Events for: Lowell National Historical Park Visitor Center

Saturday
Oct
2
1:00 pm

Dennis McNally “Jack Kerouac and the American Bohemian Tradition

Dennis McNally received his Ph.D. in American History from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst in 1977 for a biography of Jack Kerouac, which was then published by Random House in 1979 under the title Desolate Angel: Jack Kerouac, The Beat Generation, and America. Having been selected as The Grateful Dead’s authorized biographer in 1980, he became the band’s publicist in 1984. In 2002 he published A Long Strange Trip; The Inside History of the Grateful Dead with Broadway Books, which achieved the New York Times Best Seller list. Dennis is working on a book about the American bohemian tradition from Thoreau through Mark Twain and thence to Bob Dylan.

Sunday
Oct
24
2:00 pm

Ben Z. Rose “John Stark, Maverick General”

John Stark’s immortal words “Live Free or Die. Death is not the worst of evils” ring throughout New England and especially in New Hampshire where John Stark lived until the age of 94. Born in Londonderry in 1728, General Stark was known for his strong opinions, battlefield strategies and leadership capabilities honed during the French and Indian War when Stark was a member of Roger’s Rangers.

Sunday
Apr
3
2:00 pm

Tom Sexton “I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets”

Tom Sexton, a Lowell High graduate and Alumni Hall of Famer and former Poet Laureate of Alaska, will read from his work in progress, The Final Chapter, which is a collection of sonnets about growing up in Lowell in the 1940s and 50s. He will also read from his new book, I Think Again of Those Ancient Chinese Poets, a collection of eight-line poems, and discuss the craft of poetry.

Sunday
Apr
10
2:00 pm

J. Dennis Robinson “The Super Big Story of America’s Smallest Seacoast”

Squashed between Maine and Massachusetts, New Hampshire claims just 17 measly miles of coastline. It has only one port. So how come Portsmouth, N.H. (population 20,000), is widely considered one of America’s top heritage destinations today? Award-winning author J. Dennis Robinson rockets you through 400 years of New Hampshire seacoast history with attitude. Before Lexington and Concord, for example, Paul Revere took his first ride to Portsmouth, N.H. And who saved the Pilgrims from starving in 1623? That’s right, a guy from New Hampshire. Forget what you learned in school, Robinson says, because this stuff wasn’t in your textbook but it’s all true.

Sunday
Sep
25
2:00 pm

Mark Pendergrast “Inside the Outbreaks: The Elite Medical Detectives of the Epidemic Intelligence Service”

Mark Pendergrast takes readers on a riveting journey through the history of this remarkable organization, following EIS officers on their globetrotting quest to eliminate the most lethal and widespread threats to the world’s health. Over the years they have successfully battled polio, cholera, and smallpox, and in recent years have turned to the epidemics killing us now — smoking, obesity, and violence among them.

Saturday
Oct
8
1:30 pm

Todd Tietchen “Kerouac Today: A Reflection on Nature and Technology”

Dr. Tietchen is a member of the UMass Lowell English Department. He holds a Ph.D. in English from the University of Washington. He was formerly an Assistant Professor of English at Union County College in Cranford, New Jersey. He is also the author of “The Cubalogues: The Beat Writers in Revolutionary Cuba.”

Sunday
Oct
23
2:00 pm

Neil Miller “Banned In Boston”

The author of “Banned in Boston: The Watch and Ward Society’s Crusade Against Books, Burlesque, and the Social Evil” will talk about the group that banned books, closed down theaters and burlesque houses, and extended Massachusetts’s puritan heritage into the 1940’s and 50’s.

Tuesday
Nov
1
7:00 pm

Joe Manning “The Lewis Hine Project: Tracking down the Lives of Child Laborers”

“Whatever happened to that child worker?” Motivated by this question, Joe
Manning has identified some of the more than 5,000 child laborers
photographed in the early 1900s by Lewis Hine, and has tracked down and
interviewed their descendants. Manning will show some of Hine’s historic photographs, tell the stories of the children in them, and talk about the exciting process of searching for descendants, most of whom were not aware of the pictures of their parents and grandparents

A 20th Anniversary Series offering of the Tsongas Industrial History
Center, a partnership of Lowell National Historical Park and the UMass
Lowell Graduate School of Education.

