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Elaine Brenchley, First State Heritage Park, 302-739-9194 elaine.brenchley@state.de.us, or Necia Beck, Delaware State Parks, 302-739-9175, necia.beck@state.de.us. 

First State Heritage Park continues its independence celebration

DOVER (June 25, 2012) – On Saturday, July 7, the First State Heritage Park’s monthly First Saturdays in the First State continues the celebration of Independence Day with free programming for the entire family. The Dover’s Heroes of the Revolution Walking Tours reveal that Dover was a hotbed of revolutionary and loyalist activity during the struggle for American Independence.  Tories, Whigs, militia and insurrection all made an appearance on Dover’s Green.

Visitors will see the final resting places of such valiant figures as John Haslet and John Patton. They will also see sites around The Green associated with other early military heroes, including Caesar Rodney and Dr. James Tilton. In keeping with the theme, a short film about Caesar Rodney’s famous ride will be presented at The Old State House.

Other activities include tours of the two capitol buildings in Delaware’s capital city –The Old State House and Legislative Hall, as well as tours of the Governor’s residence at Woodburn and Hall House. The genealogy series at the Delaware Public Archives kicks off with a lecture by Nancy Lyons. Exhibits are also on display at the Johnson Victrola Museum and the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries.  The Biggs Museum of American Art also offers exhibits and its monthly “Biggs Kids” program.

Admission to all park sites and programs is free. Centrally located free parking is available at the First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries at 121 Duke of York Street. For more information about The First State Heritage Park programs, call 302-739-9194 or visit destateparks.com/heritagepark 

First Saturday activities on July 7: 

10 a.m., Noon and 3 p.m.
We Poor Devils
First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries
Visitors will enjoy guided interpretations of the current exhibition, The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories, which explores the experiences of five of the more than 13,000 Delawareans who fought in America’s bloodiest conflict. 

10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
A Day with E.R. Johnson
Johnson Victrola Museum, 406 Federal Street
An historical interpreter takes on the persona of Eldridge Reeves Johnson, founder of the Victor Talking Machine Company in this fun program.  

10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Tours of the Governor’s House
At Woodburn – The Governor’s House
Guided tours of Woodburn, the official residence of Delaware’s Governor since 1965, and Hall House, the Governor’s guesthouse.

 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. (Last tour leaves at 3 p.m.)
Dover’s Heroes of the Revolution Walking Tour
John Bell House on The Green
This tour will stop at the final resting places of such valiant figures as John Haslet and John Patton, and other locations around The Green that associated with early military heroes, including Caesar Rodney and Dr. James Tilton. 

10:30 a.m.
Genealogy Series: How Do I Start My Family Research?
Delaware Public Archives, 121 Duke of York Street
Nancy Lyons, a respected genealogist, provides a starting place for researching family genealogy using historic records.

11 a.m., 1 and 3 p.m.
“Thunder and Rain”
The Old State House on The Green
The film about Caesar Rodney’s historic ride for independence is featured.

2 – 3 p.m.
Biggs Kids – Sweet Butterflies
Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
Children will create beautiful summer butterflies with a sweet surprise. Ages 5 to 10. Reservations required, and may be made by calling (302) 674-2111.  

Other July First Saturday Free Activities:

9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Simple Pleasures: 18th-Century Games and Amusements
John Bell House on The Green
Play fun 18th-century games; no experience necessary! 

The First State Heritage Park Welcome Center and Galleries
121 Duke of York Street
The Division of Historical and Cultural Affairs presents two exhibits:
USS Delaware: An American Battleship
The story of the USS Delaware (1909 – 1924) is told through objects, photographs, and ceremonial silver.
The Civil War: Five Delaware Soldiers’ Stories
This exhibit recognizes the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the American Civil War. Through the state’s collection of objects, portraits, and documents, personal experiences of the brutal journey through the War of the Rebellion are revealed.

Biggs Museum of American Art, 406 Federal Street
Delaware National Guard’s Collection of Delaware Illustrators
Paintings commemorate those who served during WWI.
Award Winners XII
Individual Artist Fellows of the Delaware Division of the Arts  

Delaware Public Archives, 121 Duke of York Street
The War of 1812
The 200th anniversary of the War of 1812 is commemorated with documents and images about the conflict which is sometimes referred to as the “Second American Revolution.” 

Guided Tours of Legislative Hall-Delaware’s Capitol
Tours of the House and Senate Chambers feature lessons about the legislature and Delaware history. Photo ID is required for all adults entering the building.

Stars and Stripes
Johnson Victrola Museum
375 S. New Street
Visitors will enjoy patriotic music recorded by the Victor Record Company. 

The First State Heritage Park at Dover is Delaware’s first urban “park without boundaries” linking historic and cultural sites in the city that has been the seat of state government since 1777.The park is a partnership of state agencies, under the leadership of Delaware State Parks, working in collaboration with city and county government, nonprofit organizations and the private sector.

Vol. 42, No. 237

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6/25/2012
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