportunity to examine military and domestic accoutrements and equipment.

Meet Eleanor Roosevelt: The Early Years

March 20, 2016, 2:00 - 4:00 PM

Did you ever wish you had known Eleanor Roosevelt? You will swear you have this day as Rene Goodwin of the American Historical Theater portrays Mrs. Roosevelt during the years before her husband Franklin becomes President. In the Public sphere Eleanor Roosevelt exuded a zest for life and carved out a career and reputation as First Lady by championing the equality of people of all nations. Through her efforts the world began to look anew at human rights.

The performance will take place at The Woodland, 60 Woodland Road.

Thunderbird American Indian Dancers

October 25, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Rich in history and wide in appeal, the Thunderbird American Indian Dancers will perform traditional American Indian dance and music from tribal groups found throughout the United States.

Battle of Springfield Hike

May 3, 2015, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Did you know that a key event of the American Revolution happened right on the doorstep of Maplewood/South Orange? In fact the Battle of Springfield in 1780 is seen by many as a turning point in the War for Independence. To see some of the nearby battle-related sites yourself, put on your walking shoes and join Durand-Hedden for a moderately paced 1-mile “history hike”.

The Long Battle to Vote: Women’s Suffrage in America

At a time when America is beginning to realize that it lags far behind many other countries in electing women to positions of political leadership, it is appropriate to consider the long, dark history of women’s suffrage in our nation.

“Strike the Blow for Freedom” Civil War 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troop

The 6th Regiment U.S. Colored Troop was organized near Philadelphia in 1863. Fifty-two of the 1,272 members of the 6th Regiment were born in New Jersey. The regiment took part in crucial engagements in Petersburg and Richmond, but its greatest battle was at New Market Heights.

Wheels of Progress: Popular American Cars Mark 100th Anniversary

The year 2003 marked the 100th anniversary of three of the best-known makes of automobiles in the United States: Cadillac, Buick and Ford.

Thomas Jefferson’s Two Families

May 5, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Gain fascinating new insights into Thomas Jefferson, both the man and the politician at this presentation by local resident Jan Lewis, one of the country’s foremost Jeffersonian scholars.

To Cast a Freedman’s Vote

February 24, 2013, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

On March 31, 1870, Perth Amboy resident Thomas Mundy Peterson dropped a ballot into a box. It was a simple action that took, perhaps, all of a second or two. Yet, in that moment, Peterson made history as the first African-American to vote under the 15th Amendment to the United States Constitution.

The Suffragette Movement: How Woman Won the Vote

March 9, 2008, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

This lecture and slide demonstration uses humorous and not so humorous picture postcards and memorabilia to offer insight into how American woman were regarded as the struggled to win the right to vote.

Teddy Roosevelt’s Life and Times and His Ties to Maplewood

November 19, 2006, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Historian Charles McSorley will will present a slide talk on

The Life and Transformation of the Great American Newspaper

March 13, 2011, 1:00 - 4:00 PM

Maplewood author, former journalist and director of the John Kean Center for American History at Kean University, Terry Golway will introduce this exhibit, which features reproductions of some of the most famous headlines in American journalism history, some as old as 1789 and others as recent as 2008.

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