Saturday
Oct
13
2:00 pm

George Wallace “Visionary Voices: “Visionary Voices–A Celebration of the Connections of Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg, John Steinbeck, and Walt Whitman.”

The Parker Lecture speaker for the 2012 Jack Kerouac Literary Festival is George Wallace of Huntington, New york where he is the Writer in Residence at the Walt Whitman Birthplace and Center. Mr. Wallace teaches literature at New York’s Pace University and has published twenty chapbooks of poetry. As a local historian he has researched and written on Jack Kerouac’s stays in Northport, NY.

Sunday
Oct
21
2:00 pm

James Redfearn “The Rising at Roxbury Crossing”

America is seeking its lost identity as radical revolutionaries, high unemployment, and labor unrest challenge the nation’s democratic institutions. Former Massachusetts State Trooper and author James Redfearn, will discuss his compelling story about conflict and change, during a critical period in the 20th Century, following World War I and centering on the Irish Rebellion, America’s Red Scare, and the Boston Police Strike. According to Redfearn the novel’s themes of compassionate immigration, justice in the workplace and cultural freedom resonate today.

Sunday
Oct
28
2:00 pm

Hardy Green “The Company Town”

Let’s take a tour into forgotten corners of American company towns, with special attention to Lowell, emphasizing their many similarities and unique aspects. Hardy Green outlines the the central question of American capitalism: Does the company exist for the workers or do the workers exist for the company   Other towns include Oak Ridge, Tennessee ; Kannapolis, North Carolina; Port Gamble, Washington; and Morenci, Arizona.

Sunday
Nov
4
2:00 pm

Ernest Hebert “How the Great Gatsby Demeans Working People”

Ernest Hebert’s most recent novel, NEVER BACK DOWN, tells the story of the life and loves of Jack Landry, a New England Franco-American working man. Hebert wrote his book as an answer to The GREAT GATSBY and DELIVERANCE, novels that he claims gain their exalted place in American literature at the expense of the unsung heroes—working men and women. Welcome to literary class warfare.

Sunday
Apr
7
2:00 pm

Dana Benner “Native People and the Whaling Industry”

The late 1700s to to the mid-1800s were the golden age of whaling, with New England being the hub for the whaling fleet. These sailing ships needed crews and who better to serve than the Native people of New England. In this talk we will discuss what it took to be a crew member on one of these ships and look at why Native American men took these jobs, jobs that many people wouldn’t even think about taking.

Sunday
Apr
21
2:00 pm

Richard A. Hesse “The Founding Fathers: What Were They Thinking”

Mythology about the Founding Fathers and their work at the Convention has obscured both fact and legitimate analysis of the events leading to the agreement called the Constitution. This program explores the cast of characters called “founders,” the problems they faced and the solutions they fashioned.

Saturday
Oct
12
2:00 pm

Jim Sampas – “Celebrating Kerouac in Film and World”

Lowell native Jim Sampas is the founder of Reimagine Studios. Among his numerous film and recording projects are several that relate to the life and work of Jack Kerouac. They include the audio CD set of Doctor Sax and the Great World Snake, and the widely acclaimed documentary One Fast Move or I’m Gone which highlights Kerouac’s experience at California’s Big Sur and the novel of the same name. Jim was also a part of the production team for the soon to be released movie Big Sur, also based on the Kerouac novel. Another current project is his tribute, Kerouac—Joy, Kicks, Darkness. Jim’s work has gained him the citation by the Los Angeles Times as “The thinking man’s producer who has a reputation for sticking out of the pack.”

Sunday
Oct
20
2:00 pm

William Hosley – “Our History Matters! Rekindling Awe, Aspiration & Civic Attachment”

Today’s students are entering adult responsibilities and citizenship with the lowest level of historical literacy ever measured in this country. When “No Child Left Behind” doubled down on preparation and testing for reading and math it marginalized history and civics education. As writer Wendell Berry puts it – “when a community loses its memory, its members no longer know one another and can hardly avoid harming one another.” Our schools teach less and less history. Studying history is the key to critical thinking and the formation of informed perspective. But it is also the key to something that may be more important – civic attachment. History – local history in particular – is essential for instilling a sense of place, past and community and even awe and aspiration. The good news is that community-based historical organizations and libraries are increasingly doing the work that used be done in church, school, home and popular culture. This program celebrates the revitalization of local culture and the institutions and ideas that support it.

