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As we prepare for a Fourth of July weekend at home, why not take a trip through American History? Read on for a collection of materials from Berkshire Museum@Home on the history of our nation and the citizens who have made it the place we know today.


Photograph of the Pittsfield Fourth of July Parade, 1911, Edwin Hale Lincoln. 

The first Fourth of July Parade in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, took place in 1824. At the time, the parade featured horse-drawn carriages, local politicians, and survivors of the Revolutionary War (1775-1783). More recent parades have included marching bands, floats, dance teams, giant helium balloons, fire engines, and more! Click here to view this photo of the 1911 parade in ultra-high resolution. 

Fourth of July: Fact Or Fiction?

FACT: Massachusetts was the first state to recognize July 4 as a holiday.
The Massachusetts legislature was the first one to recognize the 4th of July as an official state holiday on July 3, 1781.
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Help Us Prepare for Your Next Visit 

Your feedback is important! Please complete this 3-minute, anonymous survey to share your feelings about returning to the museum.
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How Many of These American Heroes Do You Know?

In 1781 Elizabeth Freeman, an enslaved woman in Sheffield, MA, won her freedom and set a precedent that would end slavery for all people in Massachusetts by taking her case to the courts. 
During the American Civil War (1861-1865) Clara Barton travelled with the Union Army to provide aid to sick and dying soldiers. She later became the first president of the American Red Cross.  
Scholar and writer W.E.B. DuBois (1868 – 1963) of Great Barrington, MA, fought to end the evils of racism, poverty, and misogyny, and helped to found the NAACP.
In 1920 when the 19th amendment secured the right to vote for American women, Dr. Mabel Ping-Hua Lee was shut out by the Chinese Exclusion ActShe fought tirelessly for suffrage anyway, leading the call for youth activism. 
Discover more Americans who shaped history at
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Keep the Kids Busy and Learning at Home! 

Register today for Berkshire Museum’s Camp@Home Programs on topics ranging from world cultures to robotics, or sign up for our free GSK Science in the Summer program scheduled for Fridays in July.

Put Your American History Knowledge to the Test!

Family Trivia: Marine Mammals and American History

Tuesday, July 7 at 5 pm
Is a killer whale really a whale? What state was formed from a part of Massachusetts? Show us what you know! Family trivia questions are targeted to ages 8+. We encourage younger siblings to join the fun and be part of a team!
Sign up to play!
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Discover the Uniquely American Stories Behind Our Collections

Dive into stories from the American Civil War as you listen to episodes of the What's in the Basement? podcast. Discover what a historic surgeon's kit tells us about Civil War medicine or how Henry A. Towers’ tuba combines his personal war story with the broader history of military bands and the changing designs of instruments.
Or, learn about how cheese used to be a really important dietary staple for New Englanders in the early nineteenth century and how the great Cheshire cheese wheel went to the White House in 1802.

Did You Know? Most States Have an Official Insect!

Do you know the state insect of Massachusetts?
Watch to Find Out

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Are you a writer?

The Berkshire Historical Society is inviting writers to apply to be a Writer-In-Residence at Arrowhead. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis now through September 1, 2020. Apply today!
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