Sunday
Oct
27
2:00 pm

Michael Tougias – “Survival Lessons: From those who have survived against all odds.”

Award winning author and lecturer Michael Tougias shares the lessons learned about goal attainment and decision-making under pressure from researching his five national best-sellers, Ten Hours until Dawn, the Finest Hours, Overboard!, Fatal Forecast, A Storm Too Soon as well as from interviewing dozens of people who have overcome tremendous obstacles. (His latest book will be made into a major motion picture by Disney.) This inspirational and interactive presentation first illustrates the survival stories Tougias has researched and then discusses the lessons learned. Dramatic photos of survivors being rescued help bring the presentation to life. Come learn about amazing survival stories and leave with some skills and techniques that will help you achieve your goals.

Sunday
Nov
17
2:00 pm

Susan Gallagher – “Mapping Thoreau Country”

Susan E. Gallagher, Associate Professor, Political Science Department, UMass Lowell and member of the Thoreau Society Board of Directors, will provide a tour of Mapping Thoreau Country: Tracking Henry David Thoreau’s Travels in Massachusetts (MTC), a digital initiative that uses historical maps to document Thoreau’s extensive excursions throughout the state.  By surveying Thoreau’s visits to Lowell and many other historic locations, MTC is designed to illuminate his underappreciated contributions to travel writing and cartography, as well as his role as a founding figure in the environmental movement.  While providing an overview of Thoreau’s reflections on the Massachusetts landscape, Gallagher’s talk will highlight ongoing efforts to preserve Thoreau Country in the face of climate change.

For more information visit the Mapping Thoreau Country website.

Sunday
Dec
1
2:00 pm

Anthony N. Iarrapino – “Water Worries in a Warming World”

Strategies for Securing the Natural Resource We Cannot Live Without. In a warming world with a growing population, our happiness and our safety depend on our ability to keep our water clean, full of life and widely accessible to all people. This talk will explore the exigency of these objectives and strategies for achieving them. Anthony N. Iarrapino is a Senior Attorney for the Conservation Law Foundation Clean Water and Health Program in Vermont. Anthony has also advanced the cause of clean water in his native state of Massachusetts, most notably by securing penalties and cleanup commitments as part of a landmark settlement of a Clean Water Act enforcement case against the Boston Water and Sewer Commission.

Sunday
Apr
6
2:00 pm

Richard P. Howe Jr. – “Lowell and the Law “

Lowell’s explosive growth as a center of textile manufacturing brought with it a boom in legal business.  From its founding up until the present day, judges, lawyers and litigants from Lowell have had a profound effect on the jurisprudence and legal culture of Massachusetts.  Register of Deeds and Lowell historian Richard P. Howe Jr. will discuss the famous and the infamous cases and personalities that contributed to Lowell’s legal legacy.

Sunday
May
4
2:00 pm

Seth Rockman – “Mill Hands, Field Hands”

Mill hands, field hands, and the intertwined worlds of factory and plantation in antebellum America. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously quipped, “Cotton thread holds the Union together.” This talk will explore the meaning of these connections for the men and women laboring both in New England mills and on Southern slave plantations. Seth Rockman is a specialist in Revolutionary and Early Republic United States history and is currently an Associate Professor of History at Brown University.

Saturday
Oct
11
2:00 pm

Steve Dalachinsky ”A Bird In Hand”

Steve Dalachinsky is a widely published New York City poet, lecturer, and educator. He has published 10 volumes of poetry including “And the Beat Goes On” and “The Superintendent’s Eye.” In a more scholarly vein he has published “Logos and Language: A Post Jazz Metaphorical Dialogue. Part of Lowell Celebrates Kerouac.

Sunday
Oct
19
2:00 pm

Hon. Hiller B. Zobel “Justice Holmes’ Civil War”

Barely 20-years old, fresh out of Harvard, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. accepted a commission as first lieutenant in the 20th Massachusetts Regiment. By mid-October, the regiment was fighting in the Battle of Ball’s Bluff, where Holmes sustained a potentially life-threatening chest wound. After recovery he served with the regiment until mid-1864, sustaining two more serious wounds and experiencing an exposure to war’s suffering and heroism, particularly that of his close friend. Lowell’s own Henry L. Abbott, that affected the rest of his long life. (Although Holmes never served under General Benjamin F. Butler, the controversial Democrat played a significant, if largely unrecognized role in Holmes’ appointment to the Supreme Judicial Court.)

Sunday
Nov
2
2:00 pm

David M. Phillips “My Fascination with Insects”

Using images taken by Dr. Phillips with microscopes and cameras he will illustrate the intricate architecture of insects, and how the ability of these little creatures to sense and react to their surroundings has enabled them to become the predominate land animals on earth. You will never look at insects in the same way again.

Sunday
Apr
12
2:00 pm

Walter Hickey “Beyond Ladd and Whitney: the Wounded of Baltimore”

The attack on the 6th Regiment is remembered today for the deaths of four men: Luther Ladd & Addison Whitney of Lowell, Sumner Needham of Lawrence, and Charles Taylor, attributed to Lowell. However, an additional forty-five men were wounded, some severely, and those, fifteen were in Lowell companies. This is part of the story of those fifteen, and the Baltimore woman responsible for saving two of them.

Sunday
Apr
12
2:00 pm

Walter Hickey “Beyond Ladd and Whitney: the Wounded of Baltimore”

The attack on the 6th Regiment is remembered today for the deaths of four men: Luther Ladd & Addison Whitney of Lowell, Sumner Needham of Lawrence, and Charles Taylor, attributed to Lowell. However, an additional forty-five men were wounded, some severely, and those, fifteen were in Lowell companies. This is part of the story of those fifteen, and the Baltimore woman responsible for saving two of them.

Sunday
Apr
19
2:00 pm

Larry Cultrera “Classic Diners of Massachusetts”

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts was the birthplace of the burgeoning “night lunch wagon” manufacturing industry in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These horse-drawn food carts eventually evolved into classic American diners. For many years, diner builders like the Worcester Lunch Car Company and J.B. Judkins Company operated in the Bay State, while few new diners opened for business after 1960. This left the state with a high concentration of some of the best-preserved diners built during the early to mid-twentieth century, including the Capitol Diner in Lynn, the Route 66 Diner in Springfield and Buddy’s Diner in Somerville.

Saturday
Oct
10
2:00 pm

Tim Z. Hernandez – “Searching for the Real Mexican Girl”

tim-hernIn 2010, author Tim Z. Hernandez located the real woman behind Jack Kerouac’s “Terry” from On the Road. At age 92, Bea Franco was living in relative obscurity, in Fresno, California. In this presentation, Hernandez will share his journey from research to the writing of his award winning book, Mañana Means Heaven (University of Arizona Press, 2013), as well as the choices one must make when writing a counter-narrative to Kerouac’s portrayal of California’s Mexican communities in the late 1940’s.   Hernandez is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of Texas El Paso’s Bilingual M.F.A. Program in Creative Writing. Part of the Lowell Celebrates Kerouac Festival

Sunday
Oct
18
2:00 pm

Dylan Craig – “The Return of the Hessians”

dylan-craigThe figure of the Hessian soldier is a staple of the Revolutionary War mythos, and distancing the inhabitants of the “land of the free” from Britain’s “hirelings and slaves” was a cornerstone of early American efforts at establishing a political identity. Globally, however, the Hessians were far more than just a Revolutionary War phenomenon. Hessian troops fought under various nations’ flags for almost two hundred years, sometimes on both sides of a war. This is the story of the return of “Hessians” – militarized microstates who serve today’s great powers in their various quests for local dominance. From Fiji to Estonia, Brunei to Tonga, Hessians are once again on the march. What is the significance of this return to old techniques?

Sunday
Oct
25
2:00 pm

Willem Lange – “A Yankee Notebook”

william-langeWillem Lange has worked as a ranch hand, Adirondack guide, preacher, construction laborer, cab driver, bookkeeper, and bartender. After graduating from the College of Wooster in Ohio in 1962, he taught high school English in northern New York, filling in summers as an Outward Bound instructor. “In 1981 he began writing a weekly column, “A Yankee Notebook,” which appears in several New England newspapers. He’s a commentator or host for Vermont Public Radio and both Vermont and New Hampshire Public Television. He’s published several audio recordings and nine books and received four Emmy nominations, and won one (!) for his work as the long-running host of New Hampshire Public Television’s award-winning show “Windows to the Wild”.

Sunday
Mar
3
2:00 pm

Aimee Loiselle “Creating Norma Rae: Textile & Garment Workers Lost Behind a Pop Icon”

The 1979 movie Norma Rae earned multiple awards and generated a pop icon that people continue to reference. Aimee Loiselle, a historian of women, work, capitalism and culture, will explore the movie as a pop phenomenon that obscured the complex conditions of the global textile and garment industry. Although Norma Rae returned the media spotlight to Crystal Lee Sutton, the inspiration for the movie who used it to call attention to ongoing union organizing by hundreds of mill hands, it was also a studio product intended to make money. Its narrative of an individual woman appealed to American audiences but elided decades of southern labor activism and the vital role of black civil rights activists in the 1960s. The movie’s use of the familiar and sentimental poor white southern mill hand also erased the connected twentieth-century labor and migrations of Puerto Rican needle workers, fostering skewed notions of a white American working class and simplistic ideas of deindustrialization.

Tuesday
Mar
26
7:00 pm

Dan Kennedy “Return of the Moguls”

Over the course of a generation, the story of the daily newspaper has been an unchecked slide. The forces killing newspapers are well understood. If newspapers have any chance at survival, it may be through a return to the original model of ownership: the newspaper mogul. In The Return of the Moguls, media critic Dan Kennedy charts the course being set by Jeff Bezos at the Washington Post, John Henry at the Boston Globe, and other wealthy and iconoclastic individuals committed to saving the daily newspaper.

 

Sunday
Apr
7
2:00 pm

Robert Finch “The Outer Beach”

robert-finchThose who have encountered Cape Cod – or merely dipped into an account of its rich history – know that it is a singular place. Robert Finch writes of its beaches: “No other place I know sears the heart with such a constant juxtaposition of pleasure and pain, of beauty being born and destroyed in the same moment.” And nowhere within its borders is this truth more vivid and dramatic than along the forty miles of Atlantic coast – what Finch has always known as “The Outer Beach.” Finch pays tribute to the Outer Beach’s impressive literary legacy, meditates on its often tragic history, and explores the strange, mutable nature of time near the ocean. Finch’s affable voice, attentive eye, and stirring prose will be cherished by the Cape’s staunch lifers and erstwhile visitors alike, and strike a resounding chord with anyone else who has been left breathless by the majestic, unrelenting beauty of the shore.

Robert Finch has lived on Cape Cod for over forty years, currently in Wellfleet, MA. He is the author of seven collections of essays, most recently of his radio scripts for his weekly radio broadcast, “A Cape Cod Notebook” on the Cape and Islands NPR Station, WCAI

 

Tuesday
Apr
16
7:00 pm

Chad Montrie “Beyond ‘Songbirds and Suburbs’: Rethinking the American Environmental Movement Origin Story”

chad-montrieFirst published in 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring was hailed as the catalyst for starting an American environmental movement.  Today, many continue to regard the renowned work in much the same way.  But, Montrie argues, this is a faulty interpretation of the past, one that rests on a limited understanding of what counts as environmentalism and who counts as an environmentalist.”  What do we find if we reexamine the historical record with this in mind?  Where did environmentalism actually come from?  And, what implications does a new origin story have for preservation, conservation, and environmental activism in the present?

Tuesday
May
14
7:00 pm

Charles Tonetti “The Aguirre, Puerto Rico Sugar Mill.”

In early 2018 Tonetti spent a month in Puerto Rico documenting the condition of hundreds of damaged historic structures.  While there he visited Aguirre, a company town with two historic districts: a sugar mill and the town itself. Boston investors owned and developed Aguirre starting in 1900. It was one of the largest and most productive sugar complexes in the 20th century, as well as one of the most technologically advanced mills. The mill slowly declined in the late 20th century until it closed in 1990.  Since then there have been tentative plans to turn the mill into a